Since we all know this season is over for the Chiefs, I choose to look toward the future, which leads me all the way to next April's Draft. Now let's go on an assumption party and assume the Chiefs have the first pick (somewhat likely). Let us also assume that we plan to draft a QB (for the first time in my lifetime). The next logical question is which QB. To look at which QB to draft I've taken it upon myself to evaluate all 32 starting QB's in the NFL and see what their college numbers and peripherals looked like to see whom we should draft in April.
I read last year that Bill Parcells has a criteria which he follows for drafting QB's, which is as follows:
1. The player must be a senior. (Meaning they didn't leave early, and are mature)
2. The player must have graduated. (Meaning they can finish things they start and are somewhat committed to their education.)
3. The player was a 3 Year starter in college. (Meaning they were good enough to play at as an underclassmen)
4. The player had 23 wins in college. (Pretty self explanatory, they were good enough to lead their team to many victories).
These are all great characteristics to look for in a QB. I feel however that these cover only the intangibles, and are missing a little statistical pizzazz and flare. So I took it upon myself to add 4 categories of my own, which are as follows:
1. The player had a 2-1 TD to INT ration in college.
2. The player completed at least 60% of his passes in college.
3. The player threw for at least 7.5 Yard per Attempt or more in college.
4. The player is at least 6'2 and 200 lbs. at the time of graduation.
According to my research, there are 12 starting QB's in the NFL that accomplished all of Bill Parcells traits (Kevin Kolb, Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck*, Christian Ponder, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, and Russel Wilson.)
*Luck was in college for 4 years, but redshirted his Freshman season, so technically he was a Redshirt Junior when he left, but he did graduate, so i'm not gonna ding him for that.
There were 16 starting NFL QB's who had accomplished my four qualifying categories.
There were only 7 who had completed both categories, and those are:
Kevin Kolb ( D2/36thPick)- 26 wins in college, 85 TD-31 INT, 61.6% comp, 8.5 YPA
Andy Dalton (D2/35thPick)- 44 wins in college, 71 TD-30 INT, 61.7% comp, 7.9 YPA
Tony Romo (UFA)- 25 wins in college, 82 TD-34 INT, 63.0% comp, 9.0 YPA
Peyton Manning (D1/1stPick)- 29 wins in college, 89TD-33INT, 62.5% comp, 8.3 YPA
Andrew Luck (D1/1stPick)- 31 wins in college, 82TD-22INT, 67.0% comp, 8.9 YPA
Eli Manning (D1/1stPick)- 24 wins in college, 81TD-35INT, 60.8% comp, 7.5YPA
Philip Rivers (D1/4thPick)- 34 wins in college, 95TD-34INT, 63.5% comp, 8.1YPA
Obviously there's some big names on this list. Two of the seven have already won a Super Bowl, and I'd bet really good money that Luck will sometime in his career. Three of the seven were number 1 overall picks (Both Mannings and Luck). Romo probably wasn't drafted because the numbers he put up were at Eastern Illinois if I had to guess. In summation all of these QB's would be an upgrade over our current QB situation and at worst Kolb is a push (although if you asked me to trade heads up for him with Cassel, I'd personally pay for the airfare).
This option obviously isn't the end all be all for QB's. There are several QB's that have won a Super Bowl and were not on that list:
Aaron Rodgers did not graduate, was not a 3 year starter, only won 15 games in college. But he did qualify on all 4 of my qualifications (43-13 TD-INT, 63.8% comp, 8.2YPA). He did however get passed over by most of the NFL in the first round and sat behind a HOF QB for a couple years (which pisses me off so bad that the Chiefs haven't taken a QB in the first round since '83, and the Packers, while having a HOF QB still playing, have enough foresight to draft a QB in the first round).
Drew Brees passed all of Bill Parcells qualification as stated above, but just barely missed the 2-1 TD to INT mark (88-45) and had a very low 7.0YPA in college. He also got dinged because he is 6'0". While obviously he is the clear exception to the height rule, I think your prototypical QB would be taller.
Tom Brady did not have good numbers in college. He is clearly the product of great development. I'm not saying the talent wasn't there, it just took some master chiseling from some brilliant NFL minds to realize it. He was drafted in the 6th round with the 199th pick as a project player. He was not a 3 year starter at Michigan, and he had a 35-19 TD to INT. However he has an astounding 17-5 playoff record with a 3-2 Super Bowl record, but he is not your typical QB story.
