Evaluating QB talent

Freakonomics took a look at the methods by which NFL teams evaluate talent. They found two facts about talent evaluation. First, a quarterback’s performance during a season has little impact on his performance in the next season. Second, the metrics teams used to determine when a quarterback will be drafted are useless in predicting quarterback success:

So the information the NFL gathers does impact evaluations.  But when we turned to the second question, we found a result that may seem surprising.  None of the factors that were related to where a quarterback was taken in the draft predicted future NFL performance (and we considered a variety of per-play measures across a variety of time periods in a player’s career).   We did find that completion percentage in college — a factor that wasn’t related to where a quarterback was selected in the draft — did predict completion percentage in the NFL.  But our analysis indicated that less than 20 percent of completion percentage in the NFL can be explained by college completion percentage.

Todd Smith

About Todd Smith

Todd Smith is a part-time sportswriter who spends too much time arguing on Twitter. What he really loves is eating poorly and watching football. He got his first Colts t-shirt in 1984 shortly after the Mayflower trucks arrived and has never given up on his hometown team. He also still holds to the belief that Kordell Stewart stepped out of the end zone and thus cheated the Colts.