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Zac Dysert – Is He Good Jay Cutler, or Bad Jay Cutler?


The most accomplished quarterback in Zac Dysert’s comps list is a quarterback that has probably looked equal parts competent and awful during his NFL career, and that is Jay Cutler.  While I think it’s reasonable to point out that the Bears have been pretty bad any time Cutler’s gotten hurt, he’s still Jay Cutler and you’re going to see a 4 INT game once every 12 months or so.

One reason that I wanted to take a run through Dysert’s comps is that he looked very good on the metric that I posted a few days ago (INT rate on 2nd/3rd and more than 8 to go vs top 35% defenses) and in fact he had one of the better numbers in the entire class.  And unlike a lot of stuff that’s on the internet at this time of year, that metric can be shown to have predictive value.  It might have huge error rates, but at least is has a demonstrable relationship with NFL yards/attempt.

But I also remember that Dysert was clocked at 59MPH by Ourlads and that number is one of the better readings in recent years.  It’s not a guarantor of NFL success, but I do think that a lot of teams waste their time on QBs that can’t make the needed NFL throws.  So call arm strength a necessary but not sufficient condition.

Having said all of that, Dysert’s comps aren’t anything to write home about and Jay Cutler is easily the most accomplished player on the list.  Ryan Tannehill looks promising, but one “promising” year does not make a career.

Zac Dysert 75.00 231.00 Miami (OH) 2012 0.63 290.25 2.08 1.00 7.26 22.08 45.00 12,013.00
Ryan Nassib 74.00 227.00 Syracuse 2012 0.62 288.38 2.00 0.77 7.96 10.92 46.00 9,190.00
Austin Davis 73.00 219.00 Southern Mississippi 2011 0.60 249.71 2.14 0.79 7.36 25.14 45.00 10,892.00
Jay Cutler 75.00 226.00 Vanderbilt 2005 0.59 279.36 1.91 0.82 6.65 19.55 45.00 8,697.00
Brett Basanez 73.00 220.00 Northwestern 2005 0.63 301.83 1.75 0.67 7.29 35.25 47.00 10,580.00
Tim Hiller 76.00 229.00 Western Michigan 2009 0.60 270.75 1.92 1.08 6.32 (8.42) 44.00 11,329.00
Jordan Palmer 78.00 231.00 Texas-El Paso 2006 0.66 299.58 2.17 1.17 8.38 (7.17) 46.00 11,084.00
Ryan Tannehill 76.00 221.00 Texas A& M 2011 0.62 288.00 2.23 1.15 7.05 23.54 49.00 5,450.00
Brady Quinn 75.00 232.00 Notre Dame 2006 0.62 263.54 2.85 0.54 7.34 5.46 48.00 11,762.00
Dan Orlovsky 77.00 225.00 Connecticut 2004 0.63 279.50 1.92 1.25 7.34 (3.42) 36.00 9,327.00
Brian Brohm 75.00 230.00 Louisville 2007 0.65 335.33 2.50 1.00 8.51 (3.83) 44.00 10,775.00
Charlie Frye 76.00 225.00 Akron 2004 0.64 238.45 1.64 0.73 7.58 (0.55) 46.00 11,049.00

The things that these QBs have in common is that most of them logged some rushing yards as college players, they completed a good but not great percent of their throws for good but not great yards per attempt.  They also all threw the ball quite a bit in college as well.

There’s actually another player that I think Dysert is close to, but who doesn’t show up on the list, and that is Jake Locker.  When I spent 30 seconds on Youtube watching Dysert’s clips, it drove me nuts how much he had to roll out and throw the football on the run.  That reminded me of a similar level of frustration watching Locker.  But the interesting thing is that Dysert is maybe a more accurate/more accomplished passer than Locker was as a prospect.  Here’s a table that shows Locker’s stats/measurables.  If you’re an NFL team and you can take a guy that threw for under 200 yards per game with a top 10 pick, you gotta do that right?

Jake Locker 75.00 231.00 Washington 2010 0.55 188.75 1.42 0.75 6.82 32.08 40.00 7,639.00

I guess the important thing that I would offer on Dysert though is that I’m not damning him to have no career based on comparing him to the guys in the list (or Locker).  Several of these guys were top 10 picks, so I actually think there’s an arbitrage strategy available for a team to take Dysert, get some of the upside that teams have seen in Locker, Brady Quinn et al (even if that upside hasn’t panned out) and spend only a middle round pick to do it.  To me, Dysert is just interesting enough based on arm strength, the low INT rate split I mention above, and also draft cost, that he could be a value pick in the draft.

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