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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Backup Quarterback

Just a quick thought about the backup quarterback.  We've been over the various approaches to the quarterback position in this space quite a bit, so I won't rehash too much here.  But, I do have one additional wrinkle for you.

And, I realize that football season is over.  The flood of baseball will continue shortly, my friends... promise.

With the quarterback position I am an advocate of using back-to-back picks at QB in the 5th-7th round.  I've been over the reasons why a few times here, but the bottom line is that you cover contingencies for injuries, bye weeks, and (most importantly) duds.  Chances are very good in that range that you will end up with at least one stellar quarterback.  This year it may have been someone like Robert Griffin III or Peyton Manning.

Now then, the other option is to use a top pick on a known quantity - Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady.  If you do that, you should be all set other than the bye week for the full year.  No fuss, no muss.  This option gives you virtually guaranteed production as long as there is no major injury, so it can be very effective.  I mean, would you have rather drafted Drew Brees or Chris Johnson in 2012?

Right... But what do you do about the QB2 slot?  Do you even draft one?  Conventional wisdom seems to be shifting to say that you should use that roster slot to take a flier on another mid-round running back instead of wasting room on your roster with a guy that will never play.  In other words, in 2012 would you rather have Brees and Griffin or Brees and a chance at a running back that might be someone like either Donald Brown or Stevan Ridley?  Hit or miss.

Okay, granted that QB2 could have been Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler, but I would contend that your 7th or 8th round pick has a higher chance to hit on a quarterback than a running back... Besides, your bench should be full of lottery ticket running backs, so why not use that slot on a QB2 who has better odds of being a stud?

The main reason why not, as noted, is that that guy probably won't play for you more than once and we always need all the running backs we can get.  But think about what would happen if you landed Griffin or Manning instead of a shot at one more mid-round RB.  Having two of the top eight (for example) quarterbacks gives you tremendous bargaining power as the trading deadline approaches.  What do you think that Philip Rivers owner would give you for RGIII?  Certainly something way better than the BenJarvus Green-Ellis that you may have pulled, even if you hit on that mid-round running back pick.

Just some thoughts, folks.... I'm still noodling football even though I'm diving head-first into baseball.  Pitchers and catchers in less than a week!