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Fineas
04-26-2007, 03:00 PM
The Fins will very likely be taking a QB in the draft, which raises the age-old debate as to whether it is necessary or desirable to take a QB high in the draft. Many people believe that only an elite few can play the QB position well and that those without a certain pedigree or credentials have little chance of being a successful QB in the NFL. For these people, when there is a QB available in the first round that many feel has the potential to be a quality NFL QB you must take him. When guys like Tom Brady or Kurt Warner, who were passed over for several (or all) rounds in the draft, come along, these people dismiss them as rare and unique exceptions to these inherent truths.

I have come to believe that QB success has a lot less to do with the physical and mental traits of the QB than it does the circumstances in which the QB finds himself, e.g., scheme, offensive line, receivers, play-calling, defense (is he playing from behind all the time and/or always being asked to make something happen), etc. That’s not to say that you can plug your aunt or your 52-yr. old neighbor into the QB position on a good team and expect them to do well. But once you’ve narrowed the field to guys with the basic physical requisites, some major college starting QB experience, and the other things needed to get drafted or invited to training camp as an UDFA, I think the number of guys that can succeed as starting NFL QBs in favorable circumstances if given sufficient time to develop is much larger than most people think. In fact, as discussed in greater detail below, over the past 25 years, late round picks/undrafted free agents (5th –UDFA) have, as a group, posted a higher career QB rating than 1st round picks. They have also posted a better QB rating in their first year of significant playing time (100 or more pass attempts).

Those who believe you must take the QB in the first round often point to the relatively high number of starting QBs who were drafted in the first round. At any given time, that number is usually around 50-60% of all starting QBs. That does not mean that a 1st round QB will necessarily perform better than a late round pick, or even that he is much more likely to perform better.

The reason you see so many former 1st rounders among NFL starting QBs has a lot to do with the fact that late rounders and UDFAs are rarely, if ever, given a true opportunity to “win” a starting job. While a first rounder (especially a high first rounder) will almost always be given an opportunity to start and time to develop, teams and coaches lack the cojones to hand the reins over to a late round pick and stick with him if he doesn’t have immediate and dramatic success. Teams are forced to make a massive financial commitment to First Rounders and are almost forced to put them on the field. That is why complete abortions like Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, Cade McNown, David Klingler, Tim Couch, Todd Marinovich, etc. all got a significant number of starts before their teams gave up on them. Having made that commitment, teams will give a 1st rounder every possible chance to show that he was not a bad pick. On the other hand, guys like Brady, Warner, Delhomme, Green, etc. were only given PT because the guys in front of them (most of whom were former 1st or 2nd round picks) got hurt.

I have been unable to think of a single QB drafted after the first round that became a starter by actually winning a starting job in training camp. Few coaches have the stones to elevate an unproven late round draft pick to starting QB over an incumbent, experienced former 1st rounder.

While First Rounders at other positions will also been given a bigger chance than late round guys, the difference is not nearly the same as at QB. Teams will start rookies Week 1 that are taken after the 1st round. I'm not sure any rookie QB taken after the first round has ever started week 1. Teams are also much more hesitant to bench a struggling QB than at any other position. Conventional wisdom is that you have to maintain consistency at QB even if the QB is struggling. Combine a team's need to justify its investment in a 1st round QB, with coaches' unwillingness to simply give a later round pick a shot to win the job, and the perceived need to stick with a struggling QB to maintain consistency of leadership and you have a pretty good explanation for why there are so many former No. 1s starting at QB.

In order for a late rounder to get a starting job and sufficient time to develop, it generally requires the guy in front of them to have a season ending (or near season ending) injury. Most of the notable late round QBs likely never would have gotten a real chance to show what they could do if the guy in front of them had not gone down:

Tom Brady (injury to Drew Bledsoe)
Kurt Warner (injury to Trent Green)
Trent Green (injury to Kurt Warner)
Marc Bulger (injury to Kurt Warner)
Jake Delhomme (injury to Rodney Peete)

Etc.

There is a category of late round QBs who showed enough in limited time on one team to get traded to another team that basically handed them a starting job – Brunell, Brooks, Hasselbeck, Fiedler, Feeley, Rob Johnson, Matt Schaub, etc. But none of these guys were able to break through and become a starter for the team that drafted them.

To evaluate the relative performance of QBs of varying draft status, I’ve compiled the stats of all QBs who entered the league since 1982. Although it is an imperfect measure, I am using QB rating as the principal basis for comparison because it is readily accessible, generally accepted, and does provide a useful snapshot of a QB’s performance. I have looked at these player’s performance over their entire careers, as well as in their first year of significant playing time, which I have defined as 100 or more pass attempts. I had to draw the line somewhere and 100 pass attempts equates to roughly 3-5 games worth of passing numbers, depending on the team. In my opinion, evaluating a QB on less than 100 pass attempts or so in the NFL has little or no value. The numbers discussed below represent composite QB ratings, i.e., the total numbers for all players of a particular draft stats plugged into the QB rating formula.
While the results were consistent with my thesis, I think they may be shocking to many.

Career QB Rating By Round

1st – 78.7
2nd – 77.8
3rd – 76.2
4th – 75.9
5th – 74.4
6th – 79.0
7th – 72.7
8th – 80.0
9th – 81.6
10th – 71.7
11th – 76.3
12th – N/A
UDFA – 83.4

The numbers above show very little difference in QB rating as you move down in the draft, with late round picks as a group putting up better numbers than early rounders. Because the numbers of players included in some draft rounds, especially the later ones, is so small, I think it is more useful to look at this from the standpoint of broader draft categories. To do this, I created 3 groupings: (1) 1st rounders; (2) mid-rounders (rounds 2-4); and (3) late rounders (round 5-UDFA).

Career QB Rating By Draft Area

1st Rounders – 78.7
Mid Rounders – 76.9
Late Rounders – 79.7

As indicated above, the numbers are very close, with the Late Rounders actually having the better career performance.

Because part of my theory is premised on the notion that late rounders rarely get an opportunity to play, I also looked at how these QBs performed in their first year of significant playing time (again, more than 100 attempts in a season).

1st Year of Playing Time QB Rating By Round

1st – 69.9
2nd – 69.9
3rd – 73.4
4th – 68.1
5th – 74.4
6th – 74.7
7th – 68.6
8th – 78.2
9th – 84.5
10th – 70.3
11th – 63.3
12th – N/A
UDFA – 89.4

Again, as a group, the later round picks performed better in their first significant NFL action. Below are the numbers based on broader draft area groupings:

1st Year of Playing Time QB Rating By Draft Area

1st Rounders – 69.7
Mid Rounders – 70.4
Late Rounders – 77.8

I suspected that the dramatic performance gap between Late Rounders and 1st Rounders in this first year of playing time was likely due to the fact that, while 1st Rounders are often thrown to the wolves in their first year or early in their second year, Late Rounders often have more time to watch and learn before getting their first experience. This was borne out by the numbers. The average 1st Rounder got his first significant playing time between his first and 2nd year. The average Mid Rounder got his first shot between his second and 3rd year, and the average Late Rounder got his first meaningful PT between his third and fourth year.

