QB metrics updated based on Wonderlics - Bombs Away

R. C. Fisher at Fantasy Football Metrics has written a very interesting article that includes the newly exposed Wonderlic results.  I have been following and reporting his progress for our members here for quite awhile, with mixed reviews.  Some people, like myself, are fascinated by the awesome potential of Fischer's complicated algorithm.  Others are extremely skeptical, in that the game of football holds too many variables for any "projection model" to be worth considering.  Others just seem to have a "meh" view of the whole concept.  The tool has been described here as being "too broad," a term I have trouble understanding.   I'm not selling anything here, just reporting the news.  However, I would encourage you all to at least read through the Updated QB Rankings.

As per usual, I will post what I believe to be interesting exerpts below.

Stanzi, Dalton, Mallett, Ponder score above the magic mark; Newton and Locker go to "bust-land"

Chris Mortensen "ho-hum-ly" tweeted 6 of the main 2011 QB's Wonderlic scores today...and then asked "what does it mean?".

What does it mean? What does it mean! You have to be overlooking the reality of how the modern day NFL personnel departments operate, and also overlook how modern day businesses use these type of tests to evaluate talent and then also overlook the history on the Wonderlic scores related to subsequent QB performance over the past 5-10 years -- overlook all of that to then ask "what does it mean"?

The company I work for contracts with a testing company, and all applicants for jobs above a certain pay grade are required to complete a test before interviews are scheduled.  The test is exhausting to take, expecially back before the online version came out.  Essentially, though, it's a long series of questions that are designed to determine where an individual fits regarding various traits; such as cautiousness, congeniality, analytical thinking, etc.  Each applicant is rated on a scale by category, then compared to a database that determines their suitability for the specific job.  On a couple of occasions, I have recommended hiring people I thought interviewed well, despite not being recommended based on their test results.  Each time, I soon regretted the decision.

Quick Wonderlic factoids, trends:

  • No Super Bowl Champion has been led by a QB with a Wonderlic score below 24, since 2000 (Trent Dilfer)

  • 88% of teams with a winning record in the NFL, in the past 2 seasons, have been led by a QB with a Wonderlic score of 25+ (of the known scores)

  • The best NFL performing QB with a Wonderlic score of 24 and under, drafted in the past 10 years, is (your choice) of Michael Vick, David Carr, Vince Young or Jason Campbell

  • None of the elite QBs of today (Brady, Brees, Manning, Rivers, Roethlisberger, etc) have scored below a 25 on the Wonderlic

Wonderlics would seem to matter, unless the 4 bullet points above are just coincidence.

For those that have been following the series of work on our mathematical formula and statistical analysis to attempt to project college QBs to the NFL, you know that the Wonderlic test score is a fundamental part of our equation/consideration. With the leaking of many of these scores today, we have one major change to the ratings...according to our system ratings now -- Cam Newton will not be a potential elite QB and has moved into the more probable NFL "bust" QB category. With these updated Wonderlic scores, our QB "Big Board" looks like:

  1. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa (overall score in our algorithm points to possible elite) NFL Draft Picks 2011 - Ricky Stanzi the Best QB in the 2011 NFL Draft? - Fantasy Football 2011

  2. Christian Ponder, Florida State (if no injury issues considered, just results based) NFL Draft 2011 - Christian Ponder - Fantasy Football 2011

  3. Andy Dalton, TCU (overall ratings projects him to good, possible great) NFL Draft 2011 - Andy Dalton - Fantasy Football 2011

  4. Pat Devlin, Delaware (still evaluating, but so far above the NFL "good" cutline)

How can this be?  Newton a projected "bust" and Gabbert nowhere to be found.  Wait, there he is in the list below...

Christian Ponder with injury issues, is an issue -- so you will also see Ponder below.  Pat Devlin, we are still verifying data on and have some incomplete/unknown data on that we can only assume...but as of now he is rating there. Every 2011 QB listed below, has a rating that dictates that they cannot be a future NFL elite QB. Some of them project to be good, but bust possibilities loom. Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick project as almost guaranteed NFL busts according to our mathematical evaluations. The group we have as non-future NFL elite possibility QBs, in order from best to worst:

  1. Greg McElroy, Alabama (still evaluating, but so far)

  2. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas NFL Draft Picks 2011 - Ryan Mallett Weak in the Bigger Tests - Fantasy Football 2011

  3. TJ Yates, UNC (still evaluating, but so far)

  4. Christian Ponder, Florida State (with injury issues)

  5. Cam Newton, Auburn NFL Draft 2011 - Cam Newton - Fantasy Football 2011

  6. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri NFL Draft Picks 2011 - Gabbert - Fantasy Football 2011

  7. Jake Locker, Washington NFL Draft Picks 2011 - Jake Locker - Fantasy Football 2011

  8. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada  http://fantasyfootballmetrics.com/Player_News/2011/NFL Draft/Player_News/2011/NFL Draft/Draft_2011_Kaepernick_2-28-11_1.0.htm

  9. **Chris Dieker, Adam Froman, Nathan Enderle, Taylor Potts (under evaluation)

I know these lists looks crazy...almost as if we took the current media reports and turned them upside down. This is not based on personal preference or a hunch, it's based on a statistical model that (see research report link above for fascinating details!) has had a 70-80% predictability for the future good/great QBs, as well as the same for predicting a 70-80% probability on future mediocre/bust QBs.

