Tyler Wilson and the Curse of the “Old” Quarterback
Get a free NFL subscription for 3 days.
In 2001 a young pitcher named Danny Almonte took the baseball world by storm. He became a household name after striking out 16 en route to a perfect game in the Little League World Series. He showed the kind of skill and velocity that led people to envision a future big league star. Danny dominated the competition. The only problem is that Danny was 14 years old, two year older than the competition, and too old to be playing in the tournament. After recent RotoViz articles have explored the impact of age on running back and wide receiver performance, I thought it might be time to factor it into quarterback projections. Because those positions rely on speed, youth is a key factor. For quarterbacks, I’ve never paid much attention to age, except in Weeden-like instances. Think about it: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are both past their 35th birthdays and still going strong. How many 35 year old running backs are still toting the rock? Who cares if a QB is 22 or 24 when the expectation is that they could play for another decade? But what if age DOES matter for quarterback prospects? I plugged an age function into my quarterback database to consider the possibilities. Similar to how baseball uses July 1 as their cutoff, I decided that October 15th is the midpoint of the college football season. What I began to notice is that quarterbacks who play their final college season at 23+ are an unusual bunch, both in quantity and future performance. This list was drawn from my spreadsheet of (almost) every QB drafted since 1995. Consider the following: