Sports


How to draft an NFL Quarterback

29 min read

I've always been a huge football fan. I don't love the concussions, but I love the game. I watch almost every NFL game every season. But I only watch about a dozen college football games a year: the playoff games, a few bowl games, some conference championships, and a few top ten match-ups during the season. As such, I don't always know a lot about the quarterbacks coming into the NFL. But despite what most people think, you don't need to know or see that much of them to know if they would be great or not.

Human behavior is the most predictable thing on the planet. If you know how to read someone, read their body language, and understand the situation, you can predict what someone is, will be, or will do. You can apply this to quarterbacks too.

There are many examples I can give, but none that wouldn't require a few pages, except for this one. I live in a townhome, and the neighborhood is mostly a circle, except for offshoots for driveways. People commonly turn right from the entrance in the direction of my place. I can tell when people are lost because they drive slow and erratic. When I'm behind them, I always say they're going to turn into the opening that leads to the driveways and let me pass. Sure enough, nine out of ten times, that's what happens. My driveway is located there, so I always have an awkward exchange with the driver where I point that I need to go there, and then they complete their u-turn. The point is it's easy to tell what someone will do if you know them or the situation. In this case, I know what they're going to do before they even know what they're going to do.

Drafting a quarterback is one of the most important things an NFL franchise does. Everyone wants to find the franchise quarterback that will lead the team to multiple Super Bowls. You might think that would be hard, but it's really not. Teams make it harder on themselves because they look for the wrong things, or they just have no clue what they are doing. And that's the real problem.

You can easily see in sports when people at the top have no idea what they are doing. You see that all the time in your daily life too but it's more apparent in sports. Drafting a player is when you really need to know what you are doing; otherwise, you can set the franchise back years. You need to tell if a person possesses the qualities you are looking for and if it will make them a great player. But this assumes you know what those qualities are, to begin with, and how to figure out if someone possesses them. Most people don't know. They think they do, but they don't. It's almost like dating. But that's another topic for another time.

This is most apparent when people try and draft a quarterback. Some picks are so bad you truly wonder what they were thinking. When people don't know what they are doing, they think in stereotypes. The typical quarterback stereotype is tall and cannon for an arm. Except there's barely anyone like that, who's ever been successful in the NFL. But there are a lot of busts that fit that description. Let's take a look at what actually makes a quarterback good. It's not the things that people go gaga over. As a general manager, you need to have good instincts and be able to read someone. Because people rarely ever change, what you see is what you get. But not everyone can read people correctly. And if you can't read someone, you shouldn't be a general manager.

No quarterbacks drafted in the first round from 2009-16 are still on their original team. That shows you how bad most people are at drafting. More importantly, you should only take players in the first round you know will be good and contribute from day one. If you aren't sure, wait until a later round. First-round picks need to be ones you'll bet your life on.

We will go over various traits needed for a quarterback to succeed in the NFL and give you some examples of people who did and didn't possess those traits. The ability to win is foremost, followed closely by the right demeanor, body language, and attitude. Lastly, everyone needs a little bit of luck.

Notice how I haven't even mentioned anything athletic or physical. This shows you how stupid it is when people gush over the aforementioned height or arm strength. They even came up with Joe Burrow having the smallest hand size. Who cares? Do you want to win a throwing contest, or do you want to win football games? You should want to win. You wouldn't be in the draft if you weren't athletic, so that's a given. Bringing me to John Elway, that guy has no idea how to draft a quarterback.

During FOX broadcasts, Troy Aikman would always say," John Elway knows quarterbacks. So they must be tough to find." No, he doesn't. They are tough to find, but it's harder to find them when you don't know what you are doing. Part of Elway's problem is he was so good. He doesn't know what to look for. He then thinks in stereotypes, or he just looks for guys that remind him of himself. His last few picks have all been over 6' 3". He was 6' 3". But that obviously isn't how you do it, and his track record proves that. He drafted Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, and Drew Lock. He really shouldn't be allowed to pick quarterbacks anymore, but no one will ever tell him that. They should, but they won't because he's John Elway. A Bronco legend and executive vice president. But his legendary status and his title have no bearing on whether he can pick a quarterback or not. He can't. Even if he eventually picked a good one, it would only be because of luck. Not because he actually knew what he was doing. When they fail, I'm sure he says, "They look like me. I don't get it."

