Bessire: QB Ranks and Projections

Last Updated: 1/18/2015 8:58 PM ET
Projections for every ranked quarterback are below. Players are ranked based on PredictionMachine.com's 2014 projected statistics for what each player would be expected to do as a 16 game starter on a totally average NFL team against a completely average NFL schedule. Read more about how rankings and projections are done. See biographical and statistical data on each QB prospect here.


Some highlights:

Again this year, we have included an impact score (0 - 10 scale) for each player. This score is a relative value based on the projections that can put players in context across positions and draft classes. A score of seven or above can generally outperform a replacement player in the NFL at his position as a rookie; an eight or above can be expected to start adequately and a player with a rating over nine is a unique, standout player who could star.

As a matter of context, at this time last year, using the same process, the top five quarterbacks had scores of: Geno Smith (8.2), Landry Jones (7.5), Matt Barkley (7.3), EJ Manuel (7.2) and Tyler Bray (7.0).

In 2012, as one would expect, given what we seen in the last two seasons, the rankings looked very different. At that time, the top five quarterbacks had scores of: Robert Griffin III (9.5), Andrew Luck (9.1), Russell Wilson (8.5), Brandon Weeden (8.0) and Nick Foles (8.0).

In other words, seven quarterbacks in this year's class rank as good as or better than the second best QB from last year, but none of this year's quarterback prospects is anywhere near the level of quarterback we saw at the top of the 2012 draft. Geno Smith, 2013's outlier in our projections, technically would rank third in the 2014 class (when rounded to the hundredth of a point), with essentially the same grade as Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel.

The best quarterback in this year's draft class would have ranked as the 12th best among the top 250 in 2013's non-offensive lineman rankings. Given that the 2014 NFL Draft is deeper in impact talent than 2013 and that there are many talented offensive linemen (which we will include in the top 250 this year) this season, we are not expecting any quarterback to rank in the draft's top 25 overall prospects (though two QBs should still rank within the top 32 or so).

For the most part, the 2014 quarterback rankings follow the consensus QB rankings discussed within the mainstream media at this moment. Bridgewater, Manziel and Blake Bortles, commonly referred to as the "big three" among prospects, are all within our top four overall. The consensus top six quarterbacks in media rankings also includes AJ McCarron, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo. McCarron and Carr both fit into our top six overall (more on Garoppolo below).

The lone exception among our highly ranked quarterbacks not getting much draft buzz is Tahj Boyd. Boyd is an experienced (40 starts) player who consistently improved throughout his career in a unique offense while put up prolific numbers in a conference that also improved while he was there (as did the non-conference schedule). There is not one number from Boyd's career or measureables that stands out as indicative of a future star, but there is nothing (aside from a bit of a "gimmicky" offensive scheme, which we account for in the numbers) that warns of likely demise in the NFL either. The NFL does not like to put much early draft stock into players that are safe bets to contribute as spot starters/valuable career back-ups, but Boyd is about as safe of a bet to qualify as that as there is in this year's draft.

Aaron Murray, one of Matt Richner's favorites in this class, would rank fourth on this list if fully healthy. Early-career reliability is big in this analysis and Murray's knee injury places a massive hit on that – more so than Zach Mettenberger because of Murray's small size/stature.

Some players with lower scorers, yet higher variance (potential "boom or bust" players) include: Connor Shaw, Stephen Morris, James Franklin, Casey Pachall and Logan Thomas. By 2017, most of these players will be out of the league, however, whether it be due to scheme fit, coaching, luck and/or motivation, one or two of the players in this group could also be a quality starter in 2017.

Jimmy Garoppolo is simultaneously the most touted quarterback that we do not project to succeed and the toughest to project given the level of competition at Eastern Illinois. One would expect a player of his alleged capabilities to dominate at the FCS level and that simply did not happen, which typically leads to a bust. For what it's worth though, from strictly a scoring perspective, Garoppolo (6.7) is a tenth of a point ahead of Mike Glennon of 2013 and Ryan Tannehill from 2012 and is almost a full point ahead of our 2011 projection for Blaine Gabbert.