Of the 1st Rounders, 13 basically “bombed” in that first year of playing experience. Some of them, e.g., Elway, Aikman, Chris Miller, went on to become very good QBs, and the jury is still out on a few other, e.g., Eli Manning and Alex Smith. For this purpose, I have defined “bombed” as posting a QB rating below 60 in that first year. Nonetheless, all but one (Art Schlichter, whose career was cut short by a compulsive gambling habit and numerous stops in prison) of those 13 were given at least 400 pass attempts to show what they could do. Only 3 others were given less than 800 NFL pass attempts. During that same time period, there were only 7 guys who “bombed” in their first NFL opportunity. Of those, only 2 ended up getting 500 NFL pass attempts – Doug Flutie and Stan Humphries. Flutie got those attempts only after being banished to Canada for a decade after 5 years of little playing time in the NFL. Washington got rid of Humphries after that miserable first season and he became a starter again in Dan Diego a few years later.

QB play is dependent on a lot of factors beyond the control of the QB: (1) pass protection; (2) quality of the receivers; (3) effectiveness of the running game; (4) the actual style of the offense; (5) play-calling and (5) effectiveness of the defense, i.e., whether playing from beyond or with a lead, among many other things. It appears that these factors, much more so than, physical talent or draft pedigree determine a QB’s success.

To evaluate the impact of these external factors on QB performance, I have looked at how backup QBs have fared when they’ve come in to replace an injured starter. Generally speaking, the play of a backup QB usually depends on the quality of the offense (taking into account all of the foregoing factors) he comes into. Historically, backups to the great QBs in NFL history have put up numbers (and winning percentages) that were pretty comparable to the Hall of Famers and MVPs they were replacing. There are some exceptions, of course, but look at the QB ratings of the following backups, with the starter’s name in parentheses:

Steve Young (Montana) 108.9
Steve Bono (Montana) 88.5
Jeff Kemp (Montana) 85.7
Scott Mitchell (Marino) 91.4
Craig Erickson (Marino) 86.3
Elvis Grbac (Young) 87.9
Jeff Garcia (Young) 89.9
Frank Reich (Kelly) 102.3
Jim Sorgi (Manning) 99.1
Matt Cassel (Brady) 89.4
Marc Bulger (Warner) 101.5
Trent Green (Warner) 101.8
Bernie Kosar (Aikman) 92.7
Rodney Peete (Aikman) 102.5
Jason Garrett (Aikman) 83.3
Billy Volek (McNair) 87.4

Some of these guys, like Young and Bulger proved to be quality starters in their own right when given the chance. Even putting aside his struggles in Tampa early in his career, it is difficult to say how much of Young’s success was due to him and how much was due to the system in SF. After all, virtually every QB who played in SF from 1982 to 2000 had a QB rating in the mid-80s or higher. Bulger has done very well in St. Louis, but that is the only offense he has ever played in. Warner and Green had similar (or greater) success in that same offense before Bulger.

Because QB play is so dependent on so many other factors, it is hard to compare QB performance of players on different teams. Although all comparisons have their limitations, the best comparison is between two QBs who play in the same offense with the same teammates. Of course, the only time we see that is when one QB is hurt or otherwise replaced by another. I looked at the last 5 years and, by just eyeballing the numbers, saw a remarkable correspondence between the play of the starter and the play of the backup. To make this meaningful, I focused on those situations where the backup had at least 100 pass attempts. Again, although far from a perfect stat, QB rating is a well-accepted measure of QB performance, so I have focused on QB rating as a measuring stick.

For the purpose of this analysis, I have focused on those situations over the last 5 years where a guy drafted after the third round (or not drafted) came in to replace a starter and got at least 100 pass attempts. This does not include notable “unheralded” backups like Brady and Delhomme because the starters they replaced were hurt so early in the season that one cannot make a meaningful comparison. The starter and his rating is listed first, followed by the backup and his rating.

2006

Bledsoe (69.2)
Romo (95.1) (undrafted)

TGreen (74.1)
Huard (98.0) (undrafted)

Leftwich (79)
Garrard (80.5) (4th)

Hasselbeck (76.0)
SWallace (76.2) (4th)

McNabb (95.5)
Garcia (95.8) (undrafted)

2005

Boller (71.8)
AWright (71.7) (undrafted)

Losman (64.9)
Holcomb (85.6) (undrafted)

Pennington (70.9)
Bollinger (72.9) (6th)

Brooks (70)
Bouman (54.7) (undrafted)

Culpepper (72)
BJohnson (88.9) (9th)

Harrington (72)
Garcia (65.1) (undrafted)

McNabb (85)
McMahon (55.2) (5th)

Bulger (94.4)
JMartin (83.5) (undrafted)
Fitzpatrick (58.2) (7th)

2004

McNair (73.1)
Volek (87.1) (undrafted)

Fiedler (67.1)
Feeley (61.7) (5th)

Grossman (67.9)
Hutchinson (73.6) (undrafted)

Rattay (78.1)
Dorsey (62..4) (7th)

2003

Boller (62.4)
AWright (72.3) (undrafted)

Couch (77.6)
Holcomb (74.6) (undrafted)

Brees (67.5)
Flutie (82.8) (undrafted)

Ramsey (75.8)
THasselbeck (63.6) (undrafted)

KCollins (70.7)
JPalmer (58.5) (4th)

Garcia (80.1)
Rattay (96.6) (undrafted)

2002

Couch (76.8)
Holcomb (92.9) (undrafted)

Fiedler (85.2)
RLucas (69.9) (undrafted)

CChandler (79.8)
JMiller (77.5) (6th)

Harrington (59.9)
McMahon (52.4) (5th)

McNabb (86)
Feeley (75.4) (5th)

Warner (67.4)
Bulger (101.5) (6th)
JMartin (71.7) (undrafted)

Dilfer (71.1)
Hasselbeck (87.8) (6th)

2001

SMatthews (72.3)
JMiller (74.9) (6th)

RJohnson (76.3)
A Van Pelt (76.4) (8th)

In 18 of these 32 instances, the low draft pick backup had the higher rating. In many of those cases, however, the difference was pretty insignificant. By my count, taking into account the number of passes and the difference in the ratings, the low draft pick significantly outperformed the starter 10 times, the starter significantly outperformed the backup 7 times and the remaining 15 times the backup’s performance was essentially equivalent to the starter’s. Of the 10 times that the starter significantly outplayed the backup, several involved situations where even the starter had a rating below 80. I’m hesitant to say that a guy with a rating of 68 has significantly outplayed another guy with a rating of 58, especially when one of the guys has only played a few games. Several of the cases where the starter’s numbers were significantly better than the backup’s involved instances in which the backups numbers were skewed by a single bad performance, usually a 3-5 interception game, that he could not overcome based on a relatively small number of attempts.

Some people say that when a starter goes down, the rest of the team elevates its play, thus enabling the backup QBs numbers to look better than they are. Of course, there is no easy way to prove or disprove that. The bottom line is that the backup QB still has to find the open man and get him the ball. In those instances where the backup has kept the starting job for an extended period of time, e.g., Brady, Delhomme, Warner, Bulger, etc., it is highly doubtful that the rest of the players on the team are still elevating their play because the starter went down a few years earlier. I personally do not believe that the “rest of the team is elevating their play” explains why backup QBs so often perform as well as, or better than, the starter.

Now, I am certainly not suggesting that backups are generally better than starters or that all low draft pick QBs can be as successful as the top starters. The data does suggest, however, that who is playing QB may be a lot less important than most people assume. Most people believe that the top QBs, such as Manning, Palmer, Brady, etc. are essentially irreplaceable. That may or may not be true. Because none of these guys have missed significant playing time, we really don’t know how someone else might perform over an extended period of time in those offenses. Since these guys have only played for 1 team, we don’t really know how well these guys would perform in another offense. The same is true of many of the HOF QBs who played on the same team their entire careers.

