The Complete List of Current NFL Starting Quarterbacks Drafted in Rounds Three or Later

The Complete List of Current NFL Starting Quarterbacks Drafted in Rounds Three or Later

As we prepare for Foles Fever to descend on Washington this
Sunday, it would be wise to consider the somewhat long odds Nick Foles faces if
he is to become a fulltime starting quarterback in the NFL. After all, there
are not many chosen in the third round of the draft or beyond who go on to
have successful careers.

For your consideration, Eagles’ third-string QB Trent
Edwards is a former third-round pick once handed the keys to a franchise.
Three-and-a-half years and 32 starts later, the Stanford grad was traded to
Jacksonville, then spent the 2011 season out of football altogether after he failed to make the Raiders. I repeat, the Raiders.

Okay, so Edwards was handed the keys in Buffalo, which is
not so much the Cadillac of franchises as it is the 15-year-old Corolla with the dent in the
fender. Then again, the Eagles are likely headed for a trip to the body shop
themselves.

The point is, third rounders are long shots to become
productive signal callers who lead long careers. However, it can be done
though. There are currently six starting quarterbacks in the league who were
selected after the 64th pick, but we’ve gotta tell you, the list is
a bit of a mixed bag.

Russell Wilson: 3rd
Round, 75th Overall – 2012

Chosen 13 picks ahead of Foles, Wilson beat out free agent
Matt Flynn for the job in training camp, and has the Seahawks out to a 6-4 record. Much of
the credit for that goes to the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense, but the undersized
Wilson (5-11) has been smart with the football, completing 62% of his passes
while limiting his interceptions to 8. Wilson is mobile, which adds another
dimension to his game, and were it not for his small stature, might have gone
higher in the draft. The jury is out on how high the ceiling is, but so far, so
good in Seattle.

Matt Schaub: 3rd
Round, 90th Overall – 2004

The Falcons selected Schaub the season after Vick missed
most of the year with a broken leg, recognizing even then that freewheeling
style would get any quarterback hurt. Schaub wound up starting two games in
three seasons for Atlanta, but those 161 pass attempts were enough to convince
the Texans to trade a pair of second round picks to acquire the backup. Now in
his sixth season with Houston, Schaub has a pair of 4,000-yard campaigns under
his belt, but those are the only two full seasons he’s played thanks to
injuries. At 31 years old, and with a dominant rushing attack and defense to
fall back on, the Virginia product has fallen more into a game manager role,
but is still more than capable of leading the attack.

Tom Brady: 6th
Round, 199th Overall – 2000

A man who needs no introduction, Brady is a seven-time Pro
Bowler, two-time league MVP, and three-time Super Bowl champion with the New
England Patriots. He’s led the NFL in passing yards twice, touchdown passes
three times, and is still going strong at 35. Obviously, nobody saw any of it
coming when he left Michigan, and none of it may have ever happened at all were
it not for an injury to Drew Bledsoe in 2001. Comparing just about anybody in
any situation to Brady would be foolish.

Matt Cassel: 7th
Round, 230th Overall – 2005

Cassel famously never started a game at USC, which is enough
to make anybody wonder why the Patriots took him in the first place. Apparently
it was so they could fleece the Chiefs a few years down the road. Cassel earned
himself a trip to the Pro Bowl when Brady was knocked out for a year, throwing for
3,600 yards and 21 touchdowns, which of course was back when Randy Moss was
still a beast. Kansas City then sent the 34th overall pick to New
England the following offseason to acquire Cassel, and it’s been all downhill
since. Cassel has become just as turnover-prone as Vick, producing 21 so far in
2012, and he would have lost his job by now to Brady Quinn of all people were
it not for a concussion. Can be hidden in an offense loaded with playmakers,
but is no substitute for a franchise quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: 7th
Round, 250th Overall – 2005

