I am a big believer in putting stats in context. I will explain the methods I used in gathering these stats for those of you might want to do something similar and/or want to question the validity of my findings. Anyone who is not an uber-geek will want to skip straight to the table.
I pulled all of my stats from pro-football-reference.com. I started with their draft finder. Searching for all quarterbacks drafted '90-'07 (I went to '07 because I felt I should only use players with 4+ years of experience). I copied the table, pasted it into an Excel spreadsheet, manually added Super Bowl appearances and wins and imported that into an Access database. I did the same thing for all undrafted quarterbacks that came into the league from '90-'07. After much internal debate, I decide to include Warren Moon and Bobby Hebert, 2 undrafted players who entered the league in '90, but had played professionally before that.
Broken into 2 tables for the sake of legibility. 1st table is career length, 2nd is success.
|Round||Total||Avg Years||No Comp||4+ Years||7+ Years||%Years Starter|
|1||42||7.52||0% (0)||88.1% (37)||64.7% (22/34)||56%|
|2||18||7.66||0% (0)||83.5% (15)||61.5% (8/13)||43.5%|
|3||22||5.54||9% (2)||81.8% (18)||37.5% (6/16)||19.6%|
|4||31||4.74||19.3% (6)||61.3% (19)||39.3% (11/28)||17.0%|
|5||20||3.3||35% (7)||40% (8)||21.4% (3/14||22.7%|
|6||31||3.7||41.9% (13)||41.9% (13)||21.4% (6/28)||37.7%|
|7||37||2.7||35.5% (13)||32.4% (12)||9% (3/32)||13.1%|
|8||8||5.25||37.5% (3)||50% (4)||50% (4/8)||28.6%|
|9||6||4.8||50% (3)||33% (2)||33% (2/6)||34.5%|
|FA||53||5.66||3% (2)||60% (32)||46.7% (21/45)||N/A|
|Round||Total||Rating||TD>INT||ProBowlers||ProBowls||Y/PB||SB App||SB Wins|
|1||42||80.00||45.2% (19)||35.7% (15)||45||7.0||13||6|
|2||18||80.02||33.3% (6)||22.2% (4)||18||7.7||3||2|
|3||22||77.0||27.2% (6)||13.6% (3)||3||40.7||1||0|
|4||31||75.6||32.3% (10)||3% (1)||1||147||0||0|
|5||20||76.8||20% (4)||5% (1)||3||22||0||0|
|6||31||81.0||25.8% (8)||16.1% (5)||13||8.8||5||3|
|7||37||73.2||16.2% (6)||5% (2)||2||49.5||0||0|
|8||8||79.7||37.5% (3)||25% (2)||3||14||0||0|
|9||6||81.0||33.3% (2)||16.6% (1)||2||14.5||1||1|
|FA||53||80.8||37.7% (20)||11% (6)||20||15||4||1|
No Comp = Percentage of players that have 0 career pass completions
4+ years/7+ years = Percentage of players that played at least 4 or 7 years
TD>INT = Percentage of players with more career TDs than INTs
Y/PB = Years per Pro Bowl. Total years played divided by total pro bowls
SB App/SB Wins = Super Bowl appearances and wins as a starter
Everything else should be self explanatory, just ask if you have any questions.
The numbers for undrafted quarterbacks are going to be a little skewed. Unlike drafted QBs, they only show up in the study if they had some statistics. A 'camp arm' type player that was cut before he ever played an NFL down won't show up if he wasn't drafted. I also did not have access to the numbers of years as primary starter for undrafted players.
The fact that the ratings only vary from 73 to 81, and 1st round QBs have only an 80 rating is going to surprise some people, but it actually makes sense. If a player doesn't have better than a 75-80 career rating, he won't get enough playing time to have any real impact on the overall rating for his draft group. 1st round QBs are going to take a hit because teams will play a 1st round QB before he's really ready to win games, where non-1st round QBs have to be ready to play before they're given their shot.
Tom Brady effect
6th round QBs clearly outshine all but 1st and 2nd round picks in rating, Pro Bowls and Super Bowls. Brady is of course a big part of that, particularly the Super Bowls (owning 4 of the 5 appearances and all 3 wins). Without Brady, 6th round QBs' rating drops to 76.6, similar to the other rounds. But the non-Brady 6th round QBs still have more Pro Bowls (7), career TDs (634, not on the chart. 3rd rounders have 527) and years as primary starter (34 to 25 for 3rd rounders) than QBs drafted in the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 7th rounds. Clearly 6th round QBs make a up a disproportionate percentage of mid-level QBs (Matt Hasselbeck, Jeff Blake, Marc Bulger, Derek Anderson).
4th round Pro Bowls
If you only drafted QBs in the 4th round, you could expect a Pro Bowl once every 147 years. You would be better off buying Cubs World Series tickets.
Players taken in the top 33 picks of the draft (the only 2nd rounders with Super Bowl appearances are Drew Brees, 32nd pick, and Brett Favre, 33rd pick) have accounted for 16 appearances and 8 wins, while all others combined have 11 appearances and 5 wins. The vast majority of those coming from 2 players (Tom Brady 3-for-4, Kurt Warner 2-for-3). That leaves 4 appearances and 1 win by the others (win for D9 Brad Johnson. 1 appearance each for FA Jake Delhomme, D3 Neil O'Donnell and D6 Matt Hasselbeck). No QB drafted in the 4th, 5th or 7th round since 1990 has led a team to a Super Bowl.
|Total||At least 1 Super Bowl Appearance||At least 1 Super Bowl Win|
|Top 33||51||23.5% (12)||13.5% (7)|
|All Others||273||2.2% (6)||1.1% (3)|