Lucky? I suppose that things like talent evaluation and player development at the QB position must seem like luck, or maybe “magic” from the perspective of a Bears fan. Kinda like a lighter would seem like magic to a medieval peasant.
And the Joe Montana/Steve Young was the first to pop into my head.
The Eagles just went from McNabb to Vick recently. Not quite the same level, but close. The Niners example is probably the best example. The Montana/Young combo is actually better than the Favre/Rodgers combo (as of this moment).
Not quite continuous, but from 1976 to 2009, the Houston Rockets had Moses Malone then Hakeem Olajuwon then Yao Ming at center for all but 3 seasons - and for one of those seasons, Ralph Sampson won rookie of the year at center.
In the Fifties, the Cleveland/LA Rams had a future Hall of Fame quarterback named Bob Waterfield. They brought in ANOTHER future Hall of Fame quarterback, Norm Van Brocklin. Waterfield and Van Brocklin platooned for a few years (winning an NFL title in the process), before Van Brocklin finally won the job full time.
In 1960, the Philadelphia Eagles won the NFL chapionship, with Norm Van Brocklin at quarterback. He was replaced by ANOTHER future Hall of Fame quarterback: Sonny Jurgensen.
Jurgensen finished his career with the Redskins, where the next two quarterbacks weren’t quite as good, but were both Pro Bowl caliber players: Billy Kilmer and Joe Theismann.
Cowboys fans think I’m crazy, but I thought Danny White was an excellent quarterback, who was never appreciated in Dallas because he had the misfortune to replace Roger Staubach.
Agreed that Young has the advantage at the moment, due to longevity. On the other hand, it took Young a number of years before he really became a star player.
However, there is one part of the Montana / Young example that goes against the OP’s criteria: Young wasn’t drafted by the 49ers. He was drafted by the Buccaneers with the first pick in the 1984 Supplemental Draft (he had already signed with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL at that point), and played with the Bucs in 1985 and 1986, before being traded to the 49ers in 1987.
(Then again, the Packers didn’t draft Favre, either…he was drafted by Atlanta, then traded to Green Bay after his rookie season.)
You could say it’s “luck,” as much as you could say any drafted player turning out to be an All-Pro is “luck.”
A big part of me just wants to give Green Bay credit for being a smart organization. They drafted a guy who had fallen down the draft board because he was good value, even though they wouldn’t have a need at QB for at least 2 or 3 seasons.
I forgot this one- Dan Fouts, a Hall of Famer, succeeded John Hadl (that’s not a typo- his name was spelled H-A-D-L) in San Diego. Hadl wasn’t quite a superstar, but he was a VERY fine quarterback in his own right.
“Hadl” is still a four-letter word in Green Bay. In the middle of the 1974 season, the Packers traded five draft choices (two #1s, two #2s, and a #3) to the Rams for Hadl, who was, at that time, 34 years old, but coming off of an All-Pro season in 1973, but had lost his starting job to James Harris in '74. In 1 1/2 seasons in Green Bay, Hadl threw 9 TDs and 29 INTs before the Packers suckered Houston into giving up Lynn Dickey for him.