Three quarterbacks in particular have truly lit up the scoreboards and stat sheets the past two seasons. All three of these QBs will be eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft, but they don’t all share the same level of hype. Without mentioning the names just yet, let’s look at the numbers from the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
QB 1 has thrown for 6,573 yards, completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 52 TDs and 17 INTs. He’s also accumulated 1,963 yards rushing and 29 TDs. His team’s record over this span is 19-4.
QB 2 has thrown for 5,208 yards, completed 66 percent of his passes for 54 TDs and 6 INTs. He’s also accumulated 1,247 yards rushing and 14 TDs. His team’s record over this span is 20-2.
QB 3 has thrown for 5,354 yards, completed 62 percent of his passes for 46 TDs and 11 INTs. He’s also accumulated 3,088 yards rushing and 33 TDs. His team’s record over this span is 22-2.
QB 1 is projected to be a high first round pick in the NFL Draft. QB 2 is a candidate for the first pick overall. QB 3? He’s not projected to even be drafted.
If you haven’t already figured out who these QBs are, QB 1 is Texas A&M‘s Johnny Manziel, QB 2 is Oregon‘s Marcus Mariota and QB 3 is Northern Illinois‘ Jordan Lynch. All of their numbers are absolutely staggering totals throughout not even two full seasons, yet two of these guys are considered to be future franchise QBs and one apparently isn’t good enough to even be drafted in the later rounds. Why?
There are three big knocks on Lynch. One is his size. At 6-foot flat he doesn’t have the height you look for in professional QBs. Sure, guys like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have found success in the NFL at 6-foot or under, but it’s still far from the norm. Manziel is also 6-foot, but personnel men are seemingly willing to overlook that.
The second thing is the level of competition he’s faced. At Northern Illinois he’s been going against MAC competition, which is subpar at best (sorry MACtion lovers). You have to wonder what the numbers of Mariota and Manziel would’ve been if they were going against the likes of Akron and Eastern Michigan instead of Stanford and Alabama.
And third is the most important thing: the arm. Lynch doesn’t have a great arm. He’s good in short to intermediate routes but struggles to push the ball down the field. He could potentially fit in a West Coast offense, but he doesn’t have the elite accuracy needed to make up for the lack of strength.
But the thing Lynch does have is superb athleticism, something that can’t be taught. And this is where I have the problem with the possibility of Lynch going undrafted. Lynch is a playmaker, and that’s something every team looks for. He’s electric with the ball in his hands, has a knack for finding seams in a defense, is willing to take a lick and is a good character guy. How in the world is he not worthy of a late round pick at worst?
To find success in the NFL he’ll more than likely have to switch positions to either running back or wide receiver. But he can do it. He’s a good enough athlete and playmaker to find a niche somewhere. A creative offensive mind should have a field day with the possibilities Lynch offers with his skill set.