Underdogs to Super Bowl Champions: Have Any Undrafted Quarterbacks Won A Super Bowl

John Rizzo

Undrafted Quarterback

The NFL is a league that thrives on talent, and every year, the NFL Draft serves as the primary gateway for players to realize their dreams of playing professional football. 

But what about those who don’t hear their names called on draft day? Have any undrafted quarterbacks won a Super Bowl? 

This blog post explores the inspiring journeys of undrafted quarterbacks who defied the odds and etched their names in Super Bowl history.

Undrafted quarterbacks, often overlooked and underestimated, have showcased remarkable resilience and skill, leading their teams to the coveted Super Bowl championship. 

From Doug Williams becoming the first undrafted quarterback to win it all to Kurt Warner’s fairy-tale ascent, their stories serve as testaments to the indomitable spirit of underdogs in the NFL. 

Join us as we delve into their triumphs, the challenges they overcame, and the impact they’ve had on the world of football. Stay focused till the end. 

What Is the Undrafted Quarterback?

An undrafted quarterback refers to a talented football player who, despite possessing the skills and potential to play in the National Football League (NFL), was not selected by any NFL team in the annual NFL Draft. 

The NFL Draft is a process in which teams choose players to join their rosters based on their college football careers and performance in pre-draft evaluations.

Here are some points to understand what an undrafted quarterback represents:

Draft Exclusion

Undrafted quarterbacks are those who do not receive an invitation from any NFL team during the draft process, which typically consists of seven rounds. 

They miss out on the initial opportunity to join a team as a drafted player.

Underestimated Talent

Many undrafted quarterbacks are overlooked due to various factors, including limited college experience, perceived weaknesses, or the depth of quarterback talent in a particular draft class.

Signing as Free Agents

After the NFL Draft concludes, undrafted quarterbacks have the option to sign with teams as undrafted free agents. This is often their first chance to make an NFL roster.

Long Odds

Undrafted quarterbacks face steep odds to make an NFL roster, let alone become starters. They often have to prove themselves through training camps, preseason games, and practice squads.

Success Stories

Despite the challenges, some undrafted quarterbacks have gone on to have successful NFL careers and even win Super Bowls. 

Some notable NFL quarterbacks, like Tony Romo and Kurt Warner, began their careers as undrafted players and went on to have successful careers, demonstrating that talent can overcome the initial setback of going undrafted.

An undrafted quarterback represents an athlete who takes an unconventional path to the NFL and must overcome significant obstacles to achieve success in the league.

The Draft and Quarterback Success

The Draft and Quarterback Success

The NFL Draft plays a crucial role in shaping the success of quarterbacks in the league. 

Quarterbacks are often the most highly scrutinized and sought-after prospects in the draft due to their pivotal role in a team’s performance. 

Several key factors influence how the draft impacts quarterback success:

Draft Position

Quarterbacks selected in the early rounds of the draft, especially in the first round, are often expected to become franchise players. 

Teams invest significant resources and have high expectations for these top picks, which can put immense pressure on the selected quarterbacks.

Team Fit

A quarterback’s success is closely tied to the team they join. Factors such as coaching staff, offensive system, and supporting cast of players greatly influence a quarterback’s development and performance.

Development Time

Some quarterbacks may need time to adjust to the NFL’s speed and complexity. Teams that are patient and invest in developing their quarterbacks over time tend to see better results in the long run.


The level of competition within a team’s quarterback room can affect a player’s development. Being in a healthy, competitive environment can push quarterbacks to improve their skills.


Quality coaching is instrumental in a quarterback’s success. Coaches who can effectively develop a quarterback’s skills, adapt to their strengths, and design schemes around them often yield better results.

Work Ethic and Talent

Ultimately, the quarterback’s own work ethic, talent, and dedication play a significant role in their success. Hard work, adaptability, and a strong football IQ are essential traits for any successful quarterback.

While being selected early in the draft can provide advantages, success in the NFL is by no means guaranteed. 

Some of the league’s most accomplished quarterbacks, like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, were not high draft picks.

Have Any Undrafted Quarterbacks Won A Super Bowl

Undrafted Quarterbacks Won A Super Bowl

Yes, there have been undrafted quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl. In addition to Kurt Warner, who you mentioned, several other undrafted quarterbacks have achieved Super Bowl success:

Warren Moon

Moon, who went undrafted in 1978, had a successful NFL career that included nine Pro Bowl selections. 

Although he didn’t win a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback, he did win five Grey Cups in the Canadian Football League (CFL) before joining the NFL.

Jake Delhomme

Delhomme, undrafted in 1997, led the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII in the 2003 season but lost a close game to the New England Patriots.

Doug Williams

Williams, who was undrafted in 1978, became the first African American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl when he led the Washington Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXII.

Jeff Hostetler

Hostetler, undrafted in 1984, took over as the starting quarterback for the New York Giants during the 1990 season and led them to victory in Super Bowl XXV.