While we have not seen enough of Cleo Lemon to know whether he will ever be a great QB, we can’t dismiss the possibility based on his draft position (or lack thereof). We also can’t dimiss it just because he has now been a backup for several years – the same was true of Delhomme, Hasselbeck, Gannon, etc. To date, while he has not set the world on fire, he has not embarrassed himself either. Considering that the Fins’ offense was not very good last year, regardless of who has been at QB, that is something of an accomplishment in itself. Moreover, it is reasonable to assume that, with more playing time, he will improve.

With respect to the draft, I believe the difference between the top rated QBs (Quinn and Russell) and the next tier (Beck, Stanton, Edwards, Kolb, Smith) is smaller than many people believe and that the difference between that tier and the guys who will go in the 5th round or later is also smaller than many people think. I believe that the success or failure of these QBs will depend a lot more on the circumstances in which they find themselves (i.e., offensive line, receivers, running game, play calling, etc.), than on the strength of their arm or their “pedigree.” Of the 8 first rounders since 1982 who have played well (QB rating above 80) in their first significant playing time, 6 did it on teams that had won at least 16 games over the two previous seasons – Marino (18 in 25 games), Roethlisberger (16), Pennington (19), Culpepper (25), Cutler (23) and Rivers (21). Of the other two, Jim Kelly had 2 years of starting QB experience in the USFL before getting his first NFL start, and Steve McNair did it in very limited playing time (143 attempts) on an 8-8 team that had gone 7-9 the previous season. Similarly, of the guys who have "bombed" in their first playing time, virtually all of them did it on absolutely terrible teams that had been absolutely terrible for a few years before that.

I expect that the success or failure of the guys picked this year will similarly depend on the quality of the teams that draft them.

fishypete
04-26-2007, 03:03 PM
Usually guy's that go in the first round are going to lousy teams...and that gives them the least amount of chance to win...at least right away.

Pitbull13
04-26-2007, 03:08 PM
God, that was a long read:o

Fineas
04-26-2007, 03:09 PM
Usually guy's that go in the first round are going to lousy teams...and that gives them the least amount of chance to win...at least right away.


Only the guys at the top of the 1st are going to lousy teams. Mid and late round 1sts are going to good teams. And a 6th rounder who goes in the top part of the 6th is generally going to a bad team too.

Anyhow, even your point, if accepted as true, supoports the premise that the quality of the team is the primary deciding factor in the QB's performance.

FinfanInBuffalo
04-26-2007, 04:04 PM
While I appreciate the work that went into your analysis and post, I think there is a major flaw in your logic. As you noted, first round QBs are much more likely to be given playing time earlier in their career and be forced to learn on the job. This will have a significant affect on how ready they are for their initial crack at significant playing time. Also, later round picks do not normally get a chance to play unless they have shown something, either in practice, preseason, mop up duty, etc. As a group they are put in when they are most likely to succeed. I also believe that late round QBs are on a shorter leash. They are much less likely to be left playing after they have initially failed. Can you imagine a 7th round pick being given the amount of playing time that players like David Carr and Joey Harrington have been given?

To be fair, your analysis would somehow have to account for late round QBs that never play a single down in the NFL. Your analysis shows that once they have earned their stripes, late round QBs have a good success rate. That group is not penalized by the poor performers that never get their crack.

Finally, all of this means little because the team is drafting a player, not a position. While the average peformance of QBs drafted in different rounds may not vary much, the performance of individual QBs most certainly will. Of the 6 or 7 QBs that will be drafted in the first three rounds on Saturday, only 2 or 3 will turn out to be good pros. The challenge is to pick the right one. The earlier you select one of them, the greater the chance of getting the one that you want.

Fineas
04-26-2007, 04:30 PM
While I appreciate the work that went into your analysis and post, I think there is a major flaw in your logic. As you noted, first round QBs are much more likely to be given playing time earlier in their career and be forced to learn on the job. This will have a significant affect on how ready they are for their initial crack at significant playing time. Also, later round picks do not normally get a chance to play unless they have shown something, either in practice, preseason, mop up duty, etc. As a group they are put in when they are most likely to succeed. I also believe that late round QBs are on a shorter leash. They are much less likely to be left playing after they have initially failed. Can you imagine a 7th round pick being given the amount of playing time that players like David Carr and Joey Harrington have been given?

You are missing the point of the post. I'm not suggesting that any late rounder will be better than any first rounder or that one should only take late rounders. What I'm saying is that QB performance, whether a guy is taken No. 1 overall or is an UDFA, depends more on the team he is with than his skillset.

What you are suggesting is a flaw in the analysis is not. Those are points that are acknowledged and discussed in the post.

Yes, I can imagine a 7th round pick being given the playing time that Carr and Harrington have been given. If the guy is on a good team, like Brady, Warner, Bulger, etc., those guys can be wildly successful.

It is true that unsuccessful late rounders don;'t get as long a leash and therefore their numbers have less of an impact on the composite. Of course, in many of those cases, those guys may have done very well if given a longer leash. Few QBs, of any draft status, have played as poorly early on as Elway, Aikman, Chris Miller, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, etc. Some of those guys clearly rebounded from that when given time to work their way our of it and others seem to be in the process of doing so. So you can't assume that a 7th rounder who played poorly in his first 100 attempts would forever continue to play poorly.



To be fair, your analysis would somehow have to account for late round QBs that never play a single down in the NFL. Your analysis shows that once they have earned their stripes, late round QBs have a good success rate. That group is not penalized by the poor performers that never get their crack.

The problem is that even guys who may have developed into great NFL QBs may never have gotten their crack because the guy in front of them never got hurt. In all likelihood, guys like Brady, Warner, Bulger, Green, etc. would have wallowed on the bench for years and never gotten a chance to show what they could do if the guys in front of them hadn't gotten hurt.


Finally, all of this means little because the team is drafting a player, not a position. While the average peformance of QBs drafted in different rounds may not vary much, the performance of individual QBs most certainly will. Of the 6 or 7 QBs that will be drafted in the first three rounds on Saturday, only 2 or 3 will turn out to be good pros. The challenge is to pick the right one. The earlier you select one of them, the greater the chance of getting the one that you want.

I'm not suggesting that all QBs are the same regardless of draft status. What I'm suggesting is that it is less about picking the "right one" than it is about putting them in an environment that is conducive to QB success. You may not agree with that, and we can debate that point, but I think there is ample evidence to support that point.

Fineas
04-26-2007, 04:33 PM
While I appreciate the work that went into your analysis and post, I think there is a major flaw in your logic. As you noted, first round QBs are much more likely to be given playing time earlier in their career and be forced to learn on the job. This will have a significant affect on how ready they are for their initial crack at significant playing time. Also, later round picks do not normally get a chance to play unless they have shown something, either in practice, preseason, mop up duty, etc. As a group they are put in when they are most likely to succeed. I also believe that late round QBs are on a shorter leash. They are much less likely to be left playing after they have initially failed. Can you imagine a 7th round pick being given the amount of playing time that players like David Carr and Joey Harrington have been given?

You are missing the point of the post. I'm not suggesting that any late rounder will be better than any first rounder or that one should only take late rounders. What I'm saying is that QB performance, whether a guy is taken No. 1 overall or is an UDFA, depends more on the team he is with than his skillset.

What you are suggesting is a flaw in the analysis is not. Those are points that are acknowledged and discussed in the post.

Yes, I can imagine a 7th round pick being given the playing time that Carr and Harrington have been given. If the guy is on a good team, like Brady, Warner, Bulger, etc., those guys can be wildly successful.