In most cases, stars rarely make good general managers and coaches because it came so instinctual to them they assume it's like that for everyone else. But it's not. The ex-players who do make the best coaches and general managers are usually average or above-average players.

The other problem is if I went into the organization and said Elway didn't know what he was doing and made a few recommendations of who to pick, no one would believe me because I don't look the part. And more specifically, I've never worked or played in the NFL. Unlike Elway, who has spent half his life in the NFL. But once again, that doesn't matter. People think that it does, but it doesn't. Luckily, he's no longer the general manager. Mostly because he finally realized he couldn't do it, so he promoted himself.

Winning is the number one thing people overlook, and I don't know how or why that is even possible. If you won at every level previously, logic dictates you will continue doing so, even at the highest level. If you've been winning so far, it's unlikely you would suddenly start losing. Conversely, if you've been a losing or a .500 quarterback, it's just as unlikely you would suddenly start winning.

One of the best ways to judge if a quarterback can win in the pros is if he won any bowl games in his college career. I based how well a few quarterbacks would do in the NFL based solely on watching a bowl game. Bowl games are as close of a simulation of a real NFL game as you will get. Alabama under Nick Saban is as close as you will get to an NFL team. Logically, if a college quarterback beats Alabama in a bowl game, I want that quarterback.

When I saw Deshaun Watson rally Clemson and beat Alabama in the national championship, I said, "Wow, that guy will be a star." Even his coach said people would regret passing on him. Apparently, not many NFL people thought the same because he fell to twelve. Twelve isn't that low, but considering how teams usually fight over quarterbacks at the top, it is. It's hard for me to fathom how anyone could see that game and think he wouldn't be good. Unless they thought he might be like Vince Young. But Young had a terrible attitude. Watson is the exact opposite, and you can tell that by his post-game interview. He's been one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL so far.

Of course, now there is his investigation, but that's another story. I will say from the little I know about him; I wouldn't have seen that coming. However, based on the allegations against him and him wanting a say in the coach and general manager of the team, or he would refuse to play, I can tell he likes being in control. He may have always been that way, or it's something that happened after the money and fame got to his head. Those usually magnify who you are so it might be both.

Trevor Lawrence also beat Alabama in the national championship. But the consensus was he was already a sure-fire pick. That he may be, I would draft him. My only concern is he peaked in his freshman year, which is odd. I suppose if you go undefeated and win it all, you can only go down. He only has two losses, and both were in the playoffs. But he overthrew many receivers in those losses, not a cause for concern but something to note.

Some of these guys that have never won, I often think, do they really think he's going to all of a sudden start winning at the highest level? Even though his track record doesn't demonstrate that. Why would he all of a sudden start winning?

Josh Rosen is a good example. He was 6-6 (including the bowl game) in his final college season. Not a guy I'd draft in the first round, especially with the 10th pick. Good for the Arizona Cardinals to realize they made a mistake and moved on from him the following year. They should have realized it before, but there's nothing worse than investing time into something that will never work, except having that 6-6 quarterback on draft day say, "nine mistakes ahead of me." No, dude, not even close. You can make the case that his teams weren't very good, but that's the thing. You aren't always going to have great teams in the NFL, but you have to win anyway. A lot of people were up in arms. They were giving up on him too soon. But when you know, you know. Being able to admit your mistakes is far better than holding on to someone longer than you should in the hopes he'll turn around just to save your ego. Kyler Murray has worked out really well for them. Notice how nobody is up in arms anymore. Rosen is not even relevant anymore.

