Saturday, April 21, 2012

Looking Back at a Decade of Shitty Predictions

I thought I'd take a moment between doing Bears position reviews and before this week's NFL draft (Iggins!, Mrs. Code Red, and myself will post our official mock drafts Wednesday and explain the scoring system for the Prog Bukakke Draft Edition) to look back on some of my previous predictions regarding the glamor position in the NFL and in the draft: Quarterback. I'll finish with my opinion of the top of this year's QB crop.

Now, for some of these there's evidence in the archives of this site, for others Iggins! is available to call bullshit, but you'll have to just trust that I actually said all of these things. I think you'll believe me when I establish my credibility by copping to my absolutely horrible prediction regarding the 2004 QB class.

Anywho, onto the self-mocking.

 2002: David Carr (1): I believe my exact words were "This has Tim Couch written all over it," because while I didn't dislike Carr I didn't think he was the kind of elite prospect that could make a terrible expansion team any good. I didn't foresee him getting absolutely demolished for five years, though.

Joey Harrington (3): I never liked Harrington in college and kind of always thought he had a stupid face. My predictions became more scientific as time went on. Regardless, I thought he was fucked because, well, Detroit.

Patrick Ramsey (32): "Why would the Redskins draft a guy who wasn't even good in college? Oh, and that college was Tulane. He'll suck."

2003: Carson Palmer (1): I'll go down to the death stating that Carson Palmer, before the injuries, was perhaps the single most perfect quarterback prospect I've ever seen. He had the arm strength of Favre, he ran the no-huddle as well as Manning (at least in 2005), and he was as accurate as Brady. Then he was absolutely ruined and now I sometimes cry when I watch him desperately attempt to recover some of his old glory. DAMN YOU, CRUEL WORLD. CARSON AND I WERE HAPPY TOGETHER.

Byron Leftwich (7): Yeah, I'll admit I loved him just because of that game where his linemen had to carry him down the field because of his broken leg. I CAN LOVE GRIT TOO YOU KNOW. Hell, he wasn't even that bad, considering his last year in Jacksonville he managed a 15-5 ratio and a 89.3 rating. He was just dreadfully slow, easier to sack than a frozen Drew Bledsoe, and very injury prone.

Kyle Boller (19): I thought Brian Billick was absolutely idiotic to draft a guy who couldn't even complete Half of his passes for three years in college. He was. BUT HE COULD THROW 50 YARDS FROM HIS KNEES!

Rex Grossman (22): My love of Rex Grossman was not just Bears homerism. I loved him in college. I still think he was wrongfully screwed out of the 2001 Heisman but I absolutely loved his deep ball, his quick release, and his swagger. I, like the Bears, overlooked his dreadful decline in 2002 when he threw 17 interceptions. My bad.

2004: Eli Manning (1): I like Philip Rivers more, but I thought Eli would be good. Man, do I look smart now.

Philip Rivers (4): He was fun to watch at NC State. I liked him the best out of the group, but I didn't know if his arm was strong enough. Hasn't seemed like much of a problem.

Ben Roethlisberger (11): I thought he was a project with potential but wouldn't be very successful if he started before his third year. Turns out he'd have the best rookie season since Dan Marino and he'd win a Superbowl a year later. I was wrong, but it looks even worse when you consider that I said....

JP Losman (22): would be better than Roethlisberger. Yep. Losman had a cannon arm, he ran like a gazelle, and I thought he had a lot of talent around him in Lee Evans, Eric Moulds, Travis Henry, and Willis McGahee. He ended up winning a UFL championship. Guh. My biggest failure.

2005: Alex Smith (1): I thought he sucked then and I think he sucks now. I know he sucks less, but if the number one overall pick in the draft can't even throw for 200 yards a game, c'mon.

Aaron Rodgers (24): Thought he was the best QB in this draft but certainly never expected the terrifying demi-God he became.

Jason Campbell (25): I thought he would be good if he ever got out of Washington. Well, he still wasn't that good, but he may be the best backup quarterback in the NFL, so that's nice.

