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wordofi
09-06-2010, 12:54 PM
About 50% of first round quarterbacks wind up busting. Why hasn't the scouting process of quarterbacks improved since we have a huge sample of quarterbacks to analyze from previous drafts?

wicket
09-06-2010, 01:05 PM
About 50% of first round quarterbacks wind up busting. Why hasn't the scouting process of quarterbacks improved since we have a huge sample of quarterbacks to analyze from previous drafts?

a few answers all of which present a part of the true answer.

1 QBs panning out is not all decided pre draft, teams can screw up a player post draft pretty easily. If you want to know how to do please check how the 49ers handled Alex Smith thusfar

2 None of the QBs in a draft were exposed to large amounts of money before the draft so they cant see how they react to it

3 It is tough to distinguish (still) how much of a qb play is scheme and how much its qb

4 Being a good qb is so much about chemistry its almost impossible how a group will like a new qb, check cutler trade

Halsey
09-06-2010, 01:11 PM
There's always going to be a certain percentage of players at any position that are considered "busts". It's not possible to have a league in which every player performs up to expectations based on where he was d
rafted. There has to be winners and losers. The only way there are no losers is if every teams wins. That's not how sports works.

BuddyCHRIST
09-06-2010, 03:07 PM
There's always going to be a certain percentage of players at any position that are considered "busts". It's not possible to have a league in which every player performs up to expectations based on where he was d
rafted. There has to be winners and losers. The only way there are no losers is if every teams wins. That's not how sports works.

This is a good point, theres actually a larger number of great QBs in the league than there has been in a while.

But a major thing with QBs (and all positions) is its very tough to figure out whose gonna bust their butt and put in all the work required once they get paid. QBs have to live and breath football all year around (something Jamarcus Russell never got close to).

Theres also more variables with the position than any other, such as scheme, talent around them, etc.

Shiver
09-06-2010, 03:49 PM
I don't think it sucks. I think some teams intentionally ignore the red flags of a QB bust because of rose colored glasses.

Crickett
09-06-2010, 04:06 PM
I don't think it sucks. I think some teams intentionally ignore the red flags of a QB bust because of rose colored glasses.

Nononononono. If you have a shot at a franchise quarterback, ya gotsta take it no matter what. Even if you have

No one to throw to.

One of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

A veteran who wants to be the starting QB and theoretically may be good enough to do the job thus creating a controversy.

A committee of running backs who probably wouldn't even make half the teams in the NFL as backups and aren't even as good as some of the low cost free agent options out there.

A revolving door of coaching staff including someone who's last job was selling women's shoes.

it doesn't matter. You gotta take that franchise signal caller and throw him to the wolves as soon as you possibly can.
Disclaimer: The preceding was not a description of any one team, but rather a combination of bad situation rookie QB's have been thrown into. And Al Bundy.

Paranoidmoonduck
09-06-2010, 05:20 PM
I don't think it sucks. I think some teams intentionally ignore the red flags of a QB bust because of rose colored glasses.

It doesn't help that every single college staff, when asked if their quarterback is the kind of kid who can handle the NFL, will answer "yes". It's in their best interest because the more high draft picks they have the better their recruiting pitch, but it keep a lot of teams from getting accurate profiles of these kids.

Shiver
09-06-2010, 05:37 PM
Biggest red-flags:

Juniors/RS Sophomores - There is too much projection and not enough game-tape to form an accurate analysis. NFL scouts are good, very good. If you give them at least three years to work with they will figure out if you can play or not.

Examples: Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell, Akili Smith, the list goes on and on

Gimmicky offense - If you play in a spread, where the coaches do all the reading of the defense for you, the transition to the NFL will be rough. Usually these guys never figure it out. The ones that do figure it out generally were given some time with a clipboard to learn the NFL game from practice/preseason.

Examples: Alex Smith, Tim Couch

Maturity issues - This one is hard to quantify. Because you really never know. That said, look at Jamarcus Russell. Obviously the red-flags were there for all to see, but the Raiders chose to ignore those concerns and it killed them.

Examples: Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell

Talented Supporting Cast/Average Tools - Playing through adversity is a key test of whether a QB can make the jump. It isn't a requirement, but it helps to know that a guy can take a hit and still deliver a pass downfield. We've seen lots of highly touted Quarterbacks who didn't have the toughness to make throws down-field. They became gun-shy. These guys were buoyed by great supporting casts and weak competition. This kept them clean and safe in the pocket. That isn't the NFL, period.

Examples: Matt Leinart, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Brady Quinn

These are the things I look for as a warning flag: that is why I don't like Bradford, but liked Ryan. Why I didn't like Quinn, even compared to Russell. And why I had Leinart and Young behind Cutler in '06.

soybean
09-06-2010, 05:49 PM
I think a lot of it has to do with the team and coaching staff.

If given the right environment I think a lot of the better teams can turn an average qb into an allpro.

Like I don't think it's a guarantee that Peyton Manning could have brought the Browns or Raiders to multiple championships.

I could be wrong though, I mean Tavaris Jackson still sucks.

nepg
09-06-2010, 06:07 PM
I think the biggest aspect is the team and environment the player goes to. If I had an expansion team, the last thing I'd do is draft a QB #1. It's just dumb. As an expansion team, you just cannot provide an environment that you need for a young QB.

Most successful young QBs go into environments that are stable and where the coaching staff is pretty static, especially the QB coach and the assistants you never hear about.

If you don't have an OL you trust, 2 good receiving options, and a running game...don't draft a QB in the first round. It's a waste. Bring in a vet who can take a pounding and draft a QB you can slow cook without any pressure in the later rounds.

You can look at the recent busts and they all have a coaching staff or environment excuse that doesn't have much to do with them as players.
David Carr - crappy OL, no weapons, no run game, horrible offensive coaches

Joey Harrington - seemed like Detroit drafted him because there was no one else to draft in a crappy draft class. Poor OL, few targets, coaching situation in flux, and competition from another young QB. Never had the full backing from staff.