A bit of an incredible story, Fitzpatrick is a Harvard grad
playing in the NFL. Originally taken by the St. Louis Rams, Fitz saw some
playing time in his rookie season as the organization was beginning to crumble.
He handled himself well all things considered, but didn’t get another opportunity
until he went to Cincinnati. Wound up starting 12 games for the Bengals in ’08,
showing signs of improvement. Fitzpatrick left for Buffalo as a free agent in the offseason, where he’s made the best use of his education yet: convincing somebody to
make him a franchise quarterback. Fitzpatrick threw for over 3,800 yards last
season, but also led the league with 23 picks. He’s having another up-and-down
season for the Bills, and has a 20-37-1 record all-time. Granted Fitz has only
played for bad teams, but we’ve more than likely witnessed his ceiling.

Tony Romo: Undrafted Free
Agent, 2003

You don’t see many of these floating around. Romo came all
the way from being an undrafted rookie out of Eastern Illinois to becoming the
starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. He entered training camp that year
as the third-string quarterback because at the time the organization was floundering
with Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson. Romo then spent some time behind Vinny
Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe before finally seizing the job in ’06. As we can
all attest, Romo has been able to put up some excellent numbers to his credit,
but hasn’t been able to win many big games, and the Cowboys always seem to be
in disarray.

Of course, while there are six of these mid-to-late-round
picks playing in the NFL today, there are innumerable more who never make it,
never even get their opportunity, names you might not even recognize. Aside from Brady, which simply wouldn’t be
fair, probably the best case scenario here for comparison’s sake would be
Schaub. But as you can see, even some of the guys that have managed to cling to
their jobs aren’t exactly the caliber of quarterback fans will be hoping for from Foles.

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Roman Lyubimov getting comfortable, impressing with hard, heavy style

Roman Lyubimov getting comfortable, impressing with hard, heavy style

Ron Hextall said when Flyers training camp began there were spots to be won and spots to be taken from others.

Even though it’s still early in camp, it seems fairly clear Russian forward Roman Lyubimov is going to steal someone’s job among the bottom-six forwards.

He’s been the right wing on Boyd Gordon’s line in camp with Chris VandeVelde on the left side. 

That fourth line worked again Tuesday night as the Flyers opened their home preseason schedule with a 4-0 win over the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

The 6-2, 207-pound Lyubimov plays a heavy game. He is tenacious in one-on-one battles and, perhaps more importantly, jumps on loose pucks after faceoffs as demonstrated during the 2-0 loss in New Jersey on Monday.

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol took notice.

“It’s a nice trait for a player to have automatically and it’s an important trait,” Hakstol said.

“His competitiveness and his battle level on 50-50 pucks, things like that, hasn’t changed from Day 1.”

After spending six years in the KHL, it appears Lyubimov has found a home here. He’s already making a nice adjustment to the smaller rink, too.

“Last couple of years, playing for the Red Army team, there were some pretty physical games,” he said, via translator Slava Kouznetsov. “I think it was pretty close to NHL games. I just have to adapt to the smaller ice.”

He logged 3:55 ice time on the penalty kill against the Devils — second only to rookie defensive prospect Ivan Provorov — and Hakstol has his sights set on using him in that capacity if he makes the final cut.

While playing for the Russian Army, Lyubimov was used in a shutdown role and on the PK with little power-play time.

“I was more defense-oriented,” he said. “If you don’t let the [opponent] score on you, it’s easier to win games. Here, I’ll see what the coaches want me to do. I watched a lot of NHL games. One of my criteria was to be good at the penalty kill.”

The only hard question Hakstol has to answer is Lyubimov’s adjustment to the smaller rink.

“I think he is still working through that but he is game for it,” Hakstol said. “He doesn’t look for open ice in terms of shying away from traffic areas. He is battling in those high traffic areas.”

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare made the adjustment quickly, coming over from France. Michael Raffl played a couple games with the Phantoms after coming over from Austria.

It’s possible the Flyers could start Lyubimov with the Phantoms and then call him up.

