Monday, May 13, 2013

NFL draft and backup quarterbacks

Pretty interesting draft overall.  Several players that were certain to be top picks just a year ago fell to anywhere between Round 2 and 4. I looked up a few standout college stars from several years back and very few were good enough to stick in the NFL.  Again, that underscores my point on an earlier post about how difficult it is to be a pro athlete (1 in 16K) and even if you "make it," you still have to beat the odds to stick around long enough to retire comfortably. Just a few quick comments and predictions specifically at QB:

E.J Manuel- probably a reach at mid-1st round.  May be a successful starter but unlikely to be a savior for a franchise that hasn't been to the playoffs since '99

Geno Smith- Put up huge numbers at WVU but struggled to win games at times.  Very questionable.  The fact that he wants thug rapper Jay-Z as his agent doesn't say much for his character.  I predict a flop but I've been wrong before.

Matt Barkley- fell to Round 4 and I am really pulling for him to unseat Vick in Philly.  Also a devout Christian who has done missionary work.

Landry Jones and Ryan Nassib- both going to teams with entrenched starters.  Should be quality backups for now and may get a shot to start down the road.

If you are a former starter that had moderate success for a few years, you may have to settle for backup duty by the time you are about 30 years old.  2 options exist.  You could try to get a job with a losing team and hope to get another chance to start but the catch is that with diminishing skills and a lack of talent surrounding you, success is not likely and you could be out of the league soon. On a side note, I believe that Tim Couch and David Carr could have been decent QBs with a better supporting cast.   A second option is to join a perennial contender and concede a chance to start.  With talent surrounding you on the OL and at the skill positions, you could play well in the few chances that you do get to play and extend your career by another 5-7 years.  Charlie Batch is one case that was not good enough to win for Detroit but was more than capable as a backup in Pittsburgh. These guys can make $1.5-2 million per year.  Not a bad gig.

Now I must address the Tim Tebow situation:
Even those who don't like him as a football player will say that it is a disgrace that he was mishandled so badly in New York.  As of now, the New York Jets are my least favorite team in all of professional sports.  I am a huge fan of Tebow both as a person and football player but am not so blind that I ignore his shortcomings.  I will concede that most NFL teams would be ill-advised to bench their current starter in favor of Tebow.  However, his critics make it out like he's the worst quarterback ever to play the game. Sure, he needs to improve his accuracy but those who point to his low completion rate (48%) ignore that he was among the leaders in yards per completion and lowest interceptions thrown.  I for one would rather have a 50% completion guy with a 2/1 TD/INT ratio and a dual threat than a "traditional" QB with a 60% comp. with more INTs than TDs.  Lots of quarterbacks struggle early in their careers (Eli Manning, Steve Young, etc) and there are several QBs with worse overall numbers (Gabbert, Tannehill, Weeden, Sanchez) that are getting another chance to start.

 You don't want Tebow as a starter?  I understand that but do you mean to tell me that he's not better than veteran retreads like Gradkowski, Brady Quinn, Skelton and Ryan Lindley?  All of these guys have QB ratings south of 65.0 compared to Tebow's 75.3.  The most telling stat is that Denver went 4-14 with Kyle Orton in 2010-11 and 8-5 with Tebow.  Several posters have said that he "throws like a girl" and others have called him phony and even arrogant because of his prayers on the field. Some don't want to deal with the media "circus."  Tebow always goes out of his way to thank his coaches, teammates and fans.  The media needs to quit following his every move. Can someone please explain how saying "God bless" is offensive and giving glory to God shows arrogance?  I always thought it was just the opposite.  Tebow has beaten the odds since his birth and he can do it again if an entire organization believes in him and allows him to shine.

No comments: