Watch Out, Browns: Trading A First-Round Draft Pick For A QB Rarely Works


Jimmy Garoppolo has been the subject of plenty of trade rumors, with many suggesting the New England Patriots are looking for a first-round pick in exchange for their backup quarterback.

But history should dissuade teams from doing that. And the Cleveland Browns should be particularly wary of trading the No. 12 pick they acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in the Carson Wentz deal.

Since the New York Giants traded Fran Tarkenton to the Minnesota Vikings in 1974 for the 24th overall pick, 30 other quarterbacks have been moved for a first-round selection. But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s John Smallwood, just three of them, including Tarkenton, have given their new team anything to cheer about.

The Washington Redskins lucked out when they acquired Joe Theismann from the Miami Dolphins for the 17th overall pick, and the Green Bay Packers struck gold when they traded the 19th overall selection to the Atlanta Falcons for Brett Favre. The Redskins and Packers both won Super Bowls with their new quarterbacks, and the Vikings made it to three with Tarkenton, but besides that, the results are pretty bleak.

Craig Erickson, Rick Mirer, Roman Gabriel and Mike Boryla are just a few of those 31 quarterbacks, and we probably don’t need to tell you that they didn’t go on to become superstars. If the Browns did want to trade the No. 12 pick for Garoppolo, they’d be betting on a guy with just two NFL starts under his belt and 94 pass attempts to buck that trend.

Of course, the Browns have used plenty of first-round picks on quarterbacks since 1999 — Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel, to be specific — and those didn’t work out so hot, either. So maybe the lesson here is that the Browns should invest in a top-tier quarterbacks coach instead.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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