by Bob Matthews
The Buffalo Bills reportedly are considering selecting a quarterback with the 34th overall pick (second pick in the second round) in Thursday night's NFL draft.
Assuming Buffalo doesn't land Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert in the first round, I'd much prefer that the Bills select a probable immediate defensive starter with the No. 34 pick than take a shot on one of the several less-than-elite QB prospects.
My theory is that the really good QBs are chosen in the first round. A talented NFL team can afford to gamble on a QB prospect in the second round but the lesser teams can't afford that luxury.
I'm so opposed to using the No. 34 pick on a QB that I was inspired to check out the history of second-round QB picks. Here's what I came up with:
Since 1970, the 41 NFL drafts have produced 41 second-round QB picks. Here's how I rate them:
Too soon to categorize (6) – Tarvaris Jackson (2006), Kellen Clemens (2006), Kevin Kolb (2007), Drew Stanton (2007), Chad Henne (2008), Jimmy Clausen (2010).
Disasters (13) – Bill Cappelman (1970), Gary Keithley (1973), Jeb Blount (1976), Glenn Carano (1977), Guy Benjamin (1978), Gene Bradley (1980 by the Bills), Mike Elkins (1989), Matt Blundin (1992), Tony Sacca (1992), Marques Tuiasosopo (2001), John Beck (2007), Brian Brohm (2008), Pat White (2009).
Poor (9) – Pat Sullivan (1972), Gary Huff (1973), Mike Kruczek (1976), Oliver Luck (1981), Matt Kofler (1982 by the Bills), Jack Trudeau (1986), Billy Joe Tolliver (1989), Browning Nagle (1991), Quincy Carter (2000).
Fair (3) – Matt Cavanaugh (1978), Tony Banks (1996), Shaun King (1999).
Average (2) – Todd Collins (by the Bills in 1995; I'm being generous; he's lasted in the NFL a long time), Charlie Batch (1998).
Good (1) – Dennis Shaw (by the Bills in 1970).
Very good (2) – Neil Lomax (1981), Jake Plummer (1997).
Excellent (5) – Ron Jaworski (No. 37 pick in 1977), Boomer Esiason (No. 38 pick in 1984), Randall Cunningham (No. 37 pick in 1985), Brett Favre (No. 33 pick in 1991), Drew Brees (No. 32 pick in 2001).
I don't believe any QB that will be available to Buffalo at No. 34 is a potential Favre or Brees — but maybe the Bills do.