It is true that unsuccessful late rounders don;'t get as long a leash and therefore their numbers have less of an impact on the composite. Of course, in many of those cases, those guys may have done very well if given a longer leash. Few QBs, of any draft status, have played as poorly early on as Elway, Aikman, Chris Miller, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, etc. Some of those guys clearly rebounded from that when given time to work their way our of it and others seem to be in the process of doing so. So you can't assume that a 7th rounder who played poorly in his first 100 attempts would forever continue to play poorly.



To be fair, your analysis would somehow have to account for late round QBs that never play a single down in the NFL. Your analysis shows that once they have earned their stripes, late round QBs have a good success rate. That group is not penalized by the poor performers that never get their crack.

The problem is that even guys who may have developed into great NFL QBs may never have gotten their crack because the guy in front of them never got hurt. In all likelihood, guys like Brady, Warner, Bulger, Green, etc. would have wallowed on the bench for years and never gotten a chance to show what they could do if the guys in front of them hadn't gotten hurt.


Finally, all of this means little because the team is drafting a player, not a position. While the average peformance of QBs drafted in different rounds may not vary much, the performance of individual QBs most certainly will. Of the 6 or 7 QBs that will be drafted in the first three rounds on Saturday, only 2 or 3 will turn out to be good pros. The challenge is to pick the right one. The earlier you select one of them, the greater the chance of getting the one that you want.

I'm not suggesting that all QBs are the same regardless of draft status. What I'm suggesting is that it is less about picking the "right one" than it is about putting them in an environment that is conducive to QB success. You may not agree with that, and we can debate that point, but I think there is ample evidence to support it. I'd be interested in seeing your evidence to the contrary.

FinfanInBuffalo
04-26-2007, 04:42 PM
You are missing the point of the post. I'm not suggesting that any late rounder will be better than any first rounder or that one should only take late rounders. What I'm saying is that QB performance, whether a guy is taken No. 1 overall or is an UDFA, depends more on the team he is with than his skillset.

What you are suggesting is a flaw in the analysis is not. Those are points that are acknowledged and discussed in the post.

Yes, I can imagine a 7th round pick being given the playing time that Carr and Harrington have been given. If the guy is on a good team, like Brady, Warner, Bulger, etc., those guys can be wildly successful.

It is true that unsuccessful late rounders don;'t get as long a leash and therefore their numbers have less of an impact on the composite. Of course, in many of those cases, those guys may have done very well if given a longer leash. Few QBs, of any draft status, have played as poorly early on as Elway, Aikman, Chris Miller, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, etc. Some of those guys clearly rebounded from that when given time to work their way our of it and others seem to be in the process of doing so. So you can't assume that a 7th rounder who played poorly in his first 100 attempts would forever continue to play poorly.




The problem is that even guys who may have developed into great NFL QBs may never have gotten their crack because the guy in front of them never got hurt. In all likelihood, guys like Brady, Warner, Bulger, Green, etc. would have wallowed on the bench for years and never gotten a chance to show what they could do if the guys in front of them hadn't gotten hurt.



I'm not suggesting that all QBs are the same regardless of draft status. What I'm suggesting is that it is less about picking the "right one" than it is about putting them in an environment that is conducive to QB success. You may not agree with that, and we can debate that point, but I think there is ample evidence to support that point.


I still think your analysis is flawed. Unlike first round picks, there are very fiew late round picks at QB that have started for a significant period of time and performed poorly. That alone skews the numbers.

As you noted, some early round picks played poorly early in their careers. Unlike late round picks, they are not given the chance to learn while in a backup role. Once again, that skews the QB rankings of the group.

Here's evidence that it is the player that matters the most. Teams' with top flight QB's don't make a habit of trading away their QB for a cheaper alternative. If they could just plug in another player, don't you think they would do it?

PerfectFinz72
04-26-2007, 04:45 PM
God, that was a long read:o


Agreed. Interesting stuff but man, just too long. I can only take so much of a long read, especially when its highly opinionated.

Fineas
04-26-2007, 04:59 PM
I still think your analysis is flawed. Unlike first round picks, there are very fiew late round picks at QB that have started for a significant period of time and performed poorly. That alone skews the numbers.

How does that skew the numbers? Look at what you are saying. "THERE ARE VERY FEW LATE ROUND PICKS AT QB THAT HAVE STARTED FOR A SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF TIME AND PERFORMED BADLY." In other words, just about every late round pick QB who has been given a meaningful opportunity to play has played well.



As you noted, some early round picks played poorly early in their careers. Unlike late round picks, they are not given the chance to learn while in a backup role. Once again, that skews the QB rankings of the group.

Early round picks do often get a chance to learn when in a backup role. Most are not thrown into the fire their first season. Of those that are, a bunch of them fail initially and then have ample opportunity to learn as backups, e.g., Harrington, Carr, Patrick Ramsey, etc.


Here's evidence that it is the player that matters the most. Teams' with top flight QB's don't make a habit of trading away their QB for a cheaper alternative. If they could just plug in another player, don't you think they would do it?

Not at all. A bird in the hand . . . If a team has a quality, successful QB, why would they get rid of him? Why go through the growing pains of developing another guy? As pointed out in the discussions of the backups in the original post, when those teams are forced to replace their quality QB due to injury, free agency, etc., the backups in general perform pretty equivalently. Not in every case, but more often than not.

FinfanInBuffalo
04-26-2007, 05:20 PM
How does that skew the numbers? Look at what you are saying. "THERE ARE VERY FEW LATE ROUND PICKS AT QB THAT HAVE STARTED FOR A SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF TIME AND PERFORMED BADLY." In other words, just about every late round pick QB who has been given a meaningful opportunity to play has played well.


That's not what that means at all. That means that late round QBs who struggle get a quick hook. Only those that have proven themselves in advance and perform decently get left in as a starter. That is a big contrast to the 1st round QBs that are thrown to the wolves.

Here's an example, David Carr struggled for 4 years in Houston. Despite early struggles, he was left in as the starting QB. His poor QB rating has an impact on the average QB rating of the first round QBs. In the same draft, there were 10 QBs that were taken in the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds that have not received any significant playing time. They could be crappy QBs but there is no impact on the rating that you assign to the group of late round QBs. I'm sure many of them are no longer in the league. All 10 could be total crap and your numbers would still look good.


Early round picks do often get a chance to learn when in a backup role. Most are not thrown into the fire their first season. Of those that are, a bunch of them fail initially and then have ample opportunity to learn as backups, e.g., Harrington, Carr, Patrick Ramsey, etc.

Where have Harrington and Carr had ample opportunities to learn as backups?


Not at all. A bird in the hand . . . If a team has a quality, successful QB, why would they get rid of him? Why go through the growing pains of developing another guy? As pointed out in the discussions of the backups in the original post, when those teams are forced to replace their quality QB due to injury, free agency, etc., the backups in general perform pretty equivalently. Not in every case, but more often than not.

Not having to pay 100 million dollars is plenty of reason to replace Peyton Manning if you could just grab a 5th rounder to replace him. Obviously you cannot.

Answer these two questions:

1. Is a QB more likely to be successful in his first or second year in the NFL or later after a few years of learning the offense?

2. Which QB is most likely to be a starter early in his career, a first round pick or a 7th round pick?

The answers to those two questions fully explain why your analysis is flawed.

Finally, you are comparing the QB rating of nearly all first round QBs against a select subset of the late round QBs. If all late round QBs were forced to play, I'm quite sure that the average QB rating for late round QBs would be significantly less.