Brady Quinn - coaching staff constantly changing, QB controversy right off the bat (should have just given him the ball from day 1), bad organization Never had the full backing from staff.

JaMarcus Russell - coaching staff never wanted him to begin with so they didn't go the extra mile to help Russell become an NFL QB. Never had the full backing from staff.

Kyle Boller - poor QB development then was forced into action way too early by a coach who was about to lose his job.

Alex Smith (turning it around now) - 5 different OCs in 5 years, HC on his way out alienating him and trying to use Smith as a scape goat to save his own job. Never had the full backing from staff.

Tim Couch - horrible coaching staff, no OL, no receivers, QB controversy created by a horrid coach trying to save his job. Never had the full backing from staff.

Matt Leinart - never had the support of his coaching staff, horrid OL, coaching staff constantly undermining him (Warner, Anderson).

Day One Pick
09-06-2010, 06:23 PM
I've always felt that the biggest deciding factor in what makes a player succeed or be a bust is how they handle becoming instant millionairs. This goes for all positions, not just QB's.

Speaking in terms of quarterbacks, I think it's harder than ever to scout QB's because there are just so few true pro style offenses out there.

Scott Wright
09-06-2010, 06:38 PM
I am a firm believe in the theory that "Situation" is responsible for the majority of first round quarterback busts. There are exceptions but by and large all of the guys taken that early are talented and it's the teams that ruin them. Failure to protect or surround with talent, poor support system, coaching changes, lack of patience, etc.

wonderbredd24
09-06-2010, 06:41 PM
I am a firm believe in the theory that "Situation" is responsible for the majority of first round quarterback busts. There are exceptions but by and large all of the guys taken that early are talented and it's the teams that ruin them. Failure to protect or surround with talent, poor support system, coaching changes, lack of patience, etc.
Yet you killed the Browns for passing on Sanchez to improve their supporting cast, which would have been a horrendous situation.

He's struggling in a good situation.

djp
09-06-2010, 06:45 PM
I am a firm believe in the theory that "Situation" is responsible for the majority of first round quarterback busts. There are exceptions but by and large all of the guys taken that early are talented and it's the teams that ruin them. Failure to protect or surround with talent, poor support system, coaching changes, lack of patience, etc.

I think it takes a certain personality to play quarterback successfully in the NFL, and not all quarterbacks can handle the mental load. You have to be able to take command in the huddle and lead the offense while still carrying the most responsibility of any player post-snap. You've also got to be able to deal with the added scrutiny of playing the most glamorous position, while facing defenders whose sole job is to destroy you. Staying calm and collected at the end of a tight game is obviously paramount as well.

Scott Wright
09-06-2010, 06:45 PM
Yet you killed the Browns for passing on Sanchez to improve their supporting cast, which would have been a horrendous situation.

He's struggling in a good situation.

They Browns should have taken Sanchez and let him sit until they had a better supporting cast.

The most important thing is getting the franchise signal caller in the fold.

Cleveland's rebuilding project hasn't even begun yet. The clock starts ticking when they get a top young quarterback. They won't be a playoff contender for a minimum of three more years.

Caulibflower
09-06-2010, 06:46 PM
I don't think QB's necessarily bust more than any other position. I mean, if you look at all the wide receivers drafted in the first round the last five years and compare it to the quarterbacks, I'd venture to speculate that you find more busting wideouts than quarterbacks. And I mean true bust players who just aren't doing anything, like Buster Davis, Matt Jones, Troy Williamson, Anthony Gonzalez (he seems to be on his way to busting), Ted Ginn, Mark Clayton, Reggie Williams, Michael Clayton, and the list goes on. In that same span of time, the only guys I'd really call complete busts at the quarterback position would be Jamarcus Russell and Matt Leinart. All the other first round QBs, in my opinion, still have the possibility of a successful career in front of them. (Yes, I still think Brady Quinn could end up starting for someone down the line, even if he didn't succeed with the team that drafted him. I won't label him a bust because of team dysfunction.) It seems clear to me that the only reason people think QBs bust "so often," or more than other positions, is because it's such a big deal when they do. I mean, imagine how big of a deal Matt Jones' flameout would have been if Jacksonville had drafted him to be their quarterback. "JACKSONVILLE'S QUARTERBACK OF THE FUTURE BUSTED FOR COCAINE POSSESSION" was instead a relatively run-of-the-mill news spot about a talented player who wasn't interested in exercising his potential. It's not that QB's bust more often; I'd almost be inclined to argue that probability-wise, QB's are more likely to succeed than some other positions. They just get a lot more attention when they fail.

wonderbredd24
09-06-2010, 06:48 PM
They Browns should have taken Sanchez and let him sit until they had a better supporting cast.

The most important thing is getting the franchise signal caller in the fold.

Cleveland's rebuilding project hasn't even begun yet. The clock starts ticking when they get a top young quarterback. They won't be a playoff contender for a minimum of three more years.

What? We've got Colt Quinn... err... Brady McCoy.

I agree that the Browns won't be a real contender until they get themselves a real quarterback, but they are in a substantially better position now to take a top flight quarterback than they were 2 years ago.

They have an effective offensive line from left to right and a good running game and some young, still unproven weapons.

Now, let's get ourselves a quarterback. Hopefully CJ Spiller carries the Bills to a few wins and the Browns can get Jake Locker.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
09-06-2010, 08:38 PM
You really can't tell how a guy is gonna handle the NFL till he gets there. It has nothing to do with the team they land on, the team they played for, whatever. Some guys have it. Some guys don't. You can't see it in the pre draft process, it only comes out after the fact. That's all it is.

Shiver
09-06-2010, 08:56 PM
You really can't tell how a guy is gonna handle the NFL till he gets there. It has nothing to do with the team they land on, the team they played for, whatever. Some guys have it. Some guys don't. You can't see it in the pre draft process, it only comes out after the fact. That's all it is.


Then what are we doing here?

phlysac
09-06-2010, 09:15 PM
A perfect example is the long-winded and still ongoing philosophical debate had amongst 49ers fans.

