By Connor Thomas
We’re heading into the bye week here in Philadelphia, and while the Eagles get to take the week off, the constant speculation about the future of the QB position never rests. There was a new wrinkle this past week, as Gardner Minshew looked excellent in his stand in performance for an injured Jalen Hurts, but let’s be realistic. Anyone who thinks Minshew is a long term answer for the Eagles at the position is a prisoner of the moment. Is Minshew’s arm better than Hurts’? Probably. Is Hurts better on the ground than Minshew? Definitely. At the end of the day, do your chances of winning significantly improve when you look at one of these players over the other? 13 weeks through this season, it appears that the answer is no. That leaves the Eagles still searching for a franchise QB, and if that player is not currently on the roster, then he is either on another NFL team, or he’ll be entering the NFL via the 2022 Draft. We’ve seen the talents of a Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, or Deshaun Watson. We know that those options all have Super Bowl upside. The real question mark option is bringing in a college QB and hoping he is the one that could anchor the position for years to come for the birds. Is it really viable to bring in a rookie that will eventually morph into a QB you can win a Super Bowl with? History says that may be even tougher than you would expect.
In fairness to logic, there are obviously QBs that were drafted recently that could end up being Super Bowl Champions in the future. The NFL is changing year to year, and there’s no way of knowing who will be the next breakthrough young QB until that player actually breaks through. The only thing we can do is look at the history of drafting a QB in the 1st round and see how often they actually bring their team a championship. It’s less than you would even think. Over the past 20 seasons (since 2001), there have been a total of 6 1st round QBs to win the Super Bowl. Out of the 22 QBs that have played in the Super Bowl since ’01 (there were obviously multiple repeats), only half, 11, have been drafted in the 1st round of the draft. The issue here is that a small number of QBs have dominated Super Bowl wins and appearances since the turn of the century. So what does this mean for the Eagles’ chances to draft their answer at QB in the 1st round? Well, if they’re looking for a Super Bowl appearance, the chances are shockingly slim for them to find that guy. There have been 59 QBs drafted in the 1st round since 2001, and only 9 of them have ever appeared in a Super Bowl. That gives the birds a 15.3% chance to select a player that would eventually win them the NFC. Only 6 of the 59 have won the Super Bowl once they got there, giving a 10.2% chance for this draft pick to eventually hoist the Lombardi. Even in the 1st round, finding a Super Bowl winner is a tall task.
There is some good news though: if you are lucky enough to find one of those few, there’s a good chance that they’re going to bring you multiple shots at a championship. Of the 22 QBs that have made Super Bowl appearances since 2001, 7 of them have made it 2 times or more. 6 of those 7 went twice for the team that drafted them, and the one who didn’t – Peyton Manning – still won twice and went 3 times. So, the chance of finding one of these guys is slim, but the risk might be worth the reward considering the dominance that a select few QBs have held over the NFL in the past 20 years. What that means, though, is that to take that shot on a first round QB, the Eagles have to be absolutely sure he’s they’re guy. Could any of this years’ crop be that guy for the birds? Well, according to the latest mock draft from CBSSports.com, there were 4 QBs taken in the 1st round: Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, Carson Strong, and Malik Willis. Now, maybe the Eagles will become enamored with one of these signal callers, but none of them are NFL locks the likes of a Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, or Kyler Murray. Howie Roseman loves drafting QBs, but with such a minimal success rate on these guys, it would be interesting to see him take a risk on a maybe. I would bet that the much more likely option would be using one of the teams’ 3 1st rounders this year as a trade chip to get an extra 1st next year. Then, with what should be a stronger crop of QBs, the Eagles would be poised to move into a high position to get a premier guy. Could the Eagles draft a QB this season? Anything is possible, but with the low success rate and the weaker-looking class, it would be surprising to see this as the preferred avenue, at least this offseason.