NFL QB Carousel

Shelterdog

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That's not really the right question, though. The right question is really "how often does giving big money to an average QB work out for that team"? For every Eli Manning (and even in that deal his big money didn't kick in until after 2011), there are like 50 Alex Smiths, Andy Daltons, Joe Flaccos, Jared Goffs, etc.

In any event the underlying point is incorrect - no team would ever spend a first-round pick on a QB the team thinks is only going to be "average" (with the possible exception of a good team drafting late in the first round that thinks they are just a QB away from serious contention). Certainly there are tons of first-round QBs who turn out to be average, but presumably they were all drafted with the hope/expectation they'd be considerably better than that.

Put another way, if BB and Pats look at Mac Jones and think "sure maybe this guy will turn out to be league-average, but we really think in our system with some coaching he has a chance to be much better than that," then the pick makes sense. But if they look at Mac Jones and think "there is very little chance this guy turns out to be anything more than league average" there is no way they are going to draft him anyway just because they feel like they have to marginally improve from Cam.
In the hypothetical world where you are 98% sure that he turns into Kirk Cousins in year two, do you sign him? I think you obviously do, in large part because that's not a marginal improvement from Cam and it's a lot hard to get someone better than Kirk Cousins than everyone on this board seems to think.
 

Cellar-Door

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Well in the Chiefs case they moved on from an average QB to Mahomes who was already on the team. So not really the same as not re-signing an average QB.

And Tyrod was very far from being an average QB.
Do you think they didn't know Smith's status before they made the draft pick. They picked Mahomes because they knew they didn't want to pay Smith.
By the metric you chose (QBR) Tyrod was 15th of 32.

In the hypothetical world where you are 98% sure that he turns into Kirk Cousins in year two, do you sign him? I think you obviously do, in large part because that's not a marginal improvement from Cam and it's a lot hard to get someone better than Kirk Cousins than everyone on this board seems to think.
If course you would, because 3 years of Kirk Cousins on a rookie deal is great, but you're not going to be 98% sure he'll be Cousins at all, and if you think he'll be Cousins by year 2, that means his ceiling is significantly better than Kirk Cousins. You're describing an elite prospect if his floor is immediately a good NFL QB, because that can't be your floor and your ceiling. I mean, there isn't a guy in this draft anyone is 98% sure will be Cousins by year 2, the closest is maybe Lawrence?
 

SMU_Sox

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Ok this is kind of all over the map but here are a couple points:

1.) My whole point is that _if_ Belichick thinks there's an average QB available at 15 he might take that guy over a significantly better player at another position. I have no idea whether Jones or someone else is that guy. If he thinks Mac Jones kind of sucks and some tackle is way better, I assume he picks the tackle.

2.) It's irrelevant to me that the player the pats are picking at 15 would be the fourth or fifth QB draft. Maybe the other players are all good or maybe somebody pick Trubisky instead of Watson or Mahomes. All that matters is your evaluation.

3.) You're vastly underestimating the value of an average NFL QB. Using QBR that's someone like Matt Ryan or Stafford or Kirk Cousins or Bridgewater or Phil Rivers: those players don't grow in trees--they get paid 20 million a year in free agency.

4.) You're vastly overestimating how good the talent pool is at 15. Ryan Shazier, Kenny Vaccaro, Bruce irvin, Mike Pouncey, Jason Pierre Paul, Melvin Gordon, Malik Hooker, Kolton Miller, Corey Coleman--you might get a very good player but you're far from sure of getting an impact player.

There is a lot to unpack here.

Personally when I look at QB I look at two separate things: 1 - Physical Traits and 2 - Mental Traits. I also look at level of competition, scheme, who he played with and against.

When I look at Trask and Jones I see above average mental traits. Maybe even borderline good mental traits. They definitely meet the requirements you need mentally to be an NFL thrower. I look then at physical traits for these two guys. I see two duds. Sure Mac Jones has above average accuracy but his arm sucks. He isn't particularly mobile. The way you project going forward is this: if a guy is highly mobile in college he will be mobile in the NFL. If a guy is barely mobile in college he isn't going to be mobile in the NFL. So when you see Mac Jones being able to scramble occasionally you need to project that he won't be mobile by NFL standards. What does mobile even mean? Mobile to me is a guy like Mahomes or Russ Wilson. They can run around behind the LOS and make plays. They can scramble for chunk yards. We're not talking dual-threat here just mobility. If you aren't mobile you need to have elite pocket presence if you want to be a traditional pocket passer in today's NFL. Brady has that. Mac Jones does not. Trask does not. There are degrees of mobility too. Like Matt Stafford can probably do bootlegs and roll-outs but no one is calling him mobile, same for Matt Ryan. Being immobile isn't an auto-disqualify but it takes away from the ways you can win. You want as many ways to win as possible.
You can win with average QBs. SF was one pass away from that last year. Flacco won one. Manning's corpse won one. Foles won one. When you look at the teams who won with a mediocre QB they were stacked all over the roster. It's hard to do that. It's impossible to do that consistently.

If you listen to the analytics on it and by that I mean guys who have looked at playoff success as well as teams who have been in the playoffs the last decade they all tell you the same thing: the most consistent way to make the playoffs is to have an elite QB. The most consistent way to get to a Super Bowl is to have an elite QB. The most consistent way to win a Super Bowl is to have an elite QB. Or if we don't want to use elite because it's an amorphous term - then how about a top 10 QB in the league? You (universal you) get the spirit of what I am trying to say, I hope.

So let's go back to Trask and Mac Jones. These guys both have above average to good mental traits. They have above average to good pocket presence. Neither of those traits are at elite levels. Could they get there? Yeah sure maybe - but you have to put all your eggs in those baskets and there is no guarantee they develop enough to be an above average starter. It is much easier for a QB like Dwayne Haskins to look good in college. It's a lot easier for a QB like Mac Jones or Dwayne Haskins to look like they are mobile in college. It's a mirage though and you have to be able to compartmentalize it and what it takes for that trait to work in the NFL. Mac Jones and Kyle Trask have a ceiling of Kirk Cousins. I would argue though Cousins has a more powerful arm than either of them. I also look at who they were surrounded with.

