Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 QB Crapshoot

Typically around draft time Iggins! or I like to write some stuff about the players we'd like the Bears to draft. Last year that got thrown out of whack by the HOLY FUCK THE BEARS JUST GOT JAY CUTLER fever and the lack of a first round pick. This year they still lack a first round pick, as well as the second round pick that they lost in the tragic Gaines Adams trade. This really puts a damper on any speculating that can be done, because in one of the most unsual and talent-loaded drafts in recent memory the notion of trying to project all the way into the third round is even more insane than usual. The good news is that the two areas where the team is most in need (safety, offensive line) are unusually deep in this draft. The possibility of the Bears getting 1st or 2nd round talent to fall to their spot is better than it would be in most years. Other than that, there's not much to say. It'll all be a moot point when Jerry drafts yet another injury prone defensive tackle from a southern school and he doesn't make it past mini-camps.

Since there's not much predicting to do for the Bears, I'm going to discuss my favorite part of any draft : quarterback forecasting. If you haven't noticed yet, there's a slight bias on this site in favor of quarterbacks. It's the most important position on the field and the one I pay the most attention to ('cuz the camera is on the guy like every play. lol. srsly). Every year I like to predict which quarterbacks I think will be successful and which will be a bust, a brief rundown of the last decade's drafts shows mixed results:

2009-Matt Stafford (1), Mark Sanchez (5), Josh Freeman (17)- I liked Stafford better than Sanchez because I felt Sanchez's intangibles were overrated and that Stafford's arm strength and accuracy were much better. The results statistically were more or less a wash, with both throwing 20 interceptions, completing only 53% of their passes, and having QB ratings in the low 60s. Sanchez, however, proved that his great defense and outstanding running game can win a lot of games when he doesn't throw 5 picks. So...I'm going to call that a draw for now. I also liked Josh Freeman, although I felt (and still feel) he has more work to do than the other two in order to be a successful pro.

2008- Matt Ryan (3), Joe Flacco (18)- I like Joe Flacco more than Matt Ryan, but I thought both would be successful. Flacco had the better year this year, but Ryan had the better rookie campaign. I'll call it a draw, but both are fine quarterbacks.

2007: JaMarcus Russell (1), Brady Quinn (22)- I wasn't alone in saying both sucked. Russell was nothing more than a fat, big armed moron (I believe my illustrious co-writer once called him a "mush-mouthed idiot" during a frothy rant against the SEC) with little to no accuracy who played at a football powerhouse. Quinn just sucked and played in a loaded system at ND and got too much credit for simply looking like a quarterback. Russell's been the bigger failure so far, but damn, they both suck.

2006: Vince Young (3), Matt Leinart (10), Jay Cutler (11)- This caused a great deal of contention between Iggins! and I. I hate Vince Young. I loathe him with every fiber of my being. I have no idea why this is. I hate his throwing motion, I think his arm is nowhere near as strong as they say, I think he's inaccurate, and I think he's stupid. Oh. That's probably why I hate him. Iggins! absolutely loves the guy. Always has, probably always will. I said Matt Leinart would be better. So far it's difficult to say, although Young has the edge due to his half-decent rebound last year and his logic-defying winning record at quarterback. I'm convinced now Leinart sucks, but with both heading into the season as starting quarterbacks (unless Leinart fucks up and loses his job to Brian St. Pierre or some other no-name), this will be the year they both flop epically. Oh, and I thought Cutler had the best arm of the three and that he'd be successful, while Iggins! called him "the next Kyle Boller," a quote he denies to this day.

2005: Alex Smith (1), Aaron Rodgers (24), Jason Campbell (25)- Guh. I liked Campbell the best of any of the three, but thought that Smith would be successful if given a chance to learn the pro-style offense. I absolutely hated Aaron Rodgers' mechanics (which he overhauled while on the bench in Green Bay) and thought he would fail miserably. Not my finest hour.

2004: Eli Manning (1), Philip Rivers (4), Ben Roethlisberger (11), JP Losman (22)- I thought Eli Manning sucked, and I still do, even if his numbers have improved greatly the last two years. He just looks like a jackass and I know he pisses you off as much as he does me. I thought Rivers was the best QB in the draft, and I think the numbers (other than rings) back me up. I liked Losman more than Roethlisberger, so I'll call that one a failure, although JP's ahead 2-0 in the category of not being accused of sexual assault. Oh, and JP won the first ever UFL championship game, so there's that.

2003: Carson Palmer (1), Byron Leftwich (7), Kyle Boller (19), Rex Grossman (22)- Shit. I thought Carson Palmer would be the greatest quarterback of all time, but the injuries have derailed that. I liked Grossman more than Leftwich or Boller, but the only one I said would be a bust was Boller. Fail all around.

