Drew Stanton thinks the NFL is going backward in its development of quarterbacks.
The career backup has been inactive, cut, promised a chance to compete, scrubbed from the roster and forced to watch many starting quarterbacks in his 11 seasons. Stanton, a second-round pick in 2007, doesn’t view the current trend of developing as a solution to the quarterback problem in the NFL. The 33-year-old specifically believes the current inactive rule hurts the development of young players.
“It’s so hard to develop as a quarterback in this league nowadays,” Stanton said, via ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. “The NFL is, unfortunately, heading into a bad trend. When I first got in the league, you could be an inactive third on game day like I was when I was younger. That transitions into now, they’re trying to save spots and get guys to the practice squad.”
As we noted last offseason, the NFL has a deep-seated quarterback development problem. Here are the current starting quarterbacks not drafted in the first or top of the second round (top 40 picks):
Russell Wilson: 3rd round
Mike Glennon: 3rd round
Josh McCown: 3rd round
Browns QB of the week: Cody Kessler, 3rd round; Brock Osweiler, 3rd; DeShone Kizer, 2nd
Dak Prescott: 4th round
Kirk Cousins: 4th round
Tom Savage: 4th round
Tom Brady: 6th round
Tyrod Taylor: 6th round
Trevor Siemian: 7th round
Brian Hoyer: undrafted
That’s 11 jobs. Three of those QBs (Glennon, Savage and Siemian) are holding the fort for first-round picks to take over at some point. Just three of the above signal-callers are obvious long-term solutions (Wilson, Prescott, Cousins). Then there is the GOAT (Brady), who could play one more year or 12 more years and surprise no one.
Clearly the NFL has a problem developing quarterbacks. Most signal-callers drafted deeper in the draft are rarely given a chance to even compete for a starting gig before their team gives up on them drafts one in the first-round.
Stanton — who as Ty Schalter of The Lions Wire pointed out shockingly ends up the best quarterback in his draft class, despite 13 career starts — is again battling for a backup gig in Arizona. The veteran is fighting for a job with former first-round bust Blaine Gabbert, and undrafted rookie Trevor Knight likely headed for a possible practice squad spot.
“It’s musical chairs, for sure,” Stanton said.
In the quarterback game of musical chairs, it helps immensely to have “first-round pick” attached to your name.