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Caulibflower 05-19-2012 01:38 PM

2012 Quarterback Competition
There ought to be a thread for this. I'm interested in hearing other peoples' thoughts. I was one of those on this forum who wasn't really bothered by Russell Wilson's height, basically pointing to what he did in college and simply saying, "Look - the guy can play." College linemen really aren't any shorter than NFL linemen, for the most part, so I don't think it should suddenly become an issue for him. And I've long thought he bought time in the pocket and extended plays better than anyone else in this class, and he might be the best at reading defenses, too.

Tarvaris isn't a great quarterback by any means, but I'm done giving him ****. He's a hard worker, he's tough, and his teammates respect him. We basically know how he plays, though. But how much did the pectoral injury hurt him last year?

Flynn - best 2-game career in the history of the NFL. Who knows?

Caulibflower 05-19-2012 01:47 PM

I mean, Russell Wilson is basically Troy Smith with a better arm and 2x football IQ. That's not bad. Way better athlete than Drew Brees. Really think it's just more a matter of short QBs being rare than anything else.

I mean... can you name a QB who "busted" on account of his height?

summond822 05-20-2012 12:30 PM

Comparing Russell Wilson to Troy Smith is insulting to Russell Wilson. And I agree. I mean other than Smith I can't think of very many QB's who were under 6' to come out in recent memory.

I would love for Wilson to win the competition because if he does, it means that everyone else will have to acknowledge that we have our QBOTF on the team right now.

nepg 05-20-2012 12:44 PM

You had Seneca Wallace on your roster not very long ago, and you can't think of another QB under 6'?

Caulibflower 05-20-2012 10:00 PM


Originally Posted by summond822 (Post 3006829)
Comparing Russell Wilson to Troy Smith is insulting to Russell Wilson. And I agree. I mean other than Smith I can't think of very many QB's who were under 6' to come out in recent memory.

I really don't think it's insulting at all. Troy Smith is a good backup. He's won some games playing in a tough division. He's not nearly as polished or composed as Wilson, though, and those are the things that a good QB needs. Athletically, Wilson is also superior. I really only mean to say, "Look, Troy Smith has started a couple games, won a few games and made some plays... And he's basically a poor-man's Russell Wilson."

It's a compliment to Wilson, I think. Not every player needs to be compared to a superstar for the comparison to mean something positive about the way he plays.

summond822 05-21-2012 01:49 PM


Originally Posted by nepg (Post 3006836)
You had Seneca Wallace on your roster not very long ago, and you can't think of another QB under 6'?

I said to come out in recent history. Being as how Wallace came out in 2003 (which was ~ a year before I started caring about the draft) I would say that someone coming out 9 years ago doesn't qualify as recent history.

And I say it's insulting to Wilson because Wilson has everything you want from a starting QB (except height) and has the potential to be a starter in this league. Smith never realistically had a chance to be a starter. The only real similarity between the two is their height.

asdf1223 05-21-2012 09:48 PM

Yeah Seneca's not a comparison at all, Wilson is nowhere close to athlete Wallace was, and Wallace is nowhere as polished as a QB prospect. Troy Smith's pretty close actually. Troy Smith was a Heismann winner and was going to be Baltimore's starter in 2008 until he got injured. Had he led that team to the playoffs we might be seeing him differently.

Caulibflower 05-22-2012 02:54 AM


Originally Posted by asdf1223 (Post 3008874)
Yeah Seneca's not a comparison at all, Wilson is nowhere close to athlete Wallace was, and Wallace is nowhere as polished as a QB prospect. Troy Smith's pretty close actually. Troy Smith was a Heismann winner and was going to be Baltimore's starter in 2008 until he got injured. Had he led that team to the playoffs we might be seeing him differently.

Think Wilson's athleticism is being under-appreciated here.

Comparison, for what it's worth -


40 time: 4.56
Broad jump: 10'07"
20 yard shuttle: 4.14
3-cone drill: 6.98
Vertical jump: 38"


40 time: 4.55
Broad jump: 9'10"
20 yard shuttle: 4.09
3-cone drill: 6.97
Vertical jump: 34"

Caulibflower 05-22-2012 03:19 PM

Also came across this today, from Football Outsiders:


Six years ago, Football Outsiders unveiled the college quarterback projection system known as the Lewin Career Forecast. Originally, the LCF projected the success of first- and second-round quarterbacks using just college games started and college completion percentage. Going back -- including when looking at quarterbacks from the years before the data set used to create it -- it had a strong record. After 2006, the record was not so strong. So last year, we debuted an updated version of the forecast, LCF v2.0.

