Verdicts on the QBs under scrutiny

Can Freeman, Locker, Ponder and others be franchise quarterbacks?

Updated: September 24, 2013, 12:14 PM ET
By Herm Edwards | ESPN Insider

 Josh Freeman and Greg SchianoJeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesIt has been a disappointing campaign thus far for Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman in Tampa.

Quarterback is the most unique -- and most challenging -- position in all of sports. You must be sound mentally, prepared each and every week and ready to accept the criticism that comes with losses and handle the praise that comes with wins.

Trends will come and go, like the Wildcat and read-option, but there are three things that you must do as a QB to be successful in the NFL: process information, make good decisions with the ball and be accurate. You don't have to have a prototypical QB frame or the biggest arm, but you must do those three things.

When you can't do all three things well, that's when the scrutiny and pressure start to come. And if you can do a couple well, your weaknesses can be hidden by a dominant defense or great game planning. For QBs drafted in the first round, the pressure to succeed is even greater because the hope is that you're the guy for the long term.

Let's take a look at how several former first-rounders are doing through three weeks of the 2013 NFL season and if they've shown they can be that long-term answer:


Freeman

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's hard to believe, but this is already Freeman's fifth season in the league. He had a breakout season in his second campaign (2010), leading the Bucs to a 10-6 record, but he hasn't been very good since then. And the bottom line is that his overall record as a starter is 24-35.


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