Monthly Archives: February, 2014

When was the last time your team selected a QB in the first round of the NFL draft?

250px-EJ_Manuel

(EJ Manuel was the only QB taken in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft)

The 2013 NFL draft saw only one quarterback taken in the first round: Florida State’s E.J. Manuel was selected with the 16th pick by the Buffalo Bills. It was the first time in over a decade that only one QB was chosen in the first round… the last time was in 2001 when Michael Vick was the only QB taken in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons.

This year’s mock draft projections seem to indicate that probably three quarterbacks are likely to be taken in the first round: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortels and Johnny Manziel. Who selects them is still anyone’s guess, but draft experts predict anywhere from seven to 13 teams will select a QB in the draft. Included on that list are teams such as Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota, Tennessee, the New York Jets, and Houston.

For some teams, taking a quarterback in the first round has been a long time ago. Consider the New Orleans Saints. The Saints last took a QB in the first round back in 1971 when they selected Archie Manning. With Drew Brees at the helm, it probably won’t be anytime soon that they use their first round pick on a QB.

Following are the years each of the NFL teams last drafted a quarterback in the first round.

Last year drafted QB in first round, team(s)
1971: New Orleans (Archie Manning)
1983: Kansas City (Todd Blackledge)
1989: Dallas (Troy Aikman/a)
1993: New England (Drew Bledsoe); Seattle (Rick Mirer)
1999: Philadelphia (Donovan McNabb/b)
2002: Houston (David Carr)
2003: Chicago (Rex Grossman); Cincinnati (Carson Palmer)
2004: New York Giants (Philip Rivers); Pittsburgh (Ben Roethlisberger); San Diego (Eli Manning)
2005: Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers); San Francisco (Alex Smith)
2006: Arizona (Matt Leinart)
2007: Oakland (JaMarcus Russell)
2008: Atlanta (Matt Ryan); Baltimore (Joe Flacco)
2009: Detroit (Matt Stafford); New York Jets (Mark Sanchez); Tampa Bay (Josh Freeman)
2010: Denver (Tim Tebow); St. Louis (Sam Bradford)
2011: Carolina (Cam Newton); Jacksonville (Blaine Gabbert); Minnesota (Christian Ponder); Tennessee (Jake Locker)
2012: Cleveland (Brandon Weeden); Indianapolis (Andrew Luck); Miami (Ryan Tannehill); Washington (Robert Griffin III)
2013: Buffalo (E.J. Manuel)

(/a) The Cowboys drafted Quincy Carter with their first pick in 2001, but that pick was a second round selection
(/b) The Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb with their first pick in 2007, but that pick was a second round selection

Here’s a few more notes regarding quarterbacks taken in the first round:
• The last time no quarterbacks were chosen in the first round was 1996. The first QB taken that year was in the second round when Tony Banks was chosen by the St. Louis Rams.
• The last year where no QB was selected in the first two rounds was 1988.
• Most quarterbacks taken in the first round was six in 1983. That draft class included Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Also chosen in the first round that year was Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien.

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You don’t need to be a first-rounder to be on the NFL career TD list

250px-Terrell_Owens

(Terrell Owens is the only player in the NFL Career TD Top 10 list who wasn’t drafted in the first round)

Did you know that of the 55 players who have 80 or more career NFL touchdowns that over 40% of them were not first round draft choices?

The NFL career TD list Top Ten includes nine players who were first round draft choices, led by Jerry Rice, who had 208 career TDs. It also includes Terrell Owens, who ranks fifth on the list with 156 scores. Owens was a third round draft choice.

We can take this a step further and note that three players who scored 80 or more career TDs in the NFL were not even drafted. The three: Priest Holmes, who has 94 TDs, Antonio Gates, 87 TDs, and Joe Perry who had 84.

Here’s a look at the players with 80 or more career NFL TDs that were not first round draft choices. (Note: Don Hutson, who ranks 18th on the list with 103 touchdowns, played his career before the NFL draft was instituted. Cris Carter, who ranks 8th on the all-time list with 130 TDs, was selected in the 1987 supplemental draft.)

