Every once in a while, I like to go through the numbers on certain things to make sure I’m not missing something. You have to be sure you know what you know, you know? So I made some tables for the the QBs in this draft class, just to make sure I’m not misleading myself. There are some guys I like a lot more now, and some I like less. So I’m going to share this data with you, but with a twist. For maximum effect, I’m not going to give you the names at first. That way you’ll have to judge them on their merits, not any of your preconceived notions. Of course, you’ll probably be able to identify at least a few of them. But you still won’t have that name there to prime your response.
I sorted the table by adjusted yards per attempt (A/YA), and also included age, completion rate, and touchdown-to-interception ratio. My main focus is on A/YA, I personally prefer it to be at least 8.8, but you’d like it to be at least 8. I also decided to be really harsh on age, and essentially penalize anyone 22 or older. Age matters a lot. I used Dec. 1st, 2013 as the determining date for age. Like I said, I was harsh. So I also created a second table for those players using their best year that was 21 or younger. All stats courtesy of sports-reference.com.
- QB B has the second highest A/YA at an unreal 10.3, is one of the youngest QBs, had the highest completion rate, and the second highest TD:INT ratio behind only QB C’s fluky one-pick season. This dude’s a beast. I think it’s fair to say if this is one of the guys who might go in the 1st round he’s an incredible prospect.
- QB D is the youngest of the group, by far. That’s especially nice for QBs, since he could play with one team for 20 straight years. His numbers are very good too. I like him.
- QB G’s numbers aren’t a whole lot worse than D’s, and he’s just a little older. Kind of strange that there are only three QBs who meet my age threshold, but I am being harsh.
- I couldn’t find A/YA for QB M, hopefully NFL teams had more luck. Actually, I just hope they even care to know.
Best Season Before They Got Old:
- Well, QB A doesn’t look so great any more. I don’t know that I’d completely write him off, but that’s an oddly large improvement from 21 to 22, hard not to assign a significant portion of that to being older than everyone else on the field.
- QB C’s TD:INT ratio was only one tenth of what it was in his final year, but it’s still respectable enough. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. His A/YA and completion rate are both pretty good too. I like this guy.
- We actually go back two years for QB E. It doesn’t look good. He doesn’t seem particularly accurate, which is kind of important.
- We go back two years for F as well. His numbers aren’t terrible, but the lack of improvement suggests he may have peaked in college. That’s not good.
- I have no idea what to make of H. His year 23 season isn’t much better than his year 20 season, but his year 20 season was pretty damn good. I can’t even knock his accuracy because his A/YA is so good. This is one of those cases where the numbers tell me to watch the film (Not that I wouldn’t watch the film anyway).
- QB I’s youngest year was at 22. Call him a late bloomer. Or maybe an early bloomer, because his numbers were better across the board when he was younger. I would have to love his tape to consider taking him in the first two rounds if I were a team’s general manager.
- QB J actually looks pretty good in both seasons, and his younger year pushes his A/YA over my 8.8 threshold. I actually like this guy a lot now that I’ve seen his numbers this way.
- QBs K and L both kind of suck, both years. No thank you.
- QB M got a helluva lot better when he was older. Kind of a red flag for me, especially since I’m already operating in the dark.
Were you able to identify many of them? Were there any that piqued your interest when you just saw the numbers out of context? Think about these things before you look at this next chart with their actual names:
The Quarterbacks, Revealed:
|A) Zach Mettenberger||10.7||22||64.9||2.8|
|B) Teddy Bridgewater||10.3||21||71||7.8|
|C) Connor Shaw||10.1||22||63.4||24|
|D) Johnny Manziel||10||20||69.9||2.8|
|E) Tajh Boyd||9.8||23||68.5||3.1|
|F) AJ McCarron||9.8||23||67.3||4|
|G) Blake Bortles||9.6||21||67.8||2.8|
|H) Aaron Murray||9.2||23||64.8||2.9|
|I) David Fales||8.8||23||64.1||2.5|
|J) Derek Carr||8.7||22||68.7||6.3|
|K) Tom Savage||7.6||23||61.2||2.3|
|L) Logan Thomas||6.6||22||56.6||1.2|
|M) Jimmy Garoppolo||0||22||66||5.9|
- Mettenberger was 22 for the entirety of his last season, and wasn’t very good before that. I’d say he’s worth taking a flyer on for some team, but nobody should be counting on him.
- So uhhh… now you see why I drafted Teddy Bridgewater. He did all that in a pro-style offense by the way. And some scouts think he should be the number one overall pick. He actually seems like one of the safest QB prospects of all time. I think teams will regret passing on him if they get the chance.
- Connor Shaw might actually be a really good prospect. Definitely one of the better round 2/3 choices out there. Don’t be surprised if he has a good career.
- Johnny has some of the best numbers in the class, is by far the youngest, and is also in contention for the number one overall pick. Scouts worry that his game won’t transition to the NFL, but it’s not like he has Tebow-esque throwing deficiencies. A great pick in rookie drafts, NFL or fantasy.
- Tajh Boyd is not worth any one’s attention, especially considering that people think he does have Tebow-esque throwing deficiencies.
- McCarron didn’t really improve much throughout his career at Alabama. That jives with the general consensus that he’s a good, but limited QB. Career backup who can fill in admirably seems like the forecast for him.
- Bortles is one of the three youngest QBs. Those three are likely to be the first three QBs off the board. Good QBs who expect to go early in the draft tend not to stay in college longer than they have to. I like him, but I think he’s a clearly inferior prospect to Teddy and Johnny. He’ll face more realistic expectations as the third QB off the board than he will if Houston takes him.
- Aaron Murray’s pretty similar to Connor Shaw. If a team needed a starter and a back-up, they might be well off drafting both and having them compete.
- I feel bad knocking Fales for his age when he didn’t get a chance to play until he was already old. San Jose State switched from the WAC to the MWC in 2013, so that’s likely why he was better in 2012. Definitely the late-round flyer who could surprise some day kind of prospect.
- I had been writing off Derek Carr- that may have been a mistake. I actually like him now and want to watch some of his film as soon as possible. He actually could be undervalued.
- Tom Savage and Logan Thomas (The best thrower in the draft!) both underwhelm me. Maybe being good at throwing the football isn’t relevant to QB production?
- So Jimmy Garoppolo is old, went to a very small school, and was only dominant for one year? And maybe not even as dominant as he should have been given his competition? He’s a hard pass for me. I don’t think he’s the next Tony Romo.
Do any of these numbers surprise you? Did you surprise yourself? I know I had to reevaluate a few things. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.