I really don't see how it would be smart to draft for a franchise quarterback in any round outside of 1. Just look at all the recent playoff QBs; it is extremely rare to talk of the Bradys, the Romos, the Hasselbecks, the Brees, and the Warners who come from later rounds. Brees didn't even become amazing until he went to New Orleans, Warner was around 28 when he took he Rams to the playoffs, and Hasselbeck was in his 5th or 6th year before he lead the Seahawks into the post-season. Most playoff QBs come from the 1st round, period.
Taken from this article about the playoffs: http://min.scout.com/2/1035764.html
"In the NFC, four teams have locked down playoffs spots. Their quarterbacks? Matt Ryan, Michael Vick and Jay Cutler
– all former first-round picks
– and Drew Brees, who was the first draft pick in the second round
when he was selected by the Chargers. The Rams are ahead in the NFC West, where their quarterback is April’s first overall pick Sam Bradford. Three teams are still in contention for the final wild card spot – Green Bay, New York and Tampa Bay. All of them have quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round – Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and Josh Freeman.
Things aren’t much different in the AFC. While you have Tom Brady, a former sixth-round pick acknowledged as one of the all-time greats (and arguably the biggest draft-day steal), of the other four teams that are guaranteed to make the postseason, three of them have quarterbacks drafted in the first round – Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez.
Only Brady and former teammate Matt Cassel weren’t first-round picks. The lone remaining playoff spot open is likely to be taken by the Colts and former first overall draft pick Peyton Manning
Only four out of twelve were non-1st rounders.
The final three games (including the superbowl) were between 1st round QBs. Although, admittedly, some of the greatest QBs of all time (brady and montana) were taken late, they are exceptions rather than the norm, and there are yet others who would argue for Elway, Marino, and Manning over those two.
If you look at this page, you'll see that the QBs with the most playoff games played have solid representation within the 1st round, especially if you take away some of the QBs from the 70s and only focus on recent years. Only 6 out of the top 15 (listed by most playoff games) are from outside of the 1st round.
I agree with what has been suggested by people like Swagger. If you see a QB you want, you take him in the 1st and reach for him then and there. If Locker, Ponder, or whoever is your guy, you go and get him and have your franchise QB--there is no reason to compromise. Otherwise, the odds are that your QB picked outside of round 1 will be serviceable at best.
As I posted in another thread, I believe Harbaugh goes either early or way late for a QB. He is probably confident he could coach up anyone he believes he has talent (even Alex Smith :P), so I doubt that he wouldnt feel the same way about someone drafted even on the third day.
[ Edited by Eskendale on Apr 27, 2011 at 16:14:59 ]