FanPost

2011 NFL Draft: Qb Analysis

I am going to preface this by saying that I do not believe that statistics are always the best way to answer questions; there are a variety of ways. In fact, many times stats are not used properly and as such do not reflect accurately on what is actually being measured. With that said, statistics do show trends and trends can be used to evaluate (not determine) the relative value of something (in our case: Quarterback Prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft). The following players are quarterbacks who are in the 2011 NFL Draft, their two-year stats (2009 & 2010), the style of offense which they operated under, and my analysis/opinion of their viability as an option for the San Francisco 49ers, both for the present and future.

You may notice that the statistics do not reflect excluding rushing TDs/yds. This is because the West Coast Offense does not require a Qb who must score with both his arm and legs, though that can scramble would be nice. The basis for this is that Coach Jim Harbaugh will be employing the West Coast Offense so I want us as a fan-base to take a look at these prospects from a strictly passing perspective.

I hope everyone enjoys this post and if the comments and reviews are positive, I will look into posting more in-depth looks at Qbs and other positions of interest. I will give my analysis through the comment section and will try to do at least  one quarterback per day. Thank you and GO 49ers!!!

ND_niner88

Notes:

* I am new to this forum, but have been a 49er fan for a long time. I wish for the success of our beloved team and our return to glory. I am also a fan of Notre Dame football (insert laughter here), and I will remind everyone (who pokes fun) of a special Qb from ND that brought us so many great memories.
* I don't mind a debate or even if you disagree. I only ask that I don't get flamed too much and that the comments/replies remain at least somewhat academic (though everyone needs a good vent every now and again!)
* I may give my opinion based on trades and other roster moves. I offer these with the assumption that a CBA will be in place or get done sometime in the future (whether it happens soon or takes a while). So in order to keep the conversation constructive and moving, I think we should all assume this otherwise there is no point to discussing it right?(that is, constantly saying that no trades can take place until a CBA gets done is kind of redundant since we all/most of us know this is the case.)

Sources:

a. Stats: www.cfbstats.com

b. Rating/Effic: www.purinchu.net/rate.html

c. Qb Info: www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/TSX/2011_QB?&_1:col_1=2&_1:col_2=9

d. Off. Style: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=tcZHhsOAzcOZAcGmzW9FFYg#gid=0


Blaine Gabbert


Missouri: Spread-Pass
Ht: 6-5
Wt: 235
40yd: 4.72
ProjRnd:1

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

26

563

920

61.196%

6779

260.7

7.4

35.4

40

18

90.1

133.5

 

 

 

 

Analysis:

In terms of physical tools, he possesses the traits necessary to be an NFL Qb and after seeing a couple of interviews I can see why some believe his draft stock will rise. However, the interceptions are a concern for me especially since he did not improve on that from 2009 to 2010. His touchdowns also dipped in 2010 from 24 in 2009 to 16. His overall Qb rating and efficiency are OK, but I do not know why he suddenly became a great prospect. It was almost as if once Andrew Luck decided to go back to school, the scouts did not know who to put up as the next best option at Qb. He has the tangibles, I just don't see the intangibles on the field. In the two bowl games he has played (vs. Navy '09 and Iowa '10; both losses), he has thrown just 2 TDs to 4 INTs with one of the INTs sealing the game for Iowa. I also believe that the learning curve will be pretty steep for him coming from a spread system to a Pro system (49ers/Jim Harbaugh's WCO = reading defenses + new nomenclature). I like the fact that he played in all the games in ‘09 and '10, the amount of reps passing and the game experience is good, but I cannot see the 49ers selecting him at#7 in the Draft; it's just too high IMO. And with other teams ahead of us needing Qbs (Buffalo, Arizona, Cincinnati maybe {Palmer leaving?}), I think he either gets picked up early or keeps falling.