So, who surrounded Trask and Jones this year? Well, Jones was behind an offensive line of guys who have day 1 or 2 tape. He had all day to throw usually. He also had Sark as his OC who had one of the best years as a coordinator we have seen. He had a Joe Brady 2019 type of year. Who was Mac Jones throwing to? For some of the year 2 first round WR talents in Smith and Waddle and a future one in Metchie. He also had a first round caliber RB who was an excellent receiver. Quick shoutout to my RB1 and a guy I love in Najee Harris. #BEAST! Trask meanwhile had Toney and Pitts who should also be first round targets, and Trevon Grimes who is probably a day 3 or UDFA guy but who is definitely a talented collegiate athlete and might have an NFL career. Trask's OL wasn't as good but he still has some NFL caliber talent there. I also will note that both guys played in the SEC and against a good level of competition. Mac Jones had the best QB situation in all of college FB this year. If you look at his traits vs production going forward you (again universal) would be not as bullish on him. Trask, when he had to play with backup caliber receivers looked AWFUL in his lone bowl game this year. Now you don't want to judge too much based on one bowl game but I would have it as a footnote that when his support dipped so did he... dramatically.

Back to the physical traits. Sometimes we overrate physical traits. For me if a guy doesn't have an NFL minimum mental game and mental traits I don't give a flying pickup truck off a cliff what his physical tools are. I might take him day 3 if I think I can coach up those mental traits but a lot of the time you either have them or you don't. I am looking at you, Jamie Newman. However, if a guy has sufficient mental traits and a mental game to play in the NFL I am very interested in what his physical toolset is.
1) Accuracy - can he make a throw accurately - if so does he have a heat map or can he make all throws accurately? Without accuracy nothing else really matters.
2) Arm Strength - what is his raw power? Arm strength helps someone on throws across the field, outside the numbers, under duress, and it also is a check for when a guy only notices a WR getting open later. Aaron Rodgers can take 0.5-1 second longer to process and make a throw than a guy with a weak arm who needs to make the read and throw sooner.
3) Arm touch - this is like your ability to know how hard, soft, arch needed on balls, etc. Do you know what kind of touch you need to place on the ball to get it there on time and accurately?
4) Mobility - three types: 1) pocket passer, 2) mobile passer, 3) true dual-threat. I think I explained this earlier. Obviously a guy who is a true dual-threat can change how defenses have to play you which can open up more passing lanes. That's just keeping it simple.
5) Can you create out of structure and how you perform under pressure - this involves both mental and physical skills but I am putting it here. In structure means you have a clean pocket and can go through the progressions vs out of structure is the play breaks down and you have to make create by scrambling or stepping up in the pocket or whatever.

When I look at Trask and Jones I see #1 and 3 are ok with exceptions being deep outs but 2, 4, 5 are all deficient.

If I wanted to compare to Wilson, Fields and Lance I can do that but I will do that in a separate post.

Quick spoiler: Wilson, Fields, and Lance all have the mental traits needed at various levels AND they have some pretty nice physical tool sets. I will get more into that sometime later tonight.
 
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OurF'ingCity

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In the hypothetical world where you are 98% sure that he turns into Kirk Cousins in year two, do you sign him? I think you obviously do, in large part because that's not a marginal improvement from Cam and it's a lot hard to get someone better than Kirk Cousins than everyone on this board seems to think.
Kirk Cousins when? If they think Mac Jones's year 2 would be equivalent to Kirk Cousins' peak, then sure, but Kirk Cousins' peak is a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

But if we are talking about Kirk Cousins last year (who by QBR was roughly league-average), then, in the Pats' case, I probably don't because I don't think if the Pats put Kirk Cousins on the team as currently assembled they are a true Super Bowl contender. I'd rather they keep their powder dry, improve the rest of the team, and wait to either (a) build up the rest of the team to be good enough where an average QB might actually be sufficient to make them a contender and/or (b) acquire a truly great QB by being bad enough to get a really high pick, by trading up in the draft to get a really high pick, by trading for a Watson-level QB, or by signing someone a la Tampa.

I've basically come around to the thinking that the Pats should either (1) trade up for one of the top 3 QBs this year (obviously depending on whether and how much one of those falls and how the Pats evaluate each one), (2) trade for Watson in the unlikely event he'd be willing to come to NE, or (3) just run it back with Cam, Stidham, some cheap QB free agent, or some rookie drafted in the later rounds (or some combination thereof). I think we all agree that this team has a loooooong way to go to compete with the likes of Kansas City, so adding an average QB gets them what exactly? 8 or 9 wins instead of 6 and a quick exit from the playoffs?

I don't really see much value in that, although I understand if others disagree and would be willing to sacrifice a bit of the team's overall long-term talent to be entertained by a somewhat better team in the immediate term. Because I'm certainly not going to argue that having Cam start another year would be fun, even if it might be the best long-term decision under the circumstances.

Edit: one exception to the above would be if they can get an average or better QB on a one-year deal. In the scenario where someone like Fitzpatrick is willing to come to NE for a year and that means the Pats have to pay a bit more to get him, I'm ok with that because it doesn't hurt their cap flexibility long term and there is no opportunity cost like there would be if they drafted Mac Jones at 15 instead of a very good player at a different position.
 

Shelterdog

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Kirk Cousins when? If they think Mac Jones's year 2 would be equivalent to Kirk Cousins' peak, then sure, but Kirk Cousins' peak is a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

But if we are talking about Kirk Cousins last year (who by QBR was roughly league-average), then, in the Pats' case, I probably don't because I don't think if the Pats put Kirk Cousins on the team as currently assembled they are a true Super Bowl contender. I'd rather they keep their powder dry, improve the rest of the team, and wait to either (a) build up the rest of the team to be good enough where an average QB might actually be sufficient to make them a contender and/or (b) acquire a truly great QB by being bad enough to get a really high pick, by trading up in the draft to get a really high pick, by trading for a Watson-level QB, or by signing someone a la Tampa.
It's easy for me to see the Pats not drafting a QB at 15--maybe there's nobody they think can be any good!--but I can't imagine them doing so because they think they can get an average starter but are instead biding their time to get an excellent starter. it's just too hard to get a great QB or QB prospect and even an average QB makes you a perennial playoff contender.

It's also very hard to strategically build up your team first and get the QB last. Sometimes you get lucky and that happens but contracts are short, injuries frequent, busts common.
 
