Early look: The Draft versus Gabbert and Kaepernick

There’s a seemingly weak draft class in recent memory for quarterback this season outside the guy who I feel is the consensus best QB of the draft, Jared Goff.

Jared Goff has put up amazing numbers. 64.5% Completion rate. 4,719 passing yards. 43 TDs. 13 Ints. 161.3 QB Rating. He was sacked 26 times this season.

His resume includes games versus teams that are above the league averages in yards per play or points allowed. These teams include Texas, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, San Diego State, and Utah.

Those teams posted above the league average of 5.67 yards per play and and 28.65 points per game.

Stat lines for those games

San Diego State (7th ranked defense)- 17-24, 321 yards, 3 tds, 1 Int in a win

Texas – 27-37 268 yards, 3 tds in a win

Washington – 24-40, 342 yards in a win

Utah – 25-47, 2 tds. 5 Int in a loss. His worst qb rating at 106.7

UCLA – 32-53, 295 yards, 3 tds in a loss

Stanford – 37-54, 386 yards, 2 tds in a loss

He eclipsed 350+ yards in 2 games, 400+ yards in 2 other games, and 500+ yards in one other game.

If he were drafted a year earlier, his stats versus Mariota and Winston would be

+265 yards, +1td, -9 ints – Mariota

+812 yards, +18 tds, +5 ints – Winston

Jared Goff would be in a battle for draft position with those two who went 1st and 2nd overall.

Paxton Lynch

He was lighting up scoreboards at first and finished with a 28 td, 4 int season with 3778 yards passing.

However, he did this against less than stellar defenses that fall below the NCAA average.

Teams like Bowling Green, Kansas, Cincinatti, Tulsa, Tulane, Temple, SMU.

His games against Navy, Mississippi, Temple, Houston, and Auburn were the only games against notable defenses.

Navy – 26-42, 305 yards, 1 td 1 int in a loss

Mississippi – 39-53, 384 yards. 3 td 1 int in a win

Temple – 25-34, 156 yards 0 tds, 0 int in a loss

Houston – 20-31, 278 yards, 2 tds 1 loss

Auburn – 16-37 108 yards 0 tds, 1 int in a loss.

He has lost every game except one to teams with an above average defense and even failed to score or reach 200 yards passing in two of those games.

His intrigue is his towering prototypical QB frame of 6-6, 230 lbs. If the 49ers draft Paxton Lynch, he is a Blake Bortles or Brock Osweiler type of project and will need to sit back and learn before he takes the reigns. Worth a 2nd round look. Isn’t the 1st round value he is being represented as. If he thrives, he is worth the risk. But there are many other players that can give you immediate impact. Paxton Lynch is a 2nd or 3rd round steal; 1st round gamble.

Connor Cook

Connor has the tools to be an above average or elite quarterback. Great touch, and fast reads in his system.

Also, put Michigan State on the map during his career and led the Spartans to a CFP berth.

His stats this year are 3131 yards, 24 tds, and 7 interceptions. He accomplished this while playing defenses like Michigan (6th ranked defense), Penn State, Air Force, Central Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Alabama (1st ranked)

Best game against those teams was against Nebraska with a 23-37, 335 yard 4 tds and 1 interception performance

Worst game was against Alabama. 19-39, 210 yards, 0 tds 2 interceptions.

In comparison to Goff, Cook underplayed Goff in head to head stats against Air Force. Goff beating Cook by 2 tds and 220 yards.

 Connor Cook was the preseason ranked #1 quarterback and I still place high value in Connor Cook. Cook may have seen his stock drop and might be looking at a mid to late 1st round grade. Unless Lynch has a better combine and pro day, I can see Cook being the better pick up front. Lynch has more upside, but Cook has the tools to be a force in the league.

Christian Hackenberg

They were hoping he would improve as this guy was the #1 ranked QB when he was sought after in high school. They hoped that better decision making would lead to less sacks and more production. Unfortunately, his sacks only decreased by 6 and interceptions increased by 6. He found a decrease in accuracy and production.

Hackenberg has the skills to be a career backup or mid-level journeyman. Not worth his projected 2nd round grade.

Dak Prescott

How about a guy that just keeps improving and that’s difficult to do in a conference like the SEC.

He has numbers like 3793 yards, 29 tds, 5 interceptions against Alabama (1st),  Missouri (5th), Northwestern (12th), LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M, Louisisana Tech, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina State, Southern Mississippi and Troy.

He played every game against above average defenses.

Why is Dak Prescott being overlooked? He is currently ranked on CBS sports as the 81st overall player and the 6th best quarterback in the draft. Could be his size as being one