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Rank these QBs as Pocket Passers


darrelgreenie

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1.) Russell Wilson

2a.) Robert Griffin III

2b.) Andrew Luck

3.) Christian Ponder

4.) Cam Newton

5.) Michael Vick

6.) Ryan Tannehill

7.) Colin Kaepernick

8.) Brandon Weeden

9.) Jake Locker

10.) Blaine Gabert

 

 

Weird list I know but that's where I'd have it right now.

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Just as a pocket passer (I'm assuming you meant a pure pocket passer - no rolling out or bootlegging):

 

1) Andrew Luck

   - IMO the best pocket passer of the bunch. Had amazing pocket awareness as a rookie, can move and manipulate like Peyton.

 

2) Russell Wilson

   - He's good in the pocket, just no Luck. As cliche as this probably is, he reminds me of Brees. He has excellent vision from the pocket and for a little guy, does better than I thought he would.

 

3) RGIII

   - As good as he is rolling out, he's just about as good in the pocket. He has some room for improvement, and isn't quite at the level of Luck or Wilson. He reminds me a lot of Rodgers - good in the pocket, better rolling out.

 

4) Brandon Weeden

   - As much flak as he caught, he's a pretty good pocket passer. He's got the size and his pocket movement wasn't that bad. His downfall is his throwing motion, he gets too many balls batted down. He reminds me of Palmer. Big guy, big arm, not mobile at all.

 

5) Cam Newton

   - He's improved a lot over the last year. He's big enough in the pocket that he doesn't really have to move around in there, but he can. He reminds me of Roethlisberger. Just a mountain back there - can make defenders just bounce off him.

 

6) Ryan Tannehill

   - Still raw, but understands the position. He doesn't really manipulate the pocket though and can look a little lost at times in the pocket.

 

7) Colin Kaepernick

   - Much better rolling out than in the pocket. Doesn't look comfortable in a dropback situation at all.

 

8) Christian Ponder

   - Not a guy of great size, but he doesn't work in the pocket as well as Brees or Wilson to make up for it. Looks flustered more often than he should.

 

9) Jake Locker

   - Still a work in progress, more of a bootleg guy than a pocket passer.

 

10) Mike Vick

   - Never was, never will be a good pocket passer. Sure, he had a good game or two in the pocket, but he tucks and runs too quickly and is exponentially better rolling out.

 

11) Blaine Gabbert

   - Just an all around bad QB. No pocket awareness at all.

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How much does scheme comparisons play a factor?

 

i'm working on my list 

a coupla comparisons that stick out to me:

 

Cam Newton- Joe Flacco/Elway

Flacco's size and arm, similar mechanics, both power throwers

I was watching an old Elway game on NFLN the other day and couldn't get passed how much Elway reminded me of Cam

size, movement, arm

 

Blaine Gabbert--Sam Bradford (if Bradford was scared) similar size and throwing ability, Blaine can really sling a football and is a very good athlete but--looks like Tarzan plays like Jane/Joey Harrington

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10) Mike Vick

   - Never was, never will be a good pocket passer. Sure, he had a good game or two in the pocket, but he tucks and runs too quickly and is exponentially better rolling out. 

Don't want to turn this into a Vick debate but...never was/never will be?

 

Can you be a good QB without being a good pocket passer?

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Don't want to turn this into a Vick debate but...never was/never will be?

 

Can you be a good QB without being a good pocket passer?

 

While in Atlanta, Vick was anything but a pocket passer. His best year passing in Atl was 2002, where he threw for 2936 yards on 54.9% completion rate. In Philly, it was 2011, where it 3303 at 59.8%. I don't have the film, but I'd be willing to bet that most of those came from passes off scrambles or rollouts (not in the pocket). Not counting seasons in which he played less than ten games or his first year in Philly (because that would really skew the numbers in my favor, just trying to be as honest as possible), his average per year over his career is 2688 yards at 57% (1520/2663). That's not "good pocket passer" numbers.

 

What's the book on how to beat Vick? Keep him in the pocket or make him roll right. You don't beat a good pocket passer by keeping him in the pocket.

