Even the hippest NFL Draft experts can’t accurately predict what will happen once the time comes for teams to pick. After all, a single swap can completely mess up a draft simulation. In most cases, though, at least when it comes to quarterbacks, it’s pretty easy to determine where a prospect will go.
But as so many callers have learned the hard way, sometimes the chips just don’t land on you. Let’s take a closer look at the seven most surprising quarterback slides of all time.
7. Will Levis, 2023
Even though Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud boasted much more impressive resumes, Kentucky’s Will Levis somehow entered the conversation to be one of the first players to enter the draft. the NFL in 2023. Heading into Thursday night, some even wondered if he could become No. 2 overall for the Houston Texans. With speculation swirling about possible Levis-centric swap scenarios, all of those talks turned out to be just that.
Not only did the big-armed quarterback fall far short of the top 10, but he had to wait until Friday to officially hear his name. The Titans finally ended Levis’ much-publicized slide by trading to take him with the 33rd overall pick. The move clearly means Malik Willis won’t be the guy, but it remains to be seen if Will Levis will become one of the few quarterbacks on this roster to prove teams wrong for letting him slide.
6. Malik Willis, 2022
NFL Draft Twitter took a huge L in making it look like Malik Willis had a legitimate shot at being the first quarterback picked in 2022. Not only has the former Liberty University star failed to become a day 1 pick, he didn’t go in the second round either.
Whether it was his little schooling, his inconsistent accuracy, or a combination of several factors, Willis clearly had red flags against him in the 2022 NFL Draft. Ultimately, the Tennessee Titans took a third-round flyer on him with the 86th overall pick. The Georgia native has played sparingly as a rookie, giving little reason to believe in his ability to replace Ryan Tannehill in the long run.
5. Lamar Jackson, 2018
The way the league let someone as special as Lamar Jackson almost slip away in the first round is beyond shocking. Of course, he entered the 2018 NFL Draft with legitimate questions about his ability to fit into a pro-style offense. But he also stood well above the rest of his fellow quarterbacks in terms of athleticism, advantage and production.
Yet the electrifying Louisville star watched Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, And Josh Rosen is selected as a top 10 pick pending a phone call. It took the Ravens to come back in the first round to finally end Jackson’s downfall with the 32nd overall pick.
Needless to say, the New England Patriots still look stupid for taking Sony Michel to 31st overall.
4. Johnny Manziel, 2014
A Heisman winner with moxie and dual threat abilities, Johnny Manziel’s off-pitch issues and character issues led to a disappointing result in the 2014 NFL Draft. Despite an excellent production track record at Texas A&M , the controversial caller slipped out of the top 10 and nearly out of the first round.
Perhaps the only thing that saved Manziel from having to wait for the second round was the Browns’ desperation. But in one of the least surprising results in NFL Draft history, their decision to trade to end Johnny Football’s slide didn’t work out at all.
On the contrary, hitching their wagon to Manziel caused nothing but frustration for a franchise that finally tackled the job nearly a decade later by trading for Deshaun Watson and handing him a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. .
3. Jimmy Clausen, 2010
Great Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen serves as a cautionary tale about falling in love with potential. Considered a very promising prospect who could be an excellent professional-style quarterback, he was expected to be a top-10 player with Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. As Bradford became No. 1 overall, Clausen suffered one of the biggest draft-day slips of all time, falling all the way to the Carolina Panthers at the No. 48 pick.
In the end, the NFL teams were right to pass him in the first round. Clausen’s career as a starter ended pretty much as soon as it began. After a tough rookie season that included just three touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 1-9 record as a starter, he never threw another pass for the Panthers. In fact, Clausen only appeared in eight more games before his career in professional football ended.
2. Brady Quinn, 2007
From his frame to his camera-ready face, Brady Quinn embodied what teams look for in a franchise quarterback. However, the former Notre Dame star discovered that the NFL didn’t exactly see him as a hot prospect out of college. Even in a charge The 2007 NFL Draft class that included three current members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Quinn was expected to enter the top 10.
Unfortunately for the 2006 Maxwell Prize winner, he did not come close to achieving these pre-project projections. Once JaMarcus Russell became No. 1, no other quarterbacks left the roster until the Cleveland Browns selected Quinn 22nd overall. Of course, that came 19 picks after taking offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who went on to become one of the greatest players of all time in his position.
As for Quinn? He went 9-12 as a starter in three forgettable seasons at Cleveland.
1.Aaron Rodgers, 2005
No player in NFL history has endured a more embarrassing draft moment than Aaron Rodgers.
With the 49ers holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, the California native seemed like a lock on becoming the face of the franchise he rooted for growing up. Yet instead of crossing the stage first, Rodgers watched Utah’s Alex Smith get anointed the savior in San Francisco.
To put salt in the wound, his slide lasted longer than anyone could have expected. Despite being penciled in as a surefire top-five pick, Rodgers slipped all the way to No. 24 before the Packers ended his brutal Green Room experience. Luckily for the talented quarterback and Green Bay fans, the wait was worth it.
Still, there’s no doubt that Rodgers’ infamous fall ranks atop the quarterback’s most startling draft-day slides of all time.
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