2002: David Carr (1), Joey Harrington (3), Patrick Ramsey (32)- Dear god, what an awful year to look for a quarterback. I liked Harrington more than the other two (he got a ring as the 3rd string QB for the Saints!), and I thought Ramsey was better than Carr. I thought all three would be successful, so....yeah. I even said Ramsey "was a perfect fit for Spurrier's offense." Good god.

2001: Michael Vick (1), Drew Brees (32)- Okay, technically Brees doesn't qualify if I'm only doing first round picks, but both Iggins! and I had a mancrush for Brees during his college days at Purdue. It's not often that you get the two of us to agree on loving a player who isn't on either of our respective college teams, but how the hell could you Not love Breesus, even then? We were both certain he was going to be the best quarterback in this draft and that his tears could cure cancer. Looks like we were right on both counts. Oh, and I hated Michael Vick. He couldn't pass then, and he still can't.

With all of my previous successes and failures tallied, let's take a look at some of this year's top QB prospects and what I think of them:

1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma: If the Rams were smart, they'd draft Suh and pick up one of the QB's that falls into the 2nd round. They aren't, so they'll probably take Bradford. I think he's an Okay prospect. His arm strength and accuracy are pro-worthy, and he's probably the best prospect in this draft. Before the shoulder injuries I'd have definitely said he was the best. I'm not sure he'll survive long enough to merit the 1st overall pick. Tough break, kid. Next time take the money and run. I'm also not convinced he can handle presure and make quick reads outside of the spread offense (but he's not the only QB in this draft with that problem).

2. Tony Pike, Cincinnati: Ranking him #2 may be a reach, but he's tough and has overcome multiple injuries (although none as scary or as career-threatening as Bradford's shoulder), he's accurate, and his arm strength is better than advertised. I think he'll be a steal for someone in the 2nd or later.

3. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame: Guh. He's getting a lot of credit for being "the most NFL ready" quarterback in the draft, and his arm strength and accuracy is certainly respectable. I hate to overrate the team chemistry factor, because it's bullshit and I'd look like a hypocrite after my scathing defense of Jay Cutler, but god damn I hate this guy. He just looks like a shithead. Clausen's success (like most) will depend entirely on who picks him. If he goes somewhere with an adequate line and a strong-willed head coach he'll be fine. If he doesn't? I'm not sure he'll be an epic, Leaf-style bust, but I can see him putting up Grossmanish numbers as a half-developed "gunslinger."

4. Colt McCoy, Texas: He's not good. At all. A 70% completion rate is impressive no matter how dinky the passes were, but other than he's got nothing going for him. He's been injured, he has no arm strength, he's short, and he reminds me of Tim Couch. The only morons predicting anything other than journeyman/Jeff Garcia-ish (and that's being kind) success for this guy are the idiots that use phrases like "proven winner."

5. John Skelton, Fordham: Usually I'm the guy that touts the small school kid with the good measureables (like Flacco) over the kids from the big schools that are clearly just system QBs, but for some reason I'm not sold on Skelton. His size (6'5", 243) and arm strength are undeniable, but he just doesn't strike me as someone who can transition to the pro game quickly. Maybe a few years from now.

6. Tim Tebow, Florida: If he goes to the Colts or Patriots and sits for at least two years before playing, he'll be good. If he doesn't he'll flop. It's that simple. His arm strength is good but his mechanics, even in they're current revised state, aren't that good. He can't make complicated reads and he has no idea how to go through his progression. On top of that, he's lefthanded and you can count the number of good left-handed quarterbacks on one hand (Steve Young, Mark Brunell, Boomer Esiason, Ken Stabler, Jim Zorn). It takes many more hands to count the bad ones (Bobby Douglass, Will Furrer, Cade McNown, Todd Marinovich, Michael Vick, Matt Leinart, Chris Simms, Dave Ragone, Jared Lorenzen...). I think Hell may freeze over and Peter King may be right about Jacksonville taking Tebow. In which case he's fucked.

7. Dan Lefevour, Central Michigan: Before the season ended I thought he was going to be a steal, but his pro day and his work at the senior bowl were lackluster. It's not unthinkable he could end up a late round steal, but I'm losing faith.

8. Jarrett Brown, West Virginia: He's a better passer than Pat White? He's an intriguing project, at least.

9. Jevan Snead, Ole Miss: I can't for the life of me figure out why he didn't stay for his senior year in order to improve his draft stock. The guy has a million dollar arm but his accuracy and decision-making regressed to pure horseshit this season. I had him first on my board before this last season and now I wouldn't even go near him. It's conceivable he could be coached into some better decision-making, or that he could even have some degree of success due to arm strength and dumb luck a la Derek Anderson in 2007, but it's more likely that he's just going to suck like Anderson in every other year of his career.

10. Juice Williams, Illinois: Why not? You've stopped reading this, anyway.