Ron Jaworski has been known to make some fairly specific statements praising quarterbacks. It's safe to say people will never let him forget his comments about Colin Kaepernick having the potential to be an all-time great. I think in context some of his comments make some measure of sense, but they can still be slightly hyperbolic.
Jaws took part in a conference call this morning, and had a chance to discuss quarterback prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft. Cam Inman was able to get on the call, and he grabbed a few items of note. The most interesting part was Jaworski's thoughts on Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. He is a big fan of Prescott, comparing him to Donovan McNabb coming out of Syracuse. He thinks he could be a strong fit for Chip Kelly's offense with the San Francisco 49ers:
"If you look at what would be the optimal way for a Chip-style offense, it's a quarterback with some mobility and ability to have repetitive accuracy on the run. That's what I saw out of Dak Prescott."
The 49ers met with Prescott at the NFL Combine. A couple weeks after the Combine, Prescott was arrested on suspicion of DUI. That's not exactly ideal for boosting draft stock.
Prescott has looked like a day two or day three prospect, and Football Outsiders thinks he could be one of the under-the-radar better options. They recently published their QBASE projections for 2016. QBASE stands for Quarterback-Adjusted-Stats-and-Experience. Here's how they describe it:
To come up with NFL projections for this year's top quarterback prospects, QBASE looks at college performance, experience and expected draft position. The last of these is included to account for the scouting information that college stats miss. To allow some time for development, QBASE projects a quarterback's passing efficiency in years 3-5 of his career, according to our measure Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR). Fifty-thousand simulations then produce a range of potential outcomes for each prospect.
The rankings are currently behind ESPN's pay wall, but in a week it will be available for all on Football Outsiders. We'll follow up then, but in light of Jaws' comments, I figured I would point it out.
QBASE projects Jared Goff as the best QB in this class, with his score coming in just ahead of 2005 Aaron Rodgers and just behind 2004 Ben Roethlisberger. FO's ESPN article only looks at six quarterbacks, while their free article next week will include more details. Carson Wentz is significantly further down, but FO notes that small school QBs can be underrated due to lack of comps.
What's interesting for our purposes is that Dak Prescott rates out second of the six QBs. The table provides projected years 3-5 DYAR, and then percentage likelihood for each category. For comparison, Goff is listed with a 28.3% chance of "bust", 34.1% chance of being "adequate starter", 23.5% chance of being "Upper Tier", and 14.2% chance of being "elite".
Here is the table they provide for Prescott, along with their commentary on him.
|Mean Projection, Years 3-5:||421 DYAR|
|Bust (< 500)||54.9%|
|Upper Tier (1500-2500)||12.8%|
The projection rates Prescott far ahead of Lynch and Cook, prospects expected to go earlier in the draft. Often compared to Tim Tebow earlier in his college career, Prescott did not have as much NFL-caliber talent surrounding him, despite the presence of projected 2017 first-round wide receiver Fred Ross. Prescott's projection here accounts for that, as well as him facing the toughest set of opposing defenses of any quarterback prospect in this year's draft (No. 14 in FBS last season).
QBASE does not predict Prescott to be a likely NFL success, but his 45 percent chance of being at least an adequate starter gives him enough upside to make him worth a Day 2 draft pick.