Franchise quarterback. Sports fans will hear those words often in the next few days.

National Football League (NFL) teams are picking the best college players starting Thursday in the NFL player draft. As many as five quarterbacks are expected to be chosen in the first round.

Teams are hoping they will pick a franchise quarterback. That’s a quarterback such as Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes who can lead his team to winning seasons and maybe a Super Bowl championship or two.

What are the chances of picking a star quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft? To find out what may happen it’s always helpful to look at what has happened in past drafts.

I researched the first-round picks of 25 years of NFL drafts — from 1994 to 2018. I didn’t look at the last two drafts because it’s too early to see if the seven quarterbacks chosen in the first rounds will be stars or flops.

I gave grades to the 63 quarterbacks chosen in the 25 drafts. I gave an “A” to star quarterbacks, such as Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger, who have had terrific careers and have gone to multiple Pro Bowls.

I gave a “B” to quarterbacks who have been starters for most of their careers but not big stars. Players such as Alex Smith or Ryan Tannehill.

A “C” was for quarterbacks who were only occasional starters during their career, and “D” was for the real flops. If you have never heard of Paxton Lynch, EJ Manuel or Jake Locker, they were first-round picks but didn’t do much in the NFL.

Here are the final totals from my research of the 63 first-round quarterbacks:

Grade First-round QBs
A 10
B 18
C 12
D 23

It was more than twice as likely for a quarterback picked in the first-round to be a flop than a star. Twice as likely to be a JaMarcus Russell or a Tim Couch as to be one of the Manning brothers (Peyton and Eli). And more than half of the first-round picks (56 percent) ended up as backups or busts.

I’ve said this before … all these “mistakes” in the NFL draft are a good lesson for kids who play sports and the adults who run youth leagues. If coaches and general managers who devote their careers to judging football talent are wrong at picking quarterbacks more than half of the time in the first round (!) of the NFL draft, what chance do youth coaches have at picking the “best” players among a bunch of 8-, 10- or 12-year olds?

Maybe when kids sports return after the pandemic we should have fewer travel and “all-star” teams and more teams where everybody gets to play.