This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind. Send Matt an e-mail here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: email@example.com
Posted March 9, 2010
After reading this blog, I'm 99-percent convinced you will be in favor of the Rams selecting a quarterback No. 1 overall. If you aren't, then you are probably an NFL Draft analyst at ESPN and frequent your favorite salon for a facial, tan and pedicure twice a week.
I'm really sick of people saying not only that quarterbacks are a bigger risk than other positions atop the NFL Draft, but also the idea that either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy is going to single-handedly turn around the St. Louis Rams.
I decided to do some research. I wanted to see how offensive scoring co-related to overall success (i.e. the statistic known only as "wins").
Going by winning percentage, I made a list from greatest winning percentage to worst winning percentage for all 32 teams. My next column would then be where each team ranked (1 to 32) in terms of offensive scoring production per game.
My findings did not surprise me. After doing the research, it is simply inconceivable how anyone can give better logic as to why drafting Suh or McCoy would be a better decision than taking a quarterback - you know, the guy who shoulders most of the responsibility for offensive production.
By the way, one bone I have to pick is that it really sickens me how inconsistent fans are throughout the year. After the NFL Draft and throughout the season, all the talk is about quarterbacks. It is the most important position in football and we know that teams that win generally have very good quarterback play. However, once we get to the offseason, it seems to make sense that it is a bad idea to invest a first-round pick in that position. Yes, one day it is the most important position in football, and then the very next day after the season ends, the position should not be addressed at all. It's absolutely ridiculous.
Now, back to the study. Please look below at the spreadsheet at the bottom of the page, and single out the last nine teams on the list (from Buffalo to St. Louis). Not only did these teams collectively rank dead last in terms of wins, but they also made up the nine worst scoring offenses in the NFL.
This simply proves that if you have a bad offense, you can't win games in the NFL. Does Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy help your offense? Absolutely not.
Now, look at the top 10 teams in the study from Indianapolis to Arizona. All but two of the top 10 teams in the NFL ranked in the top 11 in scoring offense. It is also important to point out that Cincinnati (22nd in scoring offense) got knocked out at home by the Jets (17th in scoring offense) in the playoffs.
No team with a losing record ranked higher than 15th in scoring offense. Only two teams with winning records ranked lower than 16th in scoring offense. The Super Bowl winner, New Orleans, ranked first in scoring offense.
How does this relate to the NFL Draft?
We know that quarterbacks account for most offensive production. A great passing game can open up the running game. A very good quarterback can open up a defense.
If you want to win, you NEED an offense. If you want an offense, you NEED a quarterback.
Drafting Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen gives your team a chance to win and go to the playoffs consistently.
Sure, Suh and McCoy will make your defense better, but how many games are the Rams going win if they average 10-15 points per game on offense? I think a best-case scenario for any team would be six wins a year, maximium.
Is it really smart to select a defensive tackle No. 1 overall if that pick gives you absolutely no win potential?
All you need to know about how to take No. 1 overall is by looking at New Orleans. They won the Super Bowl with Drew Brees and the 20th-ranked scoring defense in the NFL.
The bottom line is, if you don't have an offense, you can't win. And if you don't have a quarterback, then you don't have an offense. And if you don't have a quarterback, then YOU... CAN'T... WIN.