2015 NFL Draft: Top Ten Quarterbacks Chosen in the Last Decade


There has been a lot of talk about the New York Jets, the upcoming NFL draft, and the guy in the picture above, Marcus Mariota. Will Mariota be available for the Jets at number six? Should the Jets choose Mariota? Is Marcus Mariota not ready to be an NFL quarterback? Should the Jets look elsewhere at number six in the draft, maybe even trade out of the pick? The debate rages on, and will continue to do so until the teams arrive in Chicago for the draft in late April.

In making up your mind, I want you to take a look at the list I have for you this afternoon. Here are all of the quarterbacks that have been taken in the top ten of the draft since 2004. Here are the names:

  • Eli Manning
  • Philip Rivers
  • Alex Smith
  • Vince Young
  • Matt Leinart
  • JaMarcus Russell
  • Matt Ryan
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Mark Sanchez
  • Sam Bradford
  • Cam Newton
  • Jake Locker
  • Blaine Gabbert
  • Andrew Luck
  • Robert Griffin
  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Blake Bortles

What do these guys have in common, besides being drafted in the top ten of the NFL draft?  Only two of these players sat for the entire year, Jake Locker and Philip Rivers.  They had talented veterans to sit behind, Matt Hasselback and Drew Brees.  Their teams could afford to let them sit.  Eli Manning sat for the first part of the season behind Kurt Warner.  These are not the norm.  JaMarcus Russell sat for part of the year behind Dante Culpepper, a good, at times great, quarterback.  Alex Smith was the only one to sit, even for part of the year, without a significant veteran in front of him.

Everyone else played significant time in year one.  They all played ten games or more.  Some have gone on to have terrific careers to date, some are improving, some are busts, and some might be busts.  But they all played.  That is why they were chosen in the top ten.  They were at the top of the class, therefore, expected to play, and play well.  Some did, some didn’t, but that is what was expected.

Now, why are the good ones so good?  Because they are accurate.  They are good because they read defenses well, and make good decisions with the football.  What are some of the knocks on Marcus Mariota?  He needs to improve his ability to read defenses.  He needs to improve his accuracy.  Mariota’s ability to function in a pro-style offense is in question.

Is this the guy that you want to trust to take the reigns of the New York Jets week one of 2015?  The answer, at least to me is a clear no.  In just about every case in the last ten years, a quarterback drafted in the top ten, plays significant time in year one.  Mariota is not ready to do that.  The only exceptions have been quarterbacks with great veterans in front of them.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is not great, and if Geno Smith becomes great, he will be the starter for a long time, keeping Mariota a distant memory.

Marcus Mariota doesn’t make enough sense to be the number six pick of the draft.

Next: Beasley to the Jets in Mock Draft

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