Hey y’all, I wanted to come here to post an analysis on this year’s quarterbacks that I did. I’m actually a Dolphins fan and did something similar last year when our QB situation was up in the air (posted on Finheaven.com somewhere), but I figured I’d post my analysis here for you guys to check out.
These stats are based off of me watching game film and writing down the factors that go into a play. I marked down where the ball was caught, what the formation was, why the ball was incomplete and many more factors. In each section, I’m going to post the relevant chart and then make comments on it. I reference the AvgQB a lot, that's a composite on last year's entire QB class. So let’s delve into the QB class.
- Both Geno Smith and Matt Barkley throw a high amount of screens at 30% and 22%. These are significantly higher than what the AvgQB throws at 17%
- All 4 quarterbacks throw a significant amount of passes within 1-5 yards of the line of scrimmage, but Barkley’s combined 52% screens and 1-5 yard passes are by far the highest among all QBs
- The quarterbacks are pretty even among the 6-10 yard intermediate range, all hovering around the same 21% we see with the AvgQB.
- Mike Glennon by far is the most likely to go deep. He’s above average in both the 11-20 range and the 20+ range. The only one of the four quarterbacks to do so.
- Barkley, Smith and Wilson all hover in the combined 28% range past 20 yards, all are below average compared to last year’s QB class.
This one requires a bit of explanation. The color coding are comparisons to the AvgQB, thus green is above average, yellow is average, and red is below average. I have also taken out drops, for what I call the Perfect Receiver Rating, thus the completion percentages aren’t what you’d see in the box scores.
- Both Geno Smith and Mike Glennon are elite in terms of short 1-5 yard passes. Their accuracies at 83% and 82% are better than RGIII’s last year and would have put them behind only Russell Wilson in that zone.
- The biggest red flag for me when looking at Barkley is the low completion percentage in the 1-5 yard zone. He threw in that area 30% of the time, but wasn’t at average. Rookie QBs in the NFL are asked to throw 1-5 yard routes fairly often, so there’s a bit to be worried about.
- Geno Smith is excellent in the intermediate zones of 6-10 yards and 11-20 yards. Tyler Wilson is really not. This is what concerns me about Tyler Wilson, he’s pushing average in the 1-5 yard zone but can’t hit average at any other range. I don’t think he’ll be able to push the ball down field in the NFL
- Barkley and Glennon are really the solid deep threats we see here. Both can hit the 11-20 range solidly and Barkley is excellent at 20+ yards. As a reference, Luck was at 50% on 20+ last year and RGIII was at 62.5%.
Adjusted Completion %
The last bit of information I have is going to require a bit of explanation. My goal was to take out the variability of systems they all played in. Thus, how would Geno Smith have performed in Mike Glennon’s shoes? This is imperfect, but it gives you a feel for how the systems helped or harmed them.
What I’ve done is taken out drops and then used my composite of targets in each zone from last year’s QBs to create an average system. Thus, I took their completion percentages, total passes, and the average system to find out what their overall completion percentage would have been in the average system.
- The top number is the adjusted completion percentage and the bottom number is the change from their overall completion percentage (with drops already taken out)
- Thus we see that Geno’s system helped him the most, had he been forced to throw more deep routes and less screens his overall completion percentage would have gone down roughly 2.8%
- Barkley similarly was harmed due to the high amount of screens and 1-5 yard passes he throws, the "gimme" passes
- Glennon was actually helped by this. He threw many more deep passes than the others and would have benefited overall from throwing more screens and shorter passes.
That’s all I have for y’all right now. I actually have a lot more data like yardage by quarter, the type of incompletions (drops, single coverage, overthrows), completion percentage by down and red zone yardage.It's a lot, so to keep it brief I left it off. You can get the rest of that info here:
Also I’ve got more detailed individual breakdowns on Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, and Tyler Wilson, I’ll have one up on Mike Glennon later. I wanted to post it here because when I did this stuff for my Dolphins last year, I was so much more informed going into the draft. Hope this can help y'all out too!
Here are the individual breakdowns, it's similar data to what's posted above, but sometimes it helps to look at each QB in a vacuum:
This is like my 5th edit, but if you liked this stuff and want to hear more like it, you can follow me on twitter at
I have approximately one follower right now, since I just started this up. I do work pretty much every day breaking down prospects and I'll be tweeting out interesting stats that I come across (today I found out Justin Hunter drops ~10% of his passes), future articles/ breakdowns (Dysert, Nassib, Manuel post upcoming), or let you know when I post new things (a WR post soon). Probably won't be tweets every 20 minutes, but the good stuff will get out there. Thanks!
Good luck in the draft/upcoming season and thanks for reading.