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Who ya got: Ryan Nassib, Jake Locker, or Christian Ponder?
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Image via hcraighall/Flickr

After reading my other Ryan Nassib article, a reader asked “how does he compare with Jake Locker and Christian Ponder?” Good question. In my opinion those two guys were ‘reaches’ to be drafted in the first round, but let’s investigate and see if Nassib will earn the 2013 distinction of being a ‘reach-to-be-drafted-in-round-one-quarterback,’ or is perhaps something better.First up, let’s compare their size, physical attributes, and mental attributes. As you will see, they are almost identical in size, but Nassib is clearly the inferior athlete.

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Whenever we look at quarterback performance, we want to isolate on their games against ‘tougher’ opponents. Who cares about the numbers against the Stony Brooks of the world? So, from here on out we’ll be isolating on games played against teams that finished the season bowl eligible (.500 record or better). As you will see, they all played about the same level of competition. Nassib and Ponder demonstrate a similar knack for throwing touchdowns while Locker lags significantly behind.

DISCLAIMER: after last article, I realized that the numbers would be easier to interpret when compared with a certified, stud quarterback prospect. In this example we will use Andrew Luck as the measuring stick.

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Now let’s examine how many passes they were throwing in those key games and the rate at which they were completing them. Nassib leads the way in pass attempts, which isn’t a good or bad thing; it’s just a thing. With completion percentage, Nassib and Ponder stay even at a respectable 60% clip, while Locker again lags notably behind.

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On a per-pass basis, it’s interesting to see Nassib with the more aggressive passer profile, averaging over 7 yards per attempt. Of the trio in question, Ponder appears to be most prone to throwing touchdowns, but unfortunately was also most prone to interceptions (hey, as long as it’s not hitting the ground, right?). Meanwhile, Jake Locker isn’t doing much of anything either way.

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So what have we learned from all of this? Well, Andrew Luck is a phenomenal quarterback, but we already knew that. What else can we learn? It looks like Nassib and Ponder are nearly identical quarterbacks across the board, while Locker is clearly outclassed.

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*Last year of college rating only – does not include NFL record

Most people would probably argue that Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were ‘reaches’ to be drafted in round one and the jury remains out on their NFL futures. Compared to Andrew Luck, a legitimate round one prospect, none of the others are in the same league. When it comes to Nassib, feel free to ‘reach’ for him in round one, but at the end of the day his future doesn’t look any brighter than Ponder’s or Locker’s.

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