Nick Foles

Quarterback Search: Washington Redskins

Few teams have a more crucial and glaring hole to fill than the Washington Redskins need for a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately for the ‘Skins, their surprising early-season success left them with the 6th-overall selection, and potentially without any viable quarterback options in the 1st round.

However, owner Dan Snyder has never been shy about parting with draft picks, making them a legitimate candidate to trade up for Robert Griffin III. But before we assume the Redskins will attempt to move up (possibly to No. 2) to acquire Griffin, they first need to be sure he fits into Mike Shanahan’s offensive scheme.

As a former offensive coordinator, Shanahan likes to hand pick his quarterbacks, and has been reasonably successful in his efforts (at least prior to joining the Redskins).

While it’s tough to sum up all the quarterbacks Shanahan has used in 20+ years as a head coach/offensive coordinator, the one commonality between his primary signal callers has been their mobility. John Elway and Steve Young obviously stand out but Jake Plummer and, to a lesser extent, Steve Beuerlein, Jay Cutler and Brian Griese fit the mold as well.

Based solely on this trait, Griffin clearly fits the Shanahan profile. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Redskins will jump at the chance to move up.

Shanahan has always marched to the beat of his own drum, and isn’t shy about waiting until the later rounds to fill crucial needs. Other prospects such as Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles and Brock Osweiler also possess many of the same traits as Griffin, and could interest Shanahan in the late 1st (should the Redskins chose to trade down) or in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Redskins Comments Off

Quarterback Search: Denver Broncos

Most Denver Broncos fans probably won’t want to acknowledge this, but John Elway and his staff are probably going to bring in a quarterback, not just to backup Tim Tebow, but to seriously push him for the starting job.

Regardless of what you think of Tebow, he deserves to be recognized for his clutch performances. At times it seemed like he truly did will the Broncos to victory. In terms of team success, he exceeded all expectations.

But the fact remains that the Broncos scored two or fewer touchdowns in five of their seven victories with Tebow as the starter. And when you win games like that, it is never the quarterback’s doing.

The real MVP in Denver was the defense, which allowed 13 points or fewer in five of Tebow’s 11 starts – four of which resulted in wins that were unfairly credited to the Tebow by the media.

It’s tough to evaluate Tebow given his unorthodox style of play, but by using ESPN’s Total QBR we can reasonably compare him to more traditional pocket passers. Total QBR grades a quarterback’s performance in a given situation, and rewards players who make positive plays in clutch moments – regardless of whether the play is a run or pass.

One might expect this formula to favor Tebow more than the traditional statistics. However, of 34 qualifying quarterbacks, Tebow ranked 32nd – ahead of only Curtis Painter and Blaine Gabbert.

Tebow’s Total QBR of 27.2 is something awful (50 is considered average), but what makes it worse is his inconsistency.

Using each quarterback’s single-game QBRs, compared to their season-ending QBR we can determine who was most consistent – and Tebow ranks among the worst. On average, Tebow’s performance was anywhere for 23.8 points above or below his Total QBR.

One could argue that this shows his ability to perform at a high level, but 23.8 points above his average still only gets him to a Total QBR of 51 – roughly the league average.

A further examination of Tebow’s QBR also shows us that, contrary to popular belief, the Broncos did not live and die by his performance. Read more

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Broncos Comments Off

Nick Foles scouting report

Nick Foles QB Arizona #8
Ht: 6’5″

Wt: 240

 
Strengths:
Elite height. Decent athleticism for his size; can avoid pass rushing ends and tackles relatively consistently. Looks good throwing on the run. Strong fundamentally; no significant flaws in throwing motion. Quick release. Above average accuracy on short and intermediate routes. Does a nice job going through his progressions; not afraid to check down. Made significant improvement in decision making from junior to senior year; cut down on number of times he forces the ball into tight coverage.
Weaknesses:
Quick release is a plus, but also has a tendency to rush when pressured; leads to poor decisions and inaccurate throws. Gets happy feet when pressured consistently; needs to learn to remain calm and patient, even when offensive line is struggling. Kind of an awkward athlete; reasonably mobile, but takes a lot of false steps and just doesn’t look fluid moving around in the pocket. One-year wonder? Very inconsistent until second-half of senior year.
Comments:
Assessing Foles’ NFL future is extremely difficult due to his Jekyll and Hyde routine. At times, Foles looks lost; at other times he flashes NFL starter ability. However, it wasn’t until relatively late in his senior year that he began to show any consistency. This could be a great sign, indicating that his best football is still ahead of him. Or it could be a fluke; nothing more than a string of good games, to be followed up in the future by a string of mediocre performances. Given his size, decent athleticism and improvement late in his career he definitely deserves a shot at the next level. However, his late-season performance in 2011 will likely lead to a lot of hype, and he simply doesn’t have the body of work to warrant the praise.
Videos:
2011 vs Arizona State (great example of the good Foles)
2011 vs Oklahoma State (great example of the shaky, inconsistent Foles)
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off