FinfanInBuffalo
04-26-2007, 05:35 PM
How does that skew the numbers? Look at what you are saying. "THERE ARE VERY FEW LATE ROUND PICKS AT QB THAT HAVE STARTED FOR A SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF TIME AND PERFORMED BADLY." In other words, just about every late round pick QB who has been given a meaningful opportunity to play has played well.


Here is another way to look at it. Since 1998, there have been 58 QBs drafted in the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds. Of those, 3 have developed into quality starters. That's less than 6%. There have been 26 QBs taken in the first round. Of those, 14 are expected to be their team's starter this season. Most of those are quality starters. That is a much higher hit rate. A late round QB is many times more likely to be selling insurance in three years than playing QB on an NFL team.

Fineas
04-26-2007, 06:15 PM
That's not what that means at all. That means that late round QBs who struggle get a quick hook. Only those that have proven themselves in advance and perform decently get left in as a starter. That is a big contrast to the 1st round QBs that are thrown to the wolves.

That's a nice theory, but who are your examples. Who are the late round guys who have gotten a chance and struggled so bad?

Yes, some first rounders get thrown to the wolves, but usually only those that were top 5 or top 10 picks. After that, most sit for a year or two.



Here's an example, David Carr struggled for 4 years in Houston. Despite early struggles, he was left in as the starting QB. His poor QB rating has an impact on the average QB rating of the first round QBs. In the same draft, there were 10 QBs that were taken in the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds that have not received any significant playing time. They could be crappy QBs but there is no impact on the rating that you assign to the group of late round QBs. I'm sure many of them are no longer in the league. All 10 could be total crap and your numbers would still look good.

Those low round guys could all be crap, but we don't really know that. Guys like Trent Green and Jake Delhomme would likely have been considered crap by your logic during those first 4-5 years where they never got a chance to play. You can't assume they are crap unless or until they have had a chance to play.




Where have Harrington and Carr had ample opportunities to learn as backups?

This year in Atlanta and Carolina respectively. My point was that a lot of the guys who crash and burn at the beginning of their careers then become backups and may get another shot later on. The numbers for the first rounders is positively influenced by the second lives of former first round flops like Vinny Testaverde, Tommy Maddox and Trent Dilfer. The late round guys rarely get those second lives.


Not having to pay 100 million dollars is plenty of reason to replace Peyton Manning if you could just grab a 5th rounder to replace him. Obviously you cannot.

No it's not. Not if you have to take a chance on an unproven entity who may take several years to develop. Not to mention losing the face of your franchise, taking a $50 million cap hit, etc.



Answer these two questions:

1. Is a QB more likely to be successful in his first or second year in the NFL or later after a few years of learning the offense?

2. Which QB is most likely to be a starter early in his career, a first round pick or a 7th round pick?

The answers to those two questions fully explain why your analysis is flawed.



The analysis is not flawed. Those very issues are discussed in the post at length. Even so, you keep assumign that every rookie is thrown to the wolves in their first year. Not true. Most aren't. The premise of the post is that the circumstances in which a youngf QB finds himself impact his performance more than his arm strength, etc. One of those circumstances is whether he is being thrown to the wolves on a terrible team or gettign time to develop on a good team. All of that is taken into account in the analysis.

Again, you seem to think I am arguing that all late rounders are better than all first rounders. That is not at all what I am saying. What I am saying is that the quality of the team and the circumstances in which the QB plays will be more predictive of success or failure than draft status.




Finally, you are comparing the QB rating of nearly all first round QBs against a select subset of the late round QBs. If all late round QBs were forced to play, I'm quite sure that the average QB rating for late round QBs would be significantly less.

It is not a select subset. It is every single late round QBs over the last 25 years who has had any meaningful playing opportunity. I have defined that as 100 pass attempts. It could have been 60, it could have been 150. Looking at the data set, I am confident that the basic results would not have been different is I had set the threshold at a different point. Incorporating the numbers of guys who threw 3 passes in a given season would not only be excessively time consuming, it would be meaningless.

BSQX4
04-26-2007, 06:19 PM
Fineas, do you work at N.A.S.A? Very well thought out and researched post. So who should we draft?

FinfanInBuffalo
04-26-2007, 06:45 PM
That's a nice theory, but who are your examples. Who are the late round guys who have gotten a chance and struggled so bad?

AJ Feeley. First one off of the top of my head. If he were a first round pick, he would have been given much more time in Miami.



Those low round guys could all be crap, but we don't really know that. Guys like Trent Green and Jake Delhomme would likely have been considered crap by your logic during those first 4-5 years where they never got a chance to play. You can't assume they are crap unless or until they have had a chance to play.

I can assume that their respective teams evaluated them in practice, and preseason games.



The analysis is not flawed. Those very issues are discussed in the post at length. Even so, you keep assumign that every rookie is thrown to the wolves in their first year. Not true. Most aren't. The premise of the post is that the circumstances in which a youngf QB finds himself impact his performance more than his arm strength, etc. One of those circumstances is whether he is being thrown to the wolves on a terrible team or gettign time to develop on a good team. All of that is taken into account in the analysis.

It's not taken into account. It's mentioned and dismissed.


Again, you seem to think I am arguing that all late rounders are better than all first rounders. That is not at all what I am saying. What I am saying is that the quality of the team and the circumstances in which the QB plays will be more predictive of success or failure than draft status.

And your analysis does not show that. In order to show that, you'd have to have the same QB in different situations to show the situation played a bigger role than the talent of the player.



It is not a select subset. It is every single late round QBs over the last 25 years who has had any meaningful playing opportunity. I have defined that as 100 pass attempts. It could have been 60, it could have been 150. Looking at the data set, I am confident that the basic results would not have been different is I had set the threshold at a different point. Incorporating the numbers of guys who threw 3 passes in a given season would not only be excessively time consuming, it would be meaningless.

The % of late round picks in your analysis is a tiny fraction of the total that were drafted or signed as FA. That is very much a select subset.

You're missing the point. The point is that the vast majority of late round picks aren't good enough to make a roster let alone be a quality starter.

Here are the QBs drafted in the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds from 1998 until 2006. Can you honestly say that if they all had 100 career attempts, the QB rating of the late round picks wouldn't drop?

