2012 NFL Draft -- Statistical Analysis of QBs

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Let’s go inside the numbers and take a look nine QBs available in this year’s 2012 NFL Draft.  The analysis will primarily look at their 2011 college performances.  Please note that the analysis will not include top two picks (Luck and RG3) — as stated previously, they are already spoken for by the Colts and Redskins.

Before analyzing the 2012 prospects, let’s first look back a summary of college performances for the top six (6) QBs taken in the 2011 NFL Draft plus Pat Devlin — he was selected in 2011 by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent rookie.  The analysis summary shown in the table below is for their 2010 college performances.  (You can click on the table to enlarge).

2011 NFL Draft QBs

In addition to the standard NFL passing stats, the table also includes the percentages of attempted passes that were completed, resulted in TDs, were intercepted, and resulted in QB sacks.  These percentages equate to the efficiency of a QB and his ability to avoid negative plays — I believe these are particularly important for a team like Miami who plans on running a West Coast style of offense.  It is interesting to note that the two drafted QBs with the highest percentages of completions and TDs (Newton and Dalton) were the only rookie QBs who started every game in the 2011 NFL Season and were selected to the Pro Bowl.  It is also interesting to note that undrafted Dolphins Pat Devlin has an even higher percentage of completions and the lowest percentage of INTs.

Now, let’s take a look at the 2012 QB prospects.  In addition to the aforementioned Tannehill and Weeden, the following QBs have been included in a summary table:  Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Brock Osweiller (Arizona State), Russell Wilson (Wisconsin), Ryan Lindley (San Diego State), B.J. Coleman (Tennessee-Chattanooga), Nick Foles (Arizona), and Kellen Moore (Boise State).

2012 NFL Draft QBs

In addition to the same parameters shown in the 2011 table, I have included parameters from the 2012 NFL Combine plus the number of full years as a college starter.  Also, I have included the projected round to be drafted according to NFLDraftScout.com and the scouting grade according to the National Football Post — the scouting grade was determined just prior to the NFL Combine and is void of any media hype of the recent weeks.

In comparing the 2011 and 2012 tables, it is important to note that there was only one QB in 2011 (Gabbert) that attempted more than 400 passes in his last season of college football.  In 2012, seven (7) of the nine (9) QBs have attempted more than 400 passes in their last season of college football — and, four (4) attempted more than 500 passes.  This is likely indicative of more QBs coming from spread-type offenses.

Furthermore, in comparing the two tables, it is important to note that there was only two drafted QBs in 2011 (Newton and Dalton) which completed more than 65% of their passes.  In 2012, three (3) QBs (Weeden, Wilson, and Moore plus Luck, RG3, and Case Keenum who are not in the table) have completed more than 70% of their pass attempts — and, Nick Foles completed more than 69% of his pass attempts.  This is also likely indicative of more QBs coming from spread-type offenses.

I thought I would provide readers with the stats of 2012 NFL Draft QBs in a handy table to examine them side-by-side and draw your own conclusions.  However, I would like to provide just a couple of comments:

1).  Ryan Tannehill — With all the analysis done in the local media, I am surprised that I have not read that his hand size in only 9 inches.  This is really small for an NFL QB that has to play in the rain, in the cold, and have rushing defenders swatting at the ball.  This is a red flag for me.

2).  Brandon Weeden — This guy has some impressive college numbers considering the conference he plays in.  I am not sure I would worry too much about the age — how many NFL QBs play for more than 10 years?

3).  Kirk Cousins and Brock Osweiller — I am not impressed with the 63% accuracy numbers (reminds me too much of Chad Henne and his 62% coming out of Michigan).

4).  Nick Foles — I think he could be a steal in the fifth round given his 69% accuracy numbers. Note that the NFL Football Post thinks highly of him with a scouting grade of 6.4, despite the 5th to 6th round projection by NFLDraftScout.com.

5).  Kellen Moore — I think he would be a first rounder, if he was two inches taller and ten pounds heavier.  I think he may be worthy of a sixth or seventh round pick.

6).  Pat Devlin — I think the Dolphins should give this guy a chance before all nine QBs on the above 2012 NFL Draft QBs table.


What do you think about the 2012 NFL Draft QB Prospects given the numbers?  Should the Dolphins select one of these guys?  And yes, I know football is not played on a spreadsheet!


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