By Lewis Gould
The NFL draft is only three days away — Thursday night in Chicago — and the closer we get to the Eagles’ pick, which is now at 20 but is subject to a trade up, the more common sense comes into play.
Will the Birds and Supreme Leader Chip Kelly move heaven and earth to get Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (photo above)? Only time will tell.
But the history of trading up to snare a QB is fraught with failure.
As noted by Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, since 2000 there have been 14 instances of a team trading up to draft a quarterback in the first round, with most of them going horribly wrong.
While the Giants (Eli Manning, 2004) and Ravens (Joe Flacco, 2008) have won Super Bowls with those quarterbacks, most of the rest were busts.
A few such as Michael Vick (Falcons, 2001), Jay Cutler (Broncos, 2006) and Mark Sanchez (Jets, 2009) have had some degrees of success, but the rest of the list should give you chills:
Kyle Boller (Ravens, 2003), J.P. Losman (Bills, 2004), Jason Campbell (Washington, 2005), Brady Quinn (Browns, 2007), Josh Freeman (Buccaneers, 2009), Tim Tebow (Broncos, 2010), Blaine Gabbert(Jaguars, 2011), Robert Griffin III (Washington, 2012) and Johnny Manziel (Browns, 2014).
What does that tell us? Mostly that quarterbacks have always been, and remain scarce. That leads to desperation. And desperation leads to bad moves. And when you see teams such as the Browns and Washington on that list twice, it points to the kind of organizational instability that leads to rash decision-making.
That’s not to say Mariota is going to be a bust, but it does show that when teams reach for a quarterback, they often pay too high a price for their hope, and it often costs coaches and GMstheir jobs.