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NFL draft QB choices have costly consequences

Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III? There have been some tough quarterback decisions with the No. 1 overall draft pick since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. Some teams made the right call, others missed on their supposed franchise anchor.

Examine other drafts with at least two QBs in the top three:

2002: Texans took David Carr at No. 1, Lions took Joey Harrington at No. 3

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Hindsight: Turned out to be a dreadful draft for QBs — David Garrard being the class star. Houston would’ve been better off beefing up its defense with Julius Peppers (taken 2d) or Dwight Freeney (11th).

1999: Browns took Tim Couch at No. 1, Eagles took Donovan McNabb at No. 2, Bengals took Akili Smith at No. 3

Hindsight: McNabb has nearly three times as many passing yards as Couch and Smith combined. Since 1999, the Browns have had two 3,000-yard passing seasons, while McNabb has had eight.

1998: Colts took Peyton Manning at No. 1, Chargers took Ryan Leaf at No. 2

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Hindsight: The Colts made the best decision in franchise history. The Chargers, who also considered Charles Woodson (taken 4th), were quick to move on from Leaf, drafting Drew Brees three years later.

1993: Patriots took Drew Bledsoe at No. 1, Seahawks took Rick Mirer at No. 2

Hindsight: Bledsoe and Bill Parcells simultaneously ushered in a new era for the Patriots, which led to the current franchise model. Mirer was sacked 138 times in 55 games with the Seahawks.

1971: Patriots took Jim Plunkett at No. 1, Saints took Archie Manning at No. 2, Oilers took Dan Pastorini at No. 3

Hindsight: All three had long, solid careers, but not as good as two other QBs of the draft class, Ken Anderson (third round) and Joe Theismann (fourth). Plunkett won two rings with the Raiders.

1970: Steelers took Terry Bradshaw at No. 1, Browns took Mike Phipps at No. 3

Hindsight: Phipps (Purdue) was coming off a better season than Bradshaw (Louisiana Tech) but the Steelers made a decision that fixed the franchise. Phipps finished with 55 TD passes and 108 INTs.

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