Welcome to the “QB U” edition of the NFL University series. If you’ve been following along we’ve already covered the true “NFL University” in Miami (FL), but many teams are closing in quick. The Ohio State University has shown to be “WR U” dating back to the late 1990s. And most recently we covered Miami’s dominance (again) as the true “RB U.” But of course Alabama and Georgia might have something to say about that in the near future. Now it’s on to quarterbacks.
As one might venture to guess, there have been fewer quarterbacks to log an NFL statistic than any other (non-kicker) position since the year 2000. Just 302 different quarterbacks have posted anything at all in the NFL in that time span. That may sound like a lot, but not when you compare that to the 1,000 wide receivers or over 800 running backs who played since 2000.
However, even among those 300 quarterbacks, as one might also guess, most of all quarterback points are scored by a very small cohort of individuals. In fact, over 50% of the 167,000 fantasy points scored by the position since 2000 have been scored by just 29 quarterbacks. So it might not be fair to only measure “QB U” by points alone. We’ll look at draft capital and total quarterbacks to make it to the league here in a bit. But for now let’s just cover QB U by the points.
Just like the battle for RB U, the battle for the top spot at quarterback (by the points) is incredibly lopsided. The top school is the one of just two with three players tallying over 1000 fantasy points since 2000. The QB U by the points is the only school to compile at least 200 points in every single season in that same sample. They also have just one of four quarterbacks in NFL history to record over 5000 fantasy points.
Ladies and gents, the “QB U” in terms of fantasy points scored since 2000 is none other than (my alma mater) the Purdue University Boilermakers. Boiler Up!
Surprised? Don’t be. Drew Brees outscored all but three universities by himself with more than 5500 fantasy points since 2000. But he wasn’t alone in the 2000s representing the Boilermakers. Kyle Orton actually had a few decent seasons with the Broncos and one with the Bills. And many forget that Brian Griese was actually still completing passes in the league until 2008. Purdue also gifted the Indianapolis Colts with Curtis Painter (and by extension Andrew Luck), but he hardly counts as an NFL player.
As for the other top scoring schools, Michigan, USC, and even Boston College had more than one significant contributor with over 800 points:
Michigan: Tom Brady, Chad Henne
USC: Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez
Boston College: Matt Ryan, Matt Hasselbeck
Still, even with two or three decent quarterbacks none of those schools came within 1,000 points of Purdue.
“But none of those Boilermakers were drafted very early at all and it’s really mostly just Drew Brees!” – some of you
True. And Purdue only had four quarterbacks log a stat since 2000. Several schools had many more. So, what school sends the most quarterbacks to the NFL and does so with some draft capital to go along with that? Let’s take a look.
|School||Round One (Picks 1-16)||Round One (Picks 17-32)||Round Two||Picks 65-100||Total|
USC (the real one — sorry Gamecocks fans) is the clear winner here from a raw number of players and draft capital standpoint. They’re the only school with four early first round quarterbacks. They have two more quarterbacks drafted inside the top-100 to log an NFL statistic since 2000. Plus, they just added Sam Darnold to the NFL ranks a year ago. Unless he completely flames out quickly USC could easily pass Purdue in fantasy points to completely dominate the QB U competition.
UCLA, Oregon, and Notre Dame have all seen four quarterbacks drafted inside round two somewhat recently, but none of those schools are even top 20 in fantasy points scored.
Oklahoma and Florida State have also given us three early first round picks, but neither school is top ten in points. In fact, Oklahoma, everyone’s favorite for QB U of the future, is barely even top 40 in points scored since 2000. However, they might just be the QB U of the future if both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray (back to back 1st overall NFL Draft picks) pan out. And even beyond those two, Jalen Hurts and true freshman Spencer Rattler could also be drafted one day.
But what other schools look like they might have a bright future as potential QB U candidates?
Clemson’s already gifted us with Deshaun Watson and Charlies “Clipboard Jesus” Whitehurst. Now they have the top quarterback in the nation, Trevor Lawrence. He would have likely been a top 10 draft pick this year if he were eligible.
Alabama may finally give the NFL a good quarterback if Tua Tagovailoa turns out to be the passer we think he can be. His passing profile from 2018 was virtually identical to Kyler Murray’s:
|Statistical Measure||Kyler Murray||Tua Tagovailoa|
Oregon’s Justin Herbert could be their fourth early first round quarterback in recent memory next season. And Jake Fromm likely pads the draft capital stats for Georgia next year (even if he doesn’t pan out as a successful pro).
There are really several schools that have given us some top notch quarterback play. But in the end though, there can be only one QB U. Purdue holds the points crown, and could very well hold it for several more years. Oklahoma’s future is looking pretty bright with a lot of young studs. But USC has given us the trifecta: points, players, and draft capital. Other schools may challenge them here soon, but for now the University of Southern California is the true QB U!
Devy and dynasty owners also must read Jordan Hoover’s excellent series, When the Devy Breaks, as he looks at vacated opportunities in each conference. Check back often for more on all the top devy players, their schools’ history of NFL production, and their outlooks for the upcoming season.
As always, reach me on Twitter @FF_TravisM if you have questions or suggestions. And keep living that Dynasty Life!