Rosen's draft-day behavior reminded me of when Johnny Manziel went on the stage and flashed the money sign. All I could think was this isn't going to go well. That isn't something a mature quarterback does. Unfortunately, that was after they drafted him. They should have just gotten rid of him then, but you wouldn't be able to find any takers. We all know how that worked out. It didn't.

However, as with most things in life, there are exceptions. Patrick Mahomes did not have a winning record in college. But when you throw for 734 yards and put up 59 points in a game and still lose, your team probably can't play defense, and Texas Tech could not. I never saw him play in college or watched any interviews, so I had no opinion on what he would do in the NFL. Kudos to the Kansas City Chiefs, who saw something in him and traded up to draft him.

In the 2017 draft, I would have made Watson the first quarterback taken and Mahomes the second. Watson would have been first based on his performance in the college playoffs. Is he a better quarterback than Mahomes? No. But Mahomes isn't better by much. If you drafted Watson, you shouldn't feel bad. But if you drafted Mitch Trubisky, you should. He would not have been taken in the first round by me or probably ever. Ironically, Trubisky went first, and Watson went last of the three. I have no idea what the Chicago Bears were thinking.

Compounding the problem is where they took Trubisky. The higher the pick, the more pressure you will have, and the less likely management will give up on you. Because if they took you that high, they really want you to succeed. Otherwise, they will have to admit they made a mistake in drafting you, and they obviously can't do that. Not to mention they gave up three picks to only move up one spot, something that was completely unnecessary.

Another problem is I never heard of Mitch Trubisky. If a casual college football fan has never heard of the guy you're taking with a top ten pick, it's a pretty good indicator you should not be selecting that person with that pick. To make matters even worse, if that's possible, he only started one season in college. That's not enough of a sample size to determine anything. Other than don't draft this guy in the first round. I also didn't like his body language. The first interview he gave on ESPN, it was hard for me to read him. But I was leaning toward this isn't the guy at the end.

Trubisky is, of course, not there anymore. They traded for Nick Foles despite Foles only playing well when wearing an Eagles uniform. He, of course, didn't last long as the starter. Now Andy Dalton, of all people, is going to be the starter. If you don't know how that will end, you haven't been paying attention to the Bears or Dalton. Why general manager Ryan Pace still has a job is more puzzling than what the Bears are doing at quarterback.

The 2015 draft featured two quarterbacks who should never have been drafted first and second overall. You shouldn't have drafted either until the 3rd round. The pick of Jameis Winston was especially head-scratching for me. Although neither is worth the top two picks, if you took one higher, it was definitely a no-brainer to be Mariota for several reasons. Including the fact that he beat Winston in the Rose Bowl. I honestly never would have drafted Winston.

Having never seen Mariota play, I was looking forward to watching him play against Ohio State University for the championship. That was basically his NFL tryout game. After Ohio State sacked him early, his body language said to me he gave up on the game. He didn't look like he had the fire or determination. But his numbers haven't been bad, and he was a victim of circumstance and bad luck, which we will get into later.

But the Buccaneers choose Winston first, and it went as well as could be expected. It's hard to imagine why you would want to take someone that high who has had that many off-the-field issues. You can say, well, he was young. And sure, we've all been immature and done stupid things. But when I was in college, I didn't have a sexual assault allegation against me, multiple shoplifting incidents, or shout vulgar things on top of a lunch table. A few years later, he had a groping allegation. These are not things someone with good judgment does. And if he has bad judgment off the field, logic would dictate he would have bad judgment on the field. Just one of the many reasons he had 88 interceptions in 72 games played. Do coaches and organizations really think they can change him? Teach him how to have good judgment? Good judgment is something you either have or don't. He doesn't have it, and it can't be taught. Good judgment is usually obvious. There's no way you could explain why one option is better and then expect him to extrapolate why that option was better and apply it to another decision. It's amazing they even gave him five years. But even after they chose to let him go, Jason Licht, the person who drafted him, still said he wasn't a bust. If you let the person you drafted first overall walk and immediately win a Super Bowl the very next season with another quarterback, then that's literally what a bust is. It's okay to say it, Jason. Not admitting it doesn't change reality.