The new version of the Lewin Career Forecast is built to apply only to quarterbacks chosen in the first three rounds of the draft. After that, quarterback success and failure becomes too difficult to predict. Part of the concept of the system is that scouts will do a good enough job identifying "system quarterbacks" so that those quarterbacks whose college stats are much better than their pro potential will naturally fall to the third day of the draft.

There are seven variables involved in LCF v2.0:
Career college games started, with a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 48.

Career completion rate; however, this is now a logrithmic variable. As a quarterback's completion percentage goes down, the penalty for low completion percentage gets gradually larger. As a result, the bonus for exceedingly accurate quarterbacks such as Tim Couch and Brian Brohm is smaller than the penalty for inaccurate quarterbacks such as Kyle Boller and Tarvaris Jackson.

Difference between the quarterback's BMI and 28.0. This creates a small penalty for quarterbacks who don't exactly conform to the "ideal quarterback size."
For quarterbacks who come out as seniors, the difference in NCAA passer rating between their junior and senior seasons. (For quarterbacks who come out as juniors or redshirt sophomores, this variable is always 5.0, which is the average increase for the seniors in our data set.)

A binary variable that penalizes quarterbacks who don't play for a team in a BCS-qualifying conference.

Run-pass ratio in the quarterback's final college season, with a maximum of 0.5.
Total rushing yards in the quarterback's final college season, with a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 600.

These last two variables work together to penalize both quarterbacks who scramble too often and quarterbacks who take a lot of sacks (since sacks are negative runs in college), while pocket quarterbacks who are successful when they do run get a bonus.

The biggest question about LCF continues to be the importance of games started. This is still the most important variable in the equation. As I explained in last year's article, any quarterback projection system based on past performance is going to highly value collegiate games started. From 1990 to 2005, it was far and away the most important variable in determining the success of highly-drafted quarterbacks. However, there are questions about whether the rise of the spread offense is leading to number of quarterbacks who come into the NFL with a lot of collegiate experience yet still unprepared for the NFL-style game. Other quarterbacks have come into the NFL with less experience and done very well. The best example of this would be Cam Newton, who seems like the kind of guy who is built to break this system. He started only one year of Division I ball and looked like a huge risk, then put together one of the best rookie quarterback seasons in NFL history. Aaron Rodgers is another player who was underrated by the system; given the success of Newton and Rodgers, perhaps we need to consider adding junior college experience to the variable for collegiate games started.

Newton demonstrates where the system can go wrong, while Andy Dalton demonstrates where the system can go right. Dalton was the highest-rated prospect in last year's draft according to LCF and while his numbers (and his potential) don't match Newton's, his rookie performance surprised a number of observers who felt his arm wasn't strong enough to be a good NFL starting quarterback.

It's important to understand that LCF is meant to be a tool used alongside the scouting reports, not instead of the scouting reports. What matters is not which quarterback is ahead of which other quarterback by 100 points. Instead, what's important is who has an overall good or bad projection. Scouts still come first and foremost, but this method is valuable as a crosscheck device and should be part of the conversation about quarterback draft prospects.

With that in mind, let's look at the projections for this year's quarterbacks. These numbers represent an estimate for passing DYAR in years 3-5 of a player's career. The top prospects will be above 1,200 DYAR, and you should avoid quarterbacks below zero. Let's start with the top two guys, two of the highest-rated quarterbacks in LCF history who will also be the first two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Robert Griffin, Baylor: 2,530 DYAR

Important stats: 40 games started, 67.0% completion rate, senior passer rating rose 45.3 points, 161 carries for 644 yards.

Andrew Luck, Stanford: 1,749 DYAR

Important stats: 37 games started, 66.4% completion rate, senior passer rating dropped -0.5 points, 47 carries for 150 yards.

Robert Griffin comes out with the strongest LCF projection of any quarterback we've measured.
So there's that. But at the bottom of the article...