8 5 15 148 Ingle Martin Packers Furman
9 5 32 164 Omar Jacobs Steelers Bowling Green
10 6 24 193 Reggie McNeal Bengals Texas A&M
11 6 25 194 Bruce Gradkowski Buccaneers Toledo
12 7 15 223 D.J. Shockley Falcons Georgia
9 5 9 145 Dan Orlovsky Lions Connecticut
10 5 16 152 Adrian McPherson Saints Florida State
11 6 39 213 Derek Anderson Ravens Oregon State
12 7 15 229 James Kilian Chiefs Tulsa
13 7 16 230 Matt Cassel Patriots USC
14 7 36 250 Ryan Fitzpatrick Rams Harvard
7 5 16 148 Craig Krenzel Bears Ohio State
8 6 20 185 Andy Hall Eagles Delaware
9 6 22 187 Josh Harris Ravens Bowling Green
10 6 28 193 Jim Sorgi Colts Wisconsin
11 6 36 201 Jeff Smoker Rams Michigan State
12 7 1 202 John Navarre Cardinals Michigan
13 7 16 217 Cody Pickett 49ers Washington
14 7 17 218 Casey Bramlet Bengals Wyoming
15 7 24 225 Matt Mauck Broncos Louisiana State
16 7 47 248 B.J. Symons Texans Texas Tech
17 7 49 250 Bradlee Van Pelt Broncos Colorado State
8 5 28 163 Brian St. Pierre Steelers Boston College
9 6 19 192 Drew Henson Texans Michigan
10 6 27 200 Brooks Bollinger Jets Wisconsin
11 6 28 201 Kliff Kingsbury Patriots Texas Tech
12 7 18 232 Gibran Hamdan Redskins Indiana
13 7 27 241 Ken Dorsey 49ers Miami (FL)
7 5 2 137 Randy Fasani Panthers Stanford
8 5 23 158 Kurt Kittner Falcons Illinois
9 5 28 163 Brandon Doman 49ers Brigham Young
10 5 29 164 Craig Nall Packers Northwestern State
11 6 14 186 J.T. O'Sullivan Saints California-Davis
12 6 33 205 Steve Bellisari Rams Ohio State
13 7 5 216 Seth Burford Chargers Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
14 7 21 232 Jeff Kelly Seahawks Southern Mississippi
15 7 24 235 Ronald Curry Raiders North Carolina
16 7 25 236 Wes Pate Ravens Stephen F. Austin
8 5 18 149 Mike McMahon Lions Rutgers
9 5 24 155 A.J. Feeley Eagles Oregon
10 6 9 172 Josh Booty Seahawks Louisiana State
11 6 14 177 Josh Heupel Dolphins Oklahoma
4 5 34 163 Tee Martin Steelers Tennessee
5 6 2 168 Marc Bulger Saints West Virginia
6 6 17 183 Spergon Wynn Browns Southwest Texas State
7 6 33 199 Tom Brady Patriots Michigan
8 6 36 202 Todd Husak Redskins Stanford
9 6 39 205 JaJuan Seider Chargers Florida A&M
10 7 6 212 Tim Rattay 49ers Louisiana Tech
11 7 8 214 Jarious Jackson Broncos Notre Dame
12 7 28 234 Joe Hamilton Buccaneers Georgia Tech
10 5 18 151 Kevin Daft Oilers California-Davis
11 7 21 227 Michael Bishop Patriots Kansas State
12 7 33 239 Chris Greisen Cardinals Northwest Missouri State
13 7 39 245 Scott Covington Bengals Miami (FL)
6 6 19 172 John Dutton Dolphins Nevada
7 6 34 187 Matt Hasselbeck Packers Boston College
8 7 43 232 Moses Moreno Bears Colorado State


Here are the first round QBs. I think all but 1 have the 100 passes you picked as the cutoff.

1 1 3 3 Vince Young Titans Texas
2 1 10 10 Matt Leinart Cardinals USC
3 1 11 11 Jay Cutler Broncos Vanderbilt
1 1 1 1 Alex D. Smith 49ers Utah
2 1 24 24 Aaron Rodgers Packers California
3 1 25 25 Jason Campbell Redskins Auburn
1 1 1 1 Eli Manning Chargers Mississippi
2 1 4 4 Philip Rivers Giants North Carolina State
3 1 11 11 Ben Roethlisberger Steelers Miami (OH)
4 1 22 22 J.P. Losman Bills Tulane
1 1 1 1 Carson Palmer Bengals USC
2 1 7 7 Byron Leftwich Jaguars Marshall
3 1 19 19 Kyle Boller Ravens California
4 1 22 22 Rex Grossman Bears Florida
1 1 1 1 David Carr Texans Fresno State
2 1 3 3 Joey Harrington Lions Oregon
3 1 32 32 Patrick Ramsey Redskins Tulane
1 1 1 1 Michael Vick Falcons Virginia Tech
1 1 18 18 Chad Pennington Jets Marshall
1 1 1 1 Tim Couch Browns Kentucky
2 1 2 2 Donovan McNabb Eagles Syracuse
3 1 3 3 Akili Smith Bengals Oregon
4 1 11 11 Daunte Culpepper Vikings Central Florida
5 1 12 12 Cade McNown Bears UCLA
1 1 1 1 Peyton Manning Colts Tennessee
2 1 2 2 Ryan Leaf Chargers Washington State


IMO, your analysis doesn't show what you think it does. You haven't even attempted to analyze which QBs were in better situations or what a better situation is. I think your analysis shows that a late round pick that proves themselves while being a backup is just as likely to succeed as a first round pick. Unfortunately only a very small % of late round picks end up being good enough to do that.

The chances of getting a good QB are much greater early in the draft.

Fineas
04-26-2007, 10:47 PM
AJ Feeley. First one off of the top of my head. If he were a first round pick, he would have been given much more time in Miami.

Feeley also found himself in an environment here in Miami that would be very hard for any QB to succeed in. Horrible OL. No Running game. Mediocre receivers. Horrible OC. In a better environment, like the one he's had in Philly during his 2 stints there, he's done fine -- 87.4 QB rating.



I can assume that their respective teams evaluated them in practice, and preseason games.

Sure they did. So I guess Cameron evaluated Trent Green for 2 years in Washington and determined he was worthless. And Mueller's staff in NO evaluated Delhomme and decided he couldn't play in the NFL.





It's not taken into account. It's mentioned and dismissed.

It is not dismissed. It is acknowledged and addressed: "I suspected that the dramatic performance gap between Late Rounders and 1st Rounders in this first year of playing time was likely due to the fact that, while 1st Rounders are often thrown to the wolves in their first year or early in their second year, Late Rounders often have more time to watch and learn before getting their first experience. This was borne out by the numbers. The average 1st Rounder got his first significant playing time between his first and 2nd year. The average Mid Rounder got his first shot between his second and 3rd year, and the average Late Rounder got his first meaningful PT between his third and fourth year."



And your analysis does not show that. In order to show that, you'd have to have the same QB in different situations to show the situation played a bigger role than the talent of the player.

That would be one way to do it, but not the only way. I looked at it by analyzing the backups and showing that, more often than not, the late round backup plays as well or better in the same offense as the more heralded started. But one could look at the same QB in different situations. That evidence is all around us. Pick any successful QB and look at the difference between his best seasons and worst. Did the QB lose his talent in those down years, or were the surrounding circumstances the reason for the production dropoff? See the AJ Feeley example mentioned above as just one example. 87.4 Rating in Philly; 61.7 rating in Miami. Was he decent in Philly, then lost his talent when he came to Miami, and then regained it in Philly last year (where every QB they put in there had a rating over 95). There are million examples. I felt that I had taken on a pretty big task as it was, so I didn't think it was necessary to cull together the innumerable examples of the same QB being great in some environs and terrible in others.





The % of late round picks in your analysis is a tiny fraction of the total that were drafted or signed as FA. That is very much a select subset.

But those other guys never played or had an opportunity to play. You can't simply assume that they would have sucked.


You're missing the point. The point is that the vast majority of late round picks aren't good enough to make a roster let alone be a quality starter.

That's your assertion, but you are offering no facts to back it up. The fact is that very few late round QBs that have had even just 100 pass attempts have really failed. almost without exception, the few that fall into that category played on terrible teams on which even the incumbent starter couldn't muster a QB rating over 70.


Here are the QBs drafted in the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds from 1998 until 2006. Can you honestly say that if they all had 100 career attempts, the QB rating of the late round picks wouldn't drop?

Of course I can't say that for every single one. Can you honestly say that if first rounders like Jim Druckenmiller, Andre Ware and Dan McGwire has 100 pass attempts the QB ratings of the 1st rounders wouldn't drop?



