I did some research this week on quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round since 1990. I wanted to see some numbers on how many of these guys turn out to be franchise QB's, and how many become "busts." I have heard people say it was 50-50 in the past, and that seems to be pretty accurate. Since 1990, 46 quarterbacks have been drafted in the 1st round. Including the 2009 class, 29 of those 46 have never won a playoff game. Five more have won only a single playoff game. Over those 20 years, 5 Super Bowls have been won by 1st round QB's (Roethlisberger (2), Manning's (2), and Trent Dilfer. There have been a few more that are far from "busts," but still have not won a Super Bowl (McNabb, McNair, Bledsoe). There seems to be more than a fair share of guys that just didn't pan out.
Which takes us to the 2010 draft. My guess is that two quarterbacks go in Round 1 (Clausen/Bradford), with guys like Tebow, McCoy, and LeFevour going in rounds 2-4. As much as I dislike the Clausen family, I would be much more comfortable taking him versus Bradford. I see why NFL scouts like Bradford, but the injury stuff bothers me. Clausen played in a Pro offense at Notre Dame and just seemed to "look the part" of an NFL QB during his college tenure.
I would not be upset with my team taking either if they needed a QB, I just don't think QB's should be taken in the top 10 unless the team is 99% sure that guy is going to be the man. It is too much money to tie up and better players sit the bench because owners want to play the guy they are paying 20 mill+ (see Oakland).
So, should the teams that need a QB (St Louis, Buffalo, etc) be better off trading a 2nd or 3rd round pick for a QB? Derek Anderson and Mike Vick are likely going to be available. If you are St Louis, would you rather have Anderson/Suh or Bradford/FA DT? Suh and McCoy are as close to locks as you can get, and DT's are very valuable to an NFL franchise (see recent contracts to Wilfork, Seymour, Haynesworth).
I have written here before that Washington is much better off taking Russell Okung in Round 1 rather than a QB. Give Campbell some protection, draft a RB in Round 2 (Best, Dwyer) and go from there. Unless, of course, they are certain that one of the 1st Round QB's is a lock. I trusted Tommy D in 2008 when Matt Ryan was drafted #3, but Washington fans will probably have a tougher time doing this (see Heath Shuler/Pat Ramsey).
As for the Falcons, I now think the play is to trade down unless Spiller is there. It seems the CB market is pretty even after Haden, and the DE spot is deep as well. Lets hope some guys like Dez Bryant, Taylor Mays, or some low-character guy like Carlos Dunlap drops to #19 and move back and pick up additional picks. Two years ago, Houston got #'s 26, 89, and 173 from Baltimore for #18. I'd take two seconds and a fourth for #19 and then pick up a CB and DE in the 2nd round.
Would you rather have a combo of Kareem Marshall/Kyle Wilson and then Jerry Hughes/Ricky Sapp in the 2nd or just someone like Everson Griffin, Donovan Warren, or Carlos Dunlap in Round 1?