The two quarterbacks that are currently making headlines these days are Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets and Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both Sanchez and Freeman were drafted to be starting quarterbacks for their respective teams and now they could be hitting the unemployment line.
This article takes a look at each of the quarterbacks in the 2009 NFL draft and tries to determine if the 2009 quarterback class was one of the worst ever.
Round 1, Pick 1: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford was the first pick of the 2009 NFL draft being picked by the Detroit Lions and was given a six year contract worth around 78 million dollars.
In his rookie season Stafford played in 10 games having a starting record of 2-8, a completion percentage of 53 percent, while throwing for 2,267 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions. In 2010, Stafford suffered a shoulder injury and only played three games that season throwing for 535 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.
The 2011 season was by far Stafford’s most successful as he led the Lions to a 10-6 record, threw for the third most passing yards in the league with 5,038 yards, while also throwing 41 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Stafford was also named the AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2011. In Detroit’s first playoff appearance since the 1999, season the Lions lost to the New Orleans Saints, 45-28.
In 2012, Stafford passed for over 4,900 yards, however, his touchdown total fell down to 20 while still throwing 17 interceptions and the Lions finished the season with a 4-12 record.
So far in 2013, the Lions are 1-0; however Stafford threw two touchdowns to one interception in the Lions win over the Vikings.
Analysis: Stafford is by far the best quarterback to come out of the 2009 draft, but overall he is still not an elite quarterback. Stafford is in his fifth season in the league and has only led the Lions to one playoff appearance while having no MVP trophies or Pro Bowl appearances to his name.
Round 1, Pick 5: Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
The New York Jets traded their first and second round picks in the 2009 draft to the Cleveland Browns for the right to move up to the fifth pick and the Jets used that pick on quarterback Mark Sanchez, who had played only one full season as the starting quarterback for the USC Trojans.
While Sanchez posted a winning record his rookie year, he also finished the season ranked 25th in passing yards with 2,444 yards, while also have a completion percentage of 54 percent, 12 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and eight fumbles. Despite his shaky stats, Sanchez was able to help the Jets make it to the AFC Championship game before the team lost to the Indianapolis Colts 30-17.
In 2010, Sanchez led the Jets to a 11-5 record while finishing with a completion percentage of 55 percent, while throwing for 3,291 yards, 17 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and five fumbles. The Jets made the playoffs again this time losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game by a score of 24-19.
In 2011, the Jets and Sanchez would finish with an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs for the first time with Sanchez. While Sanchez threw for an impressive 3,474 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2011, he also threw 18 interceptions, had four fumbles, and was sacked 39 times.
In 2012, Sanchez’s starting record was 6-9, and he threw for 2,883 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions while being sacked 34 times and having nine fumbles.
This past off-season Sanchez was competing with rookie Geno Smith for the Jets starting quarterback job when he was injured in the fourth quarter of the Jets third pre-season game against the New York Giants. NFL.com is now reporting that Sanchez has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
There is no telling how long Sanchez will be out with this injury, which is unfortunate since it will give him fewer opportunities to prove why he should stay in New York.
Analysis: Despite leading the Jets to the playoffs in his first two seasons with the team, Sanchez has never displayed outstanding or spectacular ability as a quarterback. Sanchez has a regular season starting record of 33-29, with a completion percentage of 55 percent, 68 touchdowns, 69 interceptions thrown, and 26 fumbles. Sanchez also has failed to win a Super Bowl, a major NFL award or be named to a Pro Bowl. Sanchez may finish the season with the Jets but by the time the 2014 season rolls around, Sanchez will be the back-up to another quarterback in the league.
Round 1, Pick 17: Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also traded up in the first round of the 2009 draft to land former Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman.
In his rookie season Freeman played in ten regular season games, starting nine of those and finished with a record of 3-9. In that season Freeman had a completion percentage of 55 percent while throwing for 1,855 yards, 10 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
The 2010 season was by far the best of Freeman’s career. In that season Freeman led the Buccaneers to a 10-6 record, while completing 61 percent of his passes, while also throwing for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. Although Freeman and the Bucs finished with a 10-6 record they still failed to make the playoffs.
Hopes were high for Tampa Bay in 2011, and despite having a completion percentage of 63 percent and throwing for 3,592 yards he also had a touchdown to interception ratio of 16 to 22 and the team lost their last ten games of the season and finished with an overall record of 4-12.
After the hiring of a new head coach and a great free agency period hopes were again high for the Buccaneers in 2012. Despite the fact that Freeman became the first Bucs quarterback to throw over 4,000 passing yards, Freeman had nine interceptions in the last three weeks of the season, finishing the year with a completion percentage of 55 percent, 27 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a record of 7-9.
