A Look At The Quarterbacks Drafted From Round Four And Later Since 1993

Ever since the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the speculation has been running rampant as to what it means for starter Ben Roethlisberger. If you look back through the history of the draft, you can clearly see why Roethlisberger shouldn\’t be losing any sleep.

Dating back to the 1993 NFL draft, there have been a total of 142 quarterbacks drafted from round four and on, according to Pro Football Reference. Of those 142 quarterbacks, 53 have failed to even attempt a pass. Only 50 of those 142 quarterbacks have attempted more than 100 passes since they were drafted and only 26 have attempted more than 500 passes.

In addition to those numbers above, just 13 of those 142 quarterbacks have thrown more than 50 touchdown passes. Only 16 of them spent more than one year as a primary starter, while only 10 of them ever made it to the Pro Bowl.

Finally, only one of the 142 has won a Super Bowl as a starter and that one quarterback is of course Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

So what about the quarterbacks drafted in the fourth round like Landry?

Dating back to the 1993 draft, there have been 25 quarterbacks drafted in the fourth round. Three of those 25 haven\’t attempted a pass and only 9 of the 25 have attempted more than 350 passes. Only three of the 25 have thrown more than 31 touchdown passes and only one has ever made it to the Pro Bowl.

Jones of course went to college at Oklahoma, and interesting enough, there has only been one other quarterback drafted in the fourth round or later out of that school in the modern football era. That quarterback was Josh Heupel, who just so happened to be Jones\’ position coach for the four years he was at Oklahoma.

So does any of this mean that Jones can\’t become the next Brady? Absolutely not, but he has a better chance of becoming the next Heupel, and especially being that I expect Roethlisberger to be in Pittsburgh for at least four more seasons.

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19986187GNBMatt Hasselbeck03101943029501834517201147
19935118GNBMark Brunell03111932761464032072184108
19938222SDGTrent Green0271202266374028475162114
20006168NORMarc Bulger02896196931712281412293
19947197WASGus Frerotte0151471699310621291114106
19994131GNBAaron Brooks00593167329632026112392
19938219SFOElvis Grbac01410614462445167749981
20024108JAXDavid Garrard0158614062281160038954
20057250STLRyan Fitzpatrick0057413382249143369281
20054106CHIKyle Orton0047212932214146218157
20057230NWEMatt Cassel0157812032044134958257
20056213BALDerek Anderson01355760144092065355
19946178PITJim Miller00237610104663873631
19964130NYGDanny Kanell0024349195651293134
1995499JAXRob Johnson0024849480657953023
20034110SEASeneca Wallace0016245276448083118
20015155PHIA.J. Feeley0012842576246182831
20007212SFOTim Rattay0014043271448533123
20014106CARChris Weinke0012938670939041526
20066194TAMBruce Gradkowski0013737570940572124
20105155ARIJohn Skelton0002032060237071525
20014109WASSage Rosenfels0004435156241563029
19956197SDGCraig Whelihan0011926755731601429
20015149DETMike McMahon0002922951528671521
20077217MINTyler Thigpen0012927550932222118
19938216PITAlex Van Pelt0003126247729851624
20055145DETDan Orlovsky0012227647229311412
20037241SFOKen Dorsey000182144082082818
19947208NYJGlenn Foley0002120738224691216
20036200NYJBrooks Bollinger00121211360222699
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20096201INDCurtis Painter000111402711624611
20026186NORJ.T. O\’Sullivan000171452571866913
20075174BALTroy Smith00020121234173485
20085160TAMJosh Johnson00027961771042510
19977204ATLTony Graziani000188517499928
20126185ARIRyan Lindley00078917175207
20046193INDJim Sorgi000169915692961
20006183CLESpergon Wynn000107015258517
20115152HOUT.J. Yates000108614498734
20087209GNBMatt Flynn0003787141108395
20045148CHICraig Krenzel00065912771836
20014125NYGJesse Palmer00086312056234
20096196STLKeith Null00047311956639
20025158ATLKurt Kittner00074411439126
19987232CHIMoses Moreno00095110348512
20094101DALStephen McGee0003468242030
19944116NORDoug Nussmeier0008468245514
20047202ARIJohn Navarre0002326434225
20085156PITDennis Dixon0004355940212
19964100DENJeff Lewis00012285421002
20124102WASKirk Cousins0003334846643
20025164GNBCraig Nall0007304840250
20106176TENRusty Smith0004234523404
20047217SFOCody Pickett0007184519504
20025137CARRandy Fasani0004154417104
19947199KANSteve Matthews0003284329900
20035163PITBrian St. Pierre0003153318523
20117208NYJGreg McElroy0002193121411
20116180BALTyrod Taylor0009183019701
20047225DENMatt Mauck0003152713601
20007214DENJarious Jackson0005112211401
20036192HOUDrew Henson000911209811
20024117NWERohan Davey00078198800
19994101STLJoe Germaine000391613612
20104122PHIMike Kafka0004111610702
20005163PITTee Martin00036166901
19997239ARIChris Greisen00057166910
19937192MINGino Torretta00025164111
20076205WASJordan Palmer000410155902
20106204CARTony Pike00016124700
19997245CINScott Covington00046103000
20064103NYJBrad Smith001106495112
19954119PHIDave Barr0002594200
19997227NWEMichael Bishop0008398011
20047250DENBradlee Van Pelt000328700
20107209BUFLevi Brown0001232401
20096174DENTom Brandstater000102000
20036201NWEKliff Kingsbury0001121700
20006202WASTodd Husak000122-200
20037232WASGibran Hamdan000112700
19977234BALWally Richardson000112100
19947198NWEJay Walker0001223100
19944111ATLPerry Klein000201000
19976171NYGMike Cherry000201000
20074103DALIsaiah Stanback0001800000
20054121CARStefan Lefors000000000
19974110KANPat Barnes000100000
19954111MINChad May000000000
20115135KANRicky Stanzi000000000
20115160CHINathan Enderle000000000
20105168SDGJonathan Crompton000000000
20095151NYGRhett Bomar000000000
20095171SFONate Davis000000000
20085137MINJohn David Booty000000000
20085162NYJErik Ainge000000000
20075151CINJeff Rowe000100000
20065148GNBIngle Martin000100000
20065164PITOmar Jacobs000000000
20055152NORAdrian McPherson000000000
20025163SFOBrandon Doman000000000
19995151TENKevin Daft000000000
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20066193CINReggie McNeal000700000
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20046201STLJeff Smoker000000000
20026205STLSteve Bellisari000000000
20016172SEAJosh Booty000000000
20016177MIAJosh Heupel000000000
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19986172MIAJohn Dutton000000000
19976191NYJChuck Clements000100000
19966203PITSpence Fischer000000000
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20007234TAMJoe Hamilton000100000
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19967238BALJon Stark000000000
19967240GNBKyle Wachholtz000000000
19957213CINJohn Walsh000000000