IMO, your analysis doesn't show what you think it does. You haven't even attempted to analyze which QBs were in better situations or what a better situation is.

That's not true. For purposes of this analysis let's assume that the situations in which most of the Hall of Fame or Pro Bowl QBs have been in were "good" situations. My post then shows how their backups did in those same situations:

Steve Young (Montana) 108.9
Steve Bono (Montana) 88.5
Jeff Kemp (Montana) 85.7
Scott Mitchell (Marino) 91.4
Craig Erickson (Marino) 86.3
Elvis Grbac (Young) 87.9
Jeff Garcia (Young) 89.9
Frank Reich (Kelly) 102.3
Jim Sorgi (Manning) 99.1
Matt Cassel (Brady) 89.4
Marc Bulger (Warner) 101.5
Trent Green (Warner) 101.8
Bernie Kosar (Aikman) 92.7
Rodney Peete (Aikman) 102.5
Jason Garrett (Aikman) 83.3
Billy Volek (McNair) 87.4



I think your analysis shows that a late round pick that proves themselves while being a backup is just as likely to succeed as a first round pick. Unfortunately only a very small % of late round picks end up being good enough to do that.

No. You are still missing the point.

Phanatical
04-27-2007, 12:06 AM
......With respect to the draft, I believe the difference between the top rated QBs (Quinn and Russell) and the next tier (Beck, Stanton, Edwards, Kolb, Smith) is smaller than many people believe ...
I expect that the success or failure of the guys picked this year will similarly depend on the quality of the teams that draft them.

Dude, that was a lot of stats. Good info, I think that I have found your main point as noted above.

I totally agree with you. That's why I am not such a proponent of moving up for a QB. Like Cam said, we need quantity over quality right now. My sig has my desired draft (that has a reasonable chance to happen) but this is how see it really shaking out:

9. (1st) Gaines Adams (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/de/gainesadams.html), DE, Clemson
40. (2A) Antonio Pittman (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/rb/antoniopittman.html), RB, Ohio State
60. (2B) Trent Edwards (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/qb/trentedwards.html), QB, Stanford
71. (3rd) Doug Free, (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/ot/dougfree.html) OT, Northern Illinois
108. (4th) Courtney Brown (http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/profile.php?pyid=21669), CB, Cal Poly
181. (6A) Cory Anderson (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/fb/coryanderson.html), FB, Tennessee
199. (6B) Ryne Robinson (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/wr/rynerobinson.html), WR, Miami (OH)
219. (7A) Jacob Ford (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/de/jacobford.html), DE, Central Arkansas
225. (7B) Scott Stephenson (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/c/scottstephenson.html), C, Iowa State
238. (7C) Kody Bliss (http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/p/kodybliss.html), P, Auburn

PhinSoldia
04-27-2007, 01:30 AM
I expect that the success or failure of the guys picked this year will similarly depend on the quality of the teams that draft them.

while i love the thought and time and effort on research going into your post i have to say that the last point is a no brainer-and like someone posted after you and said first rounders generally go to crappy teams and not only that the late rounders are not expected to play starter Quality football while thier subbing for an injured QB and if they do when given the oppertunity.

Now your lower rounders and UDFAs when given the chance perform well because there is no pressure coming from the QB position-when a star Qb goes down it is known that the other key positions on that given team are supposed to step it up-so there you have a 2nd string or third string that comes in and is not expected to make "win" the game and more less "manage" the game. and he plays well enough or surpasses everones expectations because he is not supposed to win games he is just not supposed to loose them-think AJ Feeley and when you take him out of that scenerio that he was able to fly under the radar and manage the game and put him in a starlight scenerio where the Pressure is on you to win now and not just manage-he broke-just like Shaub is going to. a point should be made that the reason they are in the NFL is because they have a significant skill set- because they have shown that they can play well enough to be at this level-so they fact that they put on a jersey means they can play-and because the pressure is not on them to blow the competion away with thier skillsets they do well-if they were required to do so they would be first rounders. The only physical difference between Cleo lemon and Daunte Culpepper is about 30 or so extra yards the Daunte can throw it and 40 or so extra pounds- just like there is the same difference between Jamarcus Russel and say Isiah Stanbeck(forgive me if i got the name wrong) is extra rocket yards-i garuntee you that you havent heard the last of Troy Smith-whenever he gets the oppertunity he will do well because people will not be looking at him to blow the other team away with his talents but to manage the game and thats what he holds the heisman for-and when he does that he will be held in high regard...until he is asked to win games and not manage them-

Eli Manning is scrutenized because he hasnt yet leveled under the pressure-not only are you archie's boy but your peyton's younger brother...not only did you open your mouth and asked a particular team NOT to draft you but the team that traded for you gave up ALOT. so ofcourse he is under 10 times the pressure that say a Orton did last year-because Orton wasnt expected to WIN WIN WIN-he was asked to manage the game and he picked up wins because of it.

Floyd Reese this week repeated a well known fact-everybody loves the back-up and thats only because they are not demanded to win games

PhinSoldia
04-27-2007, 01:32 AM
Feeley also found himself in an environment here in Miami that would be very hard for any QB to succeed in. Horrible OL. No Running game. Mediocre receivers. Horrible OC. In a better environment, like the one he's had in Philly during his 2 stints there, he's done fine -- 87.4 QB rating.




Sure they did. So I guess Cameron evaluated Trent Green for 2 years in Washington and determined he was worthless. And Mueller's staff in NO evaluated Delhomme and decided he couldn't play in the NFL.





It is not dismissed. It is acknowledged and addressed: "I suspected that the dramatic performance gap between Late Rounders and 1st Rounders in this first year of playing time was likely due to the fact that, while 1st Rounders are often thrown to the wolves in their first year or early in their second year, Late Rounders often have more time to watch and learn before getting their first experience. This was borne out by the numbers. The average 1st Rounder got his first significant playing time between his first and 2nd year. The average Mid Rounder got his first shot between his second and 3rd year, and the average Late Rounder got his first meaningful PT between his third and fourth year."




That would be one way to do it, but not the only way. I looked at it by analyzing the backups and showing that, more often than not, the late round backup plays as well or better in the same offense as the more heralded started. But one could look at the same QB in different situations. That evidence is all around us. Pick any successful QB and look at the difference between his best seasons and worst. Did the QB lose his talent in those down years, or were the surrounding circumstances the reason for the production dropoff? See the AJ Feeley example mentioned above as just one example. 87.4 Rating in Philly; 61.7 rating in Miami. Was he decent in Philly, then lost his talent when he came to Miami, and then regained it in Philly last year (where every QB they put in there had a rating over 95). There are million examples. I felt that I had taken on a pretty big task as it was, so I didn't think it was necessary to cull together the innumerable examples of the same QB being great in some environs and terrible in others.






But those other guys never played or had an opportunity to play. You can't simply assume that they would have sucked.



That's your assertion, but you are offering no facts to back it up. The fact is that very few late round QBs that have had even just 100 pass attempts have really failed. almost without exception, the few that fall into that category played on terrible teams on which even the incumbent starter couldn't muster a QB rating over 70.



Of course I can't say that for every single one. Can you honestly say that if first rounders like Jim Druckenmiller, Andre Ware and Dan McGwire has 100 pass attempts the QB ratings of the 1st rounders wouldn't drop?




