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Pocket passers

One-dimensional quarterbacks face uphill climb

Working on the quarterbacks, I am reminded that I like quarterbacks who can move. You get a quarterback who might run for 600-plus yards and a half dozen touchdowns, and there’s more potential to maybe land something special. There’s a limited ceiling with the guys who need to do it all through the air.

I’m thinking of players like Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr. Aaron Rodgers is one of these guys now. They can’t run at all, making it awfully easy for them to slide down into the teens – even if they’re putting up good passing numbers.

Consider the chart below. It shows quarterbacks from the 32-team era who put up good (but not great) passing numbers but didn’t do much of anything as runners.

Specifically, every quarterback in the list below ranked between 6th and 10th in passing production (using standard scoring), and they all ranked in the bottom 5 in rushing production. (And I’m using per-game stats here, getting out of turning it into an issue of who played and who didn’t).

Most of these guys ended up in the teens.

When drafting this kind of quarterback, you better have a real good feeling about them finishing way up among the passing leaders. (And with Goff and Stafford this year, they perhaps meet that threshold.) Because if they can’t really crank up some stats through the air, you’re probably instead looking at a guy finishing in the teens.

With quarterbacks such as Cousins, Rodgers and Carr, I would think the teens would be the goal when drafting those guys right now.

IMMOBILE POCKET PASSERS
YearPlayerStPassTDPRunTDRPtsRk
2002Brad Johnson, T.B.13234.51.692.3.0019.016
2003Brad Johnson, T.B.16238.21.632.1.0018.712
2004Brett Favre, G.B.16255.51.882.3.0020.88
2004Brian Griese, T.B.10246.81.901.5.0020.110
2005Kurt Warner, Ariz.10271.31.102.8.0018.210
2007Brett Favre, G.B.16259.71.75.8.0020.18
2007Carson Palmer, Cin.16258.21.63.6.0019.510
2009Kurt Warner, Ariz.15250.21.73.7.0019.513
2010Matt Schaub, Hou.16273.11.501.8.0020.014
2011Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.15271.81.404.7.0019.716
2014Tony Romo, Dall.15247.02.274.1.0021.812
2014Tom Brady, N.E.16256.82.063.6.0021.415
2015Philip Rivers, S.D.16299.51.811.8.0022.713
2016Philip Rivers, S.D.16274.12.062.2.0022.28
2016Carson Palmer, Ariz.15282.21.732.5.0021.415
2018Philip Rivers, LAC16269.32.00.4.0022.017
2019Philip Rivers, LAC16288.41.441.8.0020.520
2020Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.15253.52.20.7.0021.816
2022Jared Goff, Det.17261.11.714.3.0020.515
2022Tom Brady, T.B.17276.11.47-.1.0620.316
2023Matthew Stafford, LAR15264.31.604.3.0020.315

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index