So this past week, I thought to myself, "Self, you handsome devil, who is the best young QB in the NFL? The pundits beat off to Andrew Luck but I just don't see it. It's like they have a preconceived notion of who is better and who isn't, instead of looking at the evidence to the contrary. I wish someone would do a blind analysis of these young guys and figure out who is statistically speaking, the best of the young crop of QBs out there."
After some extensive googling for a solid 2 minutes, I found nothing to aid me in my search, so in my spare time this past week, I decided to do a little spreadsheet of my own to see who is the best of these young guys. I took every game that each of these 7 players started, and I put them in a spreadsheet. Then I used the magic of science to make the numbers do stuff, and came out with an unbiased analysis of all the young QBs. Some things of note:
I used the first two years as starters for each player. That means I ignored this most recent season from the likes of Andy Dalton and Cam Newton, but used Kaepernick's. I figured this would be the most fair thing to do, meaning it put the stats on the most even level across all the QBs from an experience perspective.
All QBs are labeled A-G, their names can be found at the end of the analysis. I figured that gave people looking over everything a better chance to take off their homer glasses and look at the numbers themselves.
I counted any time the QB dropped the ball as a fumble, even if the other team didn't scoop it up. It's a negative play, you shouldn't put the ball on the ground, regardless of who ends up with it. Ball security is important.
Since this most recent batch of QBs lean towards the "Dual-threat" spectrum of play, I broke their stats down into subsections: Passing Rushing, Combined, and Turnovers. By using the Rushing and Combined stats, it rewards them for EVERYTHING they do, not just from a passing perspective. By breaking it down in such a way, I was also able to not punish those who aren't as physically blessed who play the same position.
I didn't use total yardage as a measurement in either Passing or Rushing. That doesn't really mean much if you throw the ball 50 times or run the ball 50 times in a game. Instead, I chose to focus on how efficient the players were in these regards by ranking them through their Yards per game and yards per attempt. I believe this is a better indicator of how efficient the player is when they execute.
In the same regard, I included an average of Passes per game and rushes per game because that does indicate how much the team relies on their young signal caller, and like it or not, that actually does mean something - They trust their young QB.
So, here is what I ended up with:
Damn that's a sexy chart. Now at first glance, I'm sure many of you can figure out which one is our favorite QB, but stay with me and try and keep an open mind here as I explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of each category.
Here we have pass attempts per game. This shows that player C is the most relied on in this department, by a decent amount. He is being called to throw the ball about 37 times per game, more than 12 times more than Player A at the top of the chart, and the bottom of the ranking. They must really trust player C with that offense.
Here's where things get interesting. Player C is still #1 in this category as well, obviously you throw the ball a lot, you should get a lot of yards each game. But, Player G drops from 2nd to 4th and Player E jumps from 4th to 2nd. Players B and D also switch rankings. It looks like players D and E are more efficient in their throws than B and G.
What the hell player A? I was just talking about how efficient E and D were and then you swoop in like a dick and ruin that with your ridiculous Yards per pass attempt number. E slides to #2 in this area, and Player C drops from number 1 to number 5. Doesn't seem so efficient with the ball, even though he's throwing it the most. Also let it be noted that player F jumped up to #2 in this aspect, meaning he doesn't throw often either, but when he does, he's pretty decent at it.
Player A is just showing off now. While he isn't relied on heavily in their offense, he sure as hell produces when given the opportunity. He has 6 more TD's than the next closest guy.
How generally mediocre... aside from A, B, and D, no one has over a 60% completion. These numbers should only improve over time for all of these guys, they are all very young of course. What is interesting here is that Player C, the guy most relied on to throw the ball, doesn't seem to throw it as accurately as you would expect.
The last area of the passing metric, The QBR. Player A, once again, seems to be killing it in the throwing department. Look at that rating... It's a thing of beauty, and this is only after 2 years! Players F and D also have a high QBR, those numbers are nothing to scoff at, while it looks like G and C have the QBR of what you would expect out of a 2 year pro. They'll get better though, I'm sure of it.
This is how the players shake out in the passing Rankings. Player A seems to be the most efficient when given the ball, and seems to be the best passing QB of the bunch. D is up next just barely squeaking by C and E. At the bottom, we have player G.
He was the highest graded player on the board and we grabbed him, but for whatever reason, I didn't understand why that was last night. He is so damn raw, I just didn't understand how he'd be able to make an immediate impact.
I forgot he was a giant.
This dude is HUGE, and anyone his size, is always open. Even if he is raw in his routes and shaky with his hands, he is an immediate redzone asset. He provides us with a big target to score touchdowns when we get close to the goal line, something we haven't had since pretty much ever. At this stage in his career, he doesn't need to know the route tree like guys that are 6' or under. he doesn't have to be shifty like the smaller receivers. All he has to do is work on his hands, and catch anything thrown near him, and he can produce right away. Not many corners are going to be able to knock him off his routes, he's just too big, and good luck tackling him when he gets a full head of steam.
If he can put everything else together, then I think we just got our Jimmy Graham. At least I hope so. Now all we need is another young guy to develop along with him, and looking at the talent still available at WR, I don't think we will have that issue.