Alex Smith vs. Aaron Rodgers

Not to debate the players in this thread but it is interesting to consider development based upon the situation the player began his career in.

Shiver
09-06-2010, 09:19 PM
Aaron Rodgers is someone I was dead wrong about, by the way. I want to make that clear just in case people thought I was bragging about what I got right. I have several theories as to why he didn't fail: sat and learned on the sidelines, learned from a Hall of Fame QB, Tedford's system wasn't the problem with Smith, Harrington and Carr.

On another note: Mark Sanchez on the Browns would have been ugly. That would have set their franchise back even further. The dude's supporters sound like Bears fans talking about Rex Grossman before they finally renounced him after the Super Bowl. I think there is a better chance Colt McCoy pans out than Sanchez does.

Saints-Tigers
09-06-2010, 09:54 PM
Some guys just have it. Rodgers might have failed if he was thrown into the fire because of some t hings he had to fix first, and the team would have given up on him too fast, like teams do.

Alex Smith and David Carr? Those guys had their mechanics down, they just suck man.

If being on a bad team can "ruin" a QB, he was never going to be better than average anyway.

wordofi
09-06-2010, 11:14 PM
Cleveland's rebuilding project hasn't even begun yet. The clock starts ticking when they get a top young quarterback. They won't be a playoff contender for a minimum of three more years.

I'm skeptical of Cleveland's ability to even make the playoffs this decade. Their ownership sucks, and Joe Thomas is their only really good player. He's dumb if he doesn't bolt out of Cleveland when he gets the chance.

BuddyCHRIST
09-06-2010, 11:30 PM
I agree the situation is a huge part of the equation, but I also think the situation ends up being deemed as good or bad in history based on how well the QB does. I mean when Matt Ryan went to Atlanta, did anybody think he was going to a good situation? They had one good WR, a poor O-Line, and a back up RB.

Having a stable organization is very key though, when you end up tying a QB's success with a HC or GM's job is when things tend to fall apart. Constant HC and OC changes can only hinder a QBs development and theres a reason alot of teams are consistently at the top of the draft.

BigBanger
09-07-2010, 12:00 AM
I think the biggest aspect is the team and environment the player goes to. If I had an expansion team, the last thing I'd do is draft a QB #1. It's just dumb. As an expansion team, you just cannot provide an environment that you need for a young QB.

Most successful young QBs go into environments that are stable and where the coaching staff is pretty static, especially the QB coach and the assistants you never hear about.

If you don't have an OL you trust, 2 good receiving options, and a running game...don't draft a QB in the first round. It's a waste. Bring in a vet who can take a pounding and draft a QB you can slow cook without any pressure in the later rounds.

You can look at the recent busts and they all have a coaching staff or environment excuse that doesn't have much to do with them as players.
David Carr - crappy OL, no weapons, no run game, horrible offensive coaches

Joey Harrington - seemed like Detroit drafted him because there was no one else to draft in a crappy draft class. Poor OL, few targets, coaching situation in flux, and competition from another young QB. Never had the full backing from staff.

Brady Quinn - coaching staff constantly changing, QB controversy right off the bat (should have just given him the ball from day 1), bad organization Never had the full backing from staff.

JaMarcus Russell - coaching staff never wanted him to begin with so they didn't go the extra mile to help Russell become an NFL QB. Never had the full backing from staff.

Kyle Boller - poor QB development then was forced into action way too early by a coach who was about to lose his job.

Alex Smith (turning it around now) - 5 different OCs in 5 years, HC on his way out alienating him and trying to use Smith as a scape goat to save his own job. Never had the full backing from staff.

Tim Couch - horrible coaching staff, no OL, no receivers, QB controversy created by a horrid coach trying to save his job. Never had the full backing from staff.

Matt Leinart - never had the support of his coaching staff, horrid OL, coaching staff constantly undermining him (Warner, Anderson).
This is a list of full ******** excuses. Joey Harrington and Brady Quinn were simply two of the most overrated QB prospects I have ever seen. Joey Harrington looked like the guy from Napoleon Dynamite when he threw the ball. He had no ******* clue where it was going half the time and made terrible decisions with the ball. Brady Quinn had an overrated arm with poor accuracy, no deep ball and no leadership ability. He also never won a game he wasn't supposed to win. He also had a great scheme that created easy throws. He also had very good weapons. Nor could he handle pressure or live up to the ND media driven hype. Every time I would watch him I would say, "What the **** am I missing?" Turns out I didn't watch enough of the Akron games to think he had a chance.

Kyle Boller was forced into the starting lineup too soon, but Brady Quinn should have just been given the ball even though he couldn't win the starting job from a guy that went to a Pro Bowl and put up great numbers. That's contradictory. Boller was drafted in round 1 because he could throw the ball 50+ yards from one knee. End of discussion. Could he read a defense? No. Could he actually throw the ball down field and complete a pass? No. Did it matter? No. Coaches thought he had enough talent to turn him into a star. Fact is, he didn't have the brain or ability to process a defense and make accurate reads. The guy, basically, had no balls. Check down after check down does not work. Brady Quinn does this as well. That's the main reason why both are backup QBs.

Matt Leinart is a statue with no arm strength. He can't get the ball down field. He simply is not a good NFL QB. Plus, he isn't a leader and he's a lazy bum that doesn't work. He also has to set his feet just perfectly before he can throw the ball, if he doesn't he gets sacked. He has terribly slow feet and cannot handle pressure. That scheme & weapons in Arizona was about as perfect a fit as possible. There's a good reason why he fell in the draft. He was exposed his senior year of college. Apparently that is called "over analyzing." He had no potential.

JaMarcus Russell is a drug addict and a POS that would have failed everywhere and anywhere, no matter what the situation. He was also, technically, ********. I'm not joking. His IQ is equivalent to a ******. That guy was not going to succeed. He will never play in the NFL again. The biggest bust in NFL history. Ryan Leaf was a psycho with no talent and teammates had no respect for him. He just sucked. Flat out, came into the NFL and wasn't ready to play with professionals. He was an amateur. That's what he was. Two examples of guys that just don't know how to work.