Career TDs, Player, Draft Round (overall selection)
156-Terrell Owens, 3rd round (89th pick overall)
130-Cris Carter, (1987 supplemental draft)
103-Don Hutson (no draft)
101-Steve Largent, 4th round (117th)
100-Curtis Martin, 3rd round (74th)
94-Priest Holmes, was not drafted
93-Jim Taylor, 2nd round (15th)
91-Bobby Mitchell, 7th round (84th)
91-Ricky Watters, 2nd round (45th)
91-Issac Bruce, 2nd round (33rd)
90-Leroy Kelly, 8th round (110th)
89-Corey Dillon, 2nd round (43rd)
88-Thurman Thomas, 2nd (40th)
88-Andre Reed, 4th round (86th)
88-Don Maynard, 9th round (109th)
87-Antonio Gates, was not drafted
86-Hines Ward, 3rd round (92nd)
85-Tommy McDonald, 3rd round (31st)
85-Mark Clayton, 8th round (223rd)
84-Herschel Walker, 5th round (114th)
84-Joe Perry, was not drafted
82-Art Powell, 11th round (123rd)
82-Pete Johnson, 2nd round (49th)
81-Maurice Jones-Drew, 2nd round (60th)
80-Clinton Portis, 2nd round (51st)

Note: Of the 2013 NFL draft choices who scored eight or more TDs, only one was a first round draft choice… Minnesota’s Cordarelle Patterson with nine. Five other rookies scored eight or more touchdowns, none of whom were first rounders: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (11 TDs, second round draft choice); Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh (8 TDs, second round draft choice); Zac Stacy, St. Louis (8 TDs, fifth round draft choice); Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati (8 TDs, second round draft choice); Keenan Allen, San Diego (8 TDs, third round draft choice).

Note #2: Of the 23 players who scored 10 or more touchdowns in the 2013 NFL season, two (Buffalo’s Fred Jackson and Denver’s Wes Welker) were undrafted free agents. Of the other 21 players, 10 were first rounders, three were second rounders, four were drafted in the third round, three were drafted in the fourth round, and one was a fifth-round draft choice.

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The success of undrafted players in the NFL

JohnCarney
(John Carney)

The NFL draft first came into being in 1936. In that year, 81 players were selected in nine rounds. Today, there are seven rounds of selections with about 250 collegiate players getting drafted by NFL teams.

Most, if not all, teams have done a great deal of homework trying to determine whether or not a player will have what it takes to play in the NFL and whether or not they have a chance to make their roster. But there are times when a player goes undrafted, he signs with an NFL, and he goes on to a big career in the league.

There are quite a few players who went undrafted after their collegiate playing days but had long careers in the NFL. Let’s take a look at those players who were undrafted but played in 225 or more games in the NFL.

First, let’s start with kickers, many of whom are not drafted during a typical NFL Draft. Here are the placekickers and punters who went undrafted but played 225-plus games in the NFL. (Active means they were active during the 2013 season)

Undrafted Placekickers, NFL games
John Carney, 307 games
Adam Vinatieri, 284 games (active)
Norm Johnson, 273 games
Lou Groza, 268 games
Jan Stenerud, 263 games
Nick Lowery, 260 games
Pat Leahy, 250 games
Al Del Greco, 248 games
Ryan Longwell, 240 games
David Akers, 237 games (active)
Phil Dawson, 237 games (active)
Olindo Mare, 235 games
Steve Christie, 229 games
Undrafted Punters, NFL games
Jeff Feagles, 352 games
Sean Landeta, 284 games
Matt Turk, 244 games
Bryan Barker, 238 games

Now for the undrafted non-kickers who played 225-plus games in the league.

David Binn: Played 256 games in the NFL. Was a center with the San Diego Chargers. Last played in 2010.
Eugene Robinson: Played 250 games in the NFL. A defensive back who spent 11 of his 16 NFL seasons with Seattle. Last played in 2000.
London Fletcher: Has played in 256 games in the NFL. Was active in 2013. A 16-year veteran linebacker who played his last seven seasons with the Redskins. There is a lot of speculation that 2013 was Fletcher’s last season in the NFL.
Mick Tingelhoff: Played 240 games in the NFL. Was a center with the Minnesota Vikings. Last played in 1978.
Ethan Albright: Played 236 games in the NFL. Was an offensive lineman with Washington. Last played in 2010.
Tony Richardson: Played 234 games in the NFL. A fullback, he played 11 of 16 seasons with the Kansas Chiefs. Last played in 2010.
Casey Wiegmann: Played 227 games in the NFL. Was a center for nine of his 16 seasons with the Chiefs. Last played in 2011.

