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Veteran QBs Looking Over Their Shoulders After the NFL Draft

sam darnold fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

To be honest, there are very few quarterbacks in the NFL who aren’t looking over their shoulders at some point. But after the 2022 NFL Draft, there are a few who should be more nervous than others.

Here is a look at the top starting QBs who might find themselves on the sidelines during the season and could be risky picks in fantasy football.

Keep up with all the NFL Draft fallout and rookie evaluations right here on RotoBaller all offseason long!

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Marcus Mariota vs. Desmond Ridder

Mariota, the 6’4”, 222-pound number two overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has not started a game since the 2019 season.  His stats for the last three seasons:

  • 2019: 7 games, 160 passing attempts, 1203 passing yards, 59.4% completion percentage, 7.5 yards per average, 129 rushing yards, 7 passing touchdowns
  • 2020: 1 game, 28 passing attempts, 226 passing yards, 60.7% completion percentage, 8.1 yards per average, 88 rushing yards, 1 passing touchdown
  • 2021: 9 games, 2 passing attempts, 4 passing yards, 50% completion percentage, 2.0 yards per average, 87 rushing yards

Betting Odds:

  • Atlanta to win the Super Bowl from FD +18000
  • Atlanta to win the NFC from DK +7000
  • Atlanta 2021: 7-10, 31st in rushing yards (85.4), 26th in points per game (18.4), 16th in passing yards (234.5)

Desmond Ridder

  • Round 3, 74th pick, 6’3”, 211 pounds, hands 10”
  • 2021 stats: 251-of-387 for 3334 yards, 64.9% completion percentage, 30 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 110 rushing attempts for 365 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns
  • Don’t be fooled by where Ridder was picked in the draft. Ridder’s strengths are in line with Smith’s scheme.

 

From different draft analysts, here are Ridder’s strengths and weaknesses:

Lance Zierlein

Strengths

  • Mobile and athletic but looks to win from the pocket
  • Pocket poise with easy slide away from pressure points
  • Quick to process what the defense shows
  • Mobility to elude pressure and reset launch points outside the pocket
  • Throws the out route with timing and break anticipation
  • Speed to turn a scramble into a chunk play

Weaknesses

  • Deep balls tend to come up short
  • Average arm strength for tight-window throws
  • Windup slows overall release quickness
  • Slower operation time led to 26 career batted passes per PFF
  • Struggles in throwing receivers open
  • Inconsistent accuracy on intermediate throws

Pro Football Network Draft/Scouting Report

“The Cincinnati quarterback moves exceptionally well as a ball carrier. He’s not incredibly fast like a Lamar Jackson but his long strides allow him to cover ground well.”

CBS.com Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Capable of reading defenses both pre and post-snap
  • Can roll out and run an RPO style system with elements of a West Coast offense minced
  • Can also handle zone-read flawlessly
  • Best when throwing in rhythm in the short and intermediate passing game
  • Had 73% passing attempts that traveled 20-plus air yards
  • Dual-threat with solid speed and sudden burst

Weaknesses

  • Lean build
  • Didn’t have to make a lot of reads
  • Elongated delivery (26 career batted passes with 8 last year including 4 versus Alabama)
  • Arm strength capped out at 48 yards

Scheme:

Arthur Smith’s seemingly preferable offensive scheme relies on heavy play-action and layering throws.

Smith ran the 12 personnel 15% more than the league average. His offense was in 11 personnel 25% less than the league average.

2020 “12” Personnel

Total % % of All Run Success Rate % of all Pass Success Rate
16% 18% 48% 14% 58% Falcons
35% 39% 52% 31% 54% Titans

Mariota is signed to a two-year deal in Atlanta. It is clear he is not the long-term answer in Atlanta. Remember he was the quarterback in Tennessee (2019 season) when Smith was there. That season, he got benched for Ryan Tannehill.

 

Sam Darnold vs. Matt Corral

This is low-hanging fruit. Darnold played 93% of the snaps last season when the Carolina Panthers went 5-12.

Darnold 2021 stats: 12 games, 406 passing attempts, 2526 passing yards, 59.9% completion percentage, 6.2 yards per attempt, 9 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 48 rushing attempts, 222 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns

Betting Odds:

Per BetMGM.com

Falcons finish 1st/ Panthers finish 2nd                +12500

Panthers finish 1st/ Saints finish 2nd                  +5000

Buccaneers finish 1st/Panthers finish 2nd           +340

Panthers to win the Super Bowl FanDuel odds   +10000

Panthers to win NFC DraftKings odds.                +6000

Matt Corral

Head Coach Matt Rhule on Corral, “He has the quickest release we have seen in a quarterback in quite some time.”

A four-year player at Ole Miss, Corral finished his career with a 67.3% completion percentage. He had 57 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for his career. Last season, he passed for 20 touchdowns to five interceptions. He also rushed for 152 yards.

