'It is certainly not what I expected'

Why did teams pass on Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn at the NFL draft?

brady quinn 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
brady quinn 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
NEW YORK - It is amazing how life changes in the NFL. Last year everyone expected Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn to win the Heisman Trophy and be selected in the top five of the NFL draft. This year almost every team in the NFL was talking about how Brady Quinn is not an accurate passer. "You hope this trend doesn't continue," joked Quinn. Instead of being the darling of this year's draft, the question became which team would be brave enough to select Quinn. The Notre Dame phenom was expecting to land a multi-million dollar contract, but left Radio City Music Hall in New York City knowing his dreams of landing a $10 million signing bonus were all but dashed. All Quinn could do was maintain some levity about the situation. "Everybody is talking about me losing money," said Quinn. "But I have not made any money. I only have a dollar and change in my pocket. If I play well I know I am going to earn the big money in the second contract not the first so I am not worried about it." While Quinn might have been able to laugh about the situation afterwards, it is clear that the long wait in the "green room" was exhausting as four others players invited to Radio City for the draft were all selected by the seventh pick. "It is certainly not what I expected," said Quinn. "It wasn't fun because you keep looking at each team on the board and think if they need a quarterback and then you even see teams pass on you who you think might need a quarterback." The falling of Quinn symbolizes a larger pattern that has taken hold among bad teams with high draft picks in recent years. They often out-think themselves, knowing everything about a player from whether they smoked pot in college to their time in the forty-yard dash. Let's be honest: There are only so many ways you can analyze a football player before a team starts coming up with a "hocus pocus" analysis. Teams also forget a few important lessons, such as if you are trying to rebuild a football team focus on building good offensive and defensive lines rather than on the more flashy positions such as receiver and running back. Last year, the over-thinking resulted in the Houston Texans selecting Mario Williams over either Vince Young or Reggie Bush, along with the Oakland Raiders passing on quarterback Matt Leinart, who went to the Arizona Cardinals. The reason Houston gave for selecting Williams was they needed a defensive player to stop Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. The problem is Williams came out of nowhere to have a great senior year and was a workout wonder. No doubt, he could be a good player, but how can you pass up either Young or Bush - two guys that can single-handedly turn around a franchise? Fast forward a year, Bush, Young, and Leinart are all looking like Pro Bowlers. This over-thinking is what happened with Quinn on Saturday. How many teams in the NFL can even say they have a good quarterback? Look at the teams that passed on Quinn. The Detroit Lions have Jon Kitna at quarterback (mediocre), the Miami Dolphins have Daunte Culpepper, the Minnesota Vikings have Tavaris Jackson, the Houston Texans have Matt Schaub and the Atlanta Falcons have a struggling Michael Vick. Don't worry if these names are not sounding familiar. All these teams would have improved significantly if they had selected Quinn. A journeyman quarterback like Trent Dilfer, who led his team to the Super Bowl, is the exception to the rule. Almost always, a team needs a good quarterback. "I am not going to call these teams and ask them why they did not select me," said Quinn. "That is just not the way it works. But I will remember this day and this feeling and use it as motivation in the future." When asked if it was disappointing that teams like Miami passed on him, Quinn said it bothered him a little, but added that, apparently those teams were confident with their quarterback situation. As Quinn uttered these words at his press conference, his mother stood in the background, trying not to show her frustration. "It is just disappointing because Brady is a much better player than teams gave him credit for today," she said.