Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Crappy QBs, featuring Tarvaris Jackson

That didn't last long. After all the off- and pre-season posturing, it took all of two games for Chili to bench Tarvaris Jackson. And now the Vikings turn to Gus Frerotte...whenever that's the answer, the question sucks.

I'm not here to pile on Jackson's shitty QB play, the coaching, the desperation involved in turning to a washed-up vet like Frerotte, or how the front office has handled the QB situation completely opposite of how they've handled the rest of the roster.

No, I'm more interested in the effects a bad QB decision can have on a franchise and how much of a failure the strategy of drafting a mid-first to second round QBs has been lately.

Between 2002 and 2006, the following QBs have been drafted between round 1 pick 19 and the end of the second round: Patrick Ramsey, Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman, WWWWWW's boy JP Losman, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell, Kellen Clemons, and Tarvaris Jackson.

These dudes were drafted in 2007 and 2008 and haven't had the chance to suck: Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, John Beck (safe to say he's terrible), Drew Stanton, Joe Flacco, Brian Brohm, and Chad Henne.

Not that this is an indicator of much, but what is there, one guy from that list who is starting for more than 10% of the fantasy football teams out there? If you look at the year they were drafted and compare it to two years later, only one of their teams had any improvement (Bears went from 4 to 5 wins, wow). And only the class of 2005 is still starting.

The stats for the group include an 81-94 W-L record, 188 TDs and 181 INTs. Only Aaron Rodgers, in his two starts, has a completion % above 60% and he's the only one with a QB rating over 80. These players represent a lot of wasted starts on what could have been some good teams.

Beyond the shitty individual and team performances, the spiral of suck caused by a wrong QB choice can be staggering. Plenty of teams have been through it with top 10 picks as well...Texans/Carr, Lions/Harrington, Bengals/everyone but Palmer, Colts/Jeff George...

But here's a worst-case scenario for the Vikings and the fallout from TJack being a CFL-quality QB:

Year 1 - TJack drafted but not ready, team sticks with over-the-hill Brad Johnson for one more season. Season is lost.

Year 2 - Brad Johnson is so over-the-hill that TJack starts his rookie season. Predictably, he plays terribly and the team misses the playoffs.

Year 3 - TJack again handed the starting job, turns out he still sucks. Gus Frerotte is the savior...I'm going to say this season has a good chance of being wasted.

Year 4 - What do the Vikes do...is TJack completely out or does he get one more chance...does Frerotte keep the job or is another old vet brought in...do they draft another QB? This could be another lost season without a good move by the front office.

Year 5 - Let's say they drafted a QB the previous year and put him in...first-year QBs often suck. Another lost season.

Year 6 - Hopefully the new QB is not TJack and the team can finally put a decent passing offense together. But what's the rest of the team like at this point?

One crappy decision at QB could screw the franchise, in year two of what appears to be a win-now strategy, for 5 years.