Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Jul 2014

Mandatory Monday: Top Quarterbacks

It really is a thankless, hopeless task trying to compare a bunch of 24 year olds who are clearly on the rise with a bunch of 35-40 year olds climbing down from Mount Olympus. But I give it a whirl.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 14 Jul 2014

17 comments, Last at 18 Jul 2014, 10:43am by tuluse


by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:43pm

Obligatory Bucs-related post; if Carl Nicks returns to be Carl Nicks, if Mike Evans manages to turn his promise of being VJax v2.0 into actually being VJax v2.0 his rookie year, and the offensive line in general doesn't suck, Josh McCown could repeat last year. I am not confident that will happen.

by theslothook :: Mon, 07/14/2014 - 2:39pm

I posed the following question to a friend of mine. First round rookie qbs are given a pretty wide latitude. Eli was abysmal, Stafford was abysmal, alex smith was abysmal, and sachez(despite the playoff run) was also abysmal as a rookie. If any of these players had been a 2nd rounder or lower, it is unlikely they would have started again. We do this because we assume first round qbs have some special qualities that made them first rounders in the first place. The lower rounders were seen as take a chance and hope prospects.

So here's my question: What kind of season would Mike Glennon have to have before people gave him another chance? My friend starkly said, he would need to have a season somewhere around what sam bradford had as a rookie to be warrant more time.

My point? I think glennon played about as well as you would expect a FIRST ROUND rookie qb to play. Was it good? No, but it was worth giving him more time. I find the mccown signing to be stupid and short sighted.

by dank067 :: Mon, 07/14/2014 - 3:24pm

The only explanation I can think of is that the new regime must have seen that they already had a pretty good defense, one that with Lovie and the new pieces could be great as soon as next season, and decided that continuing to develop Glennon would get in the way of contending day one. McCown was great last year, but the odds that he's going to be great enough again to launch TB past New Orleans, let alone San Francisco/Seattle? And even if it works out well this year... gonna keep banking on McCown? Assume that even though you took him off the field, Glennon has continued to progress and may be ready? I thought the Bucs made a lot of positive moves this offseason, and Lovie is as good of a defensive coach as there is, but I don't know what they're doing at QB.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 07/14/2014 - 4:16pm

I absolutely and utterly think Glennon should get a shot; there's a reason Josh McCown was coaching high school football a few years ago. Glennon at least has a chance for being legitimately decent (now there is a statement reeking of promise), and Tanier's OTA bit on the Bucs points out how idiotic the game plans were last year when it comes to protecting your young QB. Sure, he had some terrible moments, but he was also a rookie who went into Seattle and, in the first half, threw with loads of confidence and accuracy. He was genuinely good at times, and I don't know why you wouldn't want to see if that can become a repeatable thing.

Stupid f@#$!!!ing Schiano sorry those slip out on occasion.

McCown played really well in his 11th season. Does anybody actually believe this is the kind of thing you should rely on? Does the light usually come on in season twelve?

by dank067 :: Mon, 07/14/2014 - 4:56pm

Glennon really did have a phenomenal first half against Seattle. The only other game that I admittedly saw a lot of him play was the Arizona game (and it would be unfair to assess based on that), and then a little bit of the Dolphins game, but I would agree with both of you guys that he definitely warrants a shot.

Best case scenario, maybe it could play out similar to Nick Foles in Philly last year. New coaching staff seemingly uninterested in the previous staff's project, but he hangs in there and is eventually given a chance.

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:11pm

Glennon was okay last year, absolutely good enough to convince a GM or coach to give him another shot if they thought that he had the tools to succeed in the NFL long term. On the other hand, sub-60% completions and sub-6.5 YPA are not impressive statistics, so maybe he isn't really as impressive as the yards and TDs indicate. He certainly didn't -look- like a QB with a 2:1 TD:INT ratio. He did his damnedest to lose the Buffalo game.

I am not sold on the McCown-as-starter idea, but he's a quarterback you want to have a real good backup plan for right? You don't want to end up with a four year experiment a la Sanchez.

by bubqr :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 7:04am

I still think A.Luck is overrated: he has been given a lot of free passes despite some very bad, multi-interception performances. I still believe he is going to be a good QB, however I have my doubts that he is is the future first ballot HoFer, multiple SB winning QB everyone makes him to be. He is a living example of pre-Draft hype influencing his early NFL career.

