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Drafting a QB Is Football's Toughest Call

AP Photo

In 1984 an engaging first-round quarterback prospect, Maryland's Boomer Esiason, was coming off a separated shoulder from a December bowl game. Cleared by doctors, he threw at the scouting combine in late January and then waited three months to be picked. Esiason visited no teams and had no Pro Day—in those days no schools did. One club, the Bengals, sent a coach to work him out. Cincinnati took Esiason midway through the second round.

In 2011 an engaging first-round quarterback prospect, TCU's Andy Dalton, is coming off a mostly healthy season and a terrific Rose Bowl. He threw at the combine and met with 21 NFL teams there; threw again at TCU's Pro Day, which was attended by 26 teams; worked out privately for 11...

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