Nov 23, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger (8) looks to pass the ball against the Texas A&M Aggies in the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: QB Accuracy By the Numbers for Bridgewater, Bortles, Manziel and More

The 2014 NFL Draft may hold multiple franchise quarterbacks, especially if you believe Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht. There are a variety of prospects from different levels of college football and with different skill sets, all vying to become the next Peyton Manning or the next Tom Brady.

The Buccaneers will almost certainly be in the mix for one of these quarterbacks when the draft kicks off in May, but it’s not yet evident if they plan to spend a high pick on a QB or wait until the later rounds.

We’ve already profiled a few of the prospects at quarterback in the upcoming draft, including Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, Brett Smith and Aaron Murray. But what do they advanced statistics tell us about some of the top prospects?

John Pollard of STATS posted an infographic to Twitter displaying the “off target throw percentage” of a few of the top QB prospects in 2014, and there are some very revealing numbers.

Teddy Bridgewater stands out as the obvious front-runner using this statistic, as he rarely missed on his throw, and when he did, it was high. This is something we’ve known about Bridgewater, he’s very accurate and capable as a passer. The concerns about Bridgewater seem to be more closely related to his size rather than his ability.

Derek Carr, on the other hand, has some concerning numbers, especially considering just how often he was throwing screen passes. To overthrow on 49 passes and to miss wide on another 26 when throwing a limited number of balls down the field is very concerning, despite his incredible arm talent and ability to fire the ball into a tight window.

Obviously, Manziel’s numbers are the most troubling, as he underthrew and missed wide on more throws than Bridgewater despite a similar amount of attempts. Manziel was very erratic outside of the pocket during his senior season, and didn’t show a strong ability to reset himself and deliver a solid throw. He thrived on chaos, and unfortunately his throws were chaotic as well.

Zach Metternberger’s statistics are impressive, as the LSU signal caller was quite accurate, but coming off of an ACL injury, he (along with Aaron Murray) is a risk.

As for Bortles, his statistics back up his tape. He’s inconsistent with his footwork, and that leads to poor accuracy. He does have quite a large amount of wide throws, which could be improved with a focus on stepping into his throws with consistent mechanics.

And finally, McCarron’s numbers are less than spectacular for a player with no special talents otherwise. He needed to be at least as accurate as Teddy Bridgewater (or more) to stand out from this group, and he simply did not. He’s a capable backup in the NFL with no talents or abilities to make the leap into being a serviceable starter.

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  • Earl

    Leo, my new best friend! smile You can manipulate numbers in a variety of ways. For example, Carr has over 230 more pass attempts than the next QB on your list (which is Manziel). Let’s say you take about 1/4 of those passes away. Not knowing the circumstances surrounding those throws, he’s right there within the norm. Mettenberger and Murray would be a risk, but one worth taken for the Bucs. 1) you can get them in the later rounds, 2) they can sit and watch behind McCown and Glennon 3) they can be ready to compete NLT their third year and 4) your piece proves that none of the considered top four QBs should be the Buccaneers top draft choice.

    • LeoTPP

      Just under 60% of Carr’s throws were under 5 yards, per Rotoworld (I can’t include links in the comments, just search QB Metrics Rotoworld, it should be the first thing to come up). So for a player throwing a majority of short passes, his numbers are very concerning, especially considering how often he misses wide.

  • 65yt

    I know you know. But Manzel having a “Senior” season is funny. He is a Sophmore right? Only 2 years of being a College QB and Franchises are suppose to pick him first and expect him to dominate like Russel Wilson? I know you didnt say that but it is the general consensis.