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SMU_Sox

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Every year people want to associate the Pats with the kid who has all the mental makeup in the world but an average to below average arm and is unathletic. Do they take those guys? I guess. Jimmy G had some mobility though and at least an average arm but for the most part they don't go for those guys or if they do it's late round or UDFAs.

Those types aren't rare. Every year you'll see someone with Trask or Jones skillset. Why would you spend pick #15 on a guy who at best materializes into an average game manager?

@Shelterdog where do you get having an average QB makes you a perennial playoff contender? Also - does that mean you are in the running to make the playoffs each year - is that the bar? Kirk Cousins for example has been 0-1 in the playoffs for 4/9 years. I guess that's perennially contending to make the dance but that isn't the goalpost I would be shooting for. Like 20-21 teams out of the 14 who now make it might be perennial contenders. That sounds like a Colts banner.

That it is hard to get a game manager because getting any sort of a good QB can be difficult doesn't mean that's what they should be shooting for. You aren't routinely competing in the playoffs with a mid-shelf game manager. I guess if that's the case like... who exactly is that? Which avg. QBs are perennially contending for the playoffs?

Edit: not trying to be an ass or anything like that. Genuinely curious on the game managers theory you have. Hope I didn’t come off as aggressive and if so I apologize.
 
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SMU_Sox

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I'd love to see this analysis, because on the basis of the rest of this post, I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
Hit that subscribe button and check out my exclusive members only content at onlyfans.

Kidding aside (or am I?) let me just give an outline on these three guys. I know the slack group I am apart of are going to take a look at Trey Lance in detail this weekend and he's probably the hardest to get a good read on so I will write the least about him.

One of the things I have seen here on SOSH and elsewhere that I object to is "Why take your QB4 or QB5 in a draft?" - so a couple things with this before I delve into our guys.

1) These are 4 special QBs. All 4 of these guys are going to be highly rated by at least some of the teams. We have heard each teams 2-4 varies quite a bit. But these are 4 QBs that would be top 3-4 in the last 4-5 years. I have done this since 2017 and that year I had Watson and Mahomes as the only round 1 guys. Coming out of college, so without the benefit of hindsight, I would have had Fields and Wilson equal to Burrow and ahead of everyone else. Lance I am still making my mind up on. I am not sure how much development he needs and how quickly he can develop. I am also not sure what his accuracy is and how much is fixable there. I am still digesting him a bit.

here is my history on QBs.
2020: Burrow, Tua (I gave Tua a grade but he was off my personal board because of size and extensive injury history), Herbert, Love (I gave Love a grade but was out on him because of his decision making), Hurts.
2019: Out on the whole class including Kyler because of his size. Didn't think any QBs were good.
2018: Rosen, Baker, LAMAR my beloved, --> Darnold ----------> Allen. Missed on Allen and Rosen. Learned a lot from those evals though.
2017: Watson, Mahomes (Though to be fair my dumbass said I didn't see either as top 10 prospects but I still saw them as first round picks - How dumb was that take?)

2) You are assuming the 4th QB who goes is their QB4. Could just as easily be their QB2.

My pro-comp for Justin Fields is Deshaun Watson. PFF calls him a smaller Cam Newton. I like that one too. Why start with a comp? Because I want to give you a flavor of his playstyle. They also have an almost identical set of strengths and weaknesses coming out. Oh I hope that Fields has a pro-day with an awful radar gun time like Watson's so he can slide to the Pats or in strike-up distance for a trade.
What does Justin Fields do well?

1) The dude is accurate to all levels of the field. He is one of the most accurate throwers you will see from a clean pocket. Give this one a check plus.

2) He generally makes the right decision but two caveats here: 1) I have seen him struggle with processing speed. 2) He can stare-down receivers. Ryan Day's offense though is part of the problem. It has so many slower developing vertical routes as the first read. He also sometimes needs to see a guy open before he pulls the trigger. Kurt Warner had that problem. It's correctable. Hell most QBs these days are see-it throw-it types. Even the great average QB Kirk Cousins is a see-it throw-it guy. He is a fantastic runner. Of the 4 QBs he is the best runner. But the other big thing is he likes to take shots downfield and they need time to open up - he is aggressive.

3) He has appropriate aggression and can read leverage like an NFL pro. Turn on the Clemson playoff game this year and go to the 2nd TD. He fires that ball to Farell's right shoulder when future 1st round pick Derion Kendrick is sticking to Farell's left. It was reading leverage and making a pinpoint accurate throw in the red zone.

4) Of these 4 QBs Fields is the best runner. He is a mix of power and elusiveness and has safety caliber speed. I think he probably runs around a 4.55-4.65 but if he dropped a 4.50 I wouldn't be shocked. Fields is a true dual-threat.

5) Fields tend to read his leverage so well that he has only 18 turnover plays - HT PFF. He also rarely is strip-sacked.

6) Fields is a tough son of a gun. He hangs in there and makes throws when he gets drilled. Some of that he needs to dial down, sure, but he is also someone who can play through for example intense rib pain. Look at how he gutted out both playoff games after he was drilled in the back/ribs. Makes you want to run onto that field and lineup as a blocker for him... speaking of...

7) Fields is a noted team leader and his teammates loved him.

So to sum up Fields is an accurate decision maker who rarely turns the ball over or makes turnover worthy plays. Fields is an exceptional athlete and true dual-threat QB. Fields is a mentally tough competitor who is a leader on and off the field. Fields has some things to improve on: he has to consistently speed up his processing, he needs to stop bird-dogging receivers, and his mechanics when he gets off-platform get out of sync leading to inaccurate throws on the go (like Cam). Fields has a top 5-10 caliber ceiling. I think BB is going to love Fields and if Fields is there at 4+ he is going to try and swing up and get him if the price makes sense.

Edit: I will do Wilson later this week.

Quick edit: Fields is 6'3 225 so he is a big guy. He is big, strong, and fast.
 
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Shelterdog

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Every year people want to associate the Pats with the kid who has all the mental makeup in the world but an average to below average arm and is unathletic. Do they take those guys? I guess. Jimmy G had some mobility though and at least an average arm but for the most part they don't go for those guys or if they do it's late round or UDFAs.

