Saw a discussion recently about a couple of quarterbacks expected to go in either the first or second round of this week's draft, Washington's Michael Penix (pictured) and Oregon's Bo Nix. The gist was that the hit rate on early 2nds was really good. I took a look.

Indeed, quarterbacks selected just outside the first round -- say, the first 10 picks of the second -- have turned out a high percentage of good or great players in the last 30 years. Quarterbacks selected elsewhere in the second round? Not so much.

First table shows passers drafted in the first 10 picks of the second round since 1990, along with numbers from their top fantasy seasons. Although some mocks believe that Penix and to a lesser extent Nix will be selected in the first round (along with the consensus top 4, Williams-Daniels-Maye-McCarthy), I've seen just as much indication they'll go in the early second. If they do, well, no one should consider that a huge blow to their odds of NFL success.

Of the 10 guys selected in that area of the draft since 1990, I see two Hall of Famers (Brees will join Favre), four guys with top-5 fantasy finishes, and two others with at least top-15 finishes, one of whom went to a Super Bowl. Jury still out on Will Levis. A few flops, too (Nagle, Kolb and Beck), but pretty solid overall.

322012Drew Brees, N.O.517743511
331997Brett Favre, G.B.38673518711
352013Andy Dalton, Cin.42933318323
392022Geno Smith, Sea.42823036615
362021Derek Carr, L.V.480423108012
362013Colin Kaepernick, S.F.319721524414
341992Browning Nagle, NYJ2280757020
362011Kevin Kolb, Ari.1955965030
332023Will Levis, Ten.1808857132
402011John Beck, Was.858243239

Compare that to quarterbacks drafted outside the top 10 picks of the second round in the last 30 years. There have been 24 such players, so more than twice as many. Just three of those guys ever posted a top-5 fantasy season, two of them who got there mostly because of their rushing production. Two-thirds of them (16) never had a top-20 season, and I'm comfortable saying that neither Drew Lock nor Kyle Trask ever will.

532023Jalen Hurts, Phil.385823605152
601997Kordell Stewart, Pitt.302021476112
422004Jake Plummer, Den.40892720215
502000Shaun King, T.B.276918353512
421997Tony Banks, St.L.325414186114
532003Quincy Carter, Dall.330217257214
622019Jimmy Garoppolo, S.F.39782762114
642007Tarvaris Jackson, Min.19119260320
602000Charlie Batch, Det.248913199221
522017DeShone Kizer, Cle.289411419522
572010Chad Henne, Mia.33011552022
422020Drew Lock, Den.293316160323
451997Todd Collins, Buff.23671277023
572016Brock Osweiler, Hou.295715131228
492007Kellen Clemens, NYJ15295111132
432014Drew Stanton, Ari.1711763035
482010Jimmy Clausen, Car.1558357036
592003Marques Tuiasosopo, Oak.324022055
442009Pat White, Mia.0081060
562009Brian Brohm, Buff.1460-3062
401994Matt Blundin, K.C.1300067
461992Tony Sacca, Phoe.2900071
642022Kyle Trask, T.B.2300077
512016Christian Hackenberg, NYJ0000999

Perhaps both Penix and Nix will be drafted in the first round and this exercise will be moot, but I think the early second is more likely. Of the two, Penix looks like the more talented passer. He throws up deep balls with ease and lifted Washington to the NCAA Championship game last year, putting up circus numbers all season (his last two seasons, in fact). You hear a lot about his history of injuries (ACL and shoulder injuries ruined his four, yes, four season at Indiana), but he's been healthy the last two years and he's not a runner; put him behind a good line with some good targets, as he enjoyed at Washington, and I think he can be successful.

Nix put up even more impressive numbers last year (77 percent completions, 45 TDs with just 3 interceptions). Like Penix, he took advantage of the extra year of eligibility (due to COVID adjustments), ultimately starting an NCAA record 61 games. He also spent his initial college tenure elsewhere (3 years at Auburn) before lighting it up in the Pac-12 the last two years. I don't see as much arm strength or aggressiveness throwing the ball downfield; different offense, so I don't think he should be knocked too much for that. Lost both matchups with Washington last year, but put up big numbers in both games.

As I've mentioned before, both guys are popularly mocked to either the Raiders or the Broncos, under the feeling that both teams need a quarterback but neither will be able to move up for the perceived top guys. Reasonable, but things are seldom so predictable and there may well be another team that comes in to trade up to the bottom of the first (to get that fifth-year option) or the top of the second, like with Levis, to secure one of them.

In any case, I don't think anyone should view falling out of the first round as a major negative. Both have enough experience to think they could start quickly for whoever selects them, and there's enough of a track record for where they'll doubtless be drafted by to like their odds of success. I'm a little more fond of Penix, but let's see where they end up.

--Andy Richardson