Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

08 Jul 2010

Rule Of 26-27-60 Predicts NFL Quarterback Success

SI.com's John P. Lopez has a new methodology for analyzing a quarterback's likelihood of succeeding at the pro level!

"...could a simple formula have warned us of Russell's lack of NFL readiness? And Ryan Leaf's and David Carr's and other failed, high-pick quarterbacks?
Call it the Rule of 26-27-60.
Here is the gist of it: If an NFL prospect scores at least a 26 on the Wonderlic test, starts at least 27 games in his college career and completes at least 60 percent of his passes, there's a good chance he will succeed at the NFL level.

You...you ripped off Gil Brandt!

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 08 Jul 2010

30 comments, Last at 17 Jul 2010, 8:30pm by nibiyabi


by Null_Void (not verified) :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 3:39pm

Ah, but he added to Gil Brandt's method, thanks to using Wonderlic scores. Which puts this way past Lewin's Forecast, right?


by caj8585 :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 3:46pm

Of course, this new method fails to account for 1st/2nd round quarterbacks vs late round/free agents, so it'll take another copycat before they've completely stolen Lewin's work.

by Matt Bowyer :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 3:43pm

That is the first thing I thought when I saw that article. Shameful.

by are-tee :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 3:53pm

Wait - did he include Orton and Fitzpatrick in the first group to prove his theory right, or wrong?

by Eddo :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 3:55pm

This article was not good. Much like the "Curse of 370", you shouldn't set cutoffs as "this is where a player is good, below this he's bad".

Doesn't the Lewin forecast project success based on numbers, over a spread? That is, a 65% passer with 40 starts projects to roughly XX% DVOA? It's not a binary thing, right?

by tuluse :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 6:00pm

Well it's a projection, the more games started and higher completion percentage, the better the projection.

by Eddo :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 11:56pm

Right. Unlike the article linked by this Extra Point, which is a binary outcome - either a QB meets the criteria, or not.

by AnonymousA (not verified) :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 4:13pm

Regression is not selecting an arbitrary cutoff. Sportswriters last study of math and statistics was high school geometry. These, and more, surprising revelations tonight on "WILD FAIL".

CAPTCHA: abduction Koufax. Baseball thriller novel?

by ChicagoRaider :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 5:53pm

Things like this also raise issues about the editors over the writer. After all, if he had tried to publish that article here, it would not have happened that way.

by otros :: Thu, 07/08/2010 - 6:18pm

It's just shameful.

by Snack Flag (not verified) :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 1:49pm

Yeah, I'm not the biggest proponent of the LCF (I actually don't see much merit in it), but, c'mon, do your own work buddy! You think he would have googled "Pro quarterback Projections" or something like that. Either he knew about this work, which is pretty pathetic on his part to copy it, or he didn't check to see if somebody had already tackled this angle, which is retarded.

by Andrew Potter :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 2:22pm

Or he woke up one morning with an idea, ran some quick recent figures, grinned ear to ear when they seemed to fit and wrote the article with nary a second thought.

by Snack Flag (not verified) :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 4:50pm

Yes, that's a stupid thing to do when you're a writer for a national website.

by roguerouge :: Sat, 07/10/2010 - 8:12am

It's a bit different when you're on deadline. Guys who write daily, I keep that in mind, not this guy, though.

by random9s (not verified) :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 12:03am

40/22/65. Shit man, if only Alex Smith would have started another 5 games at Utah...things would be different...

by nibiyabi :: Sat, 07/17/2010 - 8:30pm

The idea is that if he would have started more games, there would have been more film showing evidence of his suckitude and he would have fallen to the third round or later.

by Kibbles :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 5:18am

Lopez forgot to mention Brady Quinn, Rex Grossman, Matt Leinart, Charlie Frye, Brian Brohm, and Kellen Clemens among the QBs who met the 26-27-60 benchmark. He also forgot to mention Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Jay Cutler, and Ben Roethlisberger among the QBs that failed to reach at least one of the three milestones. I'm sure this was just a simple oversight on his part and not some nefarious attempt to make the samples look better or worse than they really were in an effort to make it seem as if his "rule" actually possessed any predictive power.

by AndyE :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 12:53pm

Actually, he specifically mentions Brady, Roethlisberger, Cutler, *and* Flacco as people who didn't make the cut. I'm sure failing to read that was just a simple oversight on your part and not some nefarious attempt to make the criticism look better ....

by JetfanMike (not verified) :: Thu, 07/15/2010 - 11:02am


by Dean :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 8:32am

Quick, somebody tell Dan Marino he's not supposed to be a successful NFL QB!

by tomdrees :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 1:27pm

Quick, what did Chase Daniels score on the Wonderlic?

by Dean :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 2:05pm

He could have scored a 50 and it wouldn't change his noodle-arm.

by Bjorn Nittmo (not verified) :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 4:20pm

He lost me with "If NFL general managers always could measure heart, determination and other intangibles, then Tom Brady would not have been drafted in the sixth round." Oh please.

by Roscoe :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 5:26pm

I agree. It's shameful how he failed to factor in "moxie."

by roguerouge :: Sat, 07/10/2010 - 8:13am

Myself, I'm waiting for the swagger metric.

by Dan :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 6:12pm

Wide receiver evaluation is more advanced. General managers can tell at a glance whether a WR is a gritty possession receiver and good route-runner who lacks elite athleticism but has deceptive speed.

by T. Diddy :: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 7:17pm

And will be a real fan favorite.

by Phil Osopher :: Sat, 07/10/2010 - 1:07am

No No No!!!!

The Rules and regulations of the game????

"Which are?"

Which are 89!!! Bottom line. Rule is 89

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
-Albert Einstein

>em>"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"

by Xeynon (not verified) :: Sat, 07/10/2010 - 6:43am

So quarterbacks who are smart, accurate, and good enough to start for 2+ seasons in college are better prospects than quarterbacks who aren't one or more of those things? Yawn.

Next they'll be coming up with statistical regressions that prove that cornerbacks who have fast 40 times and are tough to throw on in college are better pro prospects than those who aren't/don't, or that receiving prospects demonstrate good hands in college are better pro prospects than those who don't (though Al Davis might benefit from access to such a model). Some things are basic scouting common sense, and shouldn't require newfangled mathematical models to know.

by jebmak :: Sun, 07/11/2010 - 8:57am

You might think, but teams keep drafting guys who aren't these things.