Bill Connelly takes a stab at analyzing last year’s quarterbacks data.
Out of pure curiosity, I wanted to play with the data by creating some rough player types. I set up three categories based on each player’s passes-to-rushes ratio. If it was 7.0 or greater (meaning 7 passes/sacks to every intentional rush), you’re a statue. If it’s between 3.5 and 7, you’re a dual-threat. If it’s below 3.5, you’re a runner.
Of the 240 or so quarterbacks with at least 45 combined rushes and pass attempts*, that breaks them into three groups of about 70-90 each. It doesn’t really do us any good to compare a Washington State quarterback to an Army quarterback, but comparing them in this way allows us to compare apples to apples to some degree.
* 45 combined rushes and passes is a pretty low bar, and it results in a few odd categorizations — if you were a backup and mostly played in blowouts, you might have rushed more than you would have otherwise given more snaps. But let’s go with this. This is my first stab at it.
Once each player was categorized, I decided to play with percentiles within each category. I looked at percentiles for completion rate, yards per completion, interception rate, and sack rate, and for non-statues, I added highlight yards per opportunity and opportunity rate.
So basically, within each player type, I looked at your efficiency, explosiveness, and ability to avoid disaster.
You won’t be surprised to find that Baker Mayfield had a ridiculous season. But of more interest to us locals is what the data says about Jacob Eason. As the header indicates, the data is none too kind.
Your proverbial work in progress, in other words. It’s not all about him, of course. We all know he needs more help from the line, but the other stat that jumps out is yards per attempt, which has been in a steady decline since Aaron Murray’s stellar 2012 season. From cfbstats.com, here’s the sad story.
- 2012 (Murray): 10.1
- 2013 (Murray): 8.9
- 2014 (Mason): 7.8
- 2015 (Lambert): 7.7
- 2016 (Eason): 6.6
It’s pretty telling that Murray’s 2013, a year in which he played a good chunk of the season without a receiving corps beyond Conley, managed to be better at peeling off passing yardage on a per-play basis than any succeeding offense.
Eason’s drop off is comparatively severe, no doubt, and some of it is fueled by his having the only sub-60% completion percentage during that five-year stretch. How much of that is on a green kid not doing a particularly good job seeing the field, how much is on his receivers and how much is on the blocking not giving him time is something someone would need a lot of time to determine — good think Kirby’s got analysts out the wazoo for that — but it’s clear there’s a lot of work ahead for everyone associated with Georgia’s passing game.