The 2021 NFL Draft made historical past, with quarterbacks chosen with every of the primary three picks — Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 to the Jaguars, Zach Wilson at No. 2 to the Jets, and Trey Lance at No. 3 to the 49ers. This 12 months’s draft wasn’t the primary to see the highest three picks all be quarterbacks — it occurred twice earlier than within the frequent draft period.
The highest three groups took quarterbacks within the 1971 and 1999 drafts. A lot of these gamers are notable names across the NFL with various levels of success, however none made the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. Two quarterbacks on this listing are amongst the largest draft busts in league historical past.
Primarily based on historical past, there is no assure Lawrence, Wilson and Lance can be superstars, not to mention Professional Bowlers. There is a better probability at the very least one among them can be a draft bust. With that in thoughts, let’s check out the 2 earlier occurrences quarterbacks went 1-2-3 within the draft.
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1971 NFL Draft
No. 1 general choose: Jim Plunkett (New England Patriots)
Plunkett had a story of two careers within the NFL. In his 5 years with the Patriots, he appeared on his solution to turning into one among historical past’s greatest busts — throwing 22 interceptions in 1972 and a league-leading 25 interceptions in 1974. He accomplished simply 48.5% of his passes with the Patriots, throwing for 62 touchdowns to 87 interceptions. The Patriots drafted Steve Grogan in 1975 and moved on from Plunkett the next season, buying and selling him to the 49ers for quarterback Tom Owen, two first-round picks in 1976, and a primary and second spherical choose in 1977. The 49ers launched Plunkett after two seasons.
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After two years on the bench in Oakland, Plunkett revitalized his profession when starter Dan Pastorini broke his leg and he was referred to as into motion. The Raiders went 9-2 in Plunkett’s 11 begins, as he threw for two,299 yards with 18 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. The Raiders grew to become the primary wild-card crew to win the Tremendous Bowl, as Plunkett accomplished 53.3% of his passes for 839 yards with seven touchdowns to 3 interceptions in 4 postseason begins. He was named the MVP of Tremendous Bowl XV, turning into simply the second participant to win the Heisman Trophy and Tremendous Bowl MVP award.
Plunkett was benched for Marc Wilson in 1981, however emerged because the beginning quarterback once more in 1982 and led the Los Angeles Raiders to a different Tremendous Bowl in 1983. He lasted with the Raiders till 1988, retiring as the one quarterback to win two Tremendous Bowls with the identical franchise in numerous cities.
Plunkett was simply 72-72 as a beginning quarterback, finishing 52.5% of his passes for 25,882 yards for 164 touchdowns to 198 interceptions. He completed with an 8-2 document within the postseason with two Tremendous Bowl titles, however really threw extra interceptions (12) than touchdowns (11) within the playoffs.
Debates have risen over time whether or not Plunkett’s postseason success ought to get him within the Corridor of Fame, however he was by no means voted to a Professional Bowl nor chosen to an All-Professional crew. Plunkett salvaged his profession with the Raiders, or he’d be one of many greatest draft busts.
No. 2 general choose: Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints)
- Groups: New Orleans Saints (1971-1982), Houston Oilers (1982-1983), Minnesota Vikings (1983-1984)
Manning has the worst document for a beginning quarterback in NFL historical past amongst quarterbacks with at the very least 100 begins (35-101-3), however the Saints groups he performed on all through the Seventies have been amongst the worst within the league. Manning by no means performed on a crew that boasted a profitable document nor made the playoffs, working for his life nearly all of his NFL profession as he was sacked 40+ occasions in 4 separate years.
Manning led the league in completions in 1972 (230) and made the Professional Bowl in 1978 and 1979, a part of a three-year stretch the place he accomplished over 60% of his passes and threw for over 3,000 yards every season. Manning completed within the high 10 in passing touchdowns thrice and in completion share and passer ranking 5 occasions. The Saints haven’t issued Manning’s No. 8 since they traded him in 1982. He completed with seven totally different head coaches in New Orleans.
In his 14-year profession, Manning accomplished 55.2% of his passes for 23,911 yards with 125 touchdowns to 173 interceptions. He by no means gained a sport as a beginning quarterback exterior of New Orleans. Manning was the Saints solely Professional Bowler from when he was drafted in 1971 till 1979.
No. 3 general choose: Dan Pastorini (Houston Oilers)
Pastorini had a strong profession as a drag racer after a 12-year NFL profession, nearly all of it main the Oilers. Pastorini seemed to be a bust after his first three years, profitable simply 5 of his first 25 begins and throwing 19 touchdowns to 50 interceptions. The Oilers did not quit on him when Bum Phillips grew to become the pinnacle coach in 1975, as Pastorini earned his lone Professional Bowl choice after main Houston to a 10-4 document.
The Oilers made the playoffs in 1978 and 1979, falling within the convention championship sport to the Steelers in consecutive years. Earl Campbell carried the offense in these years, however Pastorini threw for 4,563 yards and 30 touchdowns in that stretch.