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I'm not talking about the QB he was in Atlanta. I'm talking about the QB he's is now since he got out of the clink.

And a quick point of fact before I move on; Vick's best year wasn't 2011 it was 2010 when he was a top 5 QB in the NFL: 12 games 63% 21 TDs 6 INTs

 

But, regardless it just struck me as odd to read your claims about Vick yet have QBs like Locker and Ponder etc ahead of him.

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Briefly, quickly here's my list: (will breakdowns reasons later)

 

(1) Russell Wilson

(2) Mike Vick

(3) Ryan Tanneyhill

(4) Andrew Luck

(5) Cam Newton

(6) Robert Griffin

(7) Colin Kaepernick

(8) Christian Ponder

(9) Brandon Weeden

(10)Jake Locker

(11) Blaine Gabbert

 

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

I was thinking the same thing.  Seattle didn't really come on until they started the read option with him later in the year.  

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

 

I don't think he's rolling out so much as he's trying to find throwing lanes; he is awfully short after all.

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

Why do you think 'people' overrate Wilson's pocket presence?

For me knowing how to manipulate and move in the pocket is part of being a good rhythm drop back passer. And Wilson is very good in that regard.

I'm not sure why you don't think he's a good rhythm drop back passer?

As per the OP, how would you rank these QB's as rhythm drop back passers?

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Are we judging based of their results from inside the pocket?

 

I am not sure how you can disassociate the offense each QB is running in this discussion because each unique offense requires different things of the QB.

 

Who knows how each one would perform in an entirely different offense that requires different things?

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

 

I don't think he's rolling out so much as he's trying to find throwing lanes; he is awfully short after all.

 

This is true. But being short is not an excuse to be primarily a rollout QB and still considered one of the best at pocket passing. Drew Brees is also considered short and he's one of the best.

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

Why do you think 'people' overrate Wilson's pocket presence?

For me knowing how to manipulate and move in the pocket is part of being a good rhythm drop back passer. And Wilson is very good in that regard.

I'm not sure why you don't think he's a good rhythm drop back passer?

As per the OP, how would you rank these QB's as rhythm drop back passers?

 

I never said he wasn't good. I said he wasn't great. There are some legitimate pocket passers on that list and on a few people's, Wilson is number 1. That is what I didn't agree with hence the reason I used the word overrate. The list is very, very debatable and a lot of the positions are pretty much interchangeable in different orders depending on who you ask and what you look at but:

 

1. Luck

2. RG3

3. Tanneyhill

4. Wilson

5. Kaep

6. Cam

 

The rest can be ordered in any way you see fit.

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

I don't think he's rolling out so much as he's trying to find throwing lanes; he is awfully short after all.

This is true. But being short is not an excuse to be primarily a rollout QB and still considered one of the best at pocket passing. Drew Brees is also considered short and he's one of the best.

You seem to think that moving the pocket, like a rollout, isn't throwing on rhythm or from a 'pocket'. That is one area where we disagree.

Another area is that you seem to think Drew Brees doesnt roll out alot by comparison but: Wilson 52 designed roll-outs Brees 37 (in case you were wondering Griff-43/Tannehill 44)

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Surprised that so many people seem to overrate the pocket presence of R Wilson. He rolls out of the pocket very frequently; most times too early before the pocket even breaks down. Nothing against him as an overall good QB but a great pocket passer he is not.

Why do you think 'people' overrate Wilson's pocket presence?

For me knowing how to manipulate and move in the pocket is part of being a good rhythm drop back justpasser. And Wilson is very good in that regard.

I'm not sure why you don't think he's a good rhythm drop back passer?

As per the OP, how would you rank these QB's as rhythm drop back passers?

I never said he wasn't good. I said he wasn't great. There are some legitimate pocket passers on that list and on a few people's, Wilson is number 1. That is what I didn't agree with hence the reason I used the word overrate

Im confused by your terms. You seem to be refering to pocket presence and pocket passing as interchangeable. To me they are related but clearly not the same thing.

