Can an NFL Draft be repeated without quarterbacks in the first round, as it was in 1996?

It has been 25 NFL drafts since a quarterback was not selected in the first round, a situation that has only happened in five instances since the AFL-NFL merger.

It seems almost unthinkable now. The things that become football legends, a Sasquatch of history that guys with gray hair tell from time to time, and just swear it’s true, no matter what’s been heard before.

In 1996, not a single quarterback was selected in the first round of the NFL draft.. It was just the fifth time it has happened since the 1970 AFL-NFL mergerY hasn’t happened since.

“I don’t see it happening again, ever,” the Los Angeles general manager said. Denver Broncos, George Paton. “Not really. The game has changed, the spread offense, 7-on-7 tournaments in the middle school, high school — there are just too many quarterbacks that are too sophisticated in that regard compared to two decades ago. And, perhaps most importantly, the position has become more important than ever.

These days, the question isn’t which quarterback will be selected in the first round, but how many will go in the top 10 picks. In 2021, quarterbacks were selected with the first three picks in the draft, with five leaving in the first round.

In 2020, Joe Burrow he was the first draft pick, and four quarterbacks were taken in the first round. Three quarterbacks left in the first round in 2019, five in 2018, three in 2017, and so on.

“Position is so important, and with the rookie pay scale, the financial penalty for failing is much less expensive than it used to be. [para un quarterback novato]”explained the former general manager of the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts, Bill Polian. “As a result, a first-round bet on a talented, undeveloped prospect is worth the risk.”

What happened in the 1996 Draft?

In the 25 drafts since 1996, a quarterback hasn’t been selected first overall in just six instances. But, in that Draft 1996no pin was selected until Tony Banks was elected with the turn No. 42 for the then St.Louis Rams. Only eight quarterbacks were selected that year, and only three —Banks, Danny Kannell and Bobby Hoying— before the fourth round.

“When you look at it, it’s pretty simple, maybe. No quarterback left in the first round, but how many of those guys ended up starting for a team?” wondered the guy who was picked first overall that year, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. “Clearly, the NFL got it right that year, he just happened to get it right, because I don’t think any of the drafted quarterbacks started more games than Tony Banks“.

Johnson you’re right. All 78 lifetime starts of banks –for St.Louis, Baltimore and Houston— led all quarterbacks drafted in 1996. kanell he was the only other quarterback in the group to start at least 24 games. Four of the quarterbacks drafted that year —Spence Fischer, Mike Cawley, Jon Stark, and Kyle Wachholtz— never attempted a pass during a regular-season game.

“There were no quarterbacks worth a first-round pick. None of them were doing the things that I, Jonathan Ogden, Kevin Hardy, Simeon Rice –the players at the top of the draft– we were able to do,” explained Johnson. “Keep going —Eddie George, Terry Glenn, Willie Anderson, Marvin Harrison, Ray Lewis— there were no quarterbacks at that level, capable of leading their teams, so they weren’t drafted.”

three members of the Hall of Fame were taken in the first round that year — Ogden (No. 4 by the ravens), harrison (No. 18 for the Colts) Y lewis (No. 26 for the ravens)– while the wide receiver also a member of the Hall of Fame, Terrell Owenswas found in the third round. Riceselected third overall by the arizona cardinalswas designated Defensive Rookie of the Yearwhile georgeselected No. 14 by the Houston Oilerswould take the prize to Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Why won’t it happen again?

History has proven that none of the 1996 quarterbacks made him question why they weren’t selected in the first round. There is a school of thought that the Draft 2014Still, it could have been, should have been, the last year without a first-round quarterback, but the urgency to find a quarterback has grown almost exponentially since 1996, and has reached such a level that teams just won’t let him. To happen again.

“The position is so critical, everything that goes with it, his talent is just like any position, but everything is exaggerated at that position,” the Los Angeles general manager said. San Francisco 49ers, John Lynchduring the NFL scouting combine. “Many times, you have to do projections from the schoolboy to the NFL because sport is practiced in a different way. Levels of competition, there are so many things that influence. Like in any position. But, like I said, the importance at the position makes the decision so critical.”

In 2014, Blake Bortles (No. 3), Johnny Manziel (No. 22) and Teddy Bridgewater (No. 32) were the three quarterbacks selected in the first round. Of three, Bridgewatertaken with the last turn of the first round, has been the only one selected at a Pro Bowl. Derek Carrchosen by the raiders at pick No. 36 overall — already in the second round — he is the only quarterback in that draft who has thrown for more than 18,000 yards.

Several personnel executives assure that the Draft 2013when EJ Manuel he was the only quarterback selected in the first round; the Draft 1997when Jim Druckenmiller He was the only quarterback selected in the first round, and the Draft 2007with JaMarcus Russell Y Brady Quinn as the only passers in the first round; should have joined Draft 1996 in the history of the years without first-round passers.

To date, only five drafts since the leagues merged have gone without a first-round quarterback: 1974, 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1996.

The current crop was initially rated a down year for quarterbacks, but in their most recent first-round simulations, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPNeach have three quarterbacks being selected in the first round: Kenny Pickett from pitt, Malik Willis from Liberty Y Matt Corral from mississippi.

“It’s like the litter of quarterbacks this year,” he revealed. Paton. “The process kicks off and the public perception is that the quarterback class is not one to get excited about. But, they do well in the season, they do well in the Senior Bowl, pro days. They really have passed every test except the public opinion”.

The demand for a franchise quarterback is higher than ever, and the supply hasn’t increased at the same rate. Teams will repeatedly go out on a limb for a quarterback, even late in the first round, and draft a quarterback well above where they might qualify in hopes of hitting the quarterback lottery.

“It has definitely grown in importance,” he said. Johnson. “But if you can’t throw under pressure, you’re not going to pan out, you’re not going to be successful, no matter how much they push you up the evaluation boards. And if you’re a general manager and you just draft a quarterback in the first round because you need him, and you don’t really think he’s a first-round pick, you’re probably going to get fired. It’s not going to improve the player, just because you take him in the first round.”

These days, quarterback sessions at the Talent Combine they’re televised in primetime, and pass-free passes on pro days spawn fire emojis from coast to coast. It just seems unlikely that a first round would close in a future draft without including a quarterback.

“It would be an atypical year, extremely atypical,” he admitted. Paton. “I just can’t anticipate that happening. Too many teams need one every year, and they’re not going to sit back and let them go.”

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Can an NFL Draft be repeated without quarterbacks in the first round, as it was in 1996?