Scheme:

Ben McAdoo is now the Falcons’ offensive coordinator.

McAdoo has been both offensive coordinator, head coach, quarterback coach, and consultant for different teams in the last few years.

When he was offensive coordinator and head coach in New York, he relied on the passing game extensively. His West Coast-type offense emphasized short to intermediate passes. It is an offense in which the wide receivers are tasked with getting their yards after the catch.

The plus of having the West Coast offense in Carolina, it necessitates the quarterback getting the ball out quicker and makes decision-making from the quarterback position simpler. That is something a rookie quarterback will need, especially playing behind Pro Football Focus’ 31st ranked offensive line.

This prediction as stated earlier is low-hanging fruit. In 2018, McAdoo commented on Darnold, and it wasn’t complimentary.  McAdoo “could not get past flaws in Darnold’s throwing mechanics and his ball security.”

 

Mitchell Trubisky vs. Kenny Pickett

Speaking of easy picks, Pickett to take over for Trubisky is a no-brainer. Pickett is the only quarterback taken in the first round (20th pick) who is also, according to BETMGM.com, the odds-on favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Last season, Trubisky played back up to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Trubisky played in six games with six completions on eight attempts and 43 yards. He threw one interception and zero touchdowns. He also rushed for 24 yards.

The last time Trubisky played a full game was in 2019, although in 2020 he did see the field for 10 games.

2019 stats: 516 passing attempts, 326 completions, 3138 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 48 rushing attempts, 193 rushing yards, two touchdowns

2020 stats: 297 passing attempts, 199 completions, 2055 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 33 rushing attempts, 195 yards, 1 rushing touchdown

Trubisky does check the box on head coach Mike Tomlin’s desire to have a more mobile quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger only eclipsed 100 yards rushing once and that was his second year in the league). But after five years in the league, we know what we are getting from the first-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Trubisky is a mobile quarterback with above-average arm strength who is comfortable throwing on the run and has shown he can extend plays.

He also has demonstrated inconsistent accuracy and questionable decision-making.

Matt Canada’s Offensive Scheme:

Many were surprised that Canada is still the offensive coordinator for the Steelers. Last season, his offense was 22nd in yards per game (315.4), 15th in passing yards per game (222.2), and 29th in rushing yards per game (93.1).

Canada’s offensive scheme is basically a run-first offense that seeks to utilize inside and outside zone concepts. It not only depends on a strong run-blocking offensive line but a quarterback who can consistently run RPOs and execute the play action.  Last season, the Steelers’ offense under Canada ran the third-highest usage of RPOs in the NFL, per PFF.

Kenny Pickett

Pickett’s measurements have been repeated ad nauseum. He is 6’3 and 1/4”, weighs in at 217 pounds, and his hands measure 8 ½”. Last season, he also passed for 4319 yards, with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He led the FBS with 25 touchdowns against the blitz and in the last two seasons, he rushed for 13 touchdowns.

 

Here are a few pre-draft analyses on Pickett:

Natalie Miller, USA Today’s Draft Wire

Positives

  • Possess great accuracy, touch, and above-average arm strength
  • High football IQ

Negatives

  • Has only one season of massive production
  • Fumbled the ball 38 times in his college career

Nate Tice, Bleacher Report

Positives

  • Good accuracy on all three levels
  • Can punish blitzed
  • Most dangerous when breaks out of pocket

Negatives

  • Inconsistent timing on throws
  • Resorts to scramble drills too often
  • Small hands

Joe Marino, The Draft Network

Positives

  • Brings good size, mobility, accuracy, poise, leadership, and toughness to the table
  • Good vertical passer that can work off-script

Negatives

  • Guilty of aggressive decisions

Pro Football Focus

Positives

  • Has a natural feel
  • Gets a lot of the little things

Negatives

  • Needs to speed up his process

CBS.com

Positives

  • Consistently shows great touch on mid-range passes
  • Good athlete who can consistently win with legs outside of the pocket
  • Does not have an elite arm but has the ability to throw deep outs with velocity and accuracy

Negatives

  • Averaged more than 3.1 seconds per dropback at Pitt
  • Average deep ball thrower who doesn’t have incredible velocity on his passes

Let’s face it, any of the quarterbacks drafted can overtake the veteran ahead of him. In what many have proclaimed to be a ‘weak quarterback class’ is only second to the suspect quarterbacks ahead of them.

2022 NFL OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR ODDS

NAME ODDS IMPLIED CHANCE
Kenny Pickett +550 15.38%
Malik Willis +600 14.29%
Drake London +700 12.5%
Treylon Burks +700 12.5%
Garrett Wilson +700 12.5%
Jameson Williams +700 12.5%
Kenneth Walker III +1000 9.09%
Breece Hall +1000 9.09%
Chris Olave +1000 9.09%
Desmond Ridder +1400 6.67%



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