Cam Newton

Auburn: Spread-Run
Ht: 6-6
Wt: 250
40yd: 4.52
ProjRnd: 1

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

14

185

280

66.1%

2854

203.9

10.2

20.0

30

7

124.9

182

Analysis:

He led his team to a national championship, won the Heisman and several other athletic awards, and gave us one of the most athletic performances of all time this year. The issue I really take with Cam is that he is a one-year anomaly. I did not say one-year-wonder because I think that would imply that he does not have anything left in the tank which I believe he does. I really do not know what to make of him. He is a stellar athlete with huge upside, is an incredibly mobile Qb (most definitely a dual-threat), and seems to have the characteristics of a leader (more of a charisma/energy than a straight authoritarian role). There are however character issues from his past (Florida and Mississippi State Scandals that I will not go into detail about) which may be a concern down the road. He also comes from a spread scheme so the transition may take some time. There is no doubt in my mind that he can do it, but that leads me to my last point: sample size. This data reflects only 1 year of passing stats. Imagine the better understanding everyone would have if he doubled the games he played in (reflecting more game experience/chance to analyze him). He has an above 4:1 TD/INT ratio has pretty good accuracy, and the yards speak for themselves. I do not believe he fits into a WCO generally speaking, but he might depending on his commitment to learning a new offensive scheme and if he can train himself to let plays develop and not tuck and run. I know he completed over 66% of his passes, but that will be harder to do in the pros and when having to read defenses while they are trying to force him out of the pocket.

 

Jake Locker

Washington: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 230
40yd: 4.53
ProjRnd: 1-2

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

24

414

727

56.9%

5065

211.0

7.0

30.3

38

20

84.5

127.2

Analysis:

He has pretty bad accuracy from both a completion standpoint and INT standpoint. He has played in 24 games in the past two years so we have a lot to go on, oh...he also went from the predicted number one pick in the draft last year to dropping off draft boards significantly and having a pretty miserable senior season...I like him and apparently so do most of the other prognosticators since they still see him going in the 1-2 round range. Why is there so much love for Locker? I think it is his athleticism and "balls-to-the-wall" mentality. He reminds me a bit of Aaron Rodgers, a true competitor that has an intense desire to win. He throws about 2500 yds per season and has about a 2:1 TD/INT ratio so he is kind of average from a stat point. The thing that is really to his benefit going into the draft is that he played in the Pac-10 against Harbaugh and comes from Sarkisian's pro=style offense.Pete Carroll is also familiar with Locker and Seattle has been suspected of having interest in him as well as the Arizona Cardinals who are looking for a new Qb, so the NFC West Qb battle will be pretty interesting. I honestly believe that he would be a pretty good fit in Harbaugh's WCO. I checked out his receivers stats and only two of them this past season had note-worthy statistics, with the lesser of the two entering this years draft. Having only one true receiving threat can really hamper a Qbs ability perform at a high level and could be the reason for having such poor stats. That being said, he is a character guy and did lead his team to a bowl victory over 20th ranked Nebraska, stuck with the team after a previous season of 5-7, but my favorite thing is that he led the team to those 5 wins a year after they were 0-12. Its not miraculous, but it is significant progress and it shows that he can be a leader.


Ryan Mallett

Arkansas: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-6
Wt: 238
40yd: 5.12
ProjRnd: 1-2

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

26

491

814

60.3%

7493

288.2

9.2

31.3

62

19

106.4

158.1

Analysis:

He has a ton of yards and TDs, but his completion percentage is pretty low for putting up such big numbers. This is why I don't trust Qb rating and efficiency as much; it doesn't always reflect on the big picture. I do really like the 3:1 TD to INT ratio, but when watching him play, he really seemed to have good days and bad days. That will happen with every football player, but for him it was almost like the monkey on his back. He would have games where he was very nearly perfect, like against Georgia in 2009 and 2010, and then he would look just terrible against other teams. Now he does play in the SEC against great competition, but if we are going to give him that handicap, then we have to give it to anyone who is from an SEC school. He beat the teams he should have (I am implying that football is a team game and he did not do it alone) for the most part, but struggled against the better teams. For example, beating East Caroline in the 2009 bowl game but losing to 5th ranked Ohio State in 2010. In 2009 he lost to every ranked team on their schedule but in 2010 beat 4 of the 7 ranked teams winning against Texas A&M, S. Carolina, Mississippi St., and LSU while losing to Alabama, Ohio St., and the eventual National Champion Auburn. Going from not beating any of them the year before to beating 4 ranked teams qualifies as progress in my book and as such reflects why he is among the top Qb prospects along with his physical traits. I still believe that no Qb is worth our #7 pick, but if he keeps falling, he might be interesting to look at.


