Guys- Fact is, if you’ve got a superstar QB you’ve got a chance to make it to the big dance. If you don’t, you don’t. At all. Period. We’ve got to be a student of recent history in order to avoid repeating it. Enter John Elway, 2016. Elway trades up to select Paxton Lynch at #26 in the 1st round. HUGE BUST!
Fast forward to 2018. Elway is scouting a QB out of Wyoming named Josh Allen. Big kid. Athletic. Cannon arm. Questionable accuracy. Loads of alpha upside. Cameras show Elway attending several regular season games and Allen’s bowl game. It’s obvious Elway is intrigued and wants the kid, BUT…the Bronco legend winds up NOT being able to pull the trigger because he’s gun shy after busting on Lynch 2 years earlier. Elway instead takes BPA DE Bradley Chubb at 5. Solid pick. But Buffalo takes Allen at 7 and the rest is history. Three years later Buffalo is playing in the AFC Championship game and Denver is still awful.
Lesson? A GM can NEVER afford to pass on a potentially elite QB because he’s gun shy about making a mistake. If you’ve done your evaluation and you suspect that guy can be THE DUDE, well you’ve got to pull the trigger. No if ands or buts. Elway learned the hard way and essentially had to “fire” himself and hire George Paton because he picked the wrong guy in 2016 and couldn’t pick the right guy in 2018.
April 2021: Lawrence goes to Jax. If Fields goes to Atlanta at 4 and Zach Wilson is there at 7, I don’t see how the Lions could afford not to take him. He’s tremendously athletic. Has Russell Wilsonesque pocket feel with the ability to scramble, slide, and extend plays. He has a rifle for an arm, arguably better than Trevor Lawrence. Wilson can sling it 65-70 yards on the run. Moves safeties with his eyes, can launch from a variety of arm angles, solid accuracy. He’s got a lot to learn and should probably sit for a while like Mahomes did his rookie year. But I’m convinced the kid has the stuff to eventually lead a team deep into the playoffs and who knows- maybe even a SB one day.
If history teaches us anything, it teaches that you can NEVER pass on a guy who has the potential to be THE DUDE. Ever. Roll the dice. BPA is for everyone else who already has The Dude.
I am going to both agree and disagree with you (I know, I should be a politician). Your scenario works in a situation where the team that is rolling the dice to get “The Dude” already has a solid team in place. Buffalo already had the makings of a good defense and a superstar QB was what they needed so they could afford to roll the dice and take a shot. Denver actually had (at that time) a good defense as well so they could have as well. We are not in that situation. We have zero, nada, nyet, no defense and very little to work with on that side of the ball. We have so many holes to fill there that we need to make that our top priority. It does no good to take a shot on a QB that we “hope” will turn into “The Dude” if our defense looks like it does currently. We also have huge question marks at WR. As it stands now we are looking at rolling out Geronimo Allison and Quintez Cephus as our starting WR’s. That is striking fear in NOBODY and no QB can be successful in that situation. This is not the draft to go for a QB. If for some reason Trevor Lawrence slides to 7 than maybe but that is it. What needs to happen is we embrace the suck for a year or two, fix the holes that we have than look for that stud QB to put us over the top. That has been what has seemed to be most successful in other rebuilds (look at Miami).
I don’t think that’s the lesson at all because I do not think Elway was gun shy. You forget he dished out a 2 year deal to Case Keemun to be his starter long before draft day in 2018.
Elway’s mistake is filling his QB position with stop gap and project types.
Everyone knew Paxton Lynch was a project.
Everyone knew Trevor Siemian wasn’t the answer.
Everyone knew that Case Keenum’s big year in Minny was smoke and mirrors. That’s why Minny didn’t want him back. But Elway wanted him.
Everyone knew that Flacco was done.
Elway made the mistake of riding his hopes at QB on guys who could never get him there. He set his franchise back years as a result.
This is why you don’t go after guys like Nick Foles, Tyrod Taylor, Case Keemun, Joe Flacco, etc to be your starting QB. They’re good enough to win a few games and put you in a draft passion where you miss out on the top talent.
The smart choice for Elway in 2016 should have been to pass on the project QB and NOT to sign Trevor Siemian … then in 2017 you drafting high enough to get a guy like Mahomes. … or wait to 2018 and then in 2018 you pass on the stop gap Case K. Then in 2018 draft the QB of your future when he falls to you.
Elway made the same mistake 4 years in a row.
The lesson is … don’t sign a veteran stop gap who will win you 5-7 games. Don’t reach for a QB who is a project. Wait it out a year or two and draft the next stud who falls to you.
So what you’re saying is that what many on this board are suggesting our new regime do is exactly what Elway did- nurse a pipe dream that Tyrod Taylor or Cam Newton will be sufficient until we get the guy. Problem is those guys are good enough to win 4-6 games which keeps you out of the blue chip QB range and the sad delusion perpetuates itself a decade or two.