The 2017 NFL Draft is upon us with 1st round selections taking place on Thursday April 27th. With draft day comes a certain level of uncertainty for general managers seeking a franchise quarterback. Will this year’s crop of QB prospects compare to the selections of the 1983 NFL Draft.
Thirty Four years ago John Elway was taken by the Baltimore Colts with the first overall selection. The Year of the Quarterback then saw the following additional first round selections:
• #7 Todd Blackledge – Kansas City
• #14 Jim Kelly, Buffalo
• #15 Tony Eason, New England
• #24 Ken O’Brien, NY Jets
• #27 Dan Marino, Miami
Six QB’s taken in the first round; three of which, Elway, Kelly and Marino, are now inductees inthe Pro Football Hall of Fame, and most certainly warrant the moniker “FRANCHISE QB.”
So how many Franchise QB’s will evolve from the 2017 NFL Draft? Will the Cleveland Browns, NY Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans and perhaps even the Pittsburgh Steelers, seeking an eventual replacement to “Big Ben”, be in the market as several NFL “Draft Experts” have identified on their respective Mock Draft Boards. The vast majority of the Draft prognosticators include the following as first round selections:
• Mitchell Trubisky – North Carolina
• Deshaun Watson – Clemson
• Patrick Mahomes – Texas Tech
• DeShone Kizer – Notre Dame
That being said, are any of the four worthy of the FRANCHISE QB tag? That is the dilemma of the NFL General Managers as they make final preparations. The thinking here is that the top three guys identified will go in the first round and the Notre Dame stalwart will fall to round number two. Looking to the future – none of the four will achieve
“FRANCHISE QB” status.