What Does An Average QB Look Like?

January 2nd, 2015

cam newton 0904NFL.com ranked starting quarterbacks in 2014, and while it’s a no-brainer that Josh McCown was in the basement with guys like Ryan Lindley, Blake Bortles and the medley of Titans gunslingers, Joe finds it noteworthy to see who ranked as average.

Here’s the breakdown for the middle of the pack:

13. Ryan Tannehill
14. Cam Newton
15. Alex Smith
16. Colin Kaepernick
17. Matthew Stafford

Tannehill has proven he’s a mid-level starter, albeit one without a deep ball. His athleticism fit well in new coordinator Bill Lazor’s system. It’s hard for me to rank him above Newton, but Cam’s midseason slump was a reminder he’s the streakiest top quarterback in the league. … Stafford can be depressingly consistent. He misses too many throws and doesn’t adapt well against quality defenses.

Alex Smith is the opposite and doesn’t really fit in this “enigma” tier. Smith and coach Andy Reid are playing a style of football that is more condensed than any in the league. It’s not a blast to watch, but it’s hard to argue with Smith maximizing a limited skill set. He’s ranked above his old teammate Kaepernick, who had another frustrating year. I wrote last year that Kaepernick took a half step back in order to take two steps forward in 2014. Whoops. Could this just be what Kaepernick is?

Yes, those guys are average quarterbacks nowadays.

Of the dozen names ranked ahead of these, Joe’s confident eight of them are future Hall of Famers. Eight!

This all just illustrates further how critical it is that the Bucs pounce on the best available quarterback in the draft, build around him, and hope for the best.

There will be no Bucs parade down Dale Mabry until they stop having the worst quarterback in the NFC South.

46 Responses to “What Does An Average QB Look Like?”

  1. Todd Says:

    I agree bucs need a legit qb and until we have one we are not going to the playoffs! Buccaneers have to get this pick right! Bring on mariota or Winston

  2. Walter Says:

    We’re getting our QB this year.

  3. MadMax Says:

    I wasnt too impressed with either Winston or Mariota yesterday.

    Mariota relied on the spread offense run game more than his inaccuracy the first half. His accuracy improved a little in the 2nd half though. Im sure the turnovers by Fl.St. and his Oregon D, along with the lopsided score probably helped his comfort level.

    Winston had some bad receivers with stone hands at times. And I dont know about all the frustration he was showing, I dont think I’d want that. But he had a right to be frustrated with so many dropped passes and turnovers (although that one turnover was completely on him).

    I’d still take Bryce Petty over both. The kid had set a new record in passing by the end of the 3rd quarter with 464 yds. His D lost that comfortable lead he put up for Baylor, and then lost the game.

    But I’ll be watching Mariota closely in the championship game.

  4. kevin Says:

    If they draft mariota we will have the second best qb in the south with the best defense in the south

  5. Uranus Johnson Says:

    Well if they pounce on Jamarcus Winston we will see a day in the future when even the Josh McCown days will be longed for. The great one’s McCown-ish fumble in the Rose Bown and his sideline histrionics show that he would bust the franchise back another ten years if he is picked number one. Still not sold on Mariotta though because no Oregon recent QB has ever been a successful pro, think Akili Smith, Joey Harrington. You have to go all the way back to Dan Fouts to find a guy that cut it in the pros and he did not play in that system. Bucs should demand a king’s ransom from Chip Kelly for the pick including Nick Foles and several picks including Philly’s 1 and 2. That would be the smart thing to do.

  6. BucNears Says:

    And that QB is clearly Mariota..

  7. J Moné Says:

    Mariota can’t wait to buy your Jersey. Mail in the draft pick look hard Jason licht find some beast OL to protect our franchise QB.

  8. Tom Edrington Says:

    Would love to have Cam Newton.

  9. Bannor Says:

    i’m confident whichever QB the bucs pick will turn out to be the wrong one.

  10. bucs4lyfe Says:

    you know what that game told me last night? mariotta and Winston are probably middle of the pack qb’s and I didn’t see anything special about either that screams 1st pick of the draft and I could easily see the bucs trading down what I cant see is the bucs picking a quarterback who doesn’t know if he’s going to play football or baseball

  11. Todd Says:

    Joe ? Your going to spend the first pick on a guy that might play baseball ?

  12. meh Says:

    We need to not overthink this. Let’s take Mariota and not look back.

  13. Tom Edrington Says:


    I think instead of helping everyone make up their minds, that game left more folks wondering, as you are…

    I know that Jameis was in denial, never heard any sane player saying a blowout could have gone either way!

    Love Mariota’s athleticism but the only guy who can make him great in the NFL is Chip Kelly, just sayin……

  14. BucsQcCity Says:


    It’s the same feeling I had. i hope Mariotta next game will tell me more about him. I liked the two of them but nothing worthy of a first pick. It aucks because we need a QB badly but if I had to choose today it would still be Mariotta. Winston carry on too many risks even if he was the better QB last night (except for that weird funble!)

  15. The Buc Realist Says:

    Does Tampa have to the patients to watch Mariota struggle on the road to becoming a middle of the pack Qb for a few years?