That's not true. For purposes of this analysis let's assume that the situations in which most of the Hall of Fame or Pro Bowl QBs have been in were "good" situations. My post then shows how their backups did in those same situations:

Steve Young (Montana) 108.9
Steve Bono (Montana) 88.5
Jeff Kemp (Montana) 85.7
Scott Mitchell (Marino) 91.4
Craig Erickson (Marino) 86.3
Elvis Grbac (Young) 87.9
Jeff Garcia (Young) 89.9
Frank Reich (Kelly) 102.3
Jim Sorgi (Manning) 99.1
Matt Cassel (Brady) 89.4
Marc Bulger (Warner) 101.5
Trent Green (Warner) 101.8
Bernie Kosar (Aikman) 92.7
Rodney Peete (Aikman) 102.5
Jason Garrett (Aikman) 83.3
Billy Volek (McNair) 87.4




No. You are still missing the point.

if feeley was a first rounder he wouldnt have been a back up to McNabb-

Fineas
04-27-2007, 09:56 AM
if feeley was a first rounder he wouldnt have been a back up to McNabb-


??????

McNabb was also a first rounder, and a very high one at that.

So, are you saying that if the very same guy had simply been drafted higher he'd have been the starter and not the backup? P:utting aside this specific example (because McNabb was a high pick), I think that is true in many cases. Tarvaris Jackson was projected by most as a 6-7 round draft pick. The Vikes took him in the 2nd. He played a little at the end of the year and didn't do very well. But simply because they reached on him in the 2nd, many think that there is no way the Vikes would take a QB. I'm pretty comfortable saying that if he had been a 6th rounder who came in and posted a QB rating of 62.5 nobody would be saying it would be crazy for the Vikes to take a QB int he first.

PhinSoldia
04-27-2007, 10:21 AM
??????

McNabb was also a first rounder, and a very high one at that.

So, are you saying that if the very same guy had simply been drafted higher he'd have been the starter and not the backup? P:utting aside this specific example (because McNabb was a high pick), I think that is true in many cases. Tarvaris Jackson was projected by most as a 6-7 round draft pick. The Vikes took him in the 2nd. He played a little at the end of the year and didn't do very well. But simply because they reached on him in the 2nd, many think that there is no way the Vikes would take a QB. I'm pretty comfortable saying that if he had been a 6th rounder who came in and posted a QB rating of 62.5 nobody would be saying it would be crazy for the Vikes to take a QB int he first.


ok you misred the post and maybe i need to reword the statement-if Feeley was first rounder he wouldnt have been an Eagle(to be Donnie McNabb's back-up) thats all i meant to say- and regardless of if he was SUPPOSED to be a 6th rounder or not the fact remains that he was drafted high and is expected to "win" games not just manage them because the Vikings traded to go up and grab him-and because of that if the vikings go out and draft Quinn-thier organization would have admitted failure-you cant do that with QB's, especially rookies-believe it or not pro sports and expecially the NFL is graded by what you do in the draft-How well you manage your picks and how well you do with the draft picks that you do select in turning them into good pro players.

Bofin
04-27-2007, 10:34 AM
fineas, thanks for the post, very interesting read. i agree that quality of surrounding players/coaches/personell/environment has enormous impact on success or failure at the qb position. kind of tough for me to follow all subsequent dickering about different particulars of your post, i appreciate the effort involved in organizing such a post and the willingness to put your opinion out there for debate

Fineas
04-27-2007, 10:44 AM
while i love the thought and time and effort on research going into your post i have to say that the last point is a no brainer-and like someone posted after you and said first rounders generally go to crappy teams and not only that the late rounders are not expected to play starter Quality football while thier subbing for an injured QB and if they do when given the oppertunity.

Now your lower rounders and UDFAs when given the chance perform well because there is no pressure coming from the QB position-when a star Qb goes down it is known that the other key positions on that given team are supposed to step it up-so there you have a 2nd string or third string that comes in and is not expected to make "win" the game and more less "manage" the game. and he plays well enough or surpasses everones expectations because he is not supposed to win games he is just not supposed to loose them-think AJ Feeley and when you take him out of that scenerio that he was able to fly under the radar and manage the game and put him in a starlight scenerio where the Pressure is on you to win now and not just manage-he broke-just like Shaub is going to. a point should be made that the reason they are in the NFL is because they have a significant skill set- because they have shown that they can play well enough to be at this level-so they fact that they put on a jersey means they can play-and because the pressure is not on them to blow the competion away with thier skillsets they do well-if they were required to do so they would be first rounders. The only physical difference between Cleo lemon and Daunte Culpepper is about 30 or so extra yards the Daunte can throw it and 40 or so extra pounds- just like there is the same difference between Jamarcus Russel and say Isiah Stanbeck(forgive me if i got the name wrong) is extra rocket yards-i garuntee you that you havent heard the last of Troy Smith-whenever he gets the oppertunity he will do well because people will not be looking at him to blow the other team away with his talents but to manage the game and thats what he holds the heisman for-and when he does that he will be held in high regard...until he is asked to win games and not manage them-

Eli Manning is scrutenized because he hasnt yet leveled under the pressure-not only are you archie's boy but your peyton's younger brother...not only did you open your mouth and asked a particular team NOT to draft you but the team that traded for you gave up ALOT. so ofcourse he is under 10 times the pressure that say a Orton did last year-because Orton wasnt expected to WIN WIN WIN-he was asked to manage the game and he picked up wins because of it.

Floyd Reese this week repeated a well known fact-everybody loves the back-up and thats only because they are not demanded to win games

I don't think backups succeed simply because there is no pressure on them. Many former backups go on to become starters and do just fine, if not great.

I think the Feeley example has a lot more to do with the environment the found himself in here in Miami. Very few, if any, QBs could have been successful in that situation.

Miami QB Ratings in 2004

Feeley -- 61.7
Fiedler -- 67.1
Rosenfels -- 41.0


Philly QB Ratings in 2006

McNabb -- 95.5
Garcia -- 95.8
Feeley -- 122.9


Ya think maybe one of those offenses was more conducive to good QB play than the other?

Considering that when Feeley came in during his first stint in Philly, the Eagles were fighting for the playoffs and most of his time in Miami the Fins were completely out of playoff contention, I don't think the pressure on him was much greater in Miami than in Philly.

Fineas
04-27-2007, 10:51 AM
ok you misred the post and maybe i need to reword the statement-if Feeley was first rounder he wouldnt have been an Eagle(to be Donnie McNabb's back-up) thats all i meant to say- and regardless of if he was SUPPOSED to be a 6th rounder or not the fact remains that he was drafted high and is expected to "win" games not just manage them because the Vikings traded to go up and grab him-and because of that if the vikings go out and draft Quinn-thier organization would have admitted failure-you cant do that with QB's, especially rookies-believe it or not pro sports and expecially the NFL is graded by what you do in the draft-How well you manage your picks and how well you do with the draft picks that you do select in turning them into good pro players.

Whether a QB is supposed to "win" games or just "manage" them is a function of the offense and team they find themselves on. The goal of every team is to win every single game. There is no prize for "managing" but losing. On good teams, the QB isn't asked to try to win it himself. They are often playing with a lead. They want to avoid mistakes and simply put the ball in the hands of the playmakers. That is made all the easier because of a good OL and a good group of playmakers. They trypically have an effective runnign game which puts them in more 3rd and shorts than 3rd and longs. Those are the situations where the QB can "manage" the game.

On bad teams, the QB is often playing from behind. Typically, the OL is poor and there is a lot of pressure. The playmakers really aren't there. They are facing a lot of 3rd and longs. Those are the situations where the QB has to try to make something happen and often ends up forcing the ball into dangerous situations.

So, again, the quality of the team has a huge impact on the QB's performance.