These examples demonstrate that undrafted quarterbacks can overcome the odds and achieve success at the highest level of professional football by winning Super Bowl championships.

Specific Undrafted Quarterbacks Who Won Super Bowls

Here are some specific undrafted quarterbacks who have won Super Bowls:

Kurt Warner

Kurt Warner

Warner went undrafted in 1994 but had a remarkable career that included leading the St. Louis Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV and earning Super Bowl MVP honors. He also took the Arizona Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII.

Jake Delhomme

Undrafted in 1997, Delhomme was the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, although the Panthers ultimately lost to the New England Patriots.

Doug Williams

Williams, who was undrafted in 1978, made history by becoming the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. 

He led the Washington Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXII and was named the game’s MVP.

Jeff Hostetler

Hostetler, undrafted in 1984, took over as the starting quarterback for the New York Giants during the 1990 season and led them to victory in Super Bowl XXV.

These quarterbacks’ journeys from undrafted rookies to Super Bowl champions serve as inspiring examples of determination and talent prevailing in the NFL.

Undrafted Quarterbacks’ Success in the NFL

Undrafted Quarterbacks’ Success in the NFL

Undrafted quarterbacks have a history of achieving success in the NFL, defying the odds and proving their worth in a league where top talent is often drafted. 

Their success stories highlight the importance of determination, talent, and opportunity in professional football:

Kurt Warner

As previously mentioned, Kurt Warner went undrafted in 1994 but went on to have a remarkable career, winning two NFL MVP awards and leading the St. Louis Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. 

He also took the Arizona Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII.

Tony Romo

Romo was undrafted in 2003 but became the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. He earned multiple Pro Bowl selections during his career and established himself as one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

Warren Moon

While Moon initially played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) after going undrafted in 1978, he later joined the NFL and had a Hall of Fame career. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and passed for over 49,000 yards in the NFL.

Jeff Garcia

Undrafted in 1994, Garcia became a Pro Bowl quarterback during his NFL career, earning honors with the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. He demonstrated remarkable consistency and adaptability.

Case Keenum

Keenum, undrafted in 2012, has had a journeyman career but found success with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, leading them to the NFC Championship Game. His underdog story resonated with fans.

Tyrod Taylor

Taylor, undrafted in 2011, has had a long NFL career, serving as a starting quarterback for several teams, including the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns. His dual-threat abilities have made him a valuable asset.

These undrafted quarterbacks have not only found success but have also had a lasting impact on the NFL, demonstrating that talent and hard work can lead to remarkable achievements, even without the initial recognition of a draft selection.


Have any undrafted quarterbacks ever won a Super Bowl?

Yes, several undrafted quarterbacks have won Super Bowls. Notable examples include Kurt Warner, Doug Williams, and Jeff Hostetler, who defied the odds to lead their teams to Super Bowl victories.

Who was the first undrafted quarterback to win a Super Bowl?

Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins became the first undrafted quarterback to win a Super Bowl. He led his team to victory in Super Bowl XXII and was named the game’s MVP.

How many Super Bowls did Kurt Warner win as an undrafted quarterback?

Kurt Warner, who went undrafted in 1994, won one Super Bowl as an undrafted quarterback. He was the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams when they won Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999.

Are there any recent examples of undrafted quarterbacks winning Super Bowls?

No, there haven’t been any recent undrafted quarterbacks who have won Super Bowls. However, the NFL landscape is constantly evolving, and new success stories may have emerged since then.

How do undrafted quarterbacks typically find success in the NFL?

Undrafted quarterbacks often succeed through hard work, determination, and making the most of opportunities. 

They must prove themselves in training camps and preseason games, and when given a chance, they showcase their skills and football IQ to secure starting roles and, potentially, Super Bowl victories.

Wrapping Up

In the world of American football, the story of undrafted quarterbacks achieving Super Bowl glory stands as a testament to the power of determination, hard work, and talent. 

As we’ve explored the journeys of players like Doug Williams, Kurt Warner, and others, it’s clear that the NFL is a league where dreams can come true, regardless of how one enters the league.

These quarterbacks, often underestimated and overlooked, have not only won Super Bowls but have also left an indelible mark on the sport’s history. They inspire countless young athletes to persevere in the face of adversity and believe in their abilities.

The stories of undrafted quarterbacks remind us that success in the NFL isn’t solely determined by draft position but by the heart, character, and resilience of the players themselves. 

These underdogs have proven that with the right opportunity and unwavering determination, anything is possible, even a Super Bowl championship. 

Their journeys serve as a lasting source of inspiration for football fans and aspiring athletes alike. Thank you for supporting us.  

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John Rizzo

I am a professional rugby player in the Washington DC-Baltimore area. I have been playing rugby for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to play in many different countries. I am also a coach for both youth and adult rugby teams. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. I am currently working on my MPA from American University and plan to pursue this career path after graduating next year. LinkedIn