Evaluating Quarterback Prospects, Mitchell Trubisky and DeShaun Watson

Evaluating prospects for the NFL draft should be a humbling undertaking. You are trying to predict something that by its very nature is unpredictable. You can get everything right in what you are saying at the time and still be wrong because something completely unforeseen happens in the player’s career. Sometimes it’s as simple as a great player going to the wrong team, the wrong scheme or the wrong coaching staff.

Yet despite the constant failures that come with being a draft analyst, there are plenty of people who will try to teach you how to scout. As if there is some formula that works perfectly.

Michael Lombardi is one of those people. Recently Lombardi wrote his seven rules to finding a franchise quarterback on the Ringer. The article primarily focuses on mental attributes and the aesthetics. Most of what Lombardi said sounds great until you realize it can’t actually be used to proactively identify franchise quarterbacks. It relies on catchphrases and tries to examine elements of the person rather than the player.

In the NFL we tend to use winning as evidence for everything. The “winner mentality” or “leadership” monikers are fit retroactively based on how successful each quarterback’s team is. No quarterback who plays on losing teams is considered a great leader because we don’t actually evaluate leadership, we evaluate winning and use it as evidence for leadership. It’s why DeShaun Watson is getting this year’s “great leader” tag.

Aaron Rodgers is a leader. His team always makes the playoffs so he’s a leader. It doesn’t matter that former teammates have called him a bad leader once they had departed Wisconsin. Continue reading