When the Seattle Seahawks pick 11th or 12th this season in the NFL draft, there will be a lot of talk about whether or not they should take a quarterback. John Schneider and Pete Carroll seem to have built a nice nest on offense, but in order for the eggs to hatch they will need to find a good mama bird to sit on the eggs and then to spit barf into Russell Okung's mouth.
Sometimes a metaphor can go too far.
They've invested heavily in the offensive line. Heavily in Sidney Rice. Used a 2nd round pick on Golden Tate, made the biggest play in undrafted free agency for Doug Baldwin and then gave a nice contract to Zach Miller. They're working hard to retain Marshawn Lynch as well.
Everything they've done screams, "Well, we just need to find the quarterback now." Will they do that in this upcoming draft and will they spend their first pick on a QB? Or will they go the free agency route? Will they trade up or trade down or stay right where they are?
I have the answers to your mid-term (you can buy them for $150 to supplement my writing income) but I don't have the answers to those questions about the Hawks and the quarterback situation. We will know a lot more by draft day.
However, I do have the answer to this question: What does history tell us about quarterbacks drafted in the middle of the first round?
I have those answers because they have already happened and Pro-Football-Reference is a really handy tool that's still completely free to use because it hasn't blown up quite like Baseball-Reference has. Seattle will be drafting 11th or 12th and their decision to draft a quarterback won't depend on whether or not they think he will be the next Jim Kelly, but based on how well he fits into the system and how much Schneider and Carroll like the kid.
That doesn't mean that history won't give us some interesting insight into what quarterbacks have been taken in this position.
I searched for every QB drafted between 10th and 20th from 1980-2009 and found 15 QBs. Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert were drafted 10th and 12th last season, but it's too early to make any kind of hard statements on their success. I picked 1980 because it was the start of a decade and gave me exactly 30 drafts. (No QB was taken 10-20 in 2010.)
Here is a quick look at all 15 quarterbacks, in chronological order:
1980 - Marc Wilson, 15th overall by the Oakland Raiders out of BYU. 6'6, 205 lbs.
Wilson, a Seattle native, was one of the first quarterbacks to enjoy extreme success in the system of legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards. In the pass-heavy offense, he broke several records and paved the way for future BYU stars like Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
He was the first quarterback taken in a very bad year for quarterbacks and he actually had the best career out of any of the 10 QBs taken that eventually went on to play in the NFL, completing 1,085 of 2,081 passes for 14,391 yards and 86 touchdowns against 102 interceptions over eight seasons.
The Raiders won the Super Bowl in 1980 behind Jim Plunkett and then Wilson took over the next year. He was the quarterback for two Raiders playoff teams, but overall did not have a very successful career.
"I think I'd be less than honest if I didn't say I had moments of sadness over my pro career and wished it had turned out different," he said. "I don't know what else I could have done. I really felt I did all I could do."
|Jim Kelly||1983||14||Miami (FL)|
|Dan McGwire||1991||16||San Diego St.|
|Daunte Culpepper||1999||11||Central Florida|
|Ben Roethlisberger||2004||11||Miami (OH)|
|Josh Freeman||2009||17||Kansas State|