A couple days ago, we saw how hard it was to find a pass rusher based on how low the Packers draft every year (because of all the winning they always do – don’t scoff, one day it will come to an end). Another way to underscore this point is to compare pass rushers to quarterbacks, the most premium and important of all positions.
We’ll go year by year again and see how many future Pro Bowl quarterbacks were available when the Packers made their first selection (just like we did with pass rushers). We won’t differentiate if we think it was a good Pro Bowl pick or not (Teddy Bridgewater), because we didn’t do that for pass rushers, either (though we did differentiate OLB from 4-3 DE, but there is no such delineation at the quarterback position).
Here’s the future Pro Bowl quarterbacks that history shows were available when the Packers picked each year:
2016 – 1 – Dak Prescott
2015 – 0
2014 – 2 – Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr
2013 – 0
2012 – 3 – Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins
2011 – 2 – Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor
2010 – 0
2009 – 0
2008 – 0
2007 – 0
2006 – 1 – Jay Cutler
2005 – 2 – Aaron Rodgers, Matt Cassell
So in 12 years, there were 11 Pro Bowl quarterbacks that the Packers had a chance at in the TT era – the Packers had about twice as many opportunities to get a Pro Bowl quarterback as they did a Pro Bowl pass rusher.
Are there some one-hit wonder QBs in there? Yes, just like there are in the edge rusher segment. However, teams play multiple edge rushers every game, giving more guys an opportunity to shine and earn recognition. With the quarterback position, it’s always just one at a time and if you have a good one ahead of you, a backup can wallow for years without even getting a chance.
Not only were there 11 future Pro Bowl quarterbacks available when the Packers had their first pick during the Ted Thompson era, but Ted took hands down the best one (and no, he did not just get lucky). But that’s beside the point. The point is that’s it’s really, really hard to get pass rushers where the Packers pick. As Descartes pointed out in the comments: “superior pass-rushers are easily identified and long gone by the time GB gets to draft.”
It’s a quarterback-driven league, but even quarterbacks in deep supply when the Packers pick – pass rushers are not.