No current day elite QB wound up on the "bad" list in our system analysis. Alex Smith and Byron Leftwich did make the possible NFL elite list, and obviously aren't. All we are saying is...if you score above a certain level in our system, that is where the future elite QB's currently in the NFL (Brady, Manning, etc) scored at in college. Only Ricky Stanzi has scored in the possible elite range for the 2011 QBs.

 Ponder, what a name.  I guess that's why he's on both lists.

I think the Draft may turn against the current "big name" QBs (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallett). Newton and Locker are in huge trouble already. As an NFL team/business, why risk a high pick (and a ton of money) on a questionable Gabbert or Mallett, when you can wait and get (to us, and I think to a growing amount of NFL teams) just as questionable at worst, but better at best -- Stanzi, or Dalton, or Ponder?

There is so much "hot air" coming out about Carolina about taking Blaine Gabbert, oh no wait... now taking Cam Newton (this week) -- the Panthers are screaming to the world that they are trying to bluff the NFL world, to get a team to move up and grab the Panthers overall #1, luring out a team lusting to take one of Gabbert or Newton. I would almost guarantee, either that pick gets traded or they don't take a QB with the #1. The Panthers don't want Gabbert or Newton early; and I think that list of NFL teams is growing.

I also believe so many teams are counting on drafting Ricky Stanzi or Andy Dalton (and possibly Christian Ponder, if not for the injury issues) in the 2nd Round or 3rd Round, that an odd phenomena is going to happen.

"Hot Air" coming out of Carolina about Newton and Gabbert.  I know you not talking 'bout us /sarcasm.

I find this next part very disconcerting, as Fischer predicts drastic change in the draft landscape before D-Day.  If what he says actually transpires, we could be royally screwed; and almost as bad, New England could get Brady 2.0.  It's time to pray, people.

Scenario 1) Gabbert and Mallett draft stock begins to fall, as teams realize they don't need to waste a high/expensive pick on that risk...when Stanzi, Dalton, Ponder are going to be available in the early 2nd Round. Teams start to realize this and an odd run on Stanzi, and/or Dalton, and/or Ponder could occur in the late 1st Round; out of fear that suddenly they realize that many teams have the same thought process. "Smart" teams (who are good and therefore have the later round picks) will realize their "hidden gem" QB, they have been trying to keep quiet, isn't going to be there in the late 2nd Round and they may have to play a draft card earlier than they wanted.

Bill Belichick has 3 of the first 33 picks in this years draft. Ricky Stanzi is working out with Tom Brady's QB coach (some say Brady's QB "guru"), Tom Martinez. We maintain our algorithm pegs Ricky Stanzi as the next Tom Brady-like QB, a possible future elite. With so many picks and a possible Brady 2.0 in his midst, I would call Belichick the favorite for drafting Stanzi...as high as at #28 overall. I predict Stanzi, but it is possible that Dalton or Ponder could be on his radar as well, but the Stanzi thing just fits too perfect. Bill Belichick is not afraid to make a bold pick, we all know that. That "surprise" QB move will start a wildfire of many teams having to decide to take, "now or later", between whomever is leftover after one of Stanzi, Dalton, Ponder goes earlier than expected. Don't be shocked if both Stanzi and Dalton are 1st Round picks, and Newton, Locker and Mallett are not.

Scenario 2) Gabbert, Mallett and maybe even Newton get snatched up quickly in the 1st Round by the "questionable" QB decision making teams (OAK, CINN, TENN...maybe MINN, SEA, DEN, MIA as well). If they are all taken, the "Big-3" are off the board quick; and assuming/knowing there is hidden "lust" for Stanzi, Dalton, Ponder...there could be a stampede after them. "Smart" teams drafting in the late 1st Round, now have to worry if a group of teams in need that can be smart (ARI, CLE, SF) are going to take Stanzi, Dalton, Ponder in the early 2nd Round now. The big-time "smarter" teams like NE, PHI, PITT are watching this develop and have a choice to make (if you accept my premise at all)..."how can we pass up a potential future elite QB in late Round-1 now, if they won't be there by the time we pick again in the 2nd"? Only Bill Belichick doesn't have to worry about that, he has 4 of the first 60 picks. This scenario may start a "shock" run on Stanzi, Dalton and maybe Ponder in the late 1st Round.

Aaaaarrrgghhh!!!!!  Every time we try to kick the ball, Lucy Van Pelt ... well you know. 

If you think this is crazy talk, ask yourself why do you think that? If you answer is, "well, I haven't heard anyone else talking about this" -- free your mind, consider the possibilities! Were you swallowing Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn as Top-5 picks? Because they were just that on Mock Drafts around this time in their draft seasons -- and what ultimately happened? What did you know or think about Joe Flacco or Kevin Kolb before they flew up the Mock boards towards the end, and then went higher than expected? 

Sit back and enjoy the next few weeks, as one of the best QB draft soap operas we will have been privilege to witness is about to occur. The world's greatest "poker game" is getting ready to kick into high gear.

Ummm... no comment.

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