Underclassmen QB leaving early

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Doomsday101, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    history is any guide, Vince Young's NFL career probably will not be nearly as successful as his tenure with the Texas Longhorns

    Fourteen underclassmen quarterbacks have been chosen in the first round since the league made pre-seniors eligible for its draft in 1989. Of that number, only two — Drew Bledsoe and Trent Dilfer — have played in the Super Bowl. Only Dilfer has won it.

    None of the 14 appears headed for the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
    Only three — Bledsoe, Dilfer and Jeff George — can boast of long, productive pro careers, although they did not stick with their original teams.
    And five — Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf, Todd Marinovich, Heath Shuler and Andre Ware — can be labeled busts.

    "When you go from high school to college, there is a huge, huge, huge difference in what the quarterback must learn and do," former Dallas Cowboys personnel director Gil Brandt said. "But going from college to the NFL is like going from eighth grade to being a graduate student at MIT. With the extra year of experience in college, you can close the gap."

    Said NFL talent analyst Chris Landry of Fox Sports: "Quarterback is the most difficult position to play. That extra experience is important."
    But talented underclassmen such as Young are pretty much guaranteed millions of dollars in signing bonuses by entering the draft. Last year's No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Alex Smith, received $24 million in guaranteed money after leaving Utah early. Young could pocket even more should his hometown Houston Texans select him first in April.

    Young, who led UT to its first national championship since 1970, announced Sunday he would forgo his senior season to enter the draft.
    "There is a big lust for money, and you can't blame some of these guys for seizing the moment," said Brandt, an analyst for NFL.com.
    Shuler said the chance to take care of his family financially was what convinced him to leave Tennessee early.

    "I came from a family that didn't have a lot of money — working-class folks — and it was important to lift the burden off of them," Shuler said.
    Shuler's decision looked golden when the Washington Redskins took him third overall in 1994.

    "I was thrilled to go to a franchise with a great, winning tradition," Shuler said. "And it was the team I grew up rooting for."
    Unfortunately for Shuler, he joined a club with little talent and even less patience.

    "I was called into (coach) Norv Turner's office early in my rookie year and Norv said, 'Are you ready to play?'" Shuler said. "Anyone who is competitive is going to say yes, which I did, but I really wasn't ready. And I didn't have anyone to learn from because our other quarterbacks didn't have any (NFL) starts between them."

    Shuler, who retired after the 1998 season after starting only 22 games for the Redskins and the New Orleans Saints, said Turner also miscast him as a pocket passer.

    "A lot of it is getting into the right situation at the right time," Shuler said. "Vince Young is such a talented individual. It would be very difficult to pass up a chance to draft him. But I hope wherever he goes, he will have a veteran he can watch and learn from for one or two years and a coach that puts him in the right system."

    Young NFL quarterbacks usually face a long learning curve. Defenses are much more sophisticated than college schemes and often include exotic blitz packages and disguised coverages.

    But NFL teams face great pressure to play first-round picks, especially quarterbacks. Fans want to see them. Owners want to see a return on their investment.

    Still, such a move comes with risk, said Landry, the NFL talent analyst.
    "So many underclassmen have failed because they are asked to play before they are ready mentally," Landry said. "They make a ton of mistakes. They get overwhelmed, get down on themselves, lose confidence and then their teammates get down on them."

    Brandt and Landry point to Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer and Steve McNair as quarterbacks who benefited greatly from staying in school.
    "They all learned more, came out mature and still got the big signing bonuses," Brandt said.

    But many observers believe Young is as mature as Manning or Palmer when they entered the league.

    "Young just looks like a winner," said an NFL assistant coach who requested anonymity.

    "He looks and sounds like the kind of guy that is going to work his butt off. A lot of this game is talent. But you also have to be dedicated to watching tape and learning your craft. I think he's going to be one of those guys."

  2. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    a. How does this compare to senior QBs picked in the first? That's a stupid statement for the writer to make without comparative data.

    b. Bledsoe just might end up in the hall. If he has 3 more seasons like this last one -- not impossible given his age, he's going to be among the top 5passers in just about every category.
  3. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Wow -- I just looked. Drew is #5 in completions. #7 in yards and Tied for 13th in TDs (but less than 50 away from the top 5). At 34 when next season starts, that looks like some potential HoF numbers.
  4. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    This artical is not about Bledsoe only showing how QB who were underclassmen have faird since they were allowed to enter the drafter in 1989.
  5. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I love that article. It coincides with a sermon I've been preaching here all season long about the value of the Senior year for QBs.