David Carr legitimately had an awful supporting cast, but he also has terrible mechanics. Maybe there was a possibility. I never saw him in college. I can't explain.

Alex Smith is a solid player. That's it. That's his ceiling... mediocre. He is simply not a franchise QB. He does not, and never did, possess the skill set of an elite, or anywhere close to an elite NFL QB. It was an awful pick. That is not his fault. The 5 OCs in 5 years, yeah, that sucks, but he would not be throwing for 4,000 yards and 30+ TDs on yearly basis with 1 OC or not. He can start and be an average starter. He was a second round caliber QB prospect. That's all he was. He was drafted #1 because SF needed a QB. They convinced themselves he was worthy of being the best player in the draft because he played QB. Aaron Rodgers is nothing like he was when he was in college. His arm strength is much better. It's almost a Tom Brady type physical development. He also put in a lot work. Another guy I liked, but not enamored with. I did think he was significantly better than Alex Smith.

Byron Leftwich? Terrible delivery, poor pocket presence and slow feet. He has a cannon, but he does not have the mobility within the pocket to avoid pressure and create throwing lanes. His incredibly long stride also makes it difficult for him to handle pressure up the middle.

Rex Grossman had a great arm. He was also one of the stupidest starting QBs in the NFL. He was a turnover machine. He made one awful decision after another. Anyone who watched him in college saw this coming. He loved just slinging the ball into the middle of the field and hoping someone on his team caught it.

Heath Shuler was just awful. He was so bad he could not handle it. His teammates thought he was a bum, he was a bum and in came Gus Frerotte. He went to the Saints and threw more INTs. Got hurt and called it quits.

Rick Mirer was the next Joe Montana, came in, could only throw to his right, defenses saw, then exposed him. He then got killed and became one of the biggest busts ever. He simply sucked.

These guys, for the most part, were either over drafted (Alex Smith), overrated (Brady Quinn / Joey Harrington), too raw / suspect (Kyle Boller), exposed by NFL teams (Leinart) or lazy morons (Russell / Leaf). These guys simply were not and are not starting NFL QBs. It is that simple. Teams either got it wrong, didn't do their homework or drafted a kid that wasn't going to work or put in effort.

All this BS about needing every piece to the puzzle before drafting a QB is nonsense. There is no perfect situation. Are the Lions second guessing themselves for taking Stafford? The Colts for taking Manning? Even though they had one of the least talented teams and nothing on offense? **** no. You aren't going to build a thing without a QB. Passing up on a talent like Stafford, a guy that made NFL reads, got rid of the ball and made big plays, showed the ability to lead an offense... you're gonna pass that up because you only have 1 elite WR and a poor offensive line? **** that ****. I said it then and I say it now, you don't pass on a QB with the ability / football knowledge of Stafford for Jason Smith (when Smith wasn't even an elite prospect to begin with). You take Stafford, let him take his lumps and build a nucleolus of young players around him. Teams go from 4-12 to 10-6 in a heartbeat and vice versa.


But to the original post, I think over the last 5 years, there have been better QBs taken in the first round. I still think Sam Bradford had a ton of question marks and major injury concerns and an average NFL arm, but he does seem like he has the poise in the pocket and a knack for going through his reads and consistently hitting the open man. Is the ability there? Yeah, it looks like it certainly is, but is there concern if he will complete a season? Yes. I will probably be wrong about his ability, but whether or not he was worth the #1 pick? He's going to have stay healthy.

Jimmy Clausen is going to get his ass kicked by his own teammates sooner rather than later. He was a risky player, he should have dropped. An underachiever with very good physical tools, but he did nothing remarkable in college. He was an early second / late first round caliber player. Great situation and he's in the best possible position to succeed. He can be a good NFL QB in a few years. Will he mature? Will he step up his game and make big plays in key situations? He never has. Talent is there.

Matthew Stafford had everything you could ask for. Immense upside with a high football IQ and gaudy physical tools. People confused poor decision making / poor accuracy with over confidence in his arm & vanilla scheme and poor footwork. He got better every year and put in work in the off seasons during college to better his footwork and lose weight. The guy was incredibly smart and an underrated leader. NFL style offense. Made ridiculous, high difficulty NFL throws look routine. He had everything you could as for. He was the BPA.

Mark Sanchez had good physical tools with some of the best hips and feet of any QB you will ever see. Very athletic lower half, but did lack a big time NFL arm. He was a risk taker and a bit of gunslinger in college. We are seeing more INTs at the NFL than I think a lot of people expected. Decision making is/was poor though. Still, he's very young. He had a lot of potential. Great leadership ability. He has the tools. He needs time. I think he'll be a good NFL player. Stafford was and is a far superior player though. Sanchez has to tone it down and stop forcing throws. He's on a great team. He should be a game manager, not a turnover machine. That's coaching. Is he going to be throwing the ball for 4,500 yards? Probably not. But I don't think he ever was going to be that guy. I don't think anyone did.

Josh Freeman is just wildly inconsistent with a huge arm. The JaMarcus Russell-esque boom or bust quality is there. He doesn't have the laziness and poor work ethic that Russell did, but my biggest concern with him was his lack of improvement from season to season. Stafford got better and better. Freeman stayed the same. He has made some insane throws as a freshman and a rookie in the NFL. I, however, could not tell the different between his freshman year to his junior year. He was the Rey Maualuga of QB prospects. The guy just didn't improve. He's the type of guy teams will always take a chance on in the middle of round 1 or at the end of round 1. Too much talent to pass up. Just didn't seem to put it all together. I don't think he's going to be Kyle Boller, but he's similar in that his size / arm strength and potential made him a first round player. Not so much his game tape.

