It’s amazing to believe that the general managers of the National Football League make their careers by predicting the future when drafting young talent. Hundreds of players, from the biggest of universities, to the smallest. It’s a science that many have failed and few have conquered.
To help make sense of the elaborate formula of building a winning roster, I’ve created rule number one, which if executed correctly, could turn any average team into a Super Bowl contender.
DRAFT A QUARTERBACK
Whether he’s good or bad, take the risk. You never know what you can find in the draft. A gem can be found in the sixth round like Brady, or a third round Wilson. Once you get a quarterback, your job becomes a hell of a lot easier.
Why a quarterback? And why in the draft?
I’m glad I asked; I’ll be more than happy to give you all some perspective by examining the past decade-worth of Super Bowl champions. Out of those team’s quarterbacks, only one (Drew Brees) was obtained outside of the draft. Out of those ten quarterbacks, six were selected as Superbowl MVP.
It’s simple; get your quarterback, and go. The value of that man under center vastly exceeds any other position on the field. Look no further than Tom Brady last year. Statistically he was pretty terrible compared to normal, yet he was still able to lead his band of average receivers (no offence Pats fans) to the AFC championship game.
So say you’re an NFL general manager in need of a quarterback (Texans, Browns, Vikings, Jaguars, Raiders, Tampa Bay). You have a top-ten draft pick with a handful of options to choose from. There’s Blake Bortles, your dream sized 6-foot-4 230 pound ox. Teddy Bridgewater, the always great maestro from Louisville. Derrick Carr, the 5,000 yard, 50 touchdown force form Fresno State. Then there’s that Football guy at Texas A&M. The one who as a freshman broke the SEC’s single season yards record while crashing the upperclassman-only Heisman party.
Go ahead, take a shot and draft one of these guys. A defensive end isn’t going to make the difference between a half dozen wins. Your quarterback is in charge of running your offense. He touches the ball every possession. I can make an argument that there isn’t a more important position in sports.
Here’s another example: Peyton Manning leads the Colts to a 10-6 record in 2010, then has neck surgery in 2011. Colts go 2-14. Coincidence? Colts then draft Andrew luck in 2012 and they’re right back in the playoffs. You see what I’m getting at.
The man running the huddle will win you games. Colin Kaepernick was the only quarterback in the 2014 playoffs without a Pro-Bowl selection. The same Kaepernick that holds a 91.6 career QB rating, (12.1 points higher than league average) who has taken the 49ers to consecutive NFC championships.
The proof is in the numbers people. The NFL has turned into a passing league. CBS.com’s Pat Kirwan shed light on the air-it-out epidemic. Last month he revealed that over the past five years no more than four teams ran the ball over 500 times in a season.
I realize the only GMs reading this will be conducting Madden fantasy drafts, but the concept remains the same.