For a long time, black quarterbacks did not exist in the NFL. Then along came Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, and Donovan McNabb, among others. Still, even as black quarterbacks have become more prevalent in the NFL, a stigma still surrounds them, at least to some degree.
“I do think it’s kind of starting to change,” CBS Sports Network NFL Draft analyst Corey Chavous said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I still think there’s a stigma attached to some of the quarterbacks because if they don’t have the necessary size, then automatically you’re thinking about a position switch. That’s kind of the case for a guy like Greg Ward Jr., for example, out of Houston. So I think it only applies now if the size element is not there.”
It also applies, at least in some cases, if speed is there. Jameis Winston isn’t the most mobile quarterback. Never has been. And that may have helped him in 2015, when he was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
But if you’re a mobile quarterback, you better be able to throw – and throw well.
“I think they think they can fix them,” Chavous said of NFL teams’ approach to mobile quarterbacks. “It’s a situation where you’ve seen someone like Joshua Dobbs. He ran for 32 touchdowns, threw for 53, but you saw enough in terms of the passing to say, ‘Okay, well, the running can supplement what would be potentially us developing him into a more consistent drop-back passer.'”
Of course, there are two sides to every coin. If Christian McCaffrey were black, he’d probably be a consensus top-10 pick.
“A lot of times you look at it and see Danny Woodhead or you start making comparisons based on race,” Chavous said. “I think that’s something that happens at every position, particularly cornerback. Tiki, you played with Jason Sehorn. How many corners have there been since him that have been Caucasian? He was one of my favorite corners to watch.”