Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Aaron Rodgers Is Not Likely To Fall Victim To The Tedford Curse

One of the Football Outsiders best bits of work went into figuring out the most useful college stats for judging future success for NFL QBs. You still need scouting, but stats, as always can tell you a great deal. As it turns out, for QBs taken in the first two rounds, the most useful stats are completion percentage, and games started. Completion percentage is self explanatory. Accuracy is far more important than anything else for a QB. Games started does two things: 1. it provides sample size, giving the QB more time to succeed or fail, and 2. it exposes the QB to more scouts.

Rodgers lost some time due to his status as a JC transfer, and because he came out early, but playing for only two years is not terrible. (Akili Smith played only one. The worst projectors are always workout warriors like Kyle Boller who impress people at workouts, but not at games.) Where Rodgers really shines, however, is in completion percentage. Here is a list of QBs who played under Tedford, followed by their college completion percentages:

Aaron Rodgers – 63.8% (66.1 his senior season).
Akili Smith – 58.0 %
Joey Harrington – 55.2%
Kyle Boller – 47.8%
Trent Dilfer – 59.1%
David Carr – 62.8%

At this point I should mention that there was a third criteria that the Outsiders came up with as well. For the system to work, the player could not have been drafted by an expansion team. Misters Carr and Couch are victims of this cruel fate, as both severely underperformed. (It's not hard to see why as expansion teams employ shitty o-lines).

Looking at this chart it's hard to see what was so exciting about Akili Smith, Kyle Boller, and Joey Harrington.

Lumping Rodgers in with the rest of the Tedford bunch is silly. He is a different kind of QB.

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