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Statistical study hints at possible sleeper QB in the draft – and he’s met with the Vikings

By Matthew Coller

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A deep dive into the statistics of quarterbacks’ college statistics by points to Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans as possibly the sleeper QB in this year’s NFL Draft. Evans is the only reported quarterback to have met with the Vikings at the NFL Combine.

The study (which you can read here) broke up the college numbers of current NFL quarterbacks into Gold, Silver and Bronze by weighing their yards, completion percentage, touchdowns and QB rating and adjusting those numbers for factors such as competition, era, surrounding talent and scheme.

Quarterbacks who had “Gold” college numbers included late-round-pick stars like Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott, along with top picks like Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Eli Manning. Also included were many QBs who never saw the field in the NFL like David Greene and Andre Woodson.

The Silver QBs featured far fewer stars like Matt Stafford and possibly Jameis Winston along with several busts like Jason Campbell and Blake Bortles.

The Bronze list is the most interesting, with all sorts of busts like Tim Couch, Vince Young, EJ Manuel, Jake Locker, JP Losman, Brandon Weeden and Mark Sanchez.

So to put it simply: The study was able to pick out some underrated prospects who eventually turned into superstars and also spot some first-round picks who turned out to be way overrated.

Author Eathan Young explained: “Just because you are in the Gold bucket doesn’t mean you will be good NFL QB. But to be successful at the next level, you clearly need to be in the Gold group or in the Silver one with top level arm talent or mental processing skills to pair with it, or the deck is stacked against you.”

He offers these two tidbits about the system:

  • 96.1 percent of starter-level quarterbacks since 1983 have been Gold or Silver passers.
  • Every Super Bowl-winning starting QB drafted since 1983 has been a Gold passer.

This same study broke up this year’s quarterback class into Gold, Silver and Bronze and here’s what it found:

The first name on the list is a projected top pick, so that shouldn’t be a stunner, and Kaaya has been pegged anywhere from the second to fourth round, but Evans has mostly been tabbed a late-round QB, somewhere between the fourth and seventh round.

Here’s what CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang wrote about Evans:

“Evans’ numbers, size and power are undeniable but so too is the fact that his production was inflated by Virginia Tech’s relatively simple offense and his two NFL-caliber pass-catchers. He possesses legitimate talent but is a significant project who may have been served playing more at the college level to improve his overall accuracy, something that likely will not happen simply watching from the sideline as a backup in the NFL.”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound quarterback only has one year of starting experience under his belt, but he threw for 3,552 yards at an impressive 8.4 Yards Per Attempt, completed 63.5% of his passes and tossed 29 touchdowns along with eight interceptions.

If the Vikings are going to draft a quarterback, Evans fits the bill because of his likely draft slot – they are unlikely to spend a high pick on a QB with Sam Bradford in place – and his potential ceiling.

Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs should also catch the Vikings’ eye as a potential late-round steal. Dobbs averaged 8.3 Yards Per Attempt and threw 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last year. He is an aerospace engineering major and performed well at the combine.

It stands out that DeShaun Watson is in the bronze despite throwing for 4,593 yards, 41 touchdowns and winning the national championship game. But Watson was second in the nation in interceptions with 17.

The Vikings have said they are using more and more analytics as they head into the draft, so this type of study might point them toward Evans or one of the other high-rated QBs.

The post Statistical study hints at possible sleeper QB in the draft – and he’s met with the Vikings appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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