The Asterisk

Russell Wilson, Wisconsin: 2,650 DYAR

Important stats: 48 games started, 60.7% completion rate, senior passer rating rose 64.1 points.

I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention the ridiculous projection that the Lewin Career Forecast spits out for Russell Wilson. Yes, that projection is even higher than the one for Robert Griffin. No, it doesn't particularly mean that Wilson is a sleeper prospect. There are a few things going on here that the LCF is just not designed to account for.

First and foremost, the change in Wilson's passer rating between his junior and senior years is insane. Remember that earlier I noted that Griffin had a larger senior year passer rating increase than any quarterback in our data set? Well, Wilson's senior year passer rating increase is 40 percent larger than Griffin's. But does it matter when the quarterback is playing in a completely different offense for a completely different school in his last year of college eligibility? At Wisconsin, Wilson got to pick apart defenses that were concentrating on stopping Montee Ball. At North Carolina State, I doubt opponents were quaking in their boots at the thought of Mustafa Greene and Dean Haynes. It goes without saying that there isn't another quarterback in the LCF data set who transferred between his junior and senior years.

There's also the issue of height, another data point where there's nobody in our data set that can be compared to Wilson. At first, it seems strange that LCF doesn't include a variable to discount short quarterbacks, but when you look at the data set that went into creating LCF the reasons are pretty clear. There's no penalty for being 5-foot-11, like Wilson is, because there are no quarterbacks in the data set who are shorter than 6-foot-0. There's no penalty for being only 6-foot-0 because the two quarterbacks who are 6-foot-0 are Drew Brees and Michael Vick.

Quarterbacks who are Wilson's height simply don't get drafted in the first three rounds of the draft, period. The FO master database only includes three quarterbacks who are below six feet tall: Seneca Wallace, Joe Hamilton, and Flutie. That's a fourth-round pick, a seventh-round pick, and an 11th round pick from 25 years ago. Even if we go all the way back to 1991, the only quarterbacks taken in the first six rounds at 6-foot-0 or shorter were Vick, Brees, Wallace, Joe Germaine (fourth round, 1999), and Troy Smith (fifth round, 2007).

Wilson too will probably be drafted on the third day of the draft, round four or later, which would render his absurdly high LCF moot.
Seems like every time I read something about this kid, he sounds a little better.

asdf1223 05-23-2012 05:58 PM

I think I'll agree to disagree on Wilson's athlethicism. There's no way he does a run like say what Seneca did in college vs Texas Tech. Seneca could be a pretty passable slash type. I think Wilson's QB only at the next level.

gpngc 05-23-2012 06:37 PM

I don't see it with Wilson. Hope I'm wrong.

Flynn will win the job easily. They'll publicly gush over Wilson, but Flynn will win it.

And he could be OK but who knows. He's just as much a prospect as Wilson.

We should be a ball control offense with Flynn at the helm. Work it to our TEs and Baldwin to move the sticks. Occasionally go deep with Rice/Lockette/Tate. Work Tate in for some YAC quick stuff.

It all comes down to the OL though. I highly doubt Flynn will be ridiculously good or ridiculously bad. Our O will flow through Lynch, which makes the OL extremely important.

Caulibflower 05-23-2012 08:48 PM

^^^^It'll be interesting to see how big of a role Turbin has on the offense this year. We really haven't had anything close to the backfield we've got now in a long while, since Alexander and Maurice Morris were both back there.

(edit) I think this backfield is better than the one where Alexander and Morris were both given significant carries; that only happened because Alexander fell off a cliff. but it's similar in that there are a couple of backs who are expected to both fill regular offensive roles.

summond822 05-26-2012 10:52 PM

I expect Flynn to win it as well (although I expect it to be a lot closer than people think), but I think that they genuinely believe that Wilson could come in and start as a rookie if they really needed him to. If Flynn struggles significantly this year, don't be surprised if we see Wilson thrown out there if for the only reason that they need to identify if he is truly a QBOTF or if they have to make a drastic move.

Caulibflower 08-24-2012 02:17 PM

And now Wilson's set to start against Kansas City. This is a great game to evaluate him, because the Chiefs have a legitimate defense with Pro Bowlers at all three levels. If he scores a touchdown or two in the first half, I think he's probably snatched the starting job away from Flynn.

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