What do you mean by a 'legitimate' pocket passer? In the OP (in case you didn't read it) Im asking to rank the QB as rhythm drop back passers; which in essence IS pocket passing but a more exact term because even when offenses move the pocket the QBs are still throwing on rhythm. Heck if you really want to get technical plays that 'move the pocket' or re-establish the pocket just changes the location of the pocket. Like Montana and Steve Young's offenses often did.

But at the end of the day even if you exclude designed roll-outs, Russ was still a deadly rhythm drop back passer. And this was true going back into college.

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Rank these QBs as rhythm drop back passers only:

(and who does each QB remind you of good/bad)

 

Blaine Gabbert

Robert Griffin

Colin Kaepernick

Jake Locker

Andrew Luck

Cam Newton

Christian Ponder

Ryan Tanneyhill

Brandon Weeden

Russell Wilson

Mike Vick

1. Luck - cliche but reminds me of a young Peyton.

2. Ryan Tanneyhill - not sure who he reminds me of, but I think he is flying under the radar a bit and will be a very good QB with the right supporting cast.

3. Russell Wilson - was really impressed with his ability to move inside the pocket, find throwing lanes and get the ball out on time. Brees is an obvious comparison because of height, but actually Im going old school and saying Joe Thiesmann because of the mobility plus Joe was short as well.

4. Cam Newton - I think people are still thinking of Cam as a running QB when he actually a grade A pocket passer who can also move. He reminded me of Rothelsberger before the draft and still does.

5. Colin Kaepernick - surprised me with both his accuracy from the pocket and his ability to manage a game. Going to be a good one.

6. RGIII - in a couple of years he will be a lot higher on this list but he showed in the limited drop back passes he threw last year he can throw on rhythm and hurt you with his arm. He is an elite QB who just happens to be an elite athlete - NOT an athlete who plays QB. I think he may be unique.

7. Mike Vick - has improved a lot in working from the pocket under Andy Reid and is now very good in that regards but makes too many 'what the heck was he thinking" throws and is a turnover machine to be higher on this list for me.

8. Christian Ponder - he has been a disappointment overall for where he was drafted but he does show promise. Does enough with the running game they have to win more than he loses but not sure he is the long term answer. 

9. Brandon Weedon - showed good pocket presence, good enough arm and good accuracy. However he has to show he is prepared to throw the ball down the field when the read is there - checked down to quickly as a rookie for me but also needs better targets. Jason Campbell syndrome? 

10. Jake Locker - looks best operating outside the pocket - which is what I saw when he was in College. Still needs to clean up his footwork.

11. Blaine Gabbert. Has all the tools to be a really good QB but has terrible pocket presence and seems to lack the willingness to stand in and take a big hit. You cant coach courage. 

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Gabbert is one of the laziest QBs in the pocket that I've ever seen.  Barely moves his feet.  Tries to stay in one spot and fling the ball.  He could be a better QB if they improve his footwork.  People say a player like Dan Marino was a statue because he didn't run, but Marino would at least move his feet to evade the rush.  Gabbert goes to a spot and doesn't move.

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I'm not talking about the QB he was in Atlanta. I'm talking about the QB he's is now since he got out of the clink.

And a quick point of fact before I move on; Vick's best year wasn't 2011 it was 2010 when he was a top 5 QB in the NFL: 12 games 63% 21 TDs 6 INTs

 

But, regardless it just struck me as odd to read your claims about Vick yet have QBs like Locker and Ponder etc ahead of him.

 

FWIW I judged him based on his entire career, that's how I took the OP's meaning. Semantics though.

 

I do remember 2010, but I just remember him rolling out a lot (not rolling the pocket with him either, just getting out to one side or the other - most often the left) and firing it from there. He was an amazing QB when he was rolling out. In the pocket, not so much though.

 

I put Ponder and Locker ahead of him because mainly they're young. Ponder has shown some ability in the pocket. If I had to grade them, all three would grade out very poorly, but about even. When they're even, I give an advantage to the younger player because he is not set in his ways as much. Ponder and Locker can improve. Vick is what he is, and that's a bad pocket QB.

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I'm not talking about the QB he was in Atlanta. I'm talking about the QB he's is now since he got out of the clink.