Freeman did not impress anyone with his first start of 2013 finishing the game with 15 completions on 31 passes, 210 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Analysis: Freeman is on a short leash with head coach Greg Schiano and Tampa Bay fans and is running out of time to prove himself especially with rookie quarterback Mike Glennon waiting in the wings. In his time with Tampa Bay Freeman has failed to lead the Buccaneers to a playoff appearance, and his play on the field has been inconsistent at best. Freeman’s regular season starting record with Tampa Bay is 24-33, while his career numbers are a completion percentage of 59 percent, 79 touchdowns, 64 interceptions, 24 fumbles, and has been sacked 106 times. Unless a miracle happens, do not expect Freeman to be in a Buccaneers uniform in 2014.
Round 2, Pick 44: Pat White, Miami Dolphins
After a decent career at the University of West Virginia, Pat White was selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft with the intention that White could be used as a quarterback, running back or receiver.
White’s first season in the league was nothing to write home about as White finished played in 13 games, completing no passes on five attempts, while rushing for 81 yards on 21 attempts. The Dolphins chose to release White in September of 2010.
White spent the rest of 2010 and part of 2011 playing baseball being a part of minor league teams with the Kansas City Royals and the Florida Marlins.
In June of 2011 White signed with the Virginia Destroyers but was cut in September of that same year. This April White signed a two-year contract with the Washington Redskins.
Analysis: White is a draft bust and it will not be long before he is out of the NFL again.
Round 4, Pick 101: Stephen McGee, Dallas Cowboys
Stephen McGee was drafted with the hope that he could be a strong, consistent backup quarterback for the Cowboys. In his short three season stint with the team, McGee played in three regular season games, starting only one of those, finishing with 46 completions on 82 passes, 420 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The only positive for McGee was that he won his only start with the Cowboys.
McGee is currently looking for work.
Analysis: McGee is another quarterback that had a decent career in college that did not pan out in the NFL.
Round 5, Pick 151: Rhett Bomar, New York Giants
Rhett Bomar is a quarterback that played college football Sam Houston State and was drafted by the New York Giants. Bomar would spend the majority of his time with the Giants on the practice squad before being signed by the Minnesota Vikings in December of 2010. Bomar remained with the Vikings until August of 2011, before being released after being arrested for drunken driving charges.
In January of 2012 Bomar spent time on the Raiders practice squad until being released in May of the same year. This year Bomar was again arrested for charges stemming from driving drunk.
Analysis: Did I really just spend time telling this guy’s pathetic story?
Round 5, Pick 171: Nate Davis, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers: 2009-2010
Seattle Seahawks: 2011
Indianapolis Colts: 2011
Analysis: Never made it in the NFL, now plays for the Amarillo Venom of the Lone Star Football League, a Texas indoor football league.
Round 6, Pick 174: Tom Brandstater, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos: 2009
Indianapolis Colts: 2010
Miami Dolphins: 2010-2011
Dallas Cowboys: 2011
St. Louis Rams: 2011-2012
Analysis: Out of the league
Round 6, Pick 178: Mike Teel, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks: 2009
New England Patriots: 2010
Chicago Bears: 2010
Analysis: Teel is now a college quarterbacks coach.
Round 6, Pick 196: Keith Null, St. Louis Rams
Keith Null was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and started in four games for the Rams in 2009. Null’s stats for the 2009 season were 73 completions on 119 attempts, while throwing for 566 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions. Null did not win any of his four starts.
In 2010 Null spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers before being out of the league.
Analysis: Null was given a chance to prove himself but was unable to sustain a NFL career.
Round 7, Pick 201: Curtis Painter, Indianapolis Colts
After Stafford, Sanchez, and Freeman, Curtis Painter experienced the most playing time in the NFL.
In 2009, Painter started two games for the Colts having eight completions on 28 attempts, throwing for 83 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
In 2010 on the Colts way to a 2-12 regular season record, Painter would play in nine games, starting eight of those with a starting record of 0-8. Painter finished that season with a completion percentage of 54.3 percent, 1,541 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions.
In 2012, Painter spent time on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad, before signing with the New York Giants in January of this year.
Analysis: Painter is currently listed second on the New York Giants depth chart behind starter Eli Manning and while Painter is not a starter anymore or an NFL superstar he has managed to sustain his career better than the quarterbacks taken in rounds two through six.
Is the 2009 quarterback class one of the worst ever? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Stafford despite having some talent around him has only managed one winning season and one playoff win with the Lions. Sanchez and Freeman are most likely to leave the teams that drafted them and who know if and when they will get another starting gig. Painter is an okay quarterback but most likely will never be a starter again in the NFL.
The Jets and Buccaneers each drafted a new quarterback in the 2013 NFL draft and only time will tell if these new quarterbacks will become what Sanchez and Freeman could not.