When analyzing the Sunflower State starting QBs, you are presented with one of the more tired debates in all of college football.
You have the Powercats' Josh Freeman, a mammoth of a QB towering high above the offensive line, standing at 6'6" and weighing about 250 pounds. He has the lovely power arm scouts die for, and enough mobility to compare favorably to a statue.
And then you have good ol' Todd Reesing, a scrappy, 5'10" quarterback who scouts pass over. He was overlooked by his hometown team, UT, along with just about every other Division 1-A football program. Instead of living off a gargantuan arm, he instead has to survive the trials of college football by shuffling around the pocket, trying to find a seam to get the ball, accurately, to a receiver.
The two are polar opposites. What Josh Freeman possesses (big arm, size and 'talent') Reesing could only dream of. Reesing's biggest strengths (accuracy, intangibles and consistency) are the things keeping Freeman from being the Next Big Thing in college football and a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft. A fusion of the two quarterbacks would be unfair to just about every college football team. However, before the combination of two men's skills is possible, it is interesting to debate who is a better QB.
The debate of whether a have-it-all talent guy who has never really put it together is more valuable than an overachiever who performs well, but whose talent is lacking. This debate, essentially, boils down to Josh Freeman vs. Todd Reesing.
Of course, this is what the offseason is for. Debating which team is better, which players are better, who would you take if you could pick between a set of players, whether you trade so-and-so for such-and-such. Mindless jibber-jabber, in other words. But this whole little fun debate was brought right back to the front of my mind after hearing, on ESPN's College Football Live that Ron Prince has heard from some NFL sources that "Josh Freeman could be the #1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft."
I'll give you a second to wipe your monitor before I get started...
Good? OK, because then it gets better. Jesse Palmer, the ESPN college football expert who was chosen to be on today's show (and is usually pretty solid, actually), is asked whether Ron Prince is either talking out of his ass, was sorely misled or if he is really that stupid (not in those words, of course; ESPN has to be politically correct), succinctly states that he thinks J-Free going #1 is reasonable. And while he doesn't go as far as to predict Freeman to go on and make the Hall of Fame, he does favorably compare J-Free to another ginormous, relatively immobile, cannon-armed quarterback who recently went #1 in the Draft: JaMarcus Russell.
I know that NFL teams draft as much based off potential as they do based off actual results. But still, even discussing the possibility of rational human beings that are at least somewhat competent (or were) at evaluating and judging American football talent considering drafting SoulGlo #1 has destroyed a large percentage of my faith in the brains of the NFL operation. And so, it got me thinking: why does J-Free have a chance (although, I would have to say that chance is about .0000000001%, some "experts" think of it as a possibility, so I'll play along) to go #1 and Todd Reesing is considered a longshot to get a trip to a training camp? Moving beyond the potential and talent and all of that fun stuff that NFL scouts spend their lives searching for are actual results. Y'know, the actual proof of how good a football player really is. I mean, I understand that, to scouts, they believe they are smarter than statistics, but seriously? You think you are that much smarter; "smart" enough to take a substantially worse QB simply because he is 8 inches taller? Because of this, I am going to glance through some statistics and compare the two. Now, experience-wise, Freeman has the edge. This is a positive and a negative. It is positive that he has had more in-game experience, but why is that a positive? Only if you assume that that extra experience has made said experienced player substantially better. And so, Freeman's extra 7 games of starting experience can almost be a negative, as he has had more than half a season more than Hot Toddy to improve and adjust and further develop, but yet he still hasn't reached the level of Todd Reesing. Just look at the stats from last season:
|Yards Per Attempt
Again, I understand that the NFL is about a lot more than simply collegiate statistic machines. But still, shouldn't it mean something? Shouldn't it play at least some part in the decision making process? Shouldn't it have something to do with J-Free going #1 overall and Todd Reesing likely going undrafted.