And a quick point of fact before I move on; Vick's best year wasn't 2011 it was 2010 when he was a top 5 QB in the NFL: 12 games 63% 21 TDs 6 INTs

 

But, regardless it just struck me as odd to read your claims about Vick yet have QBs like Locker and Ponder etc ahead of him.

 

FWIW I judged him based on his entire career, that's how I took the OP's meaning. Semantics though.

Not really semantics at all in my view. You're judging Vick or any player based on the distant past, doesn't seem like an accurate assessment of the current player.

 

 

 

I do remember 2010, but I just remember him rolling out a lot (not rolling the pocket with him either, just getting out to one side or the other - most often the left) and firing it from there. He was an amazing QB when he was rolling out. In the pocket, not so much though.

 

I only mentioned 2010 to correct your previous statement that Vick's best year was 2011, it wasn't. And I remember a Vick that was crisp in the rhythm drop back passing game that is the staple of Reid/Morningwhig's offense but also made alot of off-schedule/improv plays.

 

 

I put Ponder and Locker ahead of him because mainly they're young. Ponder has shown some ability in the pocket. If I had to grade them, all three would grade out very poorly, but about even. When they're even, I give an advantage to the younger player because he is not set in his ways as much. Ponder and Locker can improve. Vick is what he is, and that's a bad pocket QB.

So basically you grade Vick out 'very poorly' as rhythm drop back QB and an overall bad pocket QB, interesting...Couldn't disagree more but interesting to see your view. 

Martin-

Strong post as always.

Gonna try to flesh out my views and get a discussion going.

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Laughing at the continued overrating of Luck by football fans. The media hype works! His team won games. He turned the ball over a lot. He has a long way to go to prove he's special. His 76.5 rating looms large. Especially when juxtaposed with Gabbert's 77.4.

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Laughing at the continued overrating of Luck by football fans. The media hype works! His team won games. He turned the ball over a lot. He has a long way to go to prove he's special. His 76.5 rating looms large. Especially when juxtaposed with Gabbert's 77.4.

Peyton Manning threw 100 picks in his first 5 years (28 his rookie year) and his rating was 71.2 in his rookie year. That means nothing in relation to how Luck may develop and he DOES need to cut down the turnovers but it does suggest you have to look pst the stats and evaluate his play.

 

So what about Lucks actual play do you not like?

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 Russell Wilson--Ran a WCO from the outset only added the read option towards the end, his only limitation was the coaching staff's early season hesitancy to turn him loose. Skills: great footwork, good anticipation, ball location, decision making, good arm, good poise, pocket movement, good decision making-Drew Brees/Tony Romo sits to pee/Warren Moon

Scheme comment: a run-formation based, rhythm drop back passing WCO; read full field coverages/ follow progressions pre/post snap But with benefit of top 5 running game, good OL

 

 

Mike Vick--Andy Reid/Morningwhig's vertical/deep passing WCO, good enough to allow Reid to get rid of McNabb who at the time was a Pro-Bowl QB and Kevin Kolb at the time a sought after QB, very litte read-option

Skills: underrated WCO footowork, good ball placement, great arm strength, great escapability--Mark Brunell(supercharged)/Aaron Rodgers

Scheme comment: base personnel WCO, read full coverages/progressions, attacks downfield, good running game but not emphasized by Reid, besieged with OL injuries, vastly overrated receiving corps

Criticisms-played 'hero' ball last season trying to force throws that weren't there and make every play, needs to take more ownership of the offense to take the next step

 

If I had to pick a QB to run a WCO (excluding Aaron Rodgers) I would be hard pressed to pick anyone other then Vick


Ryan Tannehill--almost exclusively WCO QB very little read-option played with a very limited receiving talent. Skills: good footwork, decent anticipation, decent ball location, above average arm, good pocket movement--Carson Palmer+Alex Smith

Scheme comment: Spread quick rhythm drop back passing WCO, read full field coverages/follow progressions pre/post snap, good running game,  decent OL, imo would benefit from more use of read-option

Criticism-doesn't use his athleticism enough to make off schedule plays

 

 

 

 

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