2006: Vince Young (3): I have hated Vince Young for so long it's not even funny. I despised everything about him from his attitude to his ridiculous sidearm throwing motion to the hype constantly surrounding him in college. He's been mostly terrible in the NFL and he may rot.

Matt Leinart (10): Iggins! and I had a bet with each other for three years over whether Leinart or Young would be better. We eventually just tossed it out, but I won't deny I thought Leinart would at least be a starting quarterback in the NFL, so that one's on me as well.

Jay Cutler (11): Like Rex Grossman, my Jay Cutler love began well before his Bears career, as I said before the draft in 2006 that Jay would easily be the best quarterback in his class. His incredibly shitty classmates not withstanding, he's been a top ten NFL quarterback for most of his career, and I still sometimes shit myself when I think of how different the Bears franchise would be if Josh McDaniel wasn't a fucking moron.

2007: JaMarcus Russell (1): I'm not going to act like I was any kind of genius when I said Russell would be a bust, because everyone who wasn't in the Raiders organization said that. Hell, everyone but one person IN the Raiders organization said that. We miss you, Al.

Brady Quinn (22): Apparently if you are a quarterback taken at #22 (Grossman, Losman, Quinn), you will most likely suck. I said at the time that Brady Quinn would have been a 3rd round pick if he hadn't played at Notre Dame. Then again, he's never really even gotten a chance to start. Who was worse, the Russell/Quinn Duo of 2007, the Maddox/Klingler Duo of 1992, or the McGwire/Marinovich pairing of 1991?

2008: Matt Ryan (3): I liked Matt Ryan at the time, although I thought #3 was a bit high. He's certainly resurrected the Falcons, but I still have my doubts that he can ever really be anything more than a very highly touted game manager. Everyone wanted to compare him to Tom Brady after his hot start, but I still see him as more of a Matt Hasselbeck type. Not to say you can't win a Superbowl with him. The Seahawks nearly did.

Joe Flacco (18): I may have overrated Flacco a bit. Statistically and physically he's very similar to Cutler, and I argued up until this year he was underrated, then he kind of shit the bed. Yeah, his offensive line has issues at times but he has generally had way more talent around him than most QBs get (Cutler in particular) and he never really seems to go beyond what he was as early as his second year. I compared him to Drew Bledsoe once: on the one hand, you could say that's a pretty good thing, a consistently above average QB, but on the other hand, did anyone ever say "Fuck yeah, we've got Drew Bledsoe"? Besides dipshit Bills fans, I mean.

2009: Matthew Stafford (1): Iggins! and I also had a three year bet regarding Stafford vs. Mark Sanchez. I said Stafford was better and, well, obviously I'm right. Granted, I still thank that Matthew Stafford without Calvin Johnson is probably somewhere in Joe Flacco territory, but numbers are numbers. That said, I'm disappointed the he turned out to be a sonofabitch. Let's see if he picks a fight with someone bigger than DJ Moore next year.

Mark Sanchez (5): Sure, everyone's come around to Sanchez and his enormous level of suck now, but I was there from day one. If he hadn't gone to USC he'd have been a mid-level prospect. I coined Rico Mirerez as early as the second half of his rookie year. You suck, Mirerez. This is yet another cautionary reminder that you don't draft someone for "poise," at least not in the top five.

Josh Freeman (17): I thought Josh Freeman was physically more impressive than Stafford but incredibly raw, considering Kansas State doesn't exactly run the most pass-friendly offense in America. His first three inconsistent years are evidence of that, especially when you consider that the whole 2010 Bucs team was one big mirage of luck and weak scheduling. I don't know if he'll turn it around.

2010: Sam Bradford (1): I never cared much for Bradford, and I railed against people who thought his rookie campaign was excellent, since it was really just a case of incredibly conservative play calling help him to pad his completion % and avoid interceptions while not actually playing very well. His physical skills are still impressive but he's injury prone and the Rams don't appear to have any idea how to build around him. Even considering the shitty talent around him, 6 TD passes in 10 starts last year is pretty pathetic.