Matt Ryan & Joe Flacco have been overrated in the NFL, but both were solid/great picks (Flacco a great pick). I thought Chad Henne was the #2 QB in that draft and a guy that should have been a fringe first rounder. He had tons of ability, but just never put it all together. I felt as if his best playing days were ahead of him. I do think he can turn into an above average NFL QB. All three of these guys had good to great arms with great production, NFL size and big time potential. All showed leadership ability. All had certain concerns as well (Ryan - INTs / decision making... Flacco - Project? Low level of competition... Henne - wildly inconsistent / underachiever).

2007 was a bad year. Two busts. Both were overrated. Both had huge flaws. It was predictable for not only envision one failing, but both. And both have failed miserably.

2006... the jury is still out... surprisingly. Cutler was turning into a stud, then ran into problems with his new head coach. Now he's in a terrible offense with terrible players and he wont stop forcing balls into tight windows because his WRs can't get it open. He's a gunslinger, he has the mentality and he wont change. He'll continue throwing 20 INTs a season until he gets some kind of weapons and a line that's respectable. He's in a bad situation. Vince Young is going to wind up being a solid player, but not the player everyone expected. I thought he was going to be the pass / run QB that succeeded. Wont live up to expectations, but you can win a lot of games with him. Leinart is done. He's a bust. Cutler and Young wont be the guys most expected them to be, but they wont be busts. Cutler still has a ton of potential.

All in all, I think the NFL has done a much better job in recent years with QBs. All the overrating is done this time of year. The Andre Woodson's and Brian Brohm's of the world eventually are exposed for **** players with **** talent.

wordofi
09-07-2010, 10:44 AM
All this BS about needing every piece to the puzzle before drafting a QB is nonsense. There is no perfect situation. Are the Lions second guessing themselves for taking Stafford? The Colts for taking Manning? Even though they had one of the least talented teams and nothing on offense? **** no. You aren't going to build a thing without a QB. Passing up on a talent like Stafford, a guy that made NFL reads, got rid of the ball and made big plays, showed the ability to lead an offense... you're gonna pass that up because you only have 1 elite WR and a poor offensive line? **** that ****. I said it then and I say it now, you don't pass on a QB with the ability / football knowledge of Stafford for Jason Smith (when Smith wasn't even an elite prospect to begin with). You take Stafford, let him take his lumps and build a nucleolus of young players around him. Teams go from 4-12 to 10-6 in a heartbeat and vice versa.


You're absolutely right. A great quarterback can make an average team look like a good team.

yourfavestoner
09-07-2010, 11:10 AM
Biggest red-flags:

Juniors/RS Sophomores - There is too much projection and not enough game-tape to form an accurate analysis. NFL scouts are good, very good. If you give them at least three years to work with they will figure out if you can play or not.

Examples: Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell, Akili Smith, the list goes on and on

Gimmicky offense - If you play in a spread, where the coaches do all the reading of the defense for you, the transition to the NFL will be rough. Usually these guys never figure it out. The ones that do figure it out generally were given some time with a clipboard to learn the NFL game from practice/preseason.

Examples: Alex Smith, Tim Couch

Maturity issues - This one is hard to quantify. Because you really never know. That said, look at Jamarcus Russell. Obviously the red-flags were there for all to see, but the Raiders chose to ignore those concerns and it killed them.

Examples: Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell

Talented Supporting Cast/Average Tools - Playing through adversity is a key test of whether a QB can make the jump. It isn't a requirement, but it helps to know that a guy can take a hit and still deliver a pass downfield. We've seen lots of highly touted Quarterbacks who didn't have the toughness to make throws down-field. They became gun-shy. These guys were buoyed by great supporting casts and weak competition. This kept them clean and safe in the pocket. That isn't the NFL, period.

Examples: Matt Leinart, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Brady Quinn

These are the things I look for as a warning flag: that is why I don't like Bradford, but liked Ryan. Why I didn't like Quinn, even compared to Russell. And why I had Leinart and Young behind Cutler in '06.

I've written multiple posts on this and it's simply not true. The success rate isn't any particularly higher for quarterbacks who come from "pro" style offenses than it is for other systems. Historically, there have just been so many traditional style qbs out of college compared to an extremely small sample size of qbs who come from other systems.

Now, "gimmick" systems are so prevalent in college football that you can't avoid prospects just because they didn't play in a "traditional" offense (I call it "traditional" instead of "pro" because there is no such thing as a pro style offense in college). There's simply not enough practice time to implement a "pro" offense in college.

College defenses suck for the most part, and their schemes are so incredibly simple compared to the NFL, that what scheme you play in during college has little to no difference on your success as a pro. There's an advantage to the center/QB exchange and in your run game footwork. Everything else has to be learned all over again anyways.

The problem teams have with "gimmick" quarterbacks is that it helps cover up quarterbacks who are limited physically, because you can attack any area of the field by spreading the defense out. Like any position, scouting quarterbacks is about finding the right balance between physical ability and mental toughness.

bigbluedefense
09-07-2010, 11:24 AM
I've written multiple posts on this and it's simply not true. The success rate isn't any particularly higher for quarterbacks who come from "pro" style offenses than it is for other systems. Historically, there have just been so many traditional style qbs out of college compared to an extremely small sample size of qbs who come from other systems.

Now, "gimmick" systems are so prevalent in college football that you can't avoid prospects just because they didn't play in a "traditional" offense (I call it "traditional" instead of "pro" because there is no such thing as a pro style offense in college). There's simply not enough practice time to implement a "pro" offense in college.

College defenses suck for the most part, and their schemes are so incredibly simple compared to the NFL, that what scheme you play in during college has little to no difference on your success as a pro. There's an advantage to the center/QB exchange and in your run game footwork. Everything else has to be learned all over again anyways.

The problem teams have with "gimmick" quarterbacks is that it helps cover up quarterbacks who are limited physically, because you can attack any area of the field by spreading the defense out. Like any position, scouting quarterbacks is about finding the right balance between physical ability and mental toughness.