Those types aren't rare. Every year you'll see someone with Trask or Jones skillset. Why would you spend pick #15 on a guy who at best materializes into an average game manager?

@Shelterdog where do you get having an average QB makes you a perennial playoff contender? Also - does that mean you are in the running to make the playoffs each year - is that the bar? Kirk Cousins for example has been 0-1 in the playoffs for 4/9 years. I guess that's perennially contending to make the dance but that isn't the goalpost I would be shooting for. Like 20-21 teams out of the 14 who now make it might be perennial contenders. That sounds like a Colts banner.

That it is hard to get a game manager because getting any sort of a good QB can be difficult doesn't mean that's what they should be shooting for. You aren't routinely competing in the playoffs with a mid-shelf game manager. I guess if that's the case like... who exactly is that? Which avg. QBs are perennially contending for the playoffs?

Edit: not trying to be an ass or anything like that. Genuinely curious on the game managers theory you have. Hope I didn’t come off as aggressive and if so I apologize.
Not too aggressive--come at me bro!

I think we're getting caught up a bit on semantics. I said average QB not game manager or mid-shelf game managers. An average QB is in my book someone who is roughly in the middle of NFL starting QBs. Using just QBR this year you're looking at Murray, Stafford, matt Ryan, Bridgewater, Kirk Cousins. An average NFL QB- a starting QB who is better than half the quarterbacks in the league--is a very good players in my book.

I also think you might be getting your evaluation of Jones and Trask influence the philosophical point I'm making. I'm not saying get Brady Hoyer, I'm saying draft Jones if you think he can quickly develop into Andy Dalton or Kirk Cousin or Derek Carr rather than not get a QB and hope to get Watson or the next Lawrence down the road.

What can you do with an average QB? Teams like the Bengals with Dalton, the Giants with Eli and Washington and Minnesota with Cousins competed for play off spots year after year, with quarterbacks who are, in my book, average. The Ravens were terrific teams for most of the past twenty years without having a more than average QB because the rest of the team was so good. So yes, if you get an average QB playing 16 games you've got a chance to make the playoffs every year.

Obviously the franchise goal shouldn't be to just be contending for a playoff spot--and if you get an average QB you should try (like the Chiefs did with Mahomes) to improve if you can.

Why an average QB if you can get one for the Pats? Couple more wins. Easiest place to improve the team because right now they're close to the worst in the league at the most valuable position. And in my hypothetical world were Mac Jones is essentially the second coming of Andy Dalton, then sure, maybe you pick him and use all that cap space to try and build a team with a great physical defense and a strong running game and just win ugly.
 

Super Nomario

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What can you do with an average QB? Teams like the Bengals with Dalton, the Giants with Eli and Washington and Minnesota with Cousins competed for play off spots year after year, with quarterbacks who are, in my book, average. The Ravens were terrific teams for most of the past twenty years without having a more than average QB because the rest of the team was so good. So yes, if you get an average QB playing 16 games you've got a chance to make the playoffs every year.
Isn't the bolded an argument for building the rest of the team rather than focusing on QB? Because dumping an average QB in with this roster, I don't see as a path to success.

Why an average QB if you can get one for the Pats? Couple more wins. Easiest place to improve the team because right now they're close to the worst in the league at the most valuable position. And in my hypothetical world were Mac Jones is essentially the second coming of Andy Dalton, then sure, maybe you pick him and use all that cap space to try and build a team with a great physical defense and a strong running game and just win ugly.
I don't think QB was the problem last year, to be honest. The Patriots were almost exactly the same team on offense (1.92 points per drive) as they were in 2019 (1.97). Tom freaking Brady could not elevate the offensive supporting cast. I certainly don't think the second coming of Andy Dalton is going to.

(Also, the first coming of Andy Dalton is available, and virtually free)
 

Shelterdog

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Isn't the bolded an argument for building the rest of the team rather than focusing on QB? Because dumping an average QB in with this roster, I don't see as a path to success.


I don't think QB was the problem last year, to be honest. The Patriots were almost exactly the same team on offense (1.92 points per drive) as they were in 2019 (1.97). Tom freaking Brady could not elevate the offensive supporting cast. I certainly don't think the second coming of Andy Dalton is going to.

(Also, the first coming of Andy Dalton is available, and virtually free)
Well drafting the QB at 15 -- if and only if the QB is pretty decent -- does give you a lot of cap room for four seasons, so that's actually probably the single best thing you could do to build the rest of the team. I'm not sure the order of operations really matters that much--it's not like building up the rest of the team first means you don't have to get a QB down the road later--other than that you generally want to get settled at QB and begin developing consistency between skill position players as soon as you can.

It's also all so hard to discuss in the abstract. I wouldn't want to pass up Ed Reed for Colt McCoy but I would pass up Pat Chung for Kirk Cousins. And I'm not passing up Kirk Cousins simply because I want way above average or bust at QB.

The team needs to make a lot of changes on offense. I'm not under some delusion that they'll be fine if they get a new QB. But I just completely disagree that the QB position wasn't a major problem last year. Cam could simply not reliably throw the ball, even on easy throws when they presented themselves.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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(Also, the first coming of Andy Dalton is available, and virtually free)
To me, this is probably the most important point. There is little point in sacrificing major assets (either lots of cap space or high draft picks) to get competent-but-not-particularly-good QB play if you can get the same or slightly worse while using your major assets more productively.

If we're not going to get one of the top QBs, I'd rather see the Patriots get the most talented player available at 15 or trade down, then take a long shot swing or two on QBs in the 3-7th rounds, targeting boom/bust guys that might have a high ceiling. Amass badly needed high end young roster talent and cycle through some lottery ticket QBs and if none of those lottery tickets hit, then eventually make a big move up in the 2022 or 2023 draft for a QB high in the first.
 

SMU_Sox

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So the problem with the avg. starter approach is that it is harder to keep a stocked team. You have to hit on the majority of your FAs and drafts/UDFAs. Baltimore had a historically good GM at drafting, Ozzie Newsome. Gosh, I wonder who mentored and helped him with his evaluation skills. NE should really hire that guy.

38691

This is the Ravens with Flacco. When the team was stacked they went to 3/5 championship games and won a SB. When the roster wasn't as good they missed the playoffs 4/5 years but in all but one of those years probably "contended for the playoffs".

