What makes a quarterback good? And can we truly predict which quarterback prospects will be good once they make the leap from college to the NFL? It seems there is more disagreement on top quarterback prospects than any other position group each year. And yet every year, one (or more) of the top quarterback prospects ends up being a bust. Why is that? And how do we avoid the ones that will eventually bust?
Over the years, several smart people have created various efficiency metrics to help predict future QB success. In this article, I’m going to improve upon one and join it with one other to show how simple adjustments in our analysis can help us make smarter predictions with quarterbacks.
Adjusted Yards Per Attempt (AY/A)
One of the most informative quarterback metrics available is adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A). That metric combines a weighted combination of yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. In fact, AY/A has proven in recent years to not just be a solid efficiency metric, but a solid indicator of future draft capital. Just check out all the Division I quarterbacks drafted from 2017 to 2021 according to their AY/A percentile.