This^

When I evaluate a qb, I look for the following:

1. Intelligence. You have to be smart to read an NFL defense and make the right adjustments

2. Footwork/pocket presence. You need to buy yourself time in the pocket, and good footwork leads to good mechanics, and a good pocket presence makes an avg oline look better than it is

3. Release. Can't be too slow, CBs in the NFL are too fast and will jump routes

4. Arm strength. Gotta be able to make all the throws.

5. Accuracy. Gotta have decent accuracy

6. Maturity/work ethic. Only NFL teams know this, bc they interview em and we don't.

The rest is too difficult to accurately gauge. Footwork plays a big role for me. Which is why I'm iffy on Mallet as of right now, he has stone feet. Reminds me of Bledsoe too much.

I was a big Bradford fan coming out. He had the intelligence, the accuracy, the arm, and the maturity and work ethic.

Shiver
09-07-2010, 11:46 AM
I've written multiple posts on this and it's simply not true. The success rate isn't any particularly higher for quarterbacks who come from "pro" style offenses than it is for other systems. Historically, there have just been so many traditional style qbs out of college compared to an extremely small sample size of qbs who come from other systems.

Now, "gimmick" systems are so prevalent in college football that you can't avoid prospects just because they didn't play in a "traditional" offense (I call it "traditional" instead of "pro" because there is no such thing as a pro style offense in college). There's simply not enough practice time to implement a "pro" offense in college.

College defenses suck for the most part, and their schemes are so incredibly simple compared to the NFL, that what scheme you play in during college has little to no difference on your success as a pro. There's an advantage to the center/QB exchange and in your run game footwork. Everything else has to be learned all over again anyways.

The problem teams have with "gimmick" quarterbacks is that it helps cover up quarterbacks who are limited physically, because you can attack any area of the field by spreading the defense out. Like any position, scouting quarterbacks is about finding the right balance between physical ability and mental toughness.


If you don't think that Quarterbacks who operate primarily in the shotgun have a lesser success rate than I don't know what to say. That has been the one consistent thing about the NFL draft, whether it was the Run-N-Shoot in the 90s or the spread in the 00s, you just will not find many good pro quarterbacks who played in those systems. These quarterbacks aren't asked to make difficult throws, aren't asked to read the defense, or to master the timing of the drop-back pass. Drew Brees is the one and only exception to this.

Give me the guy who can take snaps from under center, drop back 3, 5, 7 steps and deliver a well timed pass down the field. I don't want your shotgun QB making one read and throwing to a wide open receiver in the seam. That does not simulate the NFL game.

bigbluedefense
09-07-2010, 11:48 AM
If you don't think that Quarterbacks who operate primarily in the shotgun have a lesser success rate than I don't know what to say. That has been the one consistent thing about the NFL draft, whether it was the Run-N-Shoot in the 90s or the spread in the 00s, you just will not find many good pro quarterbacks who played in those systems. These quarterbacks aren't asked to make difficult throws, aren't asked to read the defense, or to master the timing of the drop-back pass. For every Drew Brees in round 2 (his offense, along with his height dragged him down there) there is Tim Couch, Alex Smith taken at the top of the draft who just cannot adjust to the NFL game.

I don't think you can use that against em anymore though, with the shotgun being used more and more in today's game.

The Pats operate almost exclusively out of the shotgun now, as do the Broncos.

I don't think its as black and white as previous statistical evidence indicates anymore.

Shiver
09-07-2010, 11:51 AM
But that is the NFL. You still have to throw with timing, accuracy and make difficult reads to succeed. In college, playing in a spread makes it too easy for a QB to look good because 90% of college defenses are pathetic. You never get a decent perspective, a good enough look at translatable talents. Can this QB make a quick read, make a well timed strike down the field with pressure in his face? I could say that about Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford. I cannot say that about Vince Young, Alex Smith or Sam Bradford.

yourfavestoner
09-07-2010, 12:07 PM
If you don't think that Quarterbacks who operate primarily in the shotgun have a lesser success rate than I don't know what to say. That has been the one consistent thing about the NFL draft, whether it was the Run-N-Shoot in the 90s or the spread in the 00s, you just will not find many good pro quarterbacks who played in those systems. These quarterbacks aren't asked to make difficult throws, aren't asked to read the defense, or to master the timing of the drop-back pass. Drew Brees is the one and only exception to this.

Give me the guy who can take snaps from under center, drop back 3, 5, 7 steps and deliver a well timed pass down the field. I don't want your shotgun QB making one read and throwing to a wide open receiver in the seam. That does not simulate the NFL game.

Chad Pennington has had pretty good NFL success even after two surgeries that sapped his already poor arm strength.

Kyle Orton has turned into a pretty good NFL qb. He's not out of this world, but he's a serviceable starter whose limitations are physical, not because he ran a spread in college.

Ben Roethlisberger operated a primarily shotgun/spread offense.

Philip Rivers' offense at NC State was much closer to the gimmicky-wide open offense Chow ran at BYU with Ty Detmer and Steve Young (a Hall of Famer himself) than the traditional offense he ran at USC and with UCLA.

Joe Flacco ran a gimmick offense at Delaware.

The jury is still out on Vince Young, but he seems to be turning a corner.

A traditional offense didn't help Matt Leinart anymore than Oklahoma's gimmick offense will hurt Sam Bradford. Success is much more is dependent on physical ability and mental toughness than an offense that they will have completely forgotten halfway through their rookie season.

San Diego Chicken
09-07-2010, 03:04 PM
I would like to add the overrating of physical talent. Defintley the case with Russell, Vick, Leaf and Smith. QB's who only rely on their god given ability won't last very long in the NFL.

Shiver
09-07-2010, 04:27 PM
My point is that the red flags I look for can be overcome with good intangibles. Just because someone didn't play great competition doesn't mean they won't pan out, like Flacco. Just because someone played in a shotgun-spread offense isn't necessarily the end-all, be-all, ask Drew Brees. But when those concerns start accumulating then you have a problem: Alex Smith is a good example, but so is Sam Bradford. We will see if Bradford can overcome his laughably favorable system/weapons, his lack of experience and his injury concerns. I don't think he will, but that's just me.

nepg
09-07-2010, 07:20 PM
Kyle Boller was forced into the starting lineup too soon, but Brady Quinn should have just been given the ball even though he couldn't win the starting job from a guy that went to a Pro Bowl and put up great numbers. That's contradictory.