NYG w/ Eli:

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6/13 years making the playoffs but you can see when the team talent slipped they weren't even competitive 4/5 of the last years. Again, it is harder to keep a team well-stocked.

Andy Dalton who unlike Flacco or Eli did not have post-season success:

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Notice a pattern with these guys? Look at the last 5-6 years of these average QBs. When their talent evaporated so did they.

Let's look at Brees and Rodgers in comparison whose team strength fluctuated over the years:

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Their worst year was 7-9. 9/15 playoff appearances.

Rodgers:

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10/13 playoff appearances and the worst record is 6-10 and 6-9-1.

Quick edit: obviously the 2020 pages have not been updated yet so that is why the Saints, Packers, and Ravens have a blank there. The Bengals and the Giants have a blank there because they suck.
 
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Shelterdog

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So the problem with the avg. starter approach is that it is harder to keep a stocked team. You have to hit on the majority of your FAs and drafts/UDFAs. Baltimore had a historically good GM at drafting, Ozzie Newsome. Gosh, I wonder who mentored and helped him with his evaluation skills. NE should really hire that guy.
I 100 percent agree it's much harder to win with an average quarterback than a very good one. But what's the alternative? Go from Tyrod Taylor to Fitzpatrick to Andy Dalton until you have a terrible season and are in position to move into the top seven or so to draft a strong QB prospect?
 

Cellar-Door

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So the problem with the avg. starter approach is that it is harder to keep a stocked team. You have to hit on the majority of your FAs and drafts/UDFAs. Baltimore had a historically good GM at drafting, Ozzie Newsome. Gosh, I wonder who mentored and helped him with his evaluation skills. NE should really hire that guy.

View attachment 38691

This is the Ravens with Flacco. When the team was stacked they went to 3/5 championship games and won a SB. When the roster wasn't as good they missed the playoffs 4/5 years but in all but one of those years probably "contended for the playoffs".

NYG w/ Eli:

View attachment 38692

6/13 years making the playoffs but you can see when the team talent slipped they weren't even competitive 4/5 of the last years. Again, it is harder to keep a team well-stocked.

Andy Dalton who unlike Flacco or Eli did not have post-season success:

View attachment 38694

Notice a pattern with these guys? Look at the last 5-6 years of these average QBs. When their talent evaporated so did they.


Quick edit: obviously the 2020 pages have not been updated yet so that is why the Saints, Packers, and Ravens have a blank there. The Bengals and the Giants have a blank there because they suck.
Flacco got PAID in 2013, they went 5/5 in playoff appearances and won a SB pre-contract, they went 1 of 5 in making the playoffs after
Eli got PAID in 2009 they made the playoffs every year prior, 2/9 (though that 1 fluke SB win) post
Dalton got PAID in 2014 (though the real big years were 2016-2019) made the playoffs every year prior, 2/6 post (and 0/4 in the biggest years)

Average QBs are okay if they cost nothing, once they cost money your window is basically closed.

I 100 percent agree it's much harder to win with an average quarterback than a very good one. But what's the alternative? Go from Tyrod Taylor to Fitzpatrick to Andy Dalton until you have a terrible season and are in position to move into the top seven or so to draft a strong QB prospect?
Don't give big contracts to average QBs is the correct answer, as well as don't spend a premium pick on a QB unless you think he can be GOOD. You can win with an average QB if he's cheap, you can win with a cheap Journeyman, so long as you don't pay him and invest well elsewhere. Honestly we've even seen it with the Patriots where they had a decent season with Matt Cassell, and went 3-1 in 2016 with a backup (former 2nd rounder) and a rookie 3rd rounder.
 

Super Nomario

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Well drafting the QB at 15 -- if and only if the QB is pretty decent -- does give you a lot of cap room for four seasons, so that's actually probably the single best thing you could do to build the rest of the team. I'm not sure the order of operations really matters that much--it's not like building up the rest of the team first means you don't have to get a QB down the road later--other than that you generally want to get settled at QB and begin developing consistency between skill position players as soon as you can.
Until you get the rest of the team built up, you're squandering those low cost years. In a perfect world, you maximize your window by dumping the rookie QB into a supporting cast that's already strong. But you're also taking a risk, because maybe you get a Trubisky rather than a Roethlisberger.

The team needs to make a lot of changes on offense. I'm not under some delusion that they'll be fine if they get a new QB. But I just completely disagree that the QB position wasn't a major problem last year. Cam could simply not reliably throw the ball, even on easy throws when they presented themselves.
I would say more that Cam could not reliably throw the ball *specifically* on easy throws. He completed ~66% of his passes, about league-average. His Y/A and Y/C were just a bit below average (and both better than Brady's in 2019). Cam looked OK on deep passes and for the most part he was sharp on intermediate stuff. But then he'd miss some bunnies, and it was ugly.

I think the issue with Cam is that he doesn't set his feet consistently when he has to move, and he's not accurate if he doesn't set his feet. That hurts him more on dumpoffs where he has to turn more sharply than deeper stuff where the turns aren't as dramatic. Relatedly, he was also inaccurate on the move, which is why they didn't do a lot of rollout stuff even though Brady was gone - Cam is probably no better than Brady at throwing off bootlegs or scramble drills, and that was the weakest part of Brady's game. What makes this hard to evaluate is Cam has always been a bit scattershot, so it's hard to tell if it's gotten worse because of injuries / age or whether it was just exacerbated by the lousy offense around him.

I'm being kind of nit-picky, but I think it is relevant because there is stuff Cam does well, and while it doesn't look "average," the sum package is probably pretty close. Like, if you replace Cam with Dalton, I'm sure you do get more consistent execution from clean pockets in the short passing game. But you probably lose some of the intermediate / deep passing ability, and you definitely lose some of the ability to create with his legs and to convert short yardage on the ground. You don't get the maddening inconsistency on short stuff, but I'm not sure the offense is actually any better (assuming similar supporting cast).