Ben Roethlisberger left college early after his junior year, so he was not a senior or graduate, he did however win 27 games at Miami(OH). He also passed all of my qualifications with some sterling numbers- 84-34 TD-INT, 65.5% comp, and 8.3YPA. That's kind of why he was drafted with the 11th pick, plus you kind of win a small lottery if you can sack him as he's dang near impossible to tackle.
Each of these QB's would not have been drafted with a top tier pick according to Parcells and my system, and coincidentally none of them were. Rodgers at 24, Brees in the second round, Brady at 199, and Big Ben at 11. Not a one of them in the top 10 because somewhere along they way, the teams saw something they didn't like, much like Parcells and I. We would have obviously been wrong.
However for every Rodgers and Brady, there are lot's of Matt Cassels, Ryan Fitzpatricks, Blaine Gabberts, and Mark Sanchez of the world who didn't pass our test either. Some things I found of interest:
*All 6 starting QB's that have won a Super Bowl (Brady, P. Manning, E. Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger) had a college completion over 60.0% and all but 1 (Brees) had over 7.5 YPA. 4 of them were graduates, 4 were three year starters, 5 out of 6 are over 6'2" (Brees).
* Five players had a Completion Percentage under 60.0% in college (Cutler, Stafford, Palmer, Vick, and Freeman) and they have a combined playoff record of (3-7).
* Ten players had less than 7.5YPA in college and they have a combined playoff record of (11-13).
* The 16 players who qualified for all 4 of my requirements have a playoff record of (41-28) and have a Super Bowl record of (6-2).
* The 12 players who qualified for all of Bill's requirements have a playoff record of (26-30) and have a Super Bowl record of (4-1).
* The 7 players who qualified for both of our requirements have a playoff record of (21-21) and a Super Bowl record of (3-1).
Now to the fun part, I've analyzed the possible incoming QB class for next year's draft and have put together 8 QB's who could come out and/or get drafted. The following are the QB's I chose to analyze: Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, Tyler Bray, Collin Klein, A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray, and Seth Doege.
Only two of the QB's will or should qualify for Bill Parcell's requirements, Barkley and Smith. Tyler Wilson won't be a 3 year starter or have 23 wins. Bray, McCarron, and Murray aren't seniors. Doege and Klein won't reach 23 wins.
All 8 of these QB's however should have over a 2-1 TD to INT ratio. All but Bray currently have over a 60.0 completion percentage. Deoge currently is the only one who has a YPA under 7.5 at 7.2 and he's only 6'1".
So the same two that qualify for Bill's list also qualify for my list, Barkley and Smith. Just so you know what their numbers look like:
Matt Barkley (USC)- 110 TD-43 INT, 64.5% comp, and 7.9YPA
Geno Smith (West Virginia)- 85TD-18INT, 67.1% comp, and 8.5YPA
Either of these QB's would be a stark and major upgrade over our current QB situation. Both of these QB's have put up great numbers in college and should be the top two QB's taken in the draft. Smith has fallen off since his shalacking at the hands of Texas Tech. Barkley has been hot and cold most of the season. Both of them play against top tier talent, both have prototypical size, and both have cannons. Neither of them are as good as Luck as he's a once in a decade talent, you're probably talking more in the Sam Bradford and Philip Rivers mold. However I'd be fine with either QB because it means the Chiefs ACTUALLY drafted a QB in the first round. It would mean that we have a commitment to the future, and it would also mean we'd have a top 3 pick in the draft.
I don't have a choice that I prefer more than the other at this moment. That being said, if I had a gun to my head, I'd probably say Barkley. However I'd like to see how they play out the season and do in their pro days and combine. I think after all that the Chiefs should decide which they like better and either take him with the first pick, or trade up to the first pick and take their guy.
There's no exact formula or science to drafting a franchise QB. They can be taken with the 1st pick (Both Mannings) or they can be found after the first round entirely (Brees and Brady). However you can use some benchmarks and guidelines to ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance. If they meet all 8 of the categories that Bill and I laid out, you have pretty much a 50 percent chance you'll get Peyton, Eli, or Luck, a Super Bowl level QB, and for me that's a risk I am absolutely prepared to take. At worst you get Philip Rivers, or Andy Dalton, so basically a playoff caliber QB. Either way, we're better off then we are now.