Completely different situations. There's a difference between going with a veteran while your raw QB sits and going with a young QB over your just-drafted young QB who is pretty NFL-ready. The Browns showed a lack of confidence in Quinn, the Ravens showed a lack of restraint with Boller. Both were detrimental to the development of each respective QB.

Matt Leinart is a statue with no arm strength. He can't get the ball down field. He simply is not a good NFL QB. Plus, he isn't a leader and he's a lazy bum that doesn't work.

He doesn't have a cannon, but he has enough arm to get it done in the NFL. The other stuff is mostly the coaching staff undermining him and preventing him from becoming a leader because they didn't want Leinart for whatever reason.

JaMarcus Russell is a drug addict and a POS that would have failed everywhere and anywhere, no matter what the situation. He was also, technically, ********. I'm not joking. His IQ is equivalent to a ******. That guy was not going to succeed. He will never play in the NFL again. The biggest bust in NFL history.

I never liked Russell and he has a ton of issues, but it's tough to say whether he has a lot of the problems he had with work ethic and non-development if he had a coaching staff that wanted him there and worked him.

David Carr legitimately had an awful supporting cast, but he also has terrible mechanics. Maybe there was a possibility. I never saw him in college. I can't explain.

Mechanics were an "eh..." issue with Carr. Philip Rivers had/has the same mechanics, almost exactly. Houston's OL turned him into a ball holding deer in headlights.

Alex Smith is a solid player. That's it. That's his ceiling... mediocre. He is simply not a franchise QB. He does not, and never did, possess the skill set of an elite, or anywhere close to an elite NFL QB. It was an awful pick. That is not his fault. The 5 OCs in 5 years, yeah, that sucks, but he would not be throwing for 4,000 yards and 30+ TDs on yearly basis with 1 OC or not. He can start and be an average starter. He was a second round caliber QB prospect. That's all he was. He was drafted #1 because SF needed a QB. They convinced themselves he was worthy of being the best player in the draft because he played QB.

I believe every word of this text block to be false. It's insane to say those things knowing what the guy went through. His ceiling is amazingly high, as it always has been. The guy is on the Drew Brees career arch except SF didn't draft a Philip Rivers a year too early.

Rex Grossman had a great arm. He was also one of the stupidest starting QBs in the NFL. He was a turnover machine. He made one awful decision after another. Anyone who watched him in college saw this coming. He loved just slinging the ball into the middle of the field and hoping someone on his team caught it.

I don't think of Rex as a bust. He was an up-and-down QB...sometimes he was amazing, sometimes he was incredibly awful. He got to a Super Bowl, and the Bears used the loss to cut ties with the up-and-down-ness.

The Colts for taking Manning? Even though they had one of the least talented teams and nothing on offense? **** no.

The ****? Manning went into a very good offense. Marshall Faulk, Ken Dilger, Marvin Harrison, Jerome Pathon, Torrence Small (when they were both solid), Marcus Pollard... And a REALLY GOOD offensive line.

descendency
09-07-2010, 07:30 PM
He doesn't have a cannon, but he has enough arm to get it done in the NFL. The other stuff is mostly the coaching staff undermining him and preventing him from becoming a leader because they didn't want Leinart for whatever reason.

Leinart gimpy arm checkdown artist.

I never liked Russell and he has a ton of issues, but it's tough to say whether he has a lot of the problems he had with work ethic and non-development if he had a coaching staff that wanted him there and worked him.
Russel's problems are not fundamental. He is just a lazy bum in a crappy system. Had that been the Eagles or The Titans making that pick instead, I'd bet on Russel being a top 10 QB (assuming he could be shocked into caring).

I believe every word of this text block to be false. It's insane to say those things knowing what the guy went through. His ceiling is amazingly high, as it always has been. The guy is on the Drew Brees career arch except SF didn't draft a Philip Rivers a year too early.
Alex Smith's hands are too small. He simply can't throw the ball like he should because of it.

The ****? Manning went into a very good offense. Marshall Faulk, Ken Dilger, Marvin Harrison, Jerome Pathon, Torrence Small (when they were both solid), Marcus Pollard... And a REALLY GOOD offensive line.

If there ever has been an ideal situation, it was what the Colts handed Manning. Low expectations and tons of really talented skill players. That's not to say that Manning isn't really good. Just that if I were trying to rebuild, I would hope to be in the Colts situation.

Shiver
09-07-2010, 07:35 PM
Hand size was the least of Alex Smith's problems. Or at least that's what his ex-girlfriends said...


ba-zing.

BigBanger
09-07-2010, 07:51 PM
Completely different situations. There's a difference between going with a veteran while your raw QB sits and going with a young QB over your just-drafted young QB who is pretty NFL-ready. The Browns showed a lack of confidence in Quinn, the Ravens showed a lack of restraint with Boller. Both were detrimental to the development of each respective QB.



He doesn't have a cannon, but he has enough arm to get it done in the NFL. The other stuff is mostly the coaching staff undermining him and preventing him from becoming a leader because they didn't want Leinart for whatever reason.



I never liked Russell and he has a ton of issues, but it's tough to say whether he has a lot of the problems he had with work ethic and non-development if he had a coaching staff that wanted him there and worked him.



Mechanics were an "eh..." issue with Carr. Philip Rivers had/has the same mechanics, almost exactly. Houston's OL turned him into a ball holding deer in headlights.



I believe every word of this text block to be false. It's insane to say those things knowing what the guy went through. His ceiling is amazingly high, as it always has been. The guy is on the Drew Brees career arch except SF didn't draft a Philip Rivers a year too early.