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:13pm

Luck has played some good football for a bad team. I agree he is overrated, but he has not sucked behind a terrible offensive line and with only - okay receiving talent. That's pretty respectable.

by theslothook :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 4:47pm

ok receiving talent is being generous. after Wayne went down, everyone aside from one dimensional hilton was sub par to terrible.

by David C :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 10:25pm

Yeah, Roethlisberger was a bit of a stretch, but picking Luck was just a bad call. Receiving has never been as important as line play. Plenty of quarterbacks have been in similar receiving situations and played better than Luck. 2010 for instance, the top 2 quarterbacks (Brady and Rivers) had Welker in a slump and an undeveloped Malcolm Floyd as their top receivers respectively; both receivers played about as well TY Hilton this year. Luck might get better at throwing, but he's definitely gonna get worse at running, so it's hard to say whether he's going to develop into the best in the league. He isn't there yet.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 11:39pm

Sure, but Luck's line-play is pretty poor as well.

by David C :: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 10:31pm

How many more bad seasons does Eli Manning have to have before people realize he just isn't a great quarterback? He's now had, I think, 3 seasons that are worse than Carson Palmer's worst season. And apparently Carson Palmer is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league.

Also, Carson Palmer is not one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. That's just silly.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 07/16/2014 - 7:59pm

Nobody said that Carson Palmer is ' one of the worst QBs in the league'. What Tanier wrote is that the Cardinals' QB situation is one of the worst. Palmer is getting old, is fragile, and he's not actually getting better. It's very unlikely he's suddenly going to turn into 2008 Kurt Warner. If Palmer goes into a serious downslide a la Matt Schaub, they only have Drew Stanton, proven failure Ryan Lindley, and a not- ready Logan to take over. That doesn't bode well in a division with great defenses all around.

by theslothook :: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 2:52pm

I agree with what Tanier is implying, but David makes a good case about Eli. Eli was been criticized some for his season, but given just how horrible it was, you would really think there would be far more of a discussion about what it means for the Giants' future. Practically everyone speculated that the cardinals might take Bridgewater or Manziel. Essentially no one suggested the giants would. Hell, people even suspected the cowboys would and Tony Romo was far better than Eli.

That's not to say Eli should be replaced. His past runs earn him some benefit of the doubt(like Favre's pedigree earned him another season despite a similarly horrendous 2006 campaign), but if he goes out and has a lesser in degree but still overall ineffective season, do the giants pull the plug? I personally would consider trading him at that point.

by LionInAZ :: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 6:18pm

I wasn't thinking about Eli at that time, but David's characterization of his past three years is simply wrong. EM was essentially top-ten in DYAR and DVOA in 2011 and 2012. Last year was bad, but lots of things were bad with the Giants offense. They have a new offensive coordinator from the Packers, and with improvements on OL and rushing, there's better reason to think that Manning can bounce back. The backups are very bad, but Eli can still be regarded as much better than Palmer, who has performed at basically the same average value the past three years, and Eli is probably sturdier right now. Anyway, we don't know that Tanier didn't have the Giants ranked at 27th on that list.

Now I have to go wash out the awful taste in my mouth from defending Eli Manning...

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:28pm

Having Carson Palmer should disqualify you from the "worst QB situation in the league" sweepstakes. Carson Palmer is an average NFL starter. He is better than such overpaid darlings as Joe Flacco, Matt Stafford, and Bad Eli.

He's a professional, and it's unfortunate that he's become a journeyman professional rather than a franchise quarterback due to his differences with the Bengals organization; his statistical production is depressed by moving around through teams that were bad enough organizations to need quarterbacks over 30.

And nobody is about to turn into the 2008 Kurt Warner. A healthy Kurt Warner is one of the best four quarterbacks in the league - in an era where we are lucky enough to be watching several all time greats at once - every year.

by tuluse :: Fri, 07/18/2014 - 10:43am

He's also a lot older than those players.