But here's a guy who originally said the following: "We've talked to a lot of people. 'A lot' is probably not a big enough word," Bucs general manager Jason Licht told the Tampa Tribune. "We are not going to talk about the process. All I'll tell you is that the Glazer family, the head coach, the general manager, our staffs, we all couldn't feel more confident about the process we have gone through." That's right. He couldn't feel more confident drafting a guy with terrible judgement and off-field issues who was trounced by Mariota in his last bowl game number one overall.

Jay Cutler is the poster boy for so many things you shouldn't draft. If you ever watched Jay Cutler play and read his body language, it was always a cross between I don't want to be here and I'm angry at something. Not something you want from your starting quarterback. But the best thing we can take away from him is his career below .500 NFL record. Something that shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that bothered to do their homework.

His college record at Vanderbilt was 11-34. That's right, 11-34. Does that sound like the record of someone who would win in the NFL? I know the SEC was good, but they couldn't even beat the bad teams in the SEC. They had only two wins against SEC teams in his first three seasons.

Devin Hester chimed in after they both had retired. "My third year, that's when I redid a new contract and became the No. 1 receiver. That's the same year we brought in Jay Cutler. He's not really a sociable guy. He's not a talker, you know what I mean? He picks one or two guys and he just leeches on them and separates himself from everybody.

"As a quarterback, like, I'd tell him to his face today that, to me, my years in the NFL — I played 11 years. He's the best quarterback when it comes to accuracy, power, knowledge of the game. The best quarterback, hands down, I ever played with. Now, when it comes to leadership, the worst.

"He don't know how to communicate. He don't know how to get his teammates involved. For me to be, like, at that time, one of the No. 1 or No 2. receivers, like, you are supposed to have my back regardless."

Judging by his body language, his record, and the way he forced himself out of Denver after becoming upset over trade rumors, it's not hard to see him being a terrible leader. But someone on the Denver Broncos thought it was wise to spend the 11th overall pick on him and trade two picks to get to that spot to draft him. Then the Chicago Bears gave up two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and Kyle Orton to acquire him. He finished his NFL career with a 74-79 regular-season record. Shocking.

Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, and even Peyton Manning all fall under the blah category for body language. Their demeanor is basically aww shucks whenever something goes wrong. And they rarely look happy when things go well. In contrast, Tom Brady is the most animated player you'll ever see in a game. He reacts to everything, but he doesn't overreact to it.

Tom Brady is the epitome of great body language. You could probably watch only his body language during a game and be able to tell who is winning and by how much. You could even do so only from watching him on the sidelines. It's not hard to see why he's won the most Super Bowls. He's also always been a winner. In the 2000 Orange Bowl, Brady led Michigan back from deficits of 14-0 and 28-14. They won 35-34 in overtime, a taste of what was to come for Brady's late-game heroics. Yet he was picked in the sixth round. Yes, all those scouts and general managers should have been fired. The most important thing to take away from this is comebacks and winning don't magically come out of thin air. If he can do it in that bowl game, he can do it in the NFL.

Yes, both Mannings and Flacco have all won super bowls but did they really? Joe Flacco was nothing more than an average quarterback who had one really great postseason paired with a great defense. Eli was basically an average quarterback who got somewhat hot in two postseasons and was helped out by a really great defense and some lucky catches. He was 4-0 in both those runs and 0-4 in the rest of his playoff games. Now Peyton was a different story. But let's be honest, shouldn't he have won more if he was really that great? He was a number one overall pick and on some really great Indianapolis Colts teams. And he only won one Super Bowl because the second one on the Broncos he was freaking awful. They won despite him. Peyton has a lot of regular-season wins, but I'm talking about playoff wins. I don't want to discredit what Peyton has done, though. He deserves to be in the hall of fame.