I also think it's valid to say, you know what, we can deal with limitations, we can scheme around limitations, but inconsistency is the one thing you can't account for. And you'd rather have Dalton / whoever in that light. But I also think the mistakes got magnified because this team has basically zero ability to erase mistakes with a big play. That's really true going back to 2018 except when Gordon was available. So to score they need repeated first downs through consistent execution. That's tough with Cam's inconsistency, but it was also tough even with Brady, probably the best ever at consistent execution, with how bad the supporting cast got in 2019. And if they're planning on putting chunk plays back into the offense, I'd almost certainly prefer Cam to a Dalton type.

So the problem with the avg. starter approach is that it is harder to keep a stocked team. You have to hit on the majority of your FAs and drafts/UDFAs. Baltimore had a historically good GM at drafting, Ozzie Newsome. Gosh, I wonder who mentored and helped him with his evaluation skills. NE should really hire that guy.

Let's look at Brees and Rodgers in comparison ...
But this is all obvious and not really actionable, right? 32/32 GMs are taking Brees or Rodgers over Flacco / Eli / Dalton / etc. But that's not really the choice that's being presented.
 

Shelterdog

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Don't give big contracts to average QBs is the correct answer, as well as don't spend a premium pick on a QB unless you think he can be GOOD. You can win with an average QB if he's cheap, you can win with a cheap Journeyman, so long as you don't pay him and invest well elsewhere. Honestly we've even seen it with the Patriots where they had a decent season with Matt Cassell, and went 3-1 in 2016 with a backup (former 2nd rounder) and a rookie 3rd rounder.
So as a GM you plan would be to move a Dalton, Flacco or even an Eli Manning off your team -- by trade or in free agency --rather than sign them to a second contract? You do understand how popular that would be and how long you'd keep your job, right? "Yes we just made the playoffs five of five years with Flacco but we don't overpay average players so we're going with Tyrod Taylor and his 35 career passes for this season." Good luck getting someone as a good as a Dalton or Flacco and, by the way, you are 98 percent sure to get fired.

In practical terms what is your advice to the Pats this year? I assume it's something like sign a guy like Trubisky (or Dalton or whomever) who you can get for 1 year/8? million, use a mid round pick on a QB prospect like Davis Mills if you like that prospect and just kind of plan on looking for a QB again next season?
 

OurF'ingCity

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Yes we just made the playoffs five of five years with Flacco but we don't overpay average players so we're going with Tyrod Taylor and his 35 career passes for this season." Good luck getting someone as a good as a Dalton or Flacco and, by the way, you are 98 percent sure to get fired.
This is almost precisely how BB runs the team. We’ve seen time and time again that BB will let someone go via free agency or trade when they are at their peak because he knows the cost to keep them is too high. He hasn’t had to do this with QBs until recently because of how good Brady was/is, but the overall principle is the same.

And to your point about getting fired, I think it’s pretty obvious that if a GM thinks a given move is good for the team but decides not to make the move because of a fear of getting fan pushback, that’s a recipe for a bad team.
 

Cellar-Door

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So as a GM you plan would be to move a Dalton, Flacco or even an Eli Manning off your team -- by trade or in free agency --rather than sign them to a second contract? You do understand how popular that would be and how long you'd keep your job, right? "Yes we just made the playoffs five of five years with Flacco but we don't overpay average players so we're going with Tyrod Taylor and his 35 career passes for this season." Good luck getting someone as a good as a Dalton or Flacco and, by the way, you are 98 percent sure to get fired.

In practical terms what is your advice to the Pats this year? I assume it's something like sign a guy like Trubisky (or Dalton or whomever) who you can get for 1 year/8? million, use a mid round pick on a QB prospect like Davis Mills if you like that prospect and just kind of plan on looking for a QB again next season?
1. Probably yes, and yeah I might get fired. Though likely what I would do is draft a guy to be the backup who I was happy with taking over. As to whether I got fired, maybe, but here's the thing, if my team then trails off because I can't compete with my albatross contract, I get fired anyway, at least make the move you think gives the team the best chance long term. GMs who worry too much about moving on from popular players are generally bad GMs, Bill's willingness to let popular guys walk, or to trade them before the big contract has always been one of his strengths.

2. If I was the Patriots I would draft a guy between the 2nd and 4th that the coaches liked, I would draft a guy in the 1st If I thought he had elite upside, what I would not do is draft a guy in the 1st that I didn't think had a reasonable shot of being a top 10 QB. I would pick up a very cheap ($5M or under)QB I liked either way to compete in camp (Cam, Tyrod, Jameis, Beathard, Minshew whoever my coach likes best).

Your plan appears to be draft a QB in the 1st even if you think his ceiling is mediocrity... and that has almost never worked out for teams, you're sacrificing a chance to get the kind of elite talent a team needs for marginal QB upgrades, that's how you end up a treadmill Jeff Fisher team, with mediocre QB play from a high draft pick and not enough elite talent elsewhere. If you think a guy could be a franchise QB... absolutely, if you think he might be mediocre for a couple years then need a franchise crippling 2nd deal... yeah hard pass.
 

Shelterdog

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1. Probably yes, and yeah I might get fired. Though likely what I would do is draft a guy to be the backup who I was happy with taking over. As to whether I got fired, maybe, but here's the thing, if my team then trails off because I can't compete with my albatross contract, I get fired anyway, at least make the move you think gives the team the best chance long term. GMs who worry too much about moving on from popular players are generally bad GMs, Bill's willingness to let popular guys walk, or to trade them before the big contract has always been one of his strengths.

2. If I was the Patriots I would draft a guy between the 2nd and 4th that the coaches liked, I would draft a guy in the 1st If I thought he had elite upside, what I would not do is draft a guy in the 1st that I didn't think had a reasonable shot of being a top 10 QB. I would pick up a very cheap ($5M or under)QB I liked either way to compete in camp (Cam, Tyrod, Jameis, Beathard, Minshew whoever my coach likes best).

Your plan appears to be draft a QB in the 1st even if you think his ceiling is mediocrity... and that has almost never worked out for teams. If you think a guy could be a franchise QB... absolutely, if you think he might be mediocre for a couple years then need a franchise crippling 2nd deal... yeah hard pass.
I think our actual plans are probably pretty similar although I'd probably be willing to spend a little more on the free agent QB. (Mariota was a two year 18 million contract for example, I might pull the trigger on a deal like that; it's going to be a weird market again this year so I don't know if you'll be able to pick up a newton, dalton or wintson for under five million this year).

