By Evan Ream
In the Super Bowl era (1966-present) of the National Football League, the quarterback position has easily been the most important position. The best quarterbacks win the most games and usually win the Super Bowl. Quarterback is probably more important than any other position in any other game, and yet there have been so few elite quarterbacks. Elite quarterbacks are so rare that teams are willing to spend millions of dollars drafting a position that has a high washout rate just for the chance to get one.
In the Super Bowl era, there have been either 19 or 21 elite quarterbacks (depending on how you feel about Namath and Roethlisberger) who have combined to win 32 of the 45 Super Bowls. Super Bowls have thus been won 71% of the time by a team containing an elite quarterback. The position is only becoming more important as seven of the eight last Super Bowls have been won by a team lead by one of these players (Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLII is the exception). Getting an elite quarterback should be priority number one for every NFL team; only four of these 21 players (Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly) have failed to win a title for their team.