Quarterback, not running back, is the way to go in the first round nowadays
Am I wrong to think we're getting close to where the first round will be composed entirely of quarterbacks?
The quarterback position is far more dominant than ever. There were 10 quarterbacks passing for more than 4,000 yard in 2011 with three breaking the 5,000 barrier, a feat only Dan Marino achieved before last season.
Sure, Arian Foster
and possibly LeSean McCoy
rate as first-round picks. I couldn't argue that. Given the choice, though, I'd take Drew Brees
, Aaron Rodgers
, Matthew Stafford
and Tom Brady
ahead of them. Brady threw 39 touchdown passes last year. Brees, Rodgers and Stafford all had more touchdown throws than Brady!
Cam Newton accounted for 35 touchdowns as a rookie. Peyton Manning
would have had 30-45 touchdown passes if he had played last season. Philip Rivers
had what most would consider a down season in 2011 yet still finished with 4,624 passing yards, the 20th-highest single season mark in NFL history.
Only eight running backs produced double-digit rushing touchdowns and one of those was touchdown-vulture BenJarvus Green-Ellis
, who was the 27th-leading rusher with 667 yards and a 3.7 yard average.
Teams are passing more than ever. Many teams are going with running back committees rather than counting on just one main back. Running backs are just as liable to get hurt as quarterbacks since the league started putting in new rules to protect signal-callers.
Running backs usually are washed-up by the age of 30. Quarterbacks can still be highly productive at that age. Brees is 33 and playing at his highest level. Running backs can suddenly lose it. I doubt anyone who had the misfortune of drafting Chris Johnson in the first round last season won their league title.
I'm in leagues where a passing touchdown counts just as much as a running or receiving score. Perhaps Foster can break the string, but it wouldn't be all that shocking if the first 15 players taken in one of my leagues were all quarterbacks - Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Stafford, Newton, Rivers, Eli Manning
, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo
, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger
, Michael Vick
, Jay Cutler
, Andrew Luck
and Robert Griffin III