Pastorini was one other quarterback who did not get high quality offensive line play early in his profession, which led to quite a few accidents to his ribs (he was the primary quarterback to put on a flak jacket). The Oilers traded Pastorini to the Raiders in 1980 for Ken Stabler, however a damaged leg paved the best way for Jim Plunkett to guide the crew the remainder of the season — and a Tremendous Bowl championship. Pastorini threw two touchdowns and 14 interceptions over the remainder of his profession.
In his 12 seasons, Pastorini accomplished 50.9% of his passes for 18,515 yards with 103 touchdowns to 161 interceptions — solely ending within the high 10 in passing touchdowns twice. His profession passer ranking was 59.1.
1999 NFL Draft
No. 1 general choose: Tim Sofa (Cleveland Browns)
- Groups: Cleveland Browns (1999-2003)
The growth Browns have been set on taking a quarterback within the quarterback-heavy 1999 draft (5 have been taken within the first spherical), and ended up deciding on one of many greatest busts in NFL draft historical past. Tasked with main one of many worst rosters within the NFL, Sofa by no means obtained off on the fitting foot in Cleveland — being sacked a league-high 56 occasions in his rookie 12 months.
Accidents to his shoulder and thumb restricted the intangibles that made Sofa the No. 1 general choose, as he began all 16 video games simply as soon as in his profession (2001). Sofa did lead the Browns to the playoffs in 2002, however a damaged leg in Week 17 compelled him to sit down within the AFC wild-card playoff sport in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers — a Browns loss.
Inconsistency and accidents doomed Sofa, who went simply 22-37 as a starter in Cleveland. He threw simply 64 touchdowns to 67 interceptions for a 75.1 passer ranking. Out of 30 quarterbacks with 1,000 cross makes an attempt from 1999 to 2003, Sofa completed twentieth in landing passes, sixth in interceptions thrown, twenty fifth in passer ranking, and twenty fourth in yards per try (6.49). The Browns launched Sofa previous to the 2004 season and by no means performed one other sport as a result of arm accidents — regardless of a four-year try making an attempt to get again into the NFL. Sofa was out of the league by 26.
No. 2 general choose: Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles)
- Groups: Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2009), Washington Soccer Staff (2010), Minnesota Vikings (2011)
The one good quarterback to return out of the 1999 class, McNabb was top-of-the-line gamers in probably the most dominant stretch for the Eagles within the Tremendous Bowl period. McNabb led all quarterbacks in wins from 2000 to 2004 (54) and trailed solely Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre in wins from 1999 to 2011 (98). McNabb took the Eagles to the playoffs seven occasions, profitable 9 playoff video games in his profession — tied with Jim Kelly for probably the most playoff wins with out profitable the Tremendous Bowl. He performed in 5 convention championship video games.
Incomes six Professional Bowl appearances, McNabb was the primary participant to throw for 30 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions in a season. He was the primary quarterback to run for 100 yards in a playoff sport and the primary quarterback to throw for 200 and run for 100 yards in a playoff sport. McNabb completed within the high 5 in passer ranking and yards per try twice (2004 and 2006) and ranked within the high 5 in interception share six occasions.
McNabb ended his NFL profession with a 98-62-1 document (92-49-1 document with the Eagles), finishing 59% of his passes and throwing for 37,276 yards with 234 touchdowns to 117 interceptions. He additionally rushed for 3,459 yards and 29 touchdowns. McNabb is the Eagles’ all-time chief in passing yards and touchdowns and is taken into account the best quarterback in franchise historical past, having his No. 5 retired by the group.
McNabb will not make the Corridor of Fame, however was a house run choose for Andy Reid in his first draft as a head coach.
No. 3 general choose: Akili Smith (Cincinnati Bengals)
- Groups: Cincinnati Bengals (1999-2002)
Smith could go down as one of many worst quarterbacks in NFL historical past, and was the opposite quarterback the Browns thought of with the No. 1 general choose within the 1999 draft. The Bengals have been determined for a franchise quarterback, turning down 9 draft picks from the Saints (who needed to pick Ricky Williams) and chosen Smith as an alternative.
Smith held out of coaching camp as a result of a contract dispute (there was no rookie wage scale in 1999) and his profession by no means obtained off the bottom. The Bengals gave Smith simply 15 begins to show his price, and he accomplished simply 47% of his passes with 5 touchdowns to 10 interceptions (55.1 ranking). The Bengals went simply 3-12 in Smith’s 15 begins and he was completed because the franchise quarterback.
Smith was benched in favor of Jon Kitna in the beginning of the 2001 season and performed simply three extra video games in his profession. He accomplished 46.6% of his passes for 5 touchdowns and 13 interceptions (52.8 passer ranking) in simply 22 video games. The Bengals lower Smith in 2003 and he by no means performed within the league once more, cementing his standing as one of many greatest busts in NFL historical past.