Visualizing the Careers of the 2017 Quarterback Class
One of my favorite RotoViz pieces over the years was Jon Moore’s “Visualizing the Careers Of Wide Receiver Prospects.” Jon charted the college production of successful NFL WRs and then compared their numbers to each incoming rookie class. While he’s moved on to Pro Football Focus, I thought it could be fun to build upon his idea and take a look at the 2017 Quarterback class.
Fantasy Douche has mentioned Games Dominated as a way to examine how productive WRs were on a game-to-game basis. Using a benchmark of 9.0 adjusted yards per attempt (AYA), I decided to use a similar study for this process. I excluded seasons wherein the prospect didn’t start at least half of the games, and I considered games started to be ones where at least 15 passes were attempted.
To create the trend line, I used a similar group of players as RotoDoc used to create his awesome QB prospect model. These players have had at least one season in the NFL with an AY/A over 7, but I increased the games started to 10. The tiers were based on our RotoViz Scouting Index and ages were pulled from the 2017 Age Database. Keep in mind that this is just an exploratory exercise.
Prior to this study I wasn’t all that impressed by Deshone Kizer, but he really stands out here. In his only two seasons as a starter, he dominated over 40 percent of his games – and he just turned 21-years old.
Patrick Mahomes is a RotoViz favorite, and his games dominated only help validate it. After breaking out at age 20, Mahomes followed up by crushing it in half the games he started. He’s a bit older than Kizer, but I still prefer his overall profile.
RotoDoc’s model suggested that Deshaun Watson was someone to avoid, and he looks boom/bust here as well. After an impressive first season, he plummeted below the trend line the next season. His poor ball velocity and second-year dip in games dominated have me skeptical he’ll make it in the NFL.
On the other hand, RotoDoc had high hopes for Mitch Trubisky, and while he only started one year, he had the most impressive season of this tier.
For a guy with no real buzz, Miami QB Brad Kaaya looks like he has some legitimate upside, posting three consecutive seasons above the trend line after becoming a starter at age 19. I also find it interesting that three different players led the team in receptions over that time.
Davis Webb has been hyped up as a legitimate sleeper but doesn’t look like much here. After starting at an early age, he never really reached the next level throughout his career.
Anthony Amico thinks Joshua Dobbs could be an arbitrage play on Deshaun Watson. The numbers don’t quite support that idea, but his third-year development at least makes him interesting.
Nathan Peterman took awhile to get his shot, but when he did, he produced back-to-back seasons over 40 percent. At his age, both these seasons put him slightly under the trend line. He may have journeyman potential in the league.
I wish I knew more about Chad Kelly‘s athleticism because from the outside I can find a lot of reasons to like him. After getting the boot from Clemson in 2013, he went on to Eastern Mississippi Community College and threw 47 touchdowns, leading them to an undefeated season. Then he transferred to Ole Miss, where he dominated over 60 percent of his starts and may have had a hand in Laquon Treadwell’s career year. After losing Treadwell to the NFL, he followed that up with another solid season, even if it did fall just below our trend line.
Jerod Evans and Seth Russell both had impressive late breakouts. Russell likely won’t be drafted and he’ll be 24 years old this year. Evans is interesting because, while he’s an older prospect, he only played one season in the NCAA. He looks like a project to keep an eye on.