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Drafting a first-round quarterback is anything but a sure thing in the NFL

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base would like the team to pick up a QB in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but when you look at the history of making this type of decision you might want to think twice.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking at the end of the Ben Roethlisberger era. Whether it be in 2021, or a year later, the future of the quarterback position is certainly in flux. Naturally, the fan base wants the team to be aggressive in the NFL Draft and try and find the next quarterback.

But what if the data shows taking a quarterback in the first round is anything but a sure thing?

That is exactly what the data shows when you take a look at every quarterback drafted in the first round going back to 2009. Why 2009? Because every quarterback who has been selected in the first round from that draft class up until the 2016 draft is no longer with their original team.

That’s right. Every. Single. Quarterback.

Take a look at the image below, courtesy of Sharp Football:

This isn’t to suggest the above quarterbacks haven’t been successful. It also doesn’t mean some of the above quarterbacks haven’t even reached a Super Bowl. Nonetheless, every quarterback, thanks to the Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff trade, is no longer on the team who selected them in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Should this deter a team, like the Steelers, from taking a quarterback in the first round?

No. It shouldn’t, and the reason why is the fact since the 2016 draft class, several first round quarterbacks have seen a tremendous amount of success. No name looms larger than Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who was drafted in 2017. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and he has already been to two Super Bowls and won one.

However, it was the same 2017 draft class which produced Mitch Trubisky, who the Chicago Bears took ahead of Mahomes and is looking at finding a new home this offseason as a free agent.

The 2018 draft class saw Baker Mayfield get selected by the Cleveland Browns, Sam Darnold by the New York Jets, Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Lamar Jackson by the Baltimore Ravens. Mayfield, Allen and Jackson are likely with their teams for the foreseeable future.

In 2019, Kyler Murray to the Arizona Cardinals was the big pick, along with Dwayne Haskins to the Washington Football Team, and Daniel Jones to the New York Giants.

Needless to say, while some of these aforementioned quarterbacks are not going to be getting a new contract with the team who drafted them, many have been successful. But I just can’t get the data from 2009 to 2016 out of my head. Every quarterback taken in the first round is either out of the game, or with a new franchise.

Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, especially when taking a quarterback in the NFL Draft, and this has become obvious.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the new league year, NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.