There are only three quarterbacks drafted in the first round before 2017 who are still playing for their original team.
On Saturday, Jeff Hartman wrote an article here at BTSC about how there are no NFL quarterbacks left drafted in the first round from 2009 through 2016 who are still playing for the team which selected them.
After reading Jeff’s story, I got to thinking and once again I ended up diving down the rabbit hole. Who was the first-round quarterback drafted in 2008 who is still playing for their original team? How many are there prior to 2009?
I was able to find the first answer quite easily. It’s Matt Ryan who was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2008.
So now we know why the date was set at 2009. But how many other quarterbacks drafted in the first round prior to 2017 are still on their original teams?
As a Steelers’ fans, we should now have an answer of at least two. I already mentioned Matt Ryan, and we all know Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The answer is actually three players. As many of you have probably guessed, the final player is Aaron Rodgers drafted in 2005 by the Green Bay Packers.
But that’s it.
Additionally, these players are the only quarterbacks drafted prior to 2009 still on their original team. Isn’t that what I said before? Not entirely. Previously, the statement was first-round quarterbacks. When looking at quarterbacks regardless of round drafted, it’s still the same answer.
The thing that is quite interesting about these three quarterbacks are I’ve heard rumblings from all three fan bases where a portion of them wants the team to move on from said quarterback. For the Steelers, I think we all know the argument going on here and we won’t need to focus on it at this time as it has been discussed over and over again the last several weeks.
As for the other two quarterbacks, there were some very vocal Packers’ fans who are ready to move on from Aaron Rodgers following the teams loss in the NFC championship game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were done with Rodgers and ready for 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love. It did not matter that the Packers were the number one seed and Aaron Rodgers went on to win the Most Valuable Player in the NFL for 2020. And when it comes to Matt Ryan, he has an enourmas salary cap hit for a team in worse shape than the Pittsburgh Steelers going into 2021. Add in the fact that the Falcons only won four games last season, and it makes sense that Falcons’ fans may be frustrated.
Getting back to quarterbacks still playing for the teams who drafted them, what about quarterbacks not taken in the first round from 2009 through 2016? How many of them are still with their original team?
The answer to this question is only two players. They are Russell Wilson, selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of 2012 NFL draft, and Dak Prescott who was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Interestingly enough, both of these players have a somewhat questionable status with their teams going into the 2021 season as Prescott is not currently under contract for the Cowboys come the start of the new league year while Wilson raised questions about his desire to stay in Seattle.
When looking back, it’s quite amazing that only five NFL quarterbacks are with their original teams who were drafted in 2016 or before. While many of these players are still in the league, the fact they have moved around to different teams just goes to show how uncertain life can be as a quarterback in the NFL. Additionally, seeing as Ben Roethlisberger it’s currently the quarterback with the most years played with the team that drafted him, Steelers’ fan should appreciate everything they had with Roethlisberger even if his time in Pittsburgh is coming to an end sooner than later.