Tim Tebow (25): Yeah, I was as much a part of the "Tim Tebow is not an NFL Quarterback" club then as I am now, although I've nearly reached the point where I hate his detractors as much as his supporters.

2011: Cam Newton (1): I was not on the list of people who thought Newton would be a bust, as my exact quote was that I didn't think he'd learn an NFL offense quickly enough to justify the number one pick. I saw him more as a guy who would hit his stride sometime around year three. I'll give Iggins! credit, though, because he thought Newton would be a star from day one. He needs this kind of encouragement, since he once said that "Jason White can make ALL the throws." Jason will be glad to hear you tell him that the next time you visit your local footlocker.

Jake Locker (8): College statistics tell me I should beware of Jake Locker, but his big, throbbing armcock disagrees. I saw him play some outstanding games at Washington and have some total meltdowns. His brief audition last year only showed that he was still kinda inaccurate (51.5 comp. %) and yet still armcocky (15.9 yards per completion). I said I thought he'd be a success so long as the Titans running game and play action allowed him to rely on play action and big plays downfield. Armcock.

Blaine Gabbert (10): I preached from the mountain tops that you shouldn't draft a guy who wasn't even good in college. Gabbert averaged just 6.7 ypa his last year in the fucking spread (it should also concern the Jaguars that Chase Daniel, Gabbert's predecessor, and James Franklin, his successor, aren't really NFL prospects and both had far better numbers at Mizzou than Gabbert). He had no pocket presence and he had stupid hair. He's still got no pocket presence, he was absolutely atrocious as a rookie, and he cut his stupid hair and somehow made it even more stupid. Gabbert sucks.

Christian Ponder (12): I wondered aloud why the Vikings would spend the 12th overall pick of the draft on a guy who might hopefully someday be the next Chad Pennington. I still wonder. He would have been available in the 2nd round, I'm sure, or later in the 1st round at least, and he's just not that talented. He had his moments as a rookie and might be a quality starter, but he's not going to be a franchise quarterback. Does not compute.

2012: Andrew Luck: I think he's the real deal, and I think he's the right pick for the Colts. Any concerns about his arm strength are overrated, as I really don't think his is any worse than Manning's and he's much more mobile. He's really the no-brainer everyone makes him out to be.

Robert Griffin III: This year has really gotten my football hipster up since I knew about RGIII back when he was a freshman just because I've followed the career of his head coach, Art Briles for a while (he was the OC at Texas Tech for a while and my infatuation with the Mike Leach coaching tree is well-known). Therefore I knew about him before you did. Probably. Anyway, I think the Cam Newton comparisons and the impatience of Redskins fans will probably raise expectations too high, too fast, but he's going to be a great player if the Redskins can protect him. I keep groaning when I read predictable, stereotypical black quarterback analysis like this from the 2012 Pro Football Draft Guide:

Athlete making major strides as passer.
Really? Is that why he had a career completion % higher than Luck? (67.1 to 67). Raycess.

Ryan Tannehill: He's not very good. He's certainly not a top ten pick. Beware a quarterback with limited starting experience who has somehow climbed up draft boards without being able to even work out the combine or do all of the drills at his pro day. Desperation is a cruel mistress.

Brandon Weeden: If he were younger than Tannehill I'd rank him higher, because he's got a better arm and he makes better decisions, but it's hard to deal with a 28 year old rookie. He's better than, say, Chris Weinke, but if the Browns take him at #22 as some have said they'll probably regret it.

Kirk Cousins: I knew the Andy Dalton comparisons would come. I said back in November that he'd be the guy benefiting most from Dalton's success. Seriously, though, one mediocre game manager having a good year largely thanks to a dynamic fellow-rookie receiver doesn't mean that all college game managers will be good NFL players. Not to say that Cousins couldn't be an OK NFL starter, but teams that take him as the next Dalton will be reaching.

Brock Osweiler: Has Derek Anderson 2.0 written all over him.

Nick Foles: Not very good.

Well, that's everything. You now have all of the ammunition you need to trust or not trust my judgement on any quarterback prospect I ever mention, and you have the definitive statements you need on this year's crop to mock me next spring.