Think about it. When you think of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, you think of your Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, etc. Only one of those QB’s I listed came from what I would consider a dominant program. Now think of the best teams in NCAA football. Your perennial powerhouses. Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, USC and Michigan come to mind. These schools may have one starting quarterback in the NFL, but it seems like if you want a franchise guy, you have to look anywhere and everywhere except for the national title contenders. LSU’s quarterback situation has been terrible until recently. Ohio State has one of the worst track records with getting quarterbacks ready for the league. Even the phrase “Alabama Quarterback” seems to be a punchline among NFL franchises. Need more convincing?
Arizona Cardinals: Josh Rosen- UCLA
Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan- Boston College
Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco- Delaware (out); Lamar Jackson- Louisville
Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen- Wyoming (out); Matt Barkley- USC*
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton- Auburn*
Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky- North Carolina
Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton- TCU
Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield- Oklahoma*
Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott- Mississippi State
Denver Broncos: Case Keenum- Houston
Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford- Georgia*
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers- Cal Berkeley
Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson- Clemson*
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck- Stanford
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles- UCF
Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes- Texas Tech
Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill- Texas A&M
Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins- Michigan State
New England Patriots: Tom Brady- Michigan*
New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees- Purdue
New York Giants: Eli Manning- Ole Miss
New York Jets: Sam Darnold- USC*
Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr- Fresno State
Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz- North Dakota State
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger- Miami (OH)
San Diego Chargers– Phillip Rivers- North Carolina State
San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo- Eastern Illinois (out); CJ Beathard- Iowa
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson- Wisconsin/ North Carolina State
St. Louis Rams: Jared Goff- California Berkeley
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jameis Winston- Florida State/ Ryan Fitzpatrick- Harvard
Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota- Oregon
Washington Redskins: Alex Smith- Utah (out); Colt McCoy- Texas
*indicates that the player came from a normal top program.
Get the picture? Not a single Alabama, Ohio State, LSU or Notre Dame guy in the bunch. If a top program does have a quarterback in the league, it is only one who has been there forever with the exception of Deshaun Watson. USC has the most from a top program at 2 thanks to injuries. Even calling USC a top program feels weird given their recent history.
Are these programs just not good at developing at the quarterback position? Maybe, maybe not. I find it difficult to swallow that Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith is out of the league while Mike Glennon keeps getting snaps. I think that it is just that hard to play quarterback in the NFL (no shit). The quarterbacks that go to the top programs are not always one dimensional passers like you see in the NFL. They can always run and make plays with their feet at the collegiate level, but can’t in the NFL. This is why the one dimensional passers that get overlooked by the big programs continue to develop their one skill which is transferrable to the professional game.
I am not hating on any program in the NCAA. In fact, I think if Bama, OSU or LSU were to put a long last starter in the league, it would be the guys that are playing now. Tua, Haskins, and Burrow are legit and I expect to see them play on Sundays.