Best Quarterbacks Not Drafted in the Top Ten of the NFL DraftAn NFL franchise QB is hard to come by, and year after year we see teams at the top of the draft take QBs that might turn their franchise around. It's little wonder really that teams would reach to possibly land a competent QB, if they don't take them high in the draft, some other team surely will. But as I look back over the years, I ask myself this: How successful have those efforts been? For every John Elway and Peyton Manning going at the top of the draft and hitting big time, you'll also find many more JaMarcus Russells and Tim Couches, who never lived up to expectations. You'll see in the initial list below many examples of teams getting their great QBs outside of the top 10 of the NFL draft. We've all seen many lists focusing on the worst QBs drafted high and rightfully so, missing on these picks can set a franchise back many years. But with so many misses, maybe it's time for the NFLs highly paid brain trust to rethink their position on taking QBs so high. This list focuses on both great all time NFL QBs, and young QBs that appear headed for greatness. Feel free to add any that apply.
Still active of course, Brady was drafted in the 6th round, 199th overall. Quite a bargain. We all know the legacy he will leave behind, and it's still possible he may add to that.
Update: Brady has now officially retired. Seven Super Bowl rings. My gosh.
Joe Cool was drafted in the 3rd round, no. 82 overall. This picture is telling, take a look at that valuable right hand.
Why isn't Joe Montana #1? He is the best QB of all time.
He's quite the player.
It was a little hard to include Rodgers in the top 10, but that's because his numbers will never compare favorably to the all time greats. Remember, he sat for 3 years to start his career, and has had a spotty injury history, causing him to miss even more time. Still, in my eyes he belongs because he has made some of the most unbelievable throws I have ever seen, and in my opinion, he can throw more accurately on the run than any QB. Rodgers was drafted in the 1st round, but at no. 24 overall. One ring, 3 NFL MVPs, and who knows, maybe more on the way...
Update: Like Favre before him, Rodgers has been traded to the NYJ. The NFC North teams not in Green Bay breathe a collective sigh of relief... The Packers usher in the Jordan Love era. Love was drafted #26 overall in the 2020 Draft, as is a candidate to also appear on this list someday.
Drafted in the 9th round no. 102 overall. 3x NFL champion, 1 SB ring and 3x NFL MVP.
Drafted in the 1st round, but 27th overall. A nice bargain for the Dolphins. He's the first on this list to not have a ring, however he retired with many NFL records, and no one would doubt his arm talent and quick release. NFL MVP in 1984.
Favre was drafted in the 2nd round, no. 33 overall. The gunslinger took home one ring and 3 NFL MVPs.
Should be 3rd among the GB quarterbacks. If on the list at all.
Drew Brees was drafted in the 2nd round, no. 32 overall, and won 1 Super Bowl ring. QB records have been broken by Brees in recent seasons, but it's important to note that the NFL has made significant rule changes over the last 20-25 years to open up the passing game, allowing Brees and other QBs to thrive. This is not to discredit Brees, who is an all-time great and a brilliant talent, but to acknowledge that QBs before these rule changes did not have the same benefits.
Not drafted at all. Signed by Green Bay as a free agent in 1994, but released before the season started. One of the greatest stories ever in NFL history, Warner spent 5 years in the Arena Football League, and/or stocking shelves at Hy-Vee. Picked up by the Rams in 1999, the rest is history. 1 ring, 2x NFL MVP.
1st round, no. 11 overall. 2x Super Bowl champion.
Drafted in the 3rd round, no. 29 overall. 1 NFL MVP.
10th round, 129th overall. 2x Super Bowl Champion.
Drafted in the 3rd, 75th overall. What a steal for the 'Hawks... 1 Super Bowl championship.
17th round, 200th overall. 2x Super Bowl champion, 1 NFL MVP. Arguably a better QB than Favre OR Rodgers, and certainly a much bigger bargain.