I don't think of Rex as a bust. He was an up-and-down QB...sometimes he was amazing, sometimes he was incredibly awful. He got to a Super Bowl, and the Bears used the loss to cut ties with the up-and-down-ness.



The ****? Manning went into a very good offense. Marshall Faulk, Ken Dilger, Marvin Harrison, Jerome Pathon, Torrence Small (when they were both solid), Marcus Pollard... And a REALLY GOOD offensive line.
You are draft fan, that's for sure. Your optimism is humorous to me. I'm thinking you are just very young or very naive. Rex Grossman was a **** QB. Plain and simple. He was terrible. He was a moron in college. He was a moron in the pros. Defending JaMarcus Russell? Really? I mean, really? WTF.

Alex Smith / Drew Brees? What? No one thought Alex Smith was anywhere close to a franchise QB. No one. Before the draft or since. Because he was in the weakest draft of the 00s, he went that high. He is a game manager. That's the type of QB he is. That's it. Are his best playing days ahead of him? Certainly. If SF can keep an offensive coordinator for more than 2 years, yeah, he will improve. He has shown signs of being a capable starter and he can be a capable starter. His career is more similar to Jason Campbell than it is Drew Brees. Sorry to break it to ya, but you are going to have come to terms with the fact that the draft is full of busts. Half of first rounds picks are going to disappoint. If you want to blame the coaches, then go ahead.

You like comparisons. Well, if Philip Rivers had a funky throwing motion, then it should be okay for David Carr to drop the ball below his knees before throwing it. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Carr is closer to Leftwhich and Tebow. He's had opportunities to play since Houston. I don't see him winning any QB battles. Hell, I have never even heard him starting a battle. Maybe, just maybe, he is a career backup. Maybe?

I'm sure you have 6 QBs with top 10 grades this year and once 4 of them fail, you can blame the coaches for not believing in them and undermining their abilities. Because, you, of course, know more than Ken Whisenhunt. Why don't you set up an appointment with Bill Bidwill, take Whisenhunt's job, trade back for Leinart, give up a first round pick since you think that's what he's worth, then go out and give him the starting job and go win a Super Bowl in the next two years. I have faith in you. When Leinart doesn't study the playbook and acts like he could give two ******* shits about playing football, don't worry, he did that in college too, and he was just fine. Trust his weak arm and check down passes and watch him hold the ball and take a ton of sacks... I think you know better than anyone, that is pretty much the "how to" in order to build your team into a powerhouse offense.

I actually liked Leinart coming out of college. I had no ******* clue what I was talking about, but he looked good in college. Was I aware at the time in how important it is to have an NFL arm? No, I was one of those people too, "It's good enough." No, no it's not. If it was, he would beat Derek Anderson for the starting job. Did I have any idea about his poor work ethic and his entitlement persona? No. Would I have even considered that as a flaw back then? Probably not. Was he mobile in college? Could he move and manipulate the pocket? He played for USC. That was never an issue, he always had a clean pocket. Now, you watch him and he has two left feet. He can't throw the ball down field. He has no fast ball. He has a long delivery. He can't handle pressure. He's just not good. Everyone is moving 100 mph and Leinart is in slow motion. I was thinking Sam Bradford was pretty much cut from the same cloth. Maybe I was wrong about one of them. Maybe Bradford will throw up floaters and check down passes for a short lived career, I don't know. Bradford, at least, had a fast ball for intermediate throws. Did I know how he would react to pressure? Not really, he had the most dominate offensive line in the country. Now, with the Rams, he is going to face pressure he has never seen. We don't know how he will handle it.


I was talking about the Lions having no weapons. That was poor wording on my part. The Colts were also the worst team in the NFL. They had a #1 WR and a #1 RB who were both VERY, VERY young. That was not a great offense. I've actually never heard of a great offense picking 1st overall. Maybe that's just me, though. There is a difference between young, unproven talent and then talking about players once their hall of fame career is over. There is a difference.

PossibleCabbage
09-08-2010, 02:14 AM
I just want to throw my two cents in here. I think two of the main reasons that scouting college QBs is so hard boil down to the fact that NFL defenses are much more complex and talented, and that a lot of your top college QB prospects faced nowhere near the adversity in college that they'll face if drafted high.

It's a heck of a lot easier to play QB in college where a lot of teams find themselves sufficiently outclassing their opponents where the OL keeps his jersey clean, the WRs are open, and the defenses aren't running complicated blitz schemes and changing their coverage looks seconds before the snap. You move to the NFL, and suddenly everything is a lot harder. As hard as it is to play QB against Alabama's defense, it's nowhere near as hard as to play QB against the Jets defense.

Inevitably, the young QB who is thrown in the fire early on is going to struggle a lot more than he did on any of the tape that talent evaluators watch on him. Playing bad, and letting your team down is going to wear on some guys a lot differently than others. Some people will let it gnaw at them, some people will use it to motivate them. I don't think any draftable college QB has ever failed so hard in amateur play as he will in the pros, just as part of the learning process.

That being said, I think that if you give your young QB time, and minimize pressure you can make a lot of guys a lot better than they would have been if they played right away(e.g. Schaub, Rodgers). If you do throw a guy to the wolves right out of the gates, you had better be able to run the ball and play defense (e.g. Ryan, Flacco, Sanchez.) If you're a team with a suspect OL, nobody to throw the ball to, no running game to speak of, and a defense that can't stop anybody, then you had better hope that your expensive rookie QB has a will of iron and a body to match.

But that being said, is the bust rate for first round quarterbacks really substantially higher than the bust rate for any other position in the first round? Or do we just think about it more, because QBs are a lot higher profile than, say, DEs (where there are also a ton of first round busts.) Projecting anybody into a completely different scheme in a completely different place, and then throwing a bunch of money into the equation is an inexact science.

tjsunstein
09-08-2010, 12:15 PM
Scouting a QB is so hard to do because most of the position is mental. As a scout, you get a good look at the physical aspect and go from there. Not until the combine do you get a chance to pick their heads.