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Takeaways from Football Outsiders’ 2019 QBASE projections

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Surprising results for a few of this year’s quarterbacks

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are in the market for a quarterback of the future. There are a lot of views and opinions on this year’s class and one more just came out with the release of Football Outsiders’ QBASE projection system. QBASE takes things like experience, efficiency, and scouting to project each quarterback’s Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR, FO’s counting stat for quarterbacks) over the third to fifth seasons of the quarterback’s career.

Here are some takeaways from this year’s projections. The full article can be found here, please go read it.

Kyler Murray is the top QB, but not by much

Murray comes out with the best QBASE rating, but Dwayne Haskins is close behind. Both get dinged because of a lack of starting experience, though Murray has the third best projection of any prospect with one or two years of experience behind only Alex Smith and Cam Newton, two former first overall picks. Haskins is seventh. Football Outsiders does note QBASE only factors in passing value, which leaves out the value Murray is likely to add on the ground — significantly more than Haskins.

QBASE isn’t overly optimistic on anyone and mostly below 2018

The view that this is an overall weak quarterback class, especially when compared to 2018, plays out here. Kyler Murray’s QBASE projection is the top for this class, but it sits behind Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson from last season. Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are ahead of Josh Allen, but well below Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock and Daniel Jones have lower QBASE projections than Kyle Lauletta and Davis Webb

Yes, you read that correctly. Drew Lock (271) and Daniel Jones (263) have lower QBASE projections than Kyle Lauletta (273) did last season and Davis Webb (286) in 2017. However, Football Outsiders does note projecting FCS-level quarterbacks like Lauletta is even more difficult than projecting FBS quarterbacks, which is hard enough. FO also notes production from a very Air Raid offense skews some of Webb’s numbers.

Other fun notes on these quarterbacks:

  • QBASE likes starting experience, but Lock’s first two seasons were so poor by completion percentage (below 55 percent) the system does not count them as starting seasons.
  • QBASE uses Scouts Inc’s grades in an attempt to factor in how the NFL will view these players based on more than just on-field production. Scouts Inc. currently has Jones as the 76th-ranked player and in this draft and in the writeup, FO suggests Jones would be a good value in the third round. He’s currently the most mocked player to the Giants with the 17th overall pick.

Will Grier’s projection is surprising

Grier had incredible production at West Virginia and per Sports Info Solutions’s on-target percentage is the most accurate quarterback in this class. That doesn’t matter for his QBASE projection, which came out negative. FO notes two years of starting experience, a weak opposing schedule, and third-round grade from scouts play into the low projection. However, a projection system that does factor in accuracy — weighted completion percentage by depth of target — from 538’s Josh Hermsmeyer views Grier as the second-best quarterback in this class.