Christian Ponder

Florida State: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 227
40yd: 4.68
ProjRnd: 2-3

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

21

410

628

65.3%

4762

226.8

7.6

29.9

34

15

96.2

142.1

Analysis:

He has 4 wins and 7 losses vs ranked opponents and doesn't have jaw-dropping physical traits, but in a way, like Locker he is a competitor. Like Mallett he seems to have very good days and very bad days, but I will say that he has a pretty solid completion percentage and that bodes well for his future. He threw about 30 times a games over two seasons so it is not like he is lacking reps or game experience. He missed a few games with injury, but I think he is still pretty durable considering. What I really question is his mentality. Can he handle the pressure of being a starting Qb in the NFL and for that matter, be a franchise Qb. He reminds me of Mark Sanchez without the swagger. In think he is a more quiet leader which may not be what Harbaugh is looking for. What I really like however is that he has run a lot of different schemes while at Florida State. I think he is going to transition pretty nicely and that might be one of the biggest things in his favor. If he can cut down on the INTs and gain a bit of confidence, then he might pan out rather nicely as an NFL Qb.


Pat Devlin

Delaware: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-4
Wt: 227
40yd: 4.82
ProjRnd: 3

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

25

481

728

66.1%

5696

227.8

7.8

29.1

38

12

100.3

145.7

Analysis:

He is probably my biggest question-mark as far as an NFL-caliber Qb. For one, I did not see him play and two, I do know that it was against Div II competition. Then again, Joe Flacco proved everyone wrong so who knows. I do know that his physical traits are very nice and his accuracy (one of my pet peeves) is very solid. He has plenty of game experience and he did improve on the interceptions from 9 in 2009 to just 3 in 2010. Now, I know I lauded Locker and yet he had 8 more INTs than Devlin, but the difference is that Locker threw them against Stanford, Nebraska, LSU, and Oregon. Pat plays against lesser competition so it is very possible that many of his stats are somewhat inflated. Other than that, he could be a steal depending on his Senior Bowl performance and if he has a good combine/pro day. If he were to fall out of that 3rd round, I would not necessarily be opposed to selecting him as a developmental Qb as long as our other needs are satisfied first (trade, FA, or draft.), but I do not see him falling into the fourth round where it might be worth it to spend one of our two picks.

Colin Kaepernick

Nevada: Pistol
Ht: 6-6
Wt: 225
40yd: 4.53
ProjRnd: 3-4

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

27

399

641

62.2%

5074

187.9

7.9

23.7

41

14

99.2

145.5

Analysis:

Like Newton, Colin is a physical specimen. It was his athleticism that helped Nevada to a stunning upset over Boise State and a bowl game victory over Navy. A nearly 3:1 TD to INT ratio and a lot of game experience and multiple games where he lead his team to victory have everyone riding high on him. A solid amount of yards and an above average completion percentage are also very nice. However, the one knock on him is his mechanics. I did not notice until I went back and watched some film of him. I even saw it on a recent video posted by 49ers.com where they highlighted the Qbs. It is a very long motion. I would describe it kind of like a wind up pitch in baseball though not as exaggerated. I think Harbaugh is smart enough and good enough to fix anyone's mechanics. I also like the fact that he is projected to go in the later rounds. He like Devlin is a potential steal, but I wonder how hard the change from the Pistol to the Pro-Style offense will be for him. I like his mobility, but I definitely want a guy who is a pass first Qb. He has a cannon and is an elusive runner, but he might need to tame his arm to increase his accuracy and read defenses better in order to be a more viable option for the 49ers.