And I'm not sure you're characterizing my arguments. I said I would pick someone who I thought could be an average QB--not mediocre (I don't think average and mediocre are synonyms especially when describing something of high quality--a porsche may be an average sports car next to a ferrari or lambo but I wouldn't call it a mediocre one)--and have given examples of Dalton, Eli Manning, and Flacco. Unless there's an amazing prospect available at another position at fifteen then I'd glad take Dalton, flacco or Eli at 15.
 

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Another thought about drafting what could be the 5th QB in the round, at 15, is that as SMU notes, just because he is drafted 5th in the draft doesn't mean he is Your QB5 -- he might be your QB1.

SMU noted the 2018 with 5 QB's taken in the first.
He ranked them: "Rosen, Baker, LAMAR my beloved, --> Darnold ----------> Allen."
They actually went: Mayfield, Darnold, Allen, Rosen, Jackson.
Today, one might rank them: Allen, Jackson, Mayfield, Darnold, Rosen.

Then look way back at the 1983 draft, the famous "Quarterback Class."
That draft saw 6 QBs go in the first, in this order: John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O'Brien, and Dan Marino.
Three of those 6 made the Hall, including QB6 in that round.

(Fun sidenote:: That first round produced 7 HOFers. The rest of the draft added one more to the HOF, drafted in the 8th round, Richard Dent.)
 

Cellar-Door

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Another thought about drafting what could be the 5th QB in the round, at 15, is that as SMU notes, just because he is drafted 5th in the draft doesn't mean he is Your QB5 -- he might be your QB1.

SMU noted the 2018 with 5 QB's taken in the first.
He ranked them: "Rosen, Baker, LAMAR my beloved, --> Darnold ----------> Allen."
They actually went: Mayfield, Darnold, Allen, Rosen, Jackson.
Today, one might rank them: Allen, Jackson, Mayfield, Darnold, Rosen.

Then look way back at the 1983 draft, the famous "Quarterback Class."
That draft saw 6 QBs go in the first, in this order: John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O'Brien, and Dan Marino.
Three of those 6 made the Hall, including QB6 in that round.

(Fun sidenote:: That first round produced 7 HOFers. The rest of the draft added one more to the HOF, drafted in the 8th round, Richard Dent.)
I don't think people gave an issue taking the 5th QB, I think people have an issue with taking the 5th QB in what is widely considered a class with 4 top QBs, and even more with the idea of taking a guy that you are hoping becomes Andy Dalton if things go right.

Looking at 2018 as the example... there was legitimate talk about all 5 of those guys being top 2 in the class (maybe a bit less for Jackson but even then he was definitely above Allen and Rosen on quite a few public boards). Have we seen anyone argue that Mac Jones should be the #2 QB drafted? I think I've seen maybe 1 place put him even in the top 4.
 

Saints Rest

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I don't think people gave an issue taking the 5th QB, I think people have an issue with taking the 5th QB in what is widely considered a class with 4 top QBs, and even more with the idea of taking a guy that you are hoping becomes Andy Dalton if things go right.

Looking at 2018 as the example... there was legitimate talk about all 5 of those guys being top 2 in the class (maybe a bit less for Jackson but even then he was definitely above Allen and Rosen on quite a few public boards). Have we seen anyone argue that Mac Jones should be the #2 QB drafted? I think I've seen maybe 1 place put him even in the top 4.
That all makes sense.

However, as we have repeatedly seen the draft prognosticators rarely get Patriot picks right. Part of that might be because Bill sees football differently than most of his peers, valuing certain traits more highly than others do. So hypothetically, and I'm not well-versed enough in the particulars of this draft class to say that it applies -- if the NFL as a whole is trying to find the next Mahomes/Watson/Wilson, and the Pats are the only team looking to find the next Marino/Brees/Brady, then the prognosticators are going to rank the mobile/athletic/dual-threat type QB's over the more traditional pocket-passer types. But BB would rate those players differently.
 

Cellar-Door

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You do know that no one said this, right?
I mean, you keep arguing that we should take a guy we think can be an average QB and using guys like Dalton/Eli, etc. as the baseline. Given it's a draft and nobody has a floor of average QB, that's exactly what you are saying.
 

SMU_Sox

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Let's play a little game: let's look at what the math looks like with names attached to it.
Say you could get Fields for 15, 46, and a future 2nd to move up to 7. A 2nd rounder is a 50/50 shot anyway. Let's put some names to it. Would you in a vacuum take 2019 14th overall pick Chris Lindstrom or 2019 16th overall pick Brian Burns, 2019 45th pick Joejuan Williams or 46th pick Greedy Williams, and 2020 46th overall pick KJ Hamler or would you like a shot at a top 10 QB?

I would rather have a chance of Justin Fields panning out vs Lindstrom or Burns/JJW or Greedy-Williams/KJ-Hamler and I liked Lindstrom, JJW, and KJ Hamler coming out.

Side note: QBs retain some of their value. After one bad year Rosen still was worth a 2nd round pick. What other position can you have as bad a year as Rosen and still retain that kind of value? Now, granted, he didn't keep that value after a bad year in Miami but that's still impressive. So I guess what I am saying is QBs are like Toyotas and Volvos... (this is when all the car people let me know my car stereotypes are wrong)

My strategy involves a big floor risk - you are sacrificing quantity of picks for a chance and just a chance at a high end QB developing.

@Super Nomario I meant more that you need to gamble for a high-end QB vs not making that gamble. You are right of course though that when you compare shit to gold the gold shines and the shit don't :). I was just trying to justify trading future assets to gamble at QB. Granted it stinks that the rest of the roster is this bad because it is a lot easier to gamble on a QB when you have a decent rest of the roster.
 

SMU_Sox

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I feel like there are some teams though who could benefit from having a Mac Jones, @Shelterdog. If I were the Saints I might want to have a younger and more affordable QB for example. I also think having a dome and Sean Payton as your HC will help a ton.

Other teams I think Mac Jones could work for: SF, possibly Denver, Pittsburgh, maybe Chicago, Indy, DAL if they move away from Dak, MIN, etc.

You want a Mac Jones to be a game manager for a team that has a good amount of offensive talent and preferably keep him indoors.

I just don't like his fit on the Pats.
 

