When I glance across the NFL, one thing is for sure, there aren’t that many persons of color starting at quarterback. It didn’t really dawn on me until someone brought it to my attention that in a league that is made up of the best athletes on the planet, so few people of color play the most dominant position on the field. His point was that the most athletic and exciting college quarterbacks end up playing another position in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the numbers of quarterbacks of color in the NFL
- 2 out of 16 in the NFC are starters, Donovan McNabb and Josh Freeman
- 4 out of 16 in the AFC are starters, Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Jason Campbell and Vince Young
The problem is that NFL general managers and owners do not like to take chances on quarterbacks who don’t fit the traditional profile. I’ll give credit where credit is due; some teams like the Titans/Oilers have had Warren Moon, Steve McNair, and now Vince Young. Also the Vikings drafted Daunte Culpepper to replace Randall Cunningham, and later took a chance drafting Tarvaris Jackson. Philadelphia gets credit as well for drafting both Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb while offering a home to Michael Vick during his troubles. For the most part NFL GMs shy away from the athletic quarterback unless they are drafting them to play another position or to run gimmick plays or the “Wildcat”.
Here are a few names that I am sure you know: Hines Ward, Joshua Cribbs, Antoine Randall El, Brad Smith, Ronald Curry, Isaiah Stanback, and Armante Edwards … just to name a few guys who were heralded college quarterbacks, now delegated to the WR position.
History tells us that any position can be redefined. Look at the wide receiver position in the NFL. If you ask anyone who the 5 best wide receivers are in the league, I guarantee Wes Welker’s name comes up in the conversation. Four years ago you couldn’t have had that argument. That in itself is proof that anyone can play any position.
This is what I know, until the NFL starts to look at the QB position with a blindfold, the plight of the Black QB may be forever limited to the Wildcat. Hopefully that will not happen for the sake of players like Troy Smith, and Dennis Dixon.