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By The Numbers

NFL Draft Minimum Thresholds

by Hayden Winks

The NFL Draft has historically not been very good at finding good players, and the data shows a player’s overall draft pick only explains between 10-25% of the variation of a player’s NFL success. As I showed in the NFL Draft Analytics series, some positions are easier to predict than others and all singular college or NFL Combine stats aren’t as good as the draft order, even if there are models that can outperform the NFL Draft -- these models exist.

 

But a lot of the analytics for the NFL Draft has been threshold-driven and that’s exactly what you’ll see in this column. Since most of you are here for fantasy football, I’ll use PPR points for the skill positions to see how many times each 2019 NFL Combine invited prospect passed these minimum thresholds. But follow me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks) to see the NFL Combine updates.

 

Quarterback

There are 25 quarterbacks in my database (not all participated in the NFL Combine or played in the FBS) that averaged at least 15.0 fantasy points per game in NFL seasons two through four. Here are the minimum thresholds for their final college and NFL Combine stats (I’m not counting Michael Vick’s injured final season):

 

College Fantasy Points Per Game

Minimum: 14.9 (Kirk Cousins)

Failed to meet the minimum: Jarrett Stidham (14.8)

 

 

College Passer Rating

Minimum: 126.1 (Jay Cutler)

Failed to meet the minimum: Trace McSorley (124.6), Clayton Thorson (120.9)

 

College Passing Touchdowns

Minimum: 20 (Josh Freeman)

Failed to meet the minimum: Jordan Ta'amu (19), Trace McSorley (18), Jarrett Stidham (18), Clayton Thorson (17), Jake Browning (16)

 

College Passing Touchdowns Per Game

Minimum: 1.6 (Josh Freeman)

Failed to meet the minimum: Jarrett Stidham (1.4), Trace McSorley (1.4), Clayton Thorson (1.2), Jake Browning (1.1)

 

College Passing TD%

Minimum: 4.5% (Jay Cutler)

Failed to meet the minimum: Clayton Thorson (3.5%), Jake Browning (4.1%)

 

College Passing Yards

Minimum: 2,566 (Aaron Rodgers)

Failed to meet the minimum: Trace McSorley (2,530)

 

College Passing Yards Per Game

Minimum: 203 (Cam Newton)

Failed to meet the minimum: Trace McSorley (195)

 

College AYPA

Minimum: 6.5 (Matt Ryan)

Failed to meet the minimum: Clayton Thorson (5.8)

 

College YPA

Minimum: 6.7 (Jay Cutler)

Failed to meet the minimum: Clayton Thorson (6.5)

 

College Completion%

Minimum: 54% (Michael Vick)

Failed to meet the minimum: Trace McSorley (53%)

 

College Interceptions

Minimum: 18 (Jameis Winston)

Failed to meet the minimum: None.

 

College INT%

Minimum: 3.9% (Jameis Winston)

Failed to meet the minimum: None.

 

NFL Combine Ball Velocity

Minimum: 49 MPH (Deshaun Watson)

Failed to meet the minimum: TBD

 

How many times a 2019 quarterback prospect with an NFL Combine invitation failed to meet the above minimums:

Jordan Ta'amu (1), Jarrett Stidham (3), Jake Browning (3), Trace McSorley (6), and Clayton Thorson (8).

 

The quarterbacks listed here face an uphill battle, but Stidham and (to a lesser extent) Ta'amu at least have a chance in my eyes. Stidham will probably get more looks than other quarterbacks who are drafted near the Day 2/3 borderline because he was a touted prospect as soon as he stepped on campus. Ta'amu is really young, so his chances are better than other quarterbacks because teams will view his youth as an opportunity to develop. ... Daniel Jones was close to the minimum four times, but he passed all of them. That doesn't necessarily mean we just ignore his poor production and efficiency. … Kyler Murray actually passed the 70-inch and 204-pound minimums, but both height and weight have had zero correlation to NFL success for quarterbacks anyways.

 

If you're looking for more quarterback content, check out the QB Stats Report (2019 prospect profiles) and NFL Draft Analytics for QB (historical data).

Hayden Winks

Hayden Winks is a college football and NFL writer for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter @HaydenWinks.