    I think Brady Quinn made the right choice and Young the wrong choice. I understand he felt his value might never be higher, but value doesn't help your career go anywhere, experience and maturity does.
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. If what your looking for is a quick pay day then come on to the NFL but if you want to give yourself the best chance then stay the extra year.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    depends on how much more coaching you can get. BQ absolutely needs another year under Weis; did Texas have someone of that capability to teach Young if he stayed?
  8. pancakeman

    pancakeman Well-Known Member

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    :hammer: It's not like all the seniors wound up in the Hall of Fame...
  9. wileedog

    wileedog Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree, but some people may hold Leinart up as an example if he is indeed the 3rd (or even 4th if you believe some of the Cutler hype) player selected, as opposed to the #1 overall he would have been last year.

    Furthermore, what if Leinart got injured this season? He would go from #1 overall to maybe 4th round flyer, depending on the injury.

    The difference is money that could set you and your family up for life.

    I think Young made the absolute right choice - I don't see how is stock will ever be higher, and if he finds himself in the right situation with a coach/team that can afford to give him 2 years on the bench (Tenn), then I don't think there will be a real difference in how his career plays out, good or bad.

    For a guy who project into the 3rd or 4th round I would take your advice as gospel. Return for your Sr. year, try to up prospects, strengthen your chances of succeeding at the next level.

    But if you're a guy who projects into the Top 5 of the draft, I think you have to take the money and run, and hope you land in the right situation. You just don't get a winning lottery ticket put into your hand every day.

    And whatever you do, don't go play baseball...... :wink2:
  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    They must have Young did show improvement in his play this year over what he had done the year before. His Sophmore season he had Roy Williams and was not able to do much at all.
  11. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Lienart may not be the overall #1 but he will also be set for life money wise. Manning who stayed does not seem to be hurting for cash right now and the same for a guy like McNair.
  12. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Was that more McNair helping him during the offseason then what he was getting at Texas, though?
  13. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think McNair was a big help but I also do not think the Texas coaches are a bunch of dumb arses either and have played a major part in developing Young.
  14. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Yeah, but that is exactly what I am talking about. Vince Young's value may never be higher. But value cannot replace the experience and maturity of the Senior year at QB.

    Injuries are a fact of life. I don't play the what if game. I'm talking about the value of that year of football to the player.

    I'd rather win Super Bowls than have monster paychecks. The money will be good no matter what. If you invest well you can turn a smaller paycheck into a windfall of worth.

    You also can't put a price on a degree, if staying gives you that opportunity. It means you can finish something.

    Basing it solely upon his Draft Stock, yes, he made the right choice.

    For the overall success of hsi career, I don't think so. JMO.

    Great point.

    For basketball, baseball or hockey, I'd agree. For a position other than QB, I'd agree. For QBs I simply think there's too much potnetial for valuable learning experience.
  15. wileedog

    wileedog Well-Known Member

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    As I said, I don't really disagree with you completely, and am rather on the fence about this issue.

    However for the sake of arguement, let me play Devil's Advocate:

    Again, if I'm holding a winning lottery ticket in my hand I don't play any games either - I just go cash the ticket right quick.

    I never understood this argument. Once you get drafted there is nothing in the world that stops you from completing your degree somewhere down the line after your football career is over. Players do it all the time.

    Opportunity knocks - there is no shame in opening the door, nor should there be criticism for not 'finishing' something which can always be completed later.

    Granted, if you're in your mid-30's at that time you might have more trouble picking up freshmen chicks, but that's a minor obstacle....

    I won't in any way argue with you that a QB who stays for his senior year has a better chance for success in the Pros. But its still only a chance, and 4 year QBs bust all the time too.

    I would fully appreciate a guy to whom guaranteed financial security for him and his family comes before a possible chance at hopefully someday Superbowl rings. And a top 5 rated junior has a once in a lifetime chance to secure that, even if he lessens his chances down the road. It simply not worth risking injury or a poor senior year which drops him significantly in the draft to waste that in a dream of Superbowls which are not guaranteed either no matter how many years he stays in college.

    Now I know you're old-school Hos and like guys who love the game. but I don't have a problem with guys who seen an opportunity to do what's best for themselves and their family - many of whom have made incredible sacrifices just to get their son, nephew, etc to that point. It would be a horrific shame to waste those sacrifices to a busted knee.