Carson Wentz is a good example of someone who won at every level, high school and college. He was a part of five straight NCAA Division I-AA Football Championships at North Dakota State. He's also the most complex case ever. I don't have a problem with him being selected second overall. He had a typical rookie season, then came back and was phenomenal. But he got injured at the end, and injuries can have a profound effect. He lost his MVP award and then had to watch someone else, Nick Foles, lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl win. He comes back and gets injured again at the end of the season. Then he finally plays a whole season, makes it into the playoffs, only to become concussed at the beginning of the game and has to leave. At this point, despite being the starting quarterback and making the playoffs three years in a row, Wentz has only played in one series of playoff snaps and watched someone else win the Super Bowl. That's the definition of bad luck. It's not surprising he plays like he has a chip on a shoulder and tried to do too much when he came back the next season. It's because he does have a chip on his shoulder. He's trying to prove he can do this. But the mental damage is probably too great to overcome. A fresh start far away from Philadelphia and reunited with his former coach gives Wentz a great shot to resurrect his career. Can he do it? I don't know. I have no idea how damaged he is. But this is his best and final shot to turn it around. Personally, if I was running the Colts, I would have just kept Jacoby Brissett because he's cheaper. More on him shortly.

Before he left, Wentz was benched for Jalen Hurts. Hurts played fairly well given the circumstances. But the Eagles weren't sold on Hurts. Coaches and players both felt Wentz had better physical skills and a stronger arm. Hurts was described as an extremely likable, high-character leader who can't get enough coaching and is a tireless worker. One of those characteristics generally leads to a better NFL quarterback, and it's not the physical stuff. Despite Wentz being a winner previously and doing fairly well in the NFL, Hurts has the traits to be the better winner at the NFL level. I'm not saying he'll win a Super Bowl, but he might.

After Gardner Minshew won his first game with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he joined the NFL network on set. And I loved every answer he gave. He was very humble, and anytime they asked him a question about his individual performance, he always made it about the team. And when someone said he disrespected the opposing coach by not bothering to notice he was wearing a mustache to copy him, he went out of his way to say no, I didn't mean that at all. And you could tell from his body language he really didn't mean it that way. You can tell he gets it, and you can tell he has it. That is how a quarterback who is a winner carries himself. Not to mention he won. He won at the junior college level and at the NCAA college level. Then you look at all his comeback wins in his rookie season, and it's hard not to love the guy even more. It's hard to imagine how he fell until the sixth round. That's a lot of people who don't understand what to look for or what they are doing. Sadly, he wasn't given much of a chance this past season as the Jaguars traded away all their good players and sat him when healthy in order to tank for Trevor Lawrence. At least teams are trying to trade for him.

Sometimes it's never even about anything a player has done. It's just a gut instinct. I had never seen Matt Ryan play quarterback in my life. But I watched him take the podium for a press conference after being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. Literally, the first thing that popped into my head was, "This guy will never win anything." I honestly went. Did I just think that? But the more I looked at him, the more I could see it coming true. And for the most part, it has. Sure he had one great year where he won the MVP and made it to the Super Bowl. But it's important to remember anyone can have one good season. Derek Anderson had one fairly great year. One year does not make a great quarterback. Not to mention the one Super Bowl he was in, he led the most epic choke job. It wasn't all his fault. The coaching decisions by the Falcons in the second half were atrocious. But he didn't seem like much of a leader, and he didn't audible to anything that would have helped the team. Besides that season, he only has two playoff wins the rest of his career. My gut instinct was right. I realize it would have been very difficult to tell a team you don't want to take someone solely on your instincts, but that's why you need to surround yourself with people who have good instincts and trust them.

