An update to my QB philosophy

Dear The Den,

No this has nothing to do with the comments made by some in the thread about the new draft analyst badge. I was going to post this anyways, but I’m doing it today because of that.

I’m writing this to let you guys know that it finally hit me.

Well what is “it”? You ask.

“It” is that there is a recipe to success for QBs in this league, and what I think it is and what it actually is are way off.

Yes, hell has frozen over. Yes, the aliens got out of Area 51. Yes, the Lions just won the Super Bowl.

Mobility is not a trait that makes a great quarterback.

There, I said it.

In fact, if that is a quarterback’s main trick, then he is likely to be a bust in this league.

What matters most of all is the ability to make reads, and distribute the ball with the right velocity and accuracy to the catch point for the receiver.

It hit me that we aren’t going to be running an air raid or even a spread under MCDC, and that’s not where the trend of football is going anymore. 2020 was the peak for offensive football. 2021 is the year that defense started to catch up again.

I give a lot of credit to the minds of Brent Venables and Brandon Staley for that. Here’s a prediction I have too. Staley’s defense is going to start getting shredded and he’ll get fired in LA by at least 2025 or 2026.

Running the ball and defense are keys to a championship. Always have been and always will be.

We are going to be part of football’s schematic shift back to the old school ways. I’m just going to have to accept that.

Justin Fields was the prototype for how to win in college the last 6 or 7 years, and in the NFL for the last, say 2 or 3.

Not anymore.

Defense catches up faster in the NFL. The coaches are better schematically.

One thing that has remained true though is that a QB has to be a passer first to have real success in this league. Hell, I should’ve seen it when Aaron Glenn took a group of Patricia’s trash and shut down Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray.

What’s shredded this defense? Running games and good passing quarterbacks.

That’s what we need out of our QB position.

I will never back off my opinion that if you have two of the same exact prospect, and one happens to be mobile, that you take the mobile guy. However, if the other guy is a better passer with better ball placement, then you take him.

History is on the side of the position which I’ve detailed here too, and it looks like it will continue to be.

Patrick Mahomes isn’t good because of his ability to run outside of the pocket, it’s because of his rocket arm.

I’m going to have to seriously go back and re-evaluate everyone because what I was looking for then and what I’m looking for now are two totally different things. I can say I think Willis is going to fall a ways and Pickett is going to rise up for me. I can say though that Pickett’s hands specifically concern me, and I’d like to see him throw an NFL football in a pro day or combine environment first.

But anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that I’m starting to figure it out like most of you probably have already.


If all things are equal, you go with the better looking guy (the bald guy).

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So you’re a Stafford fan?


Excellent assessment and observations! I agree with your new standards for evaluation and it completely makes sense. You articulated your growth of opinion so well. Damn fine post sir, damn fine. :+1:

He would do SO well to shave his head. Better tie Kelly’s tubes first, cuz who knows what the consequences of him shaving his head would have?

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My QB evaluation in order of priority is and think it should be:

  1. Read the field first.

  2. Have poise

  3. Accurate

  4. Good arm

5.Quick release

  1. Good footwork

  2. Mobility (run ability)

I agree rushing football and defense will have your team competitive in all games. For those that want a WR highly in the draft, need to take a look at where our OL ranks in run blocking overall and also in power situations. Hint: it ain’t that good

I hope this doesn’t mean you aren’t going to rant any more. The Den would suddenly become far less interesting. Say it ain’t so…

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I agree, well said! I’d trade Goff for Fields and 2 Bears 1st rounders though. lol

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Science is real
Science MATTERS!

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I hate science until we (society) cure every disease.

11 out of 10 women would agree.
BTW, one will be bringing her hot friend!

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I like mobile quarterbacks. But only the ones who have the arm to match. You touched on mahomes, but also a guy like Wilson… their passing numbers are as good as the immobile guys, but then they have the ability to extend drives with their feet, or make a play on the run. That’s points on the board. That’s a better quarterback. Lamar on the other hand… his numbers are a little below the top guys. He has to make it work with his legs to make up the difference.

I love Willis. It has 15% to do with his runs past the LOS. It has everything to do with having the strongest arm that Quincy Avery has ever seen. Stronger than Mahomes he says, who is regarded as league best. Because he throws a beautiful deep ball and dimes outside the pocket that few men on earth can.

I believe in Willis because he has a world class arm, attached to an imperfect prospect that is willing to do the work to become great.

Not sure anything has really changed over the past 10 years. QBs that can throw the ball on time and accurately are still the #1 commodity. Sure Lamar Jackson type QBs rack up wins in the regular season, but in the playoffs you need QBs that can throw the ball to be successful.

Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes are great at getting the ball delivered off platform and off schedule. It’s a rare trait. It’s something I look for when evaluating QBs to draft. Can they deliver accurate balls under pressure and off platform? This can be from the pocket or extending the play. But truly, do you have a QB that can quickly read a defense presnap, post-snap and deliver the ball with anticipation and have the confidence to throw guys open. Mahomes is a magician when extending a play but it’s also a crutch for him. He could be better at firing off passes in less time instead of trying to stretch plays into backyard football. Yes, I see the irony of a Lions fan criticizing one of the best QBs to grace the field, but if there is a weakness in his game that is it.

I don’t have time to watch the film anymore, but at first glance I do love what Pickett brings to the table. He doesn’t have the arm that I fall in love with like Zach Wilson, but from what I’ve seen he does a great job of extending plays and throwing off platform.

I’m not a fan of drafting a QB late 1st or early 2nd when you can get some elite talent at other positions, but if Pickett was there I’d have a hard time passing on him despite his small hands. We’ve invested so much into the Oline that I would hope we could protect him and his fumblitis.

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party GIF




I agree that this is really what we should be looking for more than straight-up athleticism, but just like athleticism you have to be careful about taking it too far and ignoring other issues. Zack Wilson is the epitome of this, great off-platform but not the best decision-maker and his accuracy can be hit or miss, a bit like Stafford. But because we’re in the age of Mahomes and off-platform is king, he went 2nd overall. Maybe he works out but I thought he had the lowest floor of any QB drafted in the 1st last year.


It seems someone tried to explain this to you prior to the draft. They supported their argument with a lot of data, stats and history. Yet it fell on deaf ears.

Who was that guy?

Being able to make the reads quickly and get the ball out quickly and accurately are the most important trait.

Well that and leadership.

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A lot of people are obsessed with being right. They want to point out when they are right. Then they spend a lot of time trying to explain away when they are wrong to try and give the impression they were still kind of right. I admire self reflection. Good for you man. (Not that your opinions past or present were wrong. They are just opinions.)