    As I started this post with, I fully see your point that the final year could be invaluable down the road to a QB - but any other position player is crazy not to take it, and I guess each QB has to take stock of his own priorities and family situation.
  16. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget Young had a redshirt freshman year. Some of these other juniors that were mentioned did not. They were in college for only 3 seasons, Young has had 4. It is not the same as playing that senior season, but it is a year worth of some experience and some maturity.
  17. TheHustler

    TheHustler Active Member

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    Um. That would be EVERY OTHER QB taken.

    If you're not a junior, you're a senior.

    Off the top of my head:

    Peyton and Eli Manning

    We also took a senior QB in the first that ended up being pretty good....
  18. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Didn't Big Ben leave after his redshirt junior season?
  19. Chuck 54

    Chuck 54 Well-Known Member

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    It's a simple question really...If you believe that guys like Shuler went bust because they weren't mature or prepared and that another year in college would have enhanced their chances to have good careers, then he would have made much more money if he'd come back a year later even if it meant being selected #10 instead of #3. The biggest money is still to be made when you've been successful and are approaching the end of your first contract.

    Guys like Shuler pocketed millions in bonus money and are labelled busts for eternity. I think he'd prefer to have had a long career, still be starting in the NFL, and still be pocketing millions every year rather than living off his original contract money.

    But there are no guarantees.

    Personally, I think a guy who comes out early "only because of the instant money," probably will never live up to the hype even if he manages to have a good career...all he ever really cared about was the money...it was #1. Yes, it's a business, but if all your decisions from age 21 are based only on the money, I have doubts about you.

    I think a guy who loves the game first and foremost will know that he's going to make an awful lot of money either way and will do everything in his power to make sure he's as prepared for success as he can be.

    Take an average Joe in college majoring in economics. If someone offerred him a huge contract to leave school as a junior and run the company, he'd probably jump at the opportunity and take the money. But that job may be over in 2 years because he didn't prepare himself fully for the world of work. I think the same analogy applies to football and QBs.

    I think Leinart made one of the smartest moves he could ever make. He had enough confidence in his abilities that he knew he wasn't going to lose much value, and he didn't really...he's still clearly the #1 QB in the draft and will be selected before any other QB...anyone arguing otherwise is simply foolish. Bush simply improved his game so far that he has surpassed Leinart for #1, partly because the team selecting first doesn't need a QB...duh.

    Leinart took out a big fat insurance policy, so he's set for life anyway. He's going to be selected #2 this year, but let's say he'd dropped from #1 last year to #5 this year or even #8....just how many millions does a kid coming out of college really need? He loved college, and he loved USC, and he loved the idea of winning another title, and he went for it. Meanwhile, he also picked up another year of development, reading defenses, leading a team, and facing tough competition. Like insurance against injury, that senior year of college is like insurance against a mediocre or poor career...not a guarantee, but insurance.

    Leinart is getting everything he wanted out of football, college and pro, and if anyone was paying attention, while Young had the incredible performance, running through the USC defense at will and putting up tons of points easily, Leinart showed some of that maturity and preparation in having a phenominal 2nd half in which he matched drive for drive and point for point against a much better defense with pressure on him all game and receivers that were covered pretty well. He actually won the 2nd half of the game if one considers points.

    Too much emphasis is put on being #1 in the first round...it simply means a little more money than #2, but not much compared to last year's #1. Any QB can flop in the NFL...it is the toughest position in football to play, and the most scrutinized, which means the player needs maturity. But the stats on QBs coming out early are undeniable...take out insurance against injury, and stay in school. I believe you're more likely to have the NFL career you really want and the money that goes with it.

    If all you really care about is pocketing the first guaranteed money, then come on out and sign up. But despite millions pocketed, I'd still rather be starting in the NFL and making millions when I'm 32 than sitting on my farm that my first bonus check paid for when I'm 26 and on the tip of everyone's tongue when the discussion of first round QB's who went bust comes up.
  20. DallasCowpoke111

    DallasCowpoke111 Benched

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    11-1, and a performance in the 05 Rose Bowl, eclipsed only by his 06 one, seems a bit more than "not able to do much at all".

    BTW, RW's was a Lion by 04, VY's soph year. The UT receivers were 2 freshman, and a senior who went undrafted.

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