This article started as a DO NOT DRAFT list for quarterbacks, but I realized I didn’t have a huge problem with the ADPs of many QBs worth drafting. I think so many analysts spend time on analyzing QB play and historical performance, that we have a pretty good handle on who’s got the best chance to outperform their draft cost. There was one QB that stood out to me as particularly overvalued. That player is Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m not trying to be a bully, but I’ve got some takes, friends.
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Is there any Fitzmagic Left?
Why Are We Ignoring The Signs?
Ok. It’s only fair to assess the situation, first and foremost. How did Fitzpatrick’s ADP get to where it is now? Well, the Washington Football team made the playoffs last year on the backs of their elite defense. The WFT cycled through a number of quarterbacks. They gave Dwayne Haskins a shot, and ran him out of town to a backup spot with the Steelers. Then they let Alex Smith spin, but they were terrified to do so after his horrific injury, and he was a lesser version of Alex Smith on top of that. They would’ve given Kyle Allen a shot, but he got injured. That left Taylor Heinicke to save the day. And that he did…almost. In the first round of the playoffs, Heinicke almost led the WFT past the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The series of events led to one line of thinking: The WFT is a QB away.
The QB that Washington has selected is apparently Ryan Fitzpatrick…. or is it? I have a feeling that this year’s QB was always going to be a bridge QB year. The front office knows the defense is elite, but they weren’t able to go up and get one of the young QB prospects to try and win a championship on a QB’s rookie deal. So they’re going to wait until they have the ability to do so. Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick. Coming off of a disappointing stint with Miami, where he played very well but ended up passing the starting job back and forth with Tua, as they were trying to get him game experience.
However, Ryan Fitzpatrick has never really received his chance to be a starting QB for multiple years, and that’s because he’s always been average at it. Of course, that’s not always his fault. Teams, coaching, personnel, all play their roles in a particular player’s success/failure, but the record is the record. He’s started for eight different teams as QB, most of all time (teams don’t let starting QBs they like, walk). He’s also the only QB to throw a TD pass and an interception for eight different teams. He’s been so inconsistent that he’s earned the nicknames: FitzMAGIC and FitzTRAGIC. He’s only had two winning seasons with the 2015 Jets and 2020 Dolphins, and never made the playoffs. In fact, he holds the record for most passing yards and TDs among QBs to never make the playoffs.
Did I mention he’s no spring chicken? The NFL has a 100% work injury rate. If you play the game, you’re going to get hurt. I don’t think it’s crazy to expect a 37-year-old QB to miss a few games, as well. Here’s his injury history over the years:
Dec 26, 2010: Knee Strain, Grade 1
Dec 20, 2009: Pedal Ankle, Sprain/Pull, Grade 1
Aug 10, 2007: Chest Rib Fracture
Dec 14, 2014: Leg Tibia Fracture
Nov 1, 2015: Hand Finger Dislocation
Nov 6, 2016: Knee MCL Sprain, Grade 2
Nov 20, 2019: Shoulder Soreness
On top of all that, the contract Ryan Fitzpatrick signed, isn’t fully guaranteed. This opens the door for Taylor Heinicke to get starts, provided Fitzpatrick isn’t consistent. Which he never has been. For a team that’s a QB away, I don’t think they’re going to give Fitz a long leash. Especially if they want to know what they have in Heinicke, before they bet the farm on a young QB prospect. Don’t ignore the signs! DO NOT DRAFT FITZ!
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