Richner: Super Bowl QBs

PredictionMachine.com's NFL Draft Expert, Matt Richner, reviews collegiate tendencies of recent Super Bowl winning quarterbacks as well as current Super Bowl participants, Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco.

In anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl, I thought it would be interesting to take a step back and look at the stats of previous winning QBs to see if there are any trends, significant markers or outliers to help predict who will be the winning QB of this year's Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens, led by quarterback Joe Flacco, and the San Francisco 49ers, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, aim to add their team's name to NFL greatness come next Sunday. Since 1993 there have been 13 different starting QBs to lift the Lombardi trophy. Each of these 13 starting QBs had a variety of skill sets, from gunslingers, such as John Elway, to cool-handed surgeons, such as Tom Brady.

Below is a list of the 13 quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl title in the last 20 years, along with their respective COLLEGE STATS.

Player School Att. Comp Comp % TD INT TD/INT Yards YPA
Troy Aikman UCLA 637 401 63.0% 40 18 2.22 5,436 8.53
Steve Young BYU 908 592 65.2% 56 33 1.70 7,633 8.41
Brett Favre So. Miss. 1169 613 52.4% 52 34 1.53 7,695 6.58
John Elway Stanford 1246 774 62.1% 77 39 1.97 9,349 7.50
Kurt Warner N. Iowa 352 201 57.1% 19 0 N/A 2,982 8.47
Trent Dilfer Fresno St. 865 511 59.1% 53 22 2.41 7,631 8.82
Tom Brady Michigan 711 443 62.3% 35 19 1.84 5,351 7.53
Brad Johnson Florida St. 236 153 64.8% 13 8 1.63 1,665 7.06
Ben Roethlisberger Miami (OH) 1304 854 65.5% 84 34 2.47 10,829 8.30
Peyton Manning Tennessee 1381 863 62.5% 89 33 2.70 11,201 8.11
Eli Manning Ole Miss 1363 829 60.8% 81 35 2.31 10,119 7.42
Drew Brees Purdue 1639 1003 61.2% 88 45 1.96 11,517 7.03
Aaron Rodgers California 665 424 63.8% 43 13 3.31 5,469 8.22
  Avg: 959 589 61.52% 56 27 2.17 7452 7.85

All 13 quarterbacks were accomplished signal callers while in college, the lone exception being Kurt Warner. There are only three quarterbacks on this list who failed to achieve a career completion percentage greater than 60 percent while in college: Favre, Warner and Dilfer.

These elite quarterbacks averaged 589 completions on 959 attempts, throwing for an average of 7,452 passing yards. This is not a collection of running quarterbacks who occasionally threw the ball (think of Mike Vick). They were highly accurate with the football, throwing for an average 61.5 percent. Most of these players played in a pro-style offense. Taking care of the football was obviously a priority for each of these quarterbacks, with an average ratio of 2.17 TD/INT.

Every draft year there is a QB who fails to have the production but gets picked higher because of his strong measurables or because he passed the eyeball test at the NFL “Underwear Olympics” (NFL Combine). Just look at the draft selections of JaMarcus Russell and Kyle Boller.

Great quarterbacks in the NFL just don’t come out of thin air; they come into the NFL with some measure of success. Super Bowl-winning QBs might not pass the measurables test the first go around, but they have proven they have greatness inside. All scouts have to do is look more at the evidence left by their stats and less at the 3-cone shuttle drill or vertical leap test.

Joe Flacco and Colin Kapernick College Stats:

Player School Att. Comp Comp % TD INT TD/INT Yards YPA
Joe Flacco Delaware 938 595 63.4% 56 26 2.15 4,285 4.57
Colin Kaepernick Nevada 1271 740 58.2% 82 24 3.42 10,098 7.94

Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick will be doing everything in their power to put their name on the list of Super Bowl champion quarterbacks. Flacco, who played for the University of Delaware, completed 63 percent of his passes in college and finished with a quality rating of 2.15 TD/INT.

Kaepernick had over 10,000 yards passing, combined with a TD/INT ratio at Aaron Rodgers level of 3.42 while playing for Nevada-Reno. Kaepernick amassed over 4,000 rushing yards as well, becoming the first quarterback in college football history to throw for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 yards.

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