This would be a good time to provide that ever-important disclaimer that these stats in no way suggest a reliable pattern to provide an estimate of future results. That's because of a number of variables during preseason that are greatly different from regular season games, not the least of which is the completely varying amount of talent on both sides of the ball at any point of any preseason game. In other words, even the same quarterbacks on the same teams can't be compared together in a fair and responsible way.
So why bother? Well, at some point, you do get enough data to indicate whether a player is struggling or showing promise in the role. It's just got plenty of room for error, so we'll be careful not to get carried away in either direction. Even elite NFL quarterbacks were running vanilla offenses against vanilla defenses.
These were sorted by completion percentage, just to have something to sort the data against. With the quarterbacks often working in new personnel, there is a higher than normal probability that incompletions were possibly the result of the receiver running the wrong route, or dropping the ball.
2014 Rookie Quarterbacks
Here is a look at quarterback draft prospects "of interest" before, during and after the 2014 NFL Draft:
Current, and recently former, quarterbacks for the Houston Texans:
AFC South Quarterbacks
A look across the division to see how things stack up early on:
Three of the Top NFL Quarterbacks
Due to limited snaps for guys like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, this is obviously not a complete list of the traditional "elite" guys. These three just really stood out in preseason against the rest of the league:
"Star Lord, man..."
Here are three guys that popped up in various fan-based conversations throughout preseason as potential quarterbacks the Texans should consider:
Preseason QB Summary
There's really no way to present this data in a way to normalize it by removing the errors outside of the quarterback's control. There's also no sense of a quality standard in the talent surrounding them, or opposing them, from one play to the next. Nonetheless, it was interesting to at least take a snapshot at the end of preseason to see how things were tallied.
Rookies: If you combine this information with the "eye test" of watching these guys play, it would appear that Garoppolo, Carr, Bridgewater and Bortles all look like very strong candidates to be NFL starting quarterbacks sooner rather than later if given the opportunity. That being said, Carr is starting for the Raiders due at least in part to Matt Schaub suffering from tendinitis in his elbow. Manziel struggled a lot, but that's not to say he can't develop at some point. Savage was inconsistent at times, yet showed promise with a strong arm.
Texans: I was mixed on Ryan Mallett. He struggled horribly at times, but then showed that he could potentially be amazing if surrounded with better talent. I can only dream of what his preseason stats would look like if even one of his deep passes were hauled in by those young receivers in New England. Fitzpatrick was much like my golf game--either great or terrible, which is exactly what he has been his entire career. Savage showed himself to be a good developmental candidate with a rifle for an arm.
Former Texans: As many of us noticed, Matt Schaub was struggling for the Raiders throughout the preseason. It's a very sad potential ending to an otherwise stellar career for this former Texans QB. I hope he is allowed a graceful exit and is remembered for his better days leading the league in passing. If you watched any of HBO's "Hard Knocks" show, you got to see T.J. Yates struggle early on before finishing incredibly strong in the final episode. We'll see how things go for Case Keenum up in St. Louis as time passes.
The AFC South: I think Bortles flashed well and will likely start soon for the Jaguars if they struggle with Henne. Andrew Luck has the potential to join the elite ranks some day; we'll see how things progress for the Colts later in the year. Locker doesn't strike me as the long-term guy for the Titans.
Elite is Elite: What can you say? Brady, P. Manning and Wilson all know how to dominate. It's a thing of beauty.
Others: I was VERY impressed with how Cousins and McCoy performed during Washington's preseason games. It looks to me like Jay Gruden is doing some very good things up there with that offense.
Aside from these games being mostly meaningless, what are your thoughts of these stats and what you witnessed in watching preseason games? Which quarterback do you think will be the rock-star of the 2014 NFL Draft Class? Who should the Texans have under center in 2014?