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Dave, let me be the first to say, thank you for the homework. Very interesting.

    This is one of those times when the facts (this chart) really paints a clear picture of “Project Landry”. Also sets straight the likely reality of any expectations we fans might have as to our future QB situation.

    If we could get a Mark Bulger or David Gerrard type talent out of this pick I’d be very happy.

  • Nolrog

    Ben has nothing to worry about because he’s the 31 year old franchise QB. In fact, it’s very likely that Ben will still be the QB after Landry is gone. Terrible pick.

  • TJimmy

    What knocked Landry down to the 4th round wasn’t his QB abilities.It was his lack of mental toughness and tendency towards getting rattled by pressure even when it didn’t exist. That is hard to coach out of a person but maybe they thought that Ben could help him with that since he is the exact opposite.

  • joed32

    They needed to pick up a long term backup, not a replacement.

  • Stephen Dale

    Stats don’t lie and, in this case, LJ’s odds aren’t very good. T Jimmy said it well, Jones makes strange decisions under duress. Whether that problem can be fixed may hold the key to whether he has a chance in the NFL.

  • Per

    Maybe UFA should be inclouded?

  • dennisdoubleday

    If you want a long term backup, you should find a youngish former starter like they did with Batch. Landry would be a disaster if thrown into action now, and how is he going to get good experience, exactly?

  • zyzak

    All of the above doesn’t matter one bit Any player can exceed expectations, it’s up to the coaches to bring them along

  • SteelSpine

    Yeah that would be interesting too.

  • SteelSpine

    Fun to see odds of QBs taken after 3rd round. This is Steelers though so lets go ahead look at what happened to Steelers QBs Steelers acquired after 3rd round. Steelers QBs taken 4th round on, including undrafted rookie QBs. I mention include undrafted rookies because that’s where many teams have aimed to get 3rd QB clipboard holders, including Steelers in the past.

    Before I forget, the QBs Steelers have taken in top 3 rounds became eventual starters. Even the most-recent of them (Bubby, O’Donnell, Kordell, Ben).

    But 4th round on for Steelers, been plenty, I don’t remember all their names because they became just clipboard holders, replaced by the next one. Steelers used to get a 3rd QB in round 7 or so, then when that clipboard holder became due for a raise the FO simply didn’t re-up him (i.e. Van Pelt), instead got the next 3rd QB clipboard holder as an undrafted rookie.

    Steelers FO talked-up Landry as though he is NFL starter material. Thats the expectation created to the fans by the FO’s comments. FO not saying he is only capable of becoming a #2 QB forever. So if the start of Landry’s 3rd season is a promotion to starting QB, on-schedule i.e. like O’Donnel did as-anticipated, great. But if Landry is the next VanPelt gone for next clipboard holder, then we coulda used that pick for another need & instead gotten a QB in rd 7.

  • SteelSpine

    I know, but Steeler FO’s comments talk up Landry as tho he is NFL starter material. Plus I agree with Dennis’ reply which is if want a #2 who will not be a starter, annually there are veteran #2 QBs available which teams get, QBs who failed when were starters but then accept they could have a career as a #2 QB.

  • joed32

    That worked well with Batch but every young QB we have drafted late has been cut. They need someone they can keep for 4 years, if he plays really well they can trade him for picks, if he’s mediocre he’ll be as good as any mediocre aging vet and at a cheaper price and not as injury prone. Plus he’ll know the receivers and have some connection with them.

  • Wow, that’s a lot of crappy QBs.

  • Bill Bob

    Were were Tony Romo and Kurt Werner drafted its up to the player not the round he was drafted in