Last season, 54 undrafted rookies played in 10 or more games in the NFL. Of those 54, four actually started 10 or more games for the team that signed them. Cornerback Melvin White started 10 games with the Panthers; linebacker Paul Worrilow started 12 games with the Falcons; wide receiver Marlon Brown started 12 games with the Ravens; and linebacker Joplo Bartu started 13 games with the Falcons.

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Pete Carroll joins Super Bowl winning coach group

Pete_Carroll_2013

With his Seahawks win in Super Bowl #48, coach Pete Carroll became the 30th coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl. With former Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll leading the way with four Super Bowl titles, 13 coaches have won two or more titles, while 17 coaches have now won once in the Super Bowl.

Carroll had two previous NFL coaching jobs before his current stint in Seattle: He spent one year with the New York Jets and three with the New England Patriots, compiling 71 regular season coaching wins. That ties him for fifth on the list of Super Bowl coaches with the fewest regular season wins. Of the 30 Super Bowl winning coaches, 17 have won 100 or more games while 13 have won less than 100. Here’s a look at the 13 Super Bowl winning coaches with the fewest regular season wins.

(A= Active coach)

Fewest regular season wins for Super Bowl winning coaches
25: Don McCafferty
40: Barry Switzer
62: John Harbaugh-A
70: Sean Payton-A
71: Mike Tomlin-A
71: Pete Carroll-A
80: Brian Billick
80: Jimmy Johnson
82: Mike McCarthy-A
92: Bill Walsh
95: Jon Gruden
96: Vince Lombardi
97: Tom Flores

Of the 30 Super Bowl winning coaches, 14 have a regular season winning percentage under .600 (while the other 16 coaches have won 60% or more of their regular season games). Carroll also joined that group. He is 71-57, a .555 winning percentage. Following are the Super Bowl winning coaches with the lowest regular season winning percentage.

Weeb Ewbank .502
Dick Vermeil .524
Tom Flores .527
Jon Gruden .540
Tom Coughlin .549
Mike Shanahan .552
Pete Carroll .555
Brian Billick .556
Jimmy Johnson .556
Mike Ditka .560
Chuck Noll .566
Bill Parcells .570
Hank Stram .572
Mike Holmgren .592

On the other end of the spectrum, former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula leads Super Bowl winning coaches with 328 regular season wins. Former Raiders coach John Madden has the best winning percentage of Super Bowl winning coaches with a .763 winning percentage.

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Kevin Durant gunning for biggest scoring title gap in a decade

Durant

The first half of the 2013-14 NBA season is in the books. At the midway point in the season, Oklahoma’s Kevin Durant leads the league in scoring with a 31.5 points per game (ppg) average. His closest competitor is the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony at 27.3.

If the season ended today, the 4.2 scoring margin gap between Durant and Anthony would be the largest in the NBA since 2001-02 when Allen Iverson led the league with a 31.4 ppg and was followed by Shaquille O’Neal’s 27.2 (a 4.2 ppg margin).

In the history of the NBA, the ppg scoring margin gap between the scoring champ and runner-up has been over four points in 15 of the 67 seasons. The biggest gap was in the 1961-62 season when Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50.4 ppg on his way to the third consecutive of seven straight scoring titles. The runner-up in that 61-62 campaign was Walt Bellamy who averaged 31.6 that season.

Following is a look at the 10 largest ppg scoring gaps for the NBA scoring title.

PPG gap, Year, Scoring champ/runner-up
18.8… 1961-62, Wilt Chamberlain (50.4)/Walt Bellamy (31.6)
10.8… 1962-63, Wilt Chamberlain (44.8)/Elgin Baylor (34.0)
8.1… 1986, 87, Michael Jordan (37.1)/Dominique Wilkins (29.0)
6.7… 1950-51, George Mikan (28.4)/Alex Groza (21.7)
6.6… 1971-72, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (34.8)/Tiny Archibald (28.2)
6.4… 1946-47, Joe Fulks (23.2)/Bob Feerick (16.8)
6.4… 1959-60, Wilt Chamberlain (37.6)/Jack Twyman (31.2)
5.5… 1963-64, Wilt Chamberlain (36.9)/Oscar Robertson (31.4)
5.2… 1953-54, Neil Johnston (24.4)/Bob Cousy (19.2)
5.1… 1966-67, Rick Barry (35.6)/Oscar Robertson (30.5)

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