Andy Dalton

TCU: Spread
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 220
40yd: 4.94
ProjRnd: 4

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

26

408

639

63.8%

5613

215.9

8.8

24.6

50

14

108.8

159.1

Analysis:

Here is another guy expected to go in the later rounds that I would not mind picking up. He has started all four years and has a record of 44 wins to only 8 losses. This includes 3 bowl wins to just 1 loss (to 4th ranked Boise St.), but he is only 4-5 vs ranked opponents. Basically, this guy is a winner and being just 6 TDs shy of a 4:1 TD/INT ratio, I think he qualifies as an above-average Qb prospect. He unfortunately does fall somewhat in the same category as Devlin in the sense that he did not play against the highest competition, but the advantage he has is that it was still against Div I competition (even if it was not the best competition on a regular basis). I like his accuracy and even though his physical traits seem a little on the small side, I still like him for the experience and leadership he shows. Again, because he is from the Spread family of schemes, he will need time to adjust but if he does then he may just be the project Qb we are looking for.


Greg McElroy

Alabama: One-Back
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 225
40yd: 4.96
ProjRnd: 5

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

27

420

638

65.8%

5495

203.5

8.6

23.6

37

9

106.3

154.5

Analysis:

If there was a Qb in the 2011 NFL Draft that I would like the 49ers to draft, it would have to be McElroy. He led his team to a national title in 2009 and in 2010, the only teams he lost to were ranked teams  (S. Carolina, LSU, Auburn) and even still, he won the bowl game vs 14th ranked Michigan St.. From 2009 to 2010 he improved his completion percentage by 10% and kept his TD to INT ratio at 4:1 for two years straight. There are size and arm strength issues as well as learning a more pro-style offense, but his high percentage of completions in 2010 is a sign of significant growth. He is intelligent (Rhodes Scholar Finalist in 2011) and is a leader on the field. He is also great when being interviewed and seems to carry himself well on and off the field. The best thing about Greg is that he is already slotted as a 5th round pick and depending on how the draft develops (with teams selecting Qbs) he very well could fall from the 5th to the 6th round. In either the 5th or 6th if we were to pick him up, it would allow us to fulfill areas that are more important with our first 4 or 5 picks in the draft. Cheap price for great value in my opinion. And so far, 49er.com has stated that he has probably been the most accurate Qb at the Senior Bowl practices. Sound like a sweet deal? I think so.

 


Tyrod Taylor

Virginia Tech: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-1
Wt: 216
40yd: 4.55
ProjRnd: 5-6

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

27

324

558

58.1%

5054

187.2

9.1

20.7

37

10

102.8

152.4

 


Ricky Stanzi

Iowa: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-4
Wt: 230
40yd: 4.80
ProjRnd: 6

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

24

392

649

60.4%

5421

225.9

8.4

27.0

42

21

95.3

145.4

 

T.J. Yates

N. Carolina: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-3
Wt: 220
40yd: 4.84
ProjRnd: 7

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

26

496

777

63.8%

5554

213.6

7.1

29.9

33

24

86.3

131.7

 


Scott Tolzien

Wisconsin: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-2
Wt: 209
40yd: 4.86
ProjRnd: 7-FA

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

26

405

594

68.2%

5164

198.6

8.7

22.8

32

17

109.3

165.8

 


Jerrod Johnson

Texas A&M: Pro-Style
Ht: 6-5
Wt: 250
40yd: 4.76
ProjRnd: 7-FA

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

20

454

776

58.5%

5526

276.3

7.1

38.8

44

17

90.3

132.7

 


Nathan Enderle

Idaho: One-Back
Ht: 6-5
Wt: 242
40yd: 4.98
ProjRnd: 7-FA

Games

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Yds/Game

Yds/Att

Att/Game

TD

INT

Rating

Qb Effic.

25

461

788

58.5%

6198

247.9

7.9

31.5

44

25

89

136.7

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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