The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

The jury is out


This topic comes at the perfect time for me because I just spent half a day reviewing the 1999 draft for a series of "redrafts'' I'm doing for Fanhouse. (shameless plug). That was the draft, some folks may remember, when five quarterbacks were taken with the first 12 picks. Three were total washouts, Daunte Culpepper started well and got hurt and only Donovan McNabb, taken second overall, has had a career worthy of a top pick. And even McNabb isn't always beloved in Philadelphia, notably when he and the Eagles lose again in the playoffs without winning a title.

So what can I say about which quarterback should go where in 2010 and when he should go?

Nobody really knows until these guys play in the NFL.

Never mind 1999. Remember that Brady Quinn, who at one time was supposed to be the top pick in 2007, just got traded away from Cleveland to Denver. Remember that the guy who WAS the top pick, JaMarcus Russell, has been Leafian, a description itself gleaned from THE all-time bust, a guy would have been taken ahead of Peyton Manning by some teams in 1998.

So as Sam Bradford goes to the top of everyone's list (and, by the way, doesn't Mel Kiper, who everyone cites, simply say the same thing other people are saying?) I keep wondering. Isn't Nadomukong Suh safer? Isn't Gerald McCoy safer? Isn't it safer to go with a position player unless you're SURE that Bradford or Jimmy Clausen is THE guy?

Nothing against Bradford or Clausen, one or both of whom might be franchise quarterbacks, but I've been partial to Colt McCoy, who a team like St. Louis or Detroit should be able to get in the second round. The rap on him is that he's "too short,'' but is he? He's about the same height as Drew Brees or Steve Young and not much shorter than Joe Montana and they did all right.

And then I talk to someone who tells me how good Bradford or Clausen can be. And I think of the 2004 draft, when Nos. 1,4 and 8 were Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom have done better than all right. And then I look again at that '99 draft and all the non-quarterbacks who turned out awful -- the second best receiver that year turned out to be Donald Driver, who was chosen by Green Bay in the seventh round, 207 picks after the Rams took the only guy who's had a better career, Torry Holt.

And I change my mind again.

By the way, I've gotten this far without mentioning Tim Tebow, which I've heard is considered at least a misdemeanor for those discussing draft-eligible quarterbacks in Florida.

My idea for him?

Let the Bills draft him and switch to the single wing.

By Dave Goldberg  |  March 17, 2010; 12:27 AM ET  | Category:  Dave Goldberg , Draft , Quarterbacks , Scouting Combine Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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