Friday, September 5, 2008

King of the Hill

Well, it's official. We can now proclaim Donovan McNabb the "King of the Hill".

Yesterday, quarterback Daunte Culpepper announced his retirement from the NFL: claiming that no one was interested in giving him a chance at competing for a job.

The problem with Culpepper's accusation is this: he still thinks he is the Culpepper from Minnesota pre-knee injury. Only he isn't. He showed glimpses of coming back from the knee injury in stops with Miami and Oakland the past two seasons, but never over the entire season. This offseason, he was even offered a backup job in Green Bay and tried out for the backup job in Pittsburgh. But, in Culpepper's mind, he is not a backup - so he turned them down.

Anyway, he has announced his retirement from the NFL. So, that leaves just Donovan McNabb as the only active quarterback from 1999's NFL Draft.

Which leads to the question, is the 1999 NFL Draft the worst for quarterbacks?

There were five quarterbacks taken in the first round. Cleveland selected Tim Couch with the No. 1 overall pick. He was followed by Philadelphia taking McNabb at No. 2 and Cincinnati selecting Akili Smith at No. 3. Culpepper went to Minnesota at No. 11 and Cade McNown quickly followed at No. 12 to Chicago.

But you know what? It doesn't stop there.

Other quarterbacks taken in that draft, and there selection number in parenthesis.
  • Shaun King - Tampa Bay (50)
  • Brock Huard - Seattle (77)
  • Joe Germaine - St. Louis (101)
  • Aaron Brooks - Green Bay (131)
  • Kevin Daft - Tennessee (151)
  • Michael Bishop - New England (227)
  • Chris Greisen - Arizona (239)
  • Scott Covington - Cincinnati (245)
Not one of them is in the NFL as we speak. King and Brooks did have some successful stops in their careers, but both only had success that lasted a year or two.

Compared to the 2000 draft, which was not supposed to be a quarterback deep draft, the 1999 draft still comes up short. In 2000, just one quarterback was taken in the first round - Chad Pennington to the NY Jets.

Others selected in later rounds who have become pretty successful: Chris Redman in the third round and a couple of sixth rounders you may know - Marc Bulger and Tom Brady.

So, here's to you Mr. McNabb. You have proven to be the quarterback diamond of the 1999 draft. It looked rough for you during those injury-prone years, but you have worked yourself back - and you deserve this "King of the Hill" honor.


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