The last few days, I’ve been posting charts, looking at what happens when you go select players who were among the highest scoring at their position. What kind of dropoff can be expected? Now let’s flip it around. Let’s look instead at where these players come from. That is, when a player posts great numbers, what kind of season did he typically have the year before?

I’m doing quarterbacks this time around. I’ll dip into some of the other positions in the coming days.

With quarterbacks, I just grabbed the top 3 finishers for each of the last 20 years. I picked that level, because that’s what we’re looking for now with quarterbacks. That is, if you select a Newton, Luck or Rodgers in the first two rounds, it’s with the expectation/hope he’s going to be better than all or most of those quarterbacks that get selected in the middle rounds. He had better be a top-3 guy – not just a top-10 type quarterback.

So I have a group of 60 quarterbacks. Of that group, 25 were guys who were also top-3 quarterbacks the previous year. Another 3 were the 4th-best quarterback the previous year. I don’t have the other positions in front of me, but this seems really high. It’s my belief that with quarterbacks, the retention rate is really high – that is, a lot of the guys putting up good numbers are the guys that everybody knew about.

There are, however, also guys coming from the fringes. Like Cam Newton last year, moving up from 17th to No. 1. Of this group of 60, 24 were quarterbacks who didn’t rank in the top 10 the previous year.

I’m presenting the quarterbacks in three batches of 20. In each case, you’re seeing the best quarterbacks from each year, but you’re seeing not their big-year numbers but how they did in the previous season. (With 2015 Cam Newton, for example, you see not his big 2015 stats, but his 18 TD passes from 2014.)

On each of these lists, if a guy was a top-3 quarterback the previous year (a repeat performer) he’s in bold. If he didn’t rank in the top 10, he’s got the dreaded black dot.

1996Brett Favre, G.B.4,4133818131
1997Brett Favre, G.B.3,8993913621
1998Steve Young, S.F.3,02919199310
1999• Kurt Warner, St.L.3900058
2000• Daunte Culpepper, Minn.00.06077
2001• Kurt Warner, St.L.3,4292117012
2002• Daunte Culpepper, Minn.2,61214416515
2003Daunte Culpepper, Minn.3,85318609101
2004Daunte Culpepper, Minn.3,4792542241
2005• Carson Palmer, Cin.2,8971847119
2006Peyton Manning, Ind.3,747284503
2007Tom Brady, N.E.3,5292410206
2008Drew Brees, N.O.4,423285214
2009Aaron Rodgers, G.B.4,0382820742
2010Peyton Manning, Ind.4,50033-1304
2011Drew Brees, N.O.4,62033-302
2012Drew Brees, N.O.5,476468611
2013Peyton Manning, Den.4,65937607
2014Andrew Luck, Ind.3,8222337747
2015• Cam Newton, Car.3,12718539517

These guys were the 2nd-best quarterbacks each year. (And with all of these charts, I’m using standard scoring.)

1996• Vinny Testaverde, Balt.2,8831762220
1997• Kordell Stewart, Pitt.1000171540
1998Brett Favre, G.B.3,8673518711
1999• Steve Beuerlein, Car.2,6131726015
2000• Jeff Garcia, S.F.2,54411221218
2001Jeff Garcia, S.F.4,2783141442
2002Rich Gannon, Oak.3,8282723126
2003Peyton Manning, Ind.4,2002714823
2004Peyton Manning, Ind.4,267292602
2005Tom Brady, N.E.3,6922828010
2006Drew Brees, N.O.3,576244917
2007• Tony Romo, Dall.2,90319102016
2008• Aaron Rodgers, G.B.218129050
2009Drew Brees, N.O.5,06934-101
2010Aaron Rodgers, G.B.4,4343031651
2011Aaron Rodgers, G.B.3,9222835641
2012Aaron Rodgers, G.B.4,6434525732
2013Drew Brees, N.O.5,17743512
2014• Aaron Rodgers, G.B.2,53617120026
2015• Blake Bortles, Jac.2,90811419021

And here are the No. 3 quarterbacks. Note that they have the most of the out-of-leftfield risers (10 of the 24).

1996• Mark Brunell, Jac.2,16815480415
1997• Jeff George, Oak.698310044
1998• Randall Cunningham, Minn.5016127037
1999Peyton Manning, Ind.3,739266204
2000Peyton Manning, Ind.4,135267323
2001Peyton Manning, Ind.4,4133311613
2002Peyton Manning, Ind.4,1312615743
2003• Matt Hasselbeck, Sea.3,07515202119
2004• Donovan McNabb, Phil.3,21616355313
2005Peyton Manning, Ind.4,557493802
2006• Jon Kitna, Det.99014054
2007Peyton Manning, Ind.4,397313641
2008• Jay Cutler, Den.3,49720205112
2009• Matt Schaub, Hou.3,0431568221
2010Drew Brees, N.O.4,388343322
2011Tom Brady, N.E.3,900363015
2012Tom Brady, N.E.5,2353910933
2013• Andy Dalton, Cin.3,66927120412
2014Peyton Manning, Den.5,47755-3111
2015• Tom Brady, N.E.4,1093357011