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Good chance Davis Webb will be a bust

Analytics aren’t optimistic about rookie QB’s chances

NFL: Combine
Davis Webb
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There is really no way to know right now what kind of quarterback Davis Webb will be three to five years from now. All New York Giants fans can do is fasten their seat belts and get ready to go on an adventure as we find out.

That, however, doesn’t mean we can’t project, speculate or guess. Or, try to apply whatever advanced analytics there are to try and figure it out. That’s what the folks at Football Outsiders have done. They have applied their QBASE system to project all of the quarterbacks selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Their conclusion for Webb? He will likely be a bust.

Well, at least FO’s QBASE system says there is a 56.9 percent chance Webb will be a bust. Per QBASE, there is only a 4.5 percent chance he will become an elite replacement for Eli Manning.

Giants fans can only hope the model is incorrect in this instance.

What is QBASE?

Here is how Football Outsiders describes it:

The lessons of history can at least help us figure out how much of a risk each quarterback prospect will be. That's the point of Football Outsiders' Quarterback-Adjusted-Stats-and-Experience (QBASE) projection system. It looks at college performance, experience, and expected draft position (to incorporate scouting information that college stats will miss). To allow some time for development, QBASE projects a quarterback's efficiency (passing only) in Years 3 to 5 of his career according to Football Outsiders' Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) metric. 50,000 simulations produce a range of potential outcomes for each prospect, with players drafted later generally having a larger range of possibilities.

QBASE favors quarterbacks expected to go high in the draft who also have a relatively long resume of college success according to the stats. Those stats include completion percentage, yards per attempt, and team passing efficiency. These numbers are adjusted both for the quality of the defenses that a prospect had to face as well as the quality of his offensive teammates.

Davis Webb QBASE Projection

Mean Projection in Years 3-5: 286 DYAR
Mean Projection in Years 3-5: 286 DYAR
Bust (< 500 DYAR) 56.90%
Adequate Starter (500-1499 DYAR) 25.10%
Upper Tier (1500-2500 DYAR) 13.60%
Elite (>2500 DYAR) 4.50%

The Air Raid siren that went off for Patrick Mahomes goes off even louder for his former teammate Davis Webb, since Webb's numbers after transferring to Cal were nowhere near as impressive as the numbers Mahomes put up at Texas Tech. Webb had just 7.3 adjusted passing yards per attempt last season, the lowest of these eight prospects. His numbers weren't really any better in his two years as the starter at Texas Tech in 2013 and 2014. QBASE does like the fact that he has three years of starting experience and that Cal played the No. 9 schedule of opposing pass defenses last season.