Jared Goff is another guy that should never have been drafted number one, especially over Wentz. I had never seen him play either, but I did not like his body language. And you can say well, he went to a Super Bowl. Sure. And he was terrible in it. He had one great year, and that was it. The way he is playing now is a more accurate representation of how he will be the rest of his career. He only got to be fairly decent because of coach Sean McVay. He has since be traded to the Detroit Lions, and he's going to be awful there. You can say what you want about Jeff Fisher, but he was right about Vince Young, and he was right about Goff.

Dak Prescott embodies everything you'd want in a quarterback. He would rather study film than go out and party. You don't need it to that extreme, but he's demonstrating his maturity and his desire to get better. You want someone who will study film and the playbook. That's how you improve—the exact opposite of someone like JaMarcus Russell or Dwayne Haskins. Neither of them put in any effort whatsoever. They just expected to show up and dominate on Sunday. That might work in college with that level of competition. But not in the pros, where every player and member of the coaching staff gets paid top dollar to make you look bad. The fact that Haskins rather take selfies than take the last snap in a game shows you where his head is. He wants all of the fame and glory with none of the work. I can’t believe the Steelers signed him.

Being lucky also matters. Although you'll see in these cases, luck is really more about being in a good organization. You want to be in a place where, again, the people there know what they're doing. Marcus Marriota, Alex Smith, Lamar Jackson, and Andrew Luck can all attest to that.

Andrew Luck was great his first few years in the NFL and led a team that wasn't very good to the playoffs. The Colts' biggest problem was their offensive line was terrible. A lot of teams who draft high typically don't have good quarterbacks. But if you're going to take a quarterback that high, you better protect him. The Colts learned that the hard way. By the time the Colts had a great offensive line and team, Luck was so banged up he had to retire. This paved the way for Jacoby Brissett.

In 2017, Brissett played decent in his first season as a starter, but they didn't win much. In 2018, Andrew Luck came back, and he was on the bench most of the time. In 2019, he resumed the starting role and put up 14 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. The Colts got off to a 5-2 start. He then became injured, missed two games, and was never the same when he returned. For whatever reason, the Colts didn't view him as the starter anymore. You can't hold how Brissett played when he returned against him because he wasn't healthy. Instead, they signed Phillip Rivers, something that made zero sense. A player who only made one conference championship in a 16-year career wouldn't all of a sudden make it to a Super Bowl in his 17th year. He also still had a penchant for throwing really dumb interceptions. The Chargers weren't exactly clamoring to keep him either. He played one season, lost in the first round of the playoffs, and retired. The Colts wasted a whole season for no reason. Now they have Wentz. If they didn't like Brissett getting injured, Wentz is even more injury-prone. Surprisingly, nobody wanted to have Brissett compete for a starting job. He's now a backup in Miami.

Alex Smith languished in San Francisco for five seasons with a different offensive coordinator every season until Jim Harbaugh came along. He had his best seasons ever until being injured and replaced by Colin Kaepernick. Eventually, he ended up in Kansas City with another great coach in Andy Reid, where he posted even better numbers. Is Alex Smith a top-tier quarterback? No, but he's a very decent starting quarterback. But it's hard to be that if you have to learn a new offense every season.

Marcus Mariota can attest to that too. He had four different offensive coordinators in five seasons in Tennessee. It's very hard to grasp an offense if every season you need to learn a new one. He was also injured in three of his five seasons in Tennessee which doesn't help. Then he was supplanted by Ryan Tannehill despite not playing that badly. Is Mariota a top-tier quarterback? No, but he's more than capable of being a viable starter especially considering what some of these teams trot out on Sunday. Apparently, he's happy with a backup role for now.

Lamar Jackson was an intriguing prospect. I heard a lot about him at Louisville. He was very talented from the clips I saw of him, and he single-handedly led the team to a lot of wins. But he seemed like a boom or bust guy. He needed to land somewhere that had a good coaching staff with a lot of clout. Baltimore fit the bill because John Harbaugh wasn't going anywhere, and he could remake the entire offense around Jackson. If Jackson had gone to the New York Jets or Cincinnati Bengals, he would have been a bust. I don’t believe he has reached his peak yet. It would help if the Ravens could get some decent wide receivers.