“He plays a small-ice type of game,” Hextall said of Lyubimov. “He goes hard to the net, he’s good on the wall, does all those little things. Space I don’t think will affect him as much as other guys.”

He had a prime scoring chance in Tuesday’s game against the Islanders, chasing down a puck behind the net and getting a wraparound that was blocked at the post by defenseman Kyle Burroughs.

Lyubimov finished with 12:07 of ice time and two shots.

His best shot to make the cut is to take away VandeVelde's spot on the fourth line (see story). Once Bellemare returns from the World Cup of Hockey, someone has to go. Another factor here is whether the club carries 23 players instead of 22.

Lyubimov said what impressed him about the Flyers was how players are treated here, on and especially off the ice.

That was always something former Flyers loved about their late owner Ed Snider. He treated them as family, not employees.

“There is a difference,” Lyubimov said. “Everything here is comfortable and done for the players. Here I live five minutes from the rink. In Moscow, it’s 45 minutes. Everything works for me here.”

So much so, Lyubimov is bringing his wife, Katrina, and their 1-year-old daughter Alexa, over this fall to live here even though he has just a one-year deal worth $925,000.

“I want to stay here more than a year,” he said. “I will do whatever I have to do. This is the place I wanted to come.”

Noel, Brown have had open dialogue about Sixers' big man situation

Noel, Brown have had open dialogue about Sixers' big man situation

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- Nerlens Noel’s recent comments on the logjam of big men on the Sixers' roster did not come as news to head coach Brett Brown. While Noel had not been this publicly outspoken on the issue, he and Brown have been having open discussions about it. 

“I have been talking to Nerlens a lot and I have a fondness for him,” Brown said Tuesday on the first day of training camp. “I don’t begrudge Nerlens Noel at all for what he said. I don’t have any problems with it.”

The Sixers' crowded frontcourt this season is a continuation of last season’s conundrum in which Brown was tasked with playing Noel and Jahlil Okafor, two natural centers, together. The depth has increased with the return of Joel Embiid and additions of Dario Saric and Ben Simmons. 

So when Noel doubled down on Monday by saying, "I don't see a way it can work,” Brown recognized where the center's opinions were coming from as he enters his fourth season in the NBA. 

“I feel if we do anything well, we communicate with our players freely,” Brown said. “It is one hundred percent transparent – hard conversations ahead, easy conversations ahead. I have spoken with Nerlens about this a lot. 

“My messaging and my mood and attitude and things that come out of my mouth haven’t changed once. I feel very confident that I’m giving him the advice that he should hear from me and it still allows me to do my job. 

“We have talked about it freely, like I have talked about it with Jahlil and Joel. Those situations are part of pro sports. They’re ever-present with me and us right now.”

Noel has been a rare mainstay among a revolving door of players over the past three years. He is in a unique situation with Brown in that the two have experienced a long list of the team’s ups and downs together. Noel feels comfortable talking honestly with Brown about his viewpoints. 

“I’ve known Brett probably longer than most guys here and we’ve built a different type of relationship,” Noel said. “It’s been very front and forward and we talk and we keep it real. That’s what he’s been doing with me and that’s why I’m able to continue to talk to him about myself and him just telling me what position I’ll be in – he’ll try to put me in – to succeed.”

With Brown having an understanding of Noel, his focus is on what Noel can bring to the team this season. He believes Noel has an edge over Embiid and Okafor for minutes early on because Noel the only one of the trio starting camp without restrictions from previous injuries. 

There is a tough competition for playing time among the bigs, and camp is about proving oneself through basketball, not through personal opinions. Brown was impressed on the first day of camp by the manner in which Noel approached the morning practice amid the comments.

“He has handled it with me and in the training session today like a pro,” Brown said. “He came to mean it. He didn’t back down at all. There was no moping or sulking or him being stubborn. He played. That’s what he has to do. I think that’s a real reflection of anybody of how you handle adversity. Today he handled it like a true pro and a true competitor.”