QB 2014 Projected NFL Rookie Pass Data

Rank Player Att Comp Comp% Yards TDs INTS Score
1 Teddy Bridgewater 515 311 60.4% 3,829 21.2 14.5 8.2
2 Johnny Manziel 490 297 60.6% 3,741 22.1 17.5 8.2
3 Tajh Boyd 515 304 59.1% 3,815 22.9 18.3 8.0
4 Blake Bortles 508 297 58.5% 3,745 20.1 16.8 7.8
5 AJ McCarron 491 294 59.9% 3,669 22.1 14.6 7.6
6 Derek Carr 556 313 56.3% 3,675 22.4 16.0 7.5
7 Connor Shaw 481 281 58.4% 3,470 21.7 12.7 7.5
8 Zach Mettenberger 490 280 57.1% 3,749 19.3 17.0 7.4
9 Aaron Murray 504 286 56.8% 3,645 21.7 18.1 7.3
10 Keith Price 505 296 58.7% 3,552 19.7 16.0 7.0
11 Stephen Morris 502 281 56.0% 3,634 18.9 19.5 6.9
12 James Franklin 508 289 56.9% 3,419 19.0 16.7 6.9
13 Jimmy Garoppolo 532 278 52.3% 3,523 21.8 19.3 6.8
14 Brendon Kay 508 282 55.6% 3,489 18.2 19.3 6.6
15 Bryn Renner 520 293 56.2% 3,476 18.1 17.9 6.5
16 Brett Smith 523 282 53.9% 3,313 19.3 18.4 6.3
17 David Fales 533 269 50.5% 3,462 19.0 20.9 6.3
18 Nathan Scheelhaase 507 287 56.7% 3,320 17.0 19.4 6.2
19 Tom Savage 498 280 56.2% 3,368 17.9 16.9 6.1
20 Logan Thomas 502 276 55.0% 3,323 16.4 19.3 6.1
21 Tommy Rees 515 274 53.2% 3,411 19.4 20.8 6.1
22 Keith Wenning 523 272 52.0% 3,321 18.7 17.8 6.0
23 Kenny Guiton 523 277 53.0% 3,101 27.0 19.3 6.0
24 Jordan Lynch 505 254 50.2% 3,040 17.1 17.4 5.9
25 Taylor Martinez 488 276 56.6% 3,096 20.9 16.5 5.9
26 Casey Pachall 510 276 54.0% 3,208 16.2 21.2 5.5
27 Garrett Gilbert 556 276 49.6% 3,179 15.1 20.2 5.5
28 Chase Rettig 485 266 54.8% 3,157 17.4 18.7 5.4
29 Terrance Owens 504 258 51.3% 3,095 17.2 19.3 5.3
30 Adam Kennedy 485 255 52.6% 2,955 14.2 17.4 5.0

QB 2014 Projected Rush Data

Player Rushes Yards YPC
Teddy Bridgewater 54 144 2.7
Johnny Manziel 98 666 6.8
Tajh Boyd 103 236 2.3
Blake Bortles 63 301 4.8
AJ McCarron 32 40 1.3
Derek Carr 38 148 3.9
Connor Shaw 106 576 5.5
Zach Mettenberger 23 (17) (0.7)
Aaron Murray 50 211 4.2
Keith Price 59 152 2.6
Stephen Morris 33 22 0.7
James Franklin 107 623 5.8
Jimmy Garoppolo 51 168 3.3
Brendon Kay 60 253 4.2
Bryn Renner 59 61 1.0
Brett Smith 89 537 6.0
David Fales 39 55 1.4
Nathan Scheelhaase 95 419 4.4
Tom Savage 44 24 0.6
Logan Thomas 89 403 4.5
Tommy Rees 11 (12) (1.1)
Keith Wenning 38 106 2.8
Kenny Guiton 92 605 6.6
Jordan Lynch 175 1,208 6.9
Taylor Martinez 100 551 5.5
Casey Pachall 50 145 2.9
Garrett Gilbert 72 343 4.7
Chase Rettig 44 96 2.2
Terrance Owens 53 265 5.0
Adam Kennedy 99 497 5.0