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How I evaluate QB play.

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I wrote this in another thread, I just got going, then I thought I put in enough work I figured I make it it's own thread.  The genesis of the post was about Watson's potential.  


I think it takes three years of evaluation to determine whether a QB is viable long-term.  Year one is a year of learning for both the QB and the defenses in terms of tendencies.  Year two is a story of adjustments, year three is when I believe you find out whether a QB can be a long-term contributor to a team.  So I think next year we'll find out about Watson.


Here's my view of QB's (you don't have to agree with any of it, this is just me).


Top tier:  These guys throw with accuracy and anticipation.  They don’t wait for guys to 'come open’, they either throw receivers open by virtue of ball placement or they throw to a spot knowing that’s where their wide-out eventually will be, it’s the receiver’s job to win the ball. We often see these guys throwing the ball well before a receiver has made their break.  Often they throw completions to receivers who appear to be completely covered. They also understand defenses and get their team into the right play and protections.  The ability to run is plus, plus and can prove to be lethal. The final piece is they win the fourth quarter.  Arm strength is at least average and above. 


Signature throw: Back Shoulder fade

Examples: Luck, Brees, Wilson, Rodgers, Rivers, Brady.


Mid-level: Throws with reasonable accuracy, knows how to make reads and makes use of check downs.  Throws with some anticipation but doesn’t necessarily see the field the same way top tier QB’s do. These guys will throw 50/50 balls but usually out of necessity.  Not necessarily reliable fourth-quarter QB’s but can be dangerous. On the right team, these guys can will a lot of games but may struggle against superior defenses. 


Signature throw: Crossing routes and Check downs

Examples: Stafford, Carr, Winston, Smith, Ryan, E. Manning.


Bottom Tier:  Inaccurate passer, tends to be a one or two read guy and go guy and often will display strong arm strength to deliver balls to deep wide-open receivers.  Only sees guys who are running open as viable targets, as a result, will often hold the ball too long and suffer high sack rates.  They don’t see the field the same as top or mid-tier QB’s. Struggles recognizing defenses and protections and relies on athleticism to overcome shortcomings in the passing game.  Improvisational skills are a must, a lack of improv means they are not long for the league. Final note, these guys typically require teams with tremendous defenses to win consistently.


Signature throw: Post and Go routes.

Examples: Bortles, Newton, Tannehill, Mariota.


X-factors: work ethic, intelligence, leadership.


I have excluded any QB with less than three years exp.  

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