In a surprise to no one, the Miami Dolphins tried to go all out to secure the number one pick to draft Tua. Only they failed to get the number one pick, and Tua got injured again. But that benefited them, as they were able to pick him lower. There's also a pretty good chance they'll end up reliving the 2012 draft. Tua might end up becoming RG3 or Andrew Luck. Tua is a great player, and he can do it all. He's also a winner. But there are two things that concern me about him. I'm not sure if he has the right attitude to be a great player in the NFL. When he was asked after the Clemson loss if the defense was just better, I forget the exact question, but it was along those lines. His answer was a snickering no and then saying he just needed to play better. That's a bit concerning. He couldn't acknowledge Clemson played great defense, which they did. And he seemed to think it was all about him, even though football is a team sport. I don't have enough data on him, but he kind of reminds me of RG3, also nicknamed RG Me. If I were drafting Tua, I would like to know more about his personality before I turned over the whole entire franchise to him. In his defense, his answers did get a little better after he declared. That's the RG3 outcome. The Andrew Luck outcome is just as bad. The Dolphins have severely gutted their team in their quest to land the top pick. The problem is they aren't building their team correctly. Luck was injured because his offensive line was terrible. The Dolphins don't have one. There's a good chance he could be out of the NFL by injury, too, before they can build one. And even if they do build one, by that time, Tua will be off his rookie contract, and they won't be able to afford everyone. Another reason why the quarterback should really be the final piece. But Tua already is injury-prone, and I can only imagine what will happen to him behind a shoddy line. On top of that, he tends to force things, and on a bad time, he'll either hold onto the ball too long, further increasing his injury chances, or he'll just try to force it and throw a lot of interceptions.

I wrote that last year before he was drafted. COVID changed me to post this now. He's grown a lot as a person. He handled his benched to Ryan Fitzpatrick with class. More significantly, after his first pass as a Dolphin, he sat at midfield and called his parents to soak in the moment. That's maturity from a humbled and changed person. Based on that, I think he develops into a top quarterback.

Josh Allen is a prime example of an exception over the rule. I remember when he came into the NFL and couldn't throw a regular pass. I concluded, like everyone else, this guy can't throw and can't be an NFL quarterback. But I didn't proclaim it because something didn't make sense. Here's a guy who can't throw a regular pass but can occasionally throw some amazing bombs and runs really well. His coach and teammates love him too. His coach kept saying he was very integral to the team's success. A quarterback who can't throw the ball is integral to your success? I kept thinking there's something I'm clearly missing. But you don't draft someone for what they've done. You draft them for what they will do. He obviously saw the potential in him. It's just the things he was bad at, accuracy and good judgment, are not things you can normally learn or improve at that point of your career. But he did, and good for him and the coach for seeing his potential. I was also skeptical of McDermott's judgment since he thought Nathan Peterman was a good backup and had a hard time cutting him even after he stunk so badly. There's no other conclusion to reach other than he has bad judgment. While my opinion of Allen has changed, I'm not sold on him being a top guy. Every playoff game he's been in, he takes a thirty-yard sack and fumbles the ball in the fourth quarter. That's not something winners do. He reminds me of Phillip Rivers or Andy Dalton. He'll put up numbers and get you to the playoffs, but you'll lose there because of him.

That brings me to Nathan Peterman. Despite how awful he was in the NFL, John Gruden signed him to the practice squad. Although Peterman will never play significant minutes in the NFL again, Gruden saw this as a win-win. If he never gets back to the NFL, then it doesn't matter. But if he can turn him into a decent backup, he'll look like the greatest coach ever.

This is because every NFL coach and executive thinks, "I'm the greatest. I'll take this guy with a cannon of an arm, and I'll mold him into a winner." No, no, you will not. Firstly, you aren't as great as you think you are. Secondly, people rarely ever change. It doesn't matter what you do; it won't make a difference. And that's really key.