StumpHunter wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:00 pm
I think what you are getting at is that there are lots of ways for a QB to be successful in the NFL.
I prefer the scrambling, Mahomes/Tark/Rodgers/Wilson type myself, they don't require as much talent around them to be successful and are exciting to watch. The Brees/Brady/Manning type as had a ton of success as well though. They get rid of the ball quickly, avoid costly mistakes and make the players around them better with precision and a quick release.
Big Ben and Phillip Rivers are the hold the ball forever while remaining a statue in the pocket type QB. They throw picks, take sacks and make up for it by being able to drive 80 yards in 40 seconds on 4 big pass plays.
Running QBs win more early in their careers on average than pure passers, but have shortened careers do to the number of hits they take, and the inability to pass effectively when they age and can't run as well.
One other key characteristic is what I would call "moxie", or an underlying belief in their ability to make a play or to take a risk. Sometimes that characteristic comes about subconsciously, such as when Case Keenum took the reins of a strong team and felt he had nothing to lose. Other times it's a built in personality trait, often reinforced over a lifetime of success at all levels. Most successful QBs, regardless of their style, have this trait. It can't really be taught, IMHO. Someone either has it or they don't.
I will also draw a distinction between degrees of this trait, because there are some people who possess it to the detriment of their ability to be successful, while it accentuates the success of others. A great example of this would be guys like Jay Cutler or Geoff George who have tons of physical talent but it doesn't translate to the team and overall success as compared to guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady who are capable of transforming the players around them into more than they might otherwise be. I think this is why a lot of great QBs perform at a high level almost regardless of who they have available as receivers. They make the team around them better, not vice-versa.
And this is perhaps the key difference between a guy like Kirk Cousins and a guy like Patrick Mahomes. Cousins needs a high-performing team around him to be successful, while Mahomes can elevate the team around him to high performance.
Anyway, if there is a key characteristic to look for in evaluating a potential QB in the draft, it's that element of leadership IMHO. You're not looking for a "good guy". You're not looking for a guy who looks the part or has the big arm, great speed or even great accuracy. You're looking for the guy who elevates his play and the play of everyone around him consistently and especially when under pressure. A guy who has confidence, but isn't cocky. A guy who studies and understands the tendencies of his opponents, but doesn't follow a script. A guy who takes chances but isn't reckless. A guy who is capable of inspiring while holding himself and his teammates accountable. You're looking for a characteristic that might not show up in the stats, but will show up on the tape.