Shelterdog

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I feel like there are some teams though who could benefit from having a Mac Jones, @Shelterdog. If I were the Saints I might want to have a younger and more affordable QB for example. I also think having a dome and Sean Payton as your HC will help a ton.

Other teams I think Mac Jones could work for: SF, possibly Denver, Pittsburgh, maybe Chicago, Indy, DAL if they move away from Dak, MIN, etc.

You want a Mac Jones to be a game manager for a team that has a good amount of offensive talent and preferably keep him indoors.

I just don't like his fit on the Pats.
The irony of this whole detour is I don't have particularly strong feelings about Mac Jones! He looks pretty good out there to me but the team was so loaded it's hard for me to tell much of anything. And I really doubt many teams project him to having Eli manning or Joe Flacco or Andy Dalton's career--he'd be picked second or third if he did. I'm just kind of surprised to see so many posters say I wouldn't want an average NFL QB, I wouldn't re-sign Flacco or Dalton, etc.

I mean, you keep arguing that we should take a guy we think can be an average QB and using guys like Dalton/Eli, etc. as the baseline. Given it's a draft and nobody has a floor of average QB, that's exactly what you are saying.
If you think that what you said - drafting someone who "hopefully becomes Andy Dalton if everything goes right"-- fairly captures my position then I really haven't been clear in what I'm trying to say. My questions is do you draft someone who projects as Eli or Dalton, not do you pick someone whose ceiling is Eli or Dalton (although that's not a terrible ceiling) or who only becomes Dalton if you're lucky. I keep repeating the point because to me it's an absolute no brainer: if you think a QB will be a 10 year plus starter in the league and maybe play in some pro bowls then if you need a QB you absolutely, one hundred percent take that player in the middle of the first.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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So as a GM you plan would be to move a Dalton, Flacco or even an Eli Manning off your team -- by trade or in free agency --rather than sign them to a second contract? You do understand how popular that would be and how long you'd keep your job, right? "Yes we just made the playoffs five of five years with Flacco but we don't overpay average players so we're going with Tyrod Taylor and his 35 career passes for this season." Good luck getting someone as a good as a Dalton or Flacco and, by the way, you are 98 percent sure to get fired.
Jay Cutler is not a bad example of this, with Josh McD trading him away after year three for 2 1sts, a 3rd, and Kyle Orton. Of course, Josh got fired shortly after which makes your point about trading one of those guys away, but not being bogged down in a big contract for Cutler is the reason they were able to snag Manning when he became available. If Cutler is still on that team on a huge contract, they don't win any SBs.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Jay Cutler is not a bad example of this, with Josh McD trading him away after year three for 2 1sts, a 3rd, and Kyle Orton. Of course, Josh got fired shortly after which makes your point about trading one of those guys away, but not being bogged down in a big contract for Cutler is the reason they were able to snag Manning when he became available. If Cutler is still on that team on a huge contract, they don't win any SBs.
Peyton was a shell of himself when they won the SB. I could have been QB. Their D was the only reason they won that year.
 

Captaincoop

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That all makes sense.

However, as we have repeatedly seen the draft prognosticators rarely get Patriot picks right. Part of that might be because Bill sees football differently than most of his peers, valuing certain traits more highly than others do. So hypothetically, and I'm not well-versed enough in the particulars of this draft class to say that it applies -- if the NFL as a whole is trying to find the next Mahomes/Watson/Wilson, and the Pats are the only team looking to find the next Marino/Brees/Brady, then the prognosticators are going to rank the mobile/athletic/dual-threat type QB's over the more traditional pocket-passer types. But BB would rate those players differently.
I said it above, but if the QB the Pats think is the best one is available at #15, then it's a no-brainer that they would (and should) take him. Probably true for their second-rated QB, after that it gets more iffy.

But even with the perception that Bill grades players much differently than most of the NFL, I still find it hard to imagine that he's got Mac Jones right now as his #1 or #2 QB in this draft. As one of the people above posting that the Pats aren't likely to take a QB at 15, that is my reasoning behind it.
 

Shelterdog

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I said it above, but if the QB the Pats think is the best one is available at #15, then it's a no-brainer that they would (and should) take him. Probably true for their second-rated QB, after that it gets more iffy.

But even with the perception that Bill grades players much differently than most of the NFL, I still find it hard to imagine that he's got Mac Jones right now as his #1 or #2 QB in this draft. As one of the people above posting that the Pats aren't likely to take a QB at 15, that is my reasoning behind it.
So it's not the conclusion--I also thinks it's unlikely that he thinks so highly of Mac Jones that he drafts him in the first and there don't be a ton of reasons to think that Mac Jones is all that much better than Trask or Mills or the Vanerbilt kid so why burn a first--but your reason isn't working for me. If player X is your number five position in a position group--but also really good--then you'd still draft him.

To put it differently one of Lawrence, Fields, Lance and Wilson is probably the Pats number four QB. Would anyone be surprised if they drafted their number four prospect at 15?

They might not pick Jones at 15, but that would be because he's not that good, not because there might be other QBs ahead of him.
 

Captaincoop

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So it's not the conclusion--I also thinks it's unlikely that he thinks so highly of Mac Jones that he drafts him in the first and there don't be a ton of reasons to think that Mac Jones is all that much better than Trask or Mills or the Vanerbilt kid so why burn a first--but your reason isn't working for me. If player X is your number five position in a position group--but also really good--then you'd still draft him.

To put it differently one of Lawrence, Fields, Lance and Wilson is probably the Pats number four QB. Would anyone be surprised if they drafted their number four prospect at 15?

They might not pick Jones at 15, but that would be because he's not that good, not because there might be other QBs ahead of him.
Yes. I would be really surprised if they had 4 QBs (let alone 5) that they grade as worth taking at 15 versus what else is likely to be available there.
 

BaseballJones

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Yeah, I'd do this trade every time if I were Indy. If you think Wentz has a 5% chance of being the guy he was in 2017 it's worth it for that price.
Definitely a terrific deal for Indy. They could be seriously improved and be a legit AFC title contender. That's not a huge price to pay at all given the potential reward for them.
 

BigSoxFan

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I don't like Wentz but I like that deal for Indy. Now the question becomes what Philly does at #6. Are they looking QB or do they trust Hurts as the future?