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NFL Draft 2013: Charting QB efficiency

How to the quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft stack up?


I decided to try my hand at charting, modifying a couple of systems that I have seen to see how different quarterbacks in the draft compare against one another. The way the system works is, if a player attempts 20 passes, it will give them him a possible score of +20 for 100 percent efficiency. Throw away passes are subtracted from the total attempts, because for this purpose it's not an attempted pass.

A player is awarded +1 for a completed pass and no points for an incompletion. If the incompletion is a catchable pass but is dropped, the quarterback is awarded a half point. If the incompletion stems from a bad throw (i.e. low, overthrown, behind, under thrown) the quarterback is penalized a half point and then interceptions are a full point docked. For the sake of this, all throws are created equal and yardage or touchdowns do not matter.

The total points accumulated is then divided by the total possible points to determine the quarterback's efficiency.

Make sense?

Here is how the quarterbacks charted out. I did two games for each player.

Player Opp. Score Efficiency Opp. Score Efficiency Profile
Mike Glennon FSU +21.5 40.5% Miami(FL) +17.5 42.7% Scouting Report
Zac Dysert OSU +31.5 61.7% Temple ('11) +25.5 70.8% Scouting Report
Ryan Nassib USC +19.5 43% Louisville +13 56.5% Scouting Report
Matt Scott Stanford +34 50% USC +17 35.4% Scouting Report
Geno Smith Texas Tech +24 46% Oklahoma +15.5 45.5% Scouting Report
Matt Barkley Syracuse +21 70% Stanford +12.5 31.3% Scouting Report
Tyler Wilson LSU +28 56% South Carolina +23 59% Scouting Report
E.J. Manuel Clemson +24.5 72.1% Notre Dame ('11) +12.5 41.7% Scouting Report
Blaine Gabbert Nebraska ('10) +14 35% Iowa ('10) +24 61.8% Scouting Report

The biggest surprise to me in all of this was how well Zac Dysert graded out. I liked him going into the charting project, but he turned out looking better than I expected. He looked like the best deep passer out of all the quarterbacks I charted, constantly taking the shots down the field even if his receivers couldn't make the play. Dysert was the most consistent between the two games as well, scoring high on both.

Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Glennon were both fairly consistent as well, as in there wasn't a lot of deviation of their rating between the two games. The big difference there though was Glennon pumped up his score with lots of check downs and short passes, while Smith's were more intermediate routes, picking up chunks of yards. Geno was also the better deep ball passer. Wilson on the other hand sprayed the ball all over the field, but was most consistent in the intermediate range.

Ryan Nassib was another who was consistent and charted out much better than I expected. When he gets into a rhythm and starts hitting his receivers off his three-step drop he can move the team down the field with ease. He really struggles going down the field however and seems to throw to the open receiver rather than the open window.

The most disappointing player I charted was Matt Barkley, who had a massive difference in his efficiency between the two games charted. His score spiked against Syracuse because he threw mostly short throws and screens, and barely anything over 10 yards. Against Stanford however, he was forced to play catch up and couldn't just take short screens and his score suffered, as he struggles down the field.

Matt Scott and E.J. Manuel were two others who's ratings were far off, and Scott suffered the same as Barkley did. When he was allowed to make a lot of quick, single read throws he did fine, but when the offense called for him to take more liberty and do more reads on the defense he struggled, especially down the field. In the case of Manuel, he thrived against Clemson in probably the best game of his career, but when he was under duress against Notre Dame his decision making and accuracy took a big nosedive.

I plan to try to use this system going forward into the regular season with whoever the Jaguars quarterback winds up being, be it Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, or one of these rookies. I already see some tweaks I will need to make however, such as not giving a full point for sub 5-yard throws and throws behind the line of scrimmage. For some of the guys, it really inflated their score and didn't give an accurate representation. On the other hand, I may need to award more than one point for completions over 25 yards.