Teams drafted quarterbacks first overall 14 times in the last 24 drafts. The list: Sam Bradford (2010), Matthew Stafford (2009), JaMarcus Russell (2007), Alex Smith (2005), Eli Manning (2004), Carson Palmer (2003), David Carr (2002), Michael Vick (2001), Tim Couch (1999), Peyton Manning (1998), Drew Bledsoe (1993), Jeff George (1990), Troy Aikman (1989) and Vinny Testaverde (1987).
When teams sense an elite quarterback is available in a draft, that quarterback often doesn't make it past the first overall choice. Further evidence: All three quarterbacks taken second overall were the second quarterbacks taken in their draft classes.
Would you rather pull those names out of a hat at random, knowing you would get those players' careers as they played out, or would you rather use one of the top two choices -- or even one of the top seven, given where NFC West teams select -- to select a quarterback in the 2011 draft?