Analysis: What does Pat Devlin bring to the Phins?

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Like I did with the NFL Draft, I will attempt to provide you with more objective (rather than subjective) analysis.  I just hate when a reporter just subjectively states “he doesn’t have a strong arm” — not knowing what his definition of “strong” is not of great help.   With Devlin, I will start with my previously reported comparison to other QBs selected in the 2011 NFL Draft and go into greater depth.  The table below shows the 2010 passing stats.

Accuracy

Pat Devlin had the highest completion percentage of all top QBs taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.  In fact, his 68.0% completion percentage is better than Chad Pennington in 2008 and his completion percentage of 67.4%.  And, it is well above Chad Henne’s best pro year (2010) of 61.4% and Henne’s best college year (2006) of 61.9%.  This means Devlin is an accurate passer considering in 2010 he threw the ball 384 times and completed 261 for 3,032 yards.  Just to put things into perspective, Kyle Orton’s best pro year (2009) was 61.2% and Orton’s best college year (2004) was 60.7%.  And, Joe Flacco’s, who like Devlin played at Delaware, best pro year (2009) was 63.1% and Flacco’s best college year (2007) was 63.5%.

Decision-making

Pat Devlin had the lowest inteception ratio (interception/attempt) of all top QBs taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.  In fact, his amazing 0.78% ratio is better than Chad Pennington in 2008 and his ratio of 1.47%.  And, it is well below Chad Henne’s best pro year (2009) of 3.1%.  This means Devlin makes good decisions and protects the ball considering in 2010 he threw the ball 384 times and had only three (3) interceptions.  Just to put things into perspective, Kyle Orton’s best pro year (2009) was 2.22%.  And, Joe Flacco’s best college year at Delaware (2007) was 0.96%.

On the other hand, Pat Devlin had one of the higher sack ratio (sacks/attempt) of all top QBs taken in the 2011 NFL Draft — noting Cam Newton and Christian Ponder had higher ratios.  Devlin’s sack ratio of 6.25% is much greater than Chad Pennington in 2008 and his ratio of 2.18%.  But, it is comparable to 2010 ratios of Chad Henne (6.12%) and Kyle Orton (6.8%).  However, it should be noted that analysis shows that sack ratios do rise slightly in the transition from college to the NFL.  So, Devlin does make good decision and protects the ball, but maybe a little too long.  He will have to learn how to throw the ball away when nobody is open — note that his very high completion percentage has room to take the hit.

Production

Pat Devlin had only modest production in comparison to all top QBs taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.   His 7.90 yards per attempt is far below Cam Newton’s 10.19, but is more comparable to Chad Pennington in 2008 and his 7.67 yards per attempt.  It is also comparable Chad Henne’s best pro year (2010) of 6.76 yards per attempt and Henne’s best college year (2006) of 7.65 yards per attempt.  It should be noted that this production stat tends to go down by roughly one yard per attempt in the transition from college to the NFL — however, Henne’s remained roughly the same.  Devlin’s modest yards per attempt coupled with his high completion percentage means that Devlin is more of a possession passer in the mold of Pennington.

Additionally, Pat Devlin had  the lowest TD production (TDs/attempt) in comparison to all top QBs taken in the 2011 NFL Draft — except for Blaine Gabbert whose was considerably lower at 3.37%.   His 5.73% is far below Cam Newton’s 10.71%, but is actually more than Chad Pennington in 2008 and his 4.0%.  It is also more than Chad Henne’s best pro year (2010) of 3.06% — which is more likely indicative of Henne’s low completion percentage.  Devlin’s low TD production coupled with his modest yards per attempt and high completion percentage further supports that Devlin is more of a possession passer in the mold of Pennington.

Summary

Looks like the Dolphins made a pretty good choice in getting Pat Devlin as an UFAR.  He will likely be more of a possession passer like Chad Pennington versus a strong armed QB like Chad Henne.  Devlin’s high accuracy and good decision making will be a sharp contrast from what we have seen the last two years in Henne.  However, it will likely take a couple of years for Devlin to become acclimated to the NFL, especially with this year’s shortened pre-season because of the lockout.  Devlin will have to learn not to hang on to the ball too long resulting in sacks — but, then again, Henne needs to get better at this too.  In my opinion, I hope Devlin does turnout more like Pennington and not John Beck.

 

 

 

 

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Tags: Chad Henne Chad Pennington Jeff Ireland Joe Flacco Kyle Orton Marc Bulger Matt Hasselbeck Miami Dolphins NFL NFL Free Agency Pat Devlin Tyler Thigpen