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Calling All Carrs

1999 – Tim Couch: I won’t waste my time making a joke about how all he’s doing now is sitting on a couch. Maybe

could use him? (Totally joking, don’t send me hate mail).

2001 – Michael Vick: He probably won’t put up huge numbers this year whether some team sticks him under center or tries to convert him to wide receiver, but he surely is the most interesting guy to keep an eye on. Almost every single team in the league has come out and said that Vick will not be signing a contract with them, but by my count, the Packers, Chargers and Ravens still haven’t completely ruled him out. I highly doubt the Chargers will take a chance on him. Vick would definitely benefit from playing in a stable football environment in
Green Bay, though, and

would also provide a good place to call home with outspoken leader Ray Lewis still on the team to help Vick stay focused. No one knows what kind of football shape Vick is in and as far as anyone can tell, he might end up in the UFL. However, if Vick lands on a team and commissioner Roger Goodell fully reinstates him before the season starts, he might be worth a pick as the Mr. Irrelevant of your draft comes around.

2002 – David Carr, NYG: Can you believe that Carr is already 30 years old? Drafted by

to be the Texans’ first quarterback in franchise history, Carr has done nothing to live up to his draft status. He has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his career and his rating stands at a paltry 74.9. Needless to say, even if he is listed as the No. 2 guy on the Giants depth chart when September rolls around, he is not guaranteed to assume the starting job if Eli Manning were to be injured for an extended period of time.

New York
has Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar on the roster, and while these guys have less experience, they would provide more of a long-term solution at quarterback for the Giants in case of emergency. Don’t expect his late-career surge to come anytime soon.

2003 – Carson Palmer, CIN – Palmer is one of the more risky players to take in a draft this year. Following his rookie season in which he sat and learned behind Jon Kitna, Palmer was nothing but a stud when he was on the field. He threw for no less than 3,800 yards from 2004-2007 and had over 25 touchdowns in each of those years as well. Then last year as owners drafted him in hopes of yet another 4,000-yard season, he suffered an injured elbow and played in just four games. Palmer elected not to have Tommy John surgery performed and simply rested his elbow instead. With

losing receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the offseason to Seattle and a shaky Cedric Benson in the Bengals’ backfield, Palmer will be playing with arguably the worst supporting cast that he has had in his NFL career. Knowing this, combined with his potential injury risk, Palmer should not be gambled on unless he is still available in the middle-to-late rounds of your draft. By no means would I set my eyes on him being a fantasy team’s best quarterback.

2004 – Eli Manning, NYG – Manning was recently made the richest man in football when he signed a contract extension that will pay him an extra $97 million over the next six years. Manning does have a Super Bowl ring in his trophy case, and I am not going to take that away from him. However, when Plaxico Burress was removed from the lineup in 2008, the world was harshly reminded what kind of quarterback Manning truly is. From the beginning of the season through Week 12 when Burress was on the roster, Manning threw 18 touchdowns to seven interceptions and had a QB rating of 91.6. From Weeks 13-17 and in the divisional round of the playoffs, when Manning was without Burress, he threw only three touchdowns compared to five interceptions and his QB rating was a whopping 68.6. Heading into 2009, the Giants’ leading candidates for the top spots at wide receiver on their depth chart are Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and rookies Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. Between these five players, there is a combined 104 catches for 1,196 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers fall short of the production of one elite receiver in one season. Manning will surely struggle in 2009 with his less-than-stellar group of receivers, and if you take him to be your main guy, you are probably going to regret it.

Despite not being first overall picks, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco proved last year that rookie quarterbacks can actually succeed right out of the gate. Will that prove true in 2009 with Matthew Stafford?

In the next edition of this comprehensive look at first overall quarterbacks, I will examine 49ers QB Alex Smith to see if he can win the training camp battle in San Francisco, analyze Oakland signal caller JaMarcus Russell and determine whether or not he should even be the Raiders’ starter, and of course come to a decision on whether Matthew Stafford can break the trend that recent first overall quarterbacks have created

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