  16. Architek Says:

    Absolutely Joe.

    I just hope that we don’t go with some old retread to lead the young QB and ruin him or make him gunshy. I’m calling on the Glazers to protect their investment. Whether Lovie is here or gone we have to think about the qb and don’t hamper him.

    Defensive minded teams usually don’t cater to or help the young qbs so hopefully we learned from Freeman free fall and give him the infrastructure to be his best (Mariota) – Winston comments didn’t make me feel that he loves the game.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can’t just look at last night…… you have to look at the entire body of work. We have to find an OC that works well developing QBs or a great QB coach….take the necessary time to develop (I think Rogers sat 3 years)…..
    My choice is Mariota….but if the Bucs want Winston….they can trade down and still get him. I think his stock went down last night.
    Let’s see how Mariota does in the Nat Championship Game.

    I wouldn’t be terribly unhappy if we traded down twice and picked up Bryce Petty.

  18. Harry Says:

    I was impressed with both last night, for different reasons. Mariota for his ability to command a complicated offense (his arm was less impressive, but ok). Winston was impressive for some of his throws, and more so for how he handled a difficult situation.

    But the hate that Winston gets is beyond ridiculous. I just read one article that put the loss all on Winston bc of the comical backwards pass. Yes, that was an embarrassing blunder. But it was the many dropped passes and the horrible ball security that lost that game. The hate he gets is sick.

  19. meh Says:

    You Winston defenders are hilarious. That was an epic meltdown.

  20. David Says:


  21. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    I’m actually surprised Newton ranked that high. One of the most over-rated, over-hyped, QB’s in the league. To me looking at him is probably what the Bucs can expect out of Winston if they draft him…and that’s a best case scenario assuming no off field issues. I realize their teams are in the playoffs this year, but I find it telling that both Newton and Stafford were #1 picks and after all this time in the league have only risen to levels of mediocrity?

  22. bucs4lyfe Says:

    @The Buc Realist

    Realist words ever spoken….I don’t want to deal with a quarterback who has to LEARN how to take snaps under center. if we’re gonna get one read qb that has to learn how to read defenses you might as well resign josh freeman or keep glennon and train this guy to play quarterback and reach his full potential

  23. port richey george Says:

    after hearing skip bayless espn2 reporting his thoughts on johnny manziel the other day ….wow!
    I would put johnny football manziel at 30 on the list.

    also:last year I heard steven a. smith talking on his espn2 tv show with skip bayless titled “first take” about johnny’s privileged upbringing. daddy is a very wealthy oil barron in texas. johnny going to the country club hanging out with his rich friends growing up. johnny is not the street wise guy he comes off as in public. show me the money? johnny has seen the money since he was a little kid!

  24. D-Rome Says:

    There isn’t a QB in this draft that has the potential to be a top ten QB in five years. I don’t think Winston or Mariota is going to have a better year (or be a better player) than, say, Teddy Bridgewater. Given how Bridgewater played this year it’s obvious the Bucs missed there.

  25. biff barker Says:

    Biff’s remote, if not desolate, camp clearly hears the JBF QB drumbeat from afar. Kinda comforting and creepy the same time.

    Pick Mariotta, break off the rear view and toss it in the Bay.

    Shame of it all is Ol’ Toolbox Smith is at the helm of team Glazer’s garbage barge.

    Bucs life!

  26. BIG SIR Says:

    If people actually watched the game they would of seen that Winston is clearly more NFL ready. He made NFL type throws on almost every drive. Took snaps under center, progressed through his reads, showed touch and accuracy. This is not to downplay Mariota. He has a few nice throws but he never took a snap under center and benefited greatly from having wide open recievers.

    I know people will point to Winston’s fumble. That was a result of trying to make a play because his teammates were blowing the game. Dropped passes on crucial downs and killer fumbles by his RBs. Yes, the fumble looked very Sanchize-like but I can look past it given the situation his team was in. Let’s not forget Mariota committed the cardinal sin of playing QB. His interception was a result of throwing across his body late over the middle of the field.

    Both QBs have things that are exciting to project into the NFL but both will definitely need time to develop and will make rookie mistakes. As long as we have the right OC in place, I’m ready for either one of the in 2015!

  27. Patrickbucs Says:

    Winston fumbled 3 times, lost 1 ridiculous one. He could if had 2-3 more picks and snapped all over the field. That oline and running game fueled their year, not his 18 picks and a few more TD passes.

  28. Cannon Fire Says:

    this is exactly why I think that the Bucs would better off building the O-line, adding a DE, and starting Glennon.

  29. DHutch Says:

    Derek Carr played in a system where he rarely lined up under center and threw a lot of short rhythm passes. He still has more wins than us. You can draft Mariota, give him a strong running attack, ask him to manage the ball, and let our defense keep us in the game.

  30. biff barker Says:

    “I know people will point to Winston’s fumble. That was a result of trying to make a play because his teammates were blowing the game.”

    The Joshua T. Freeman random excuse generator is out of mothballs?

    Meanwhile, Marty McFly is pouting in his room.

  31. BucNasty!!! Says:

    Winstons throw on 3rd down and 21 said it all to me Marriotta threw 3 passes more than 10 yards with a million bubble screens and no big time nfl throws those wide open wr won’t b there in the nfl which won’t translate Jamies got no help from his recievers lasts night it wasn’t marriota over Winston it was Oregon over fsu. Head to head I kno who’d win games on a Sunday

  32. Wombat Says:

    I think with Joes assessment of Kaepernick, Manzell and this year Winston, we are starting to see a pattern. Joe is a Bucs fan, nothing more nothing less. Tho their reporting is colorful at times, they have as much knowledge as the average”Joe” ( pun intended)! I don’t know whether either of the two QBs are gonna work out, but the safe and sane choice is obviously Mariota. Picking Winston will get L&L fired eventually….

  33. bucs4lyfe Says:

    if your looking at the stats and think mariotta had a better game hmmm yea he did if your thinking college player but as nfl prospects I think mike kafka can make those throws, glennons makes those throws so why not just keep glennon if that’s all he can do….Winston looked like an nfl quarterback….everyone is talking about Winston’s fumble but no one mentions the 2 fumbles that garbage running back gave up

  34. BucFanatic Says:

    Under Chud, with Cam QBing the Panthers offense, they were “a top 10 O”.. just saying.
    It looked like Mariotta has all the good intangibles in the world, plus a very good skill set, plus then some.

    Winston, was a bad-boy-Freeman (the F-Man was at least a likalbe guy coming out of college)

    Bottom Line:

    Russel Wilson, with slighty worse accuracy VS. BadBoyFreemantic – not even close..

    I for one “could live” with a Russel Wilson type (he´s just not polished), but certainly so good, that you could build a franchise arround him; i think he is worth it and would love to root for him (i will do it anyway 😉 )

  35. bucrightoff Says:

    All Lovie needs to know about Mariota is he loves Jesus and thus is the better QB/

  36. BIG SIR Says:

    Someone wrote “let our defense keep us in the game”. Lmao what!? You mean the same defense that was a lock to give up a 4th quarter lead every game?

    Also, any of you who think we should roll with McCown or Glennon next year should be drawn and quartered.

  37. crazy Says:

    If Lovie insists on recreating Chicago’s twin-towers offense Winston is an upgrade over McCown with the same kind of gameday issues Chicago suffers with Cutler. If Lovie wants the up-tempo attack Tedford was hired to develop but the Bucs abandoned then Marriotta’s your guy. Either way the O-line needs serious restructuring and may actually be the more serious need.

  38. Waterboy Says:

    Mariota seems like a nice very likable guy but I just don’t see his talent translating into a solid pro qb. He completed a lot of very basic throws to wide open receivers last night where as Winston made the tough nfl type throws that I expect to see on Sundays. Mariota made a lot of key plays with his feet not his arm and he should’ve had 2 balls intercepted instead of 1. Winston looked solid for the most part but his butter finger receivers and costly back-to-back fumbles by his RB’s cost them the game. I’d still take Winston over Mariota but I’m definitely glad that I get to watch Mariota another week to see if he looks more impressive than what I saw last night.

  39. Alan Bucs Says:

    @bucrightoff: Not a fair assessment of Lovie. To suggest that he only cares about the character of his football players is short sighted.

  40. bucrightoff Says:

    It’s also incredibly accurate. If Andrew Luck were available and he were a committed Satanist and Mariota available with Jesus tagging along, Lovie’s taking Mariota 100 times out of 100.

  41. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    BIG SIR Says
    “If people actually watched the game they would of seen that Winston is clearly more NFL ready. He made NFL type throws on almost every drive.”

    I watched the game. Closely. I saw maybe 6 good plays by Winston. You must have been hallucinating. His passing percentage tells it all. Out of all his incompletions, only about 25% were dropped passes. That means 75% were bad throws.

    Even if he had completed 70% of his passes, it would not matter. His attitude makes him a bad pick.

    AND…that was NOT a pro offense. Last I checked, pro offenses rarely line up 4 WRs on the line. He will have nowhere near the time he took to pass the ball.

    You Winston fans are blind. He’s a bust in waiting.

  42. mikeh Says:

    Winnie Winston is OVERRATED!!!!! great collage career but OVERRATED.

  43. pick6 Says:

    these “antics” everybody is referring to, if philip rivers pulled the same stuff, he’d be praised for his intensity. heck, if mariotta had the same exchange with his coach and the teams were in opposite situations, i know i would be hearing people talk about mariotta showing fieriness and wanting badly to win

  44. pick6 Says:

    whoever comes in next year behind mariotta at OU will be about as productive and probably lead the program to about the same level of contention as long as they continue to recruit beasts at the skill positions and keep their conditioning and offensive system in place. Oregon was competing for titles way before mariotta and they will continue to compete with whatever non-NFL-caliber QBs they cycle through there in the future

  45. Patrickbucs Says:

    All those wide open wr’s won’t be there in the NFL? Watch the Bucs pass defense or the Eagles offense to show you otherwise.

  46. BucNasty!!! Says:

    The bucd defense and chips offense will watch the same thing I’m watching the playoffs from home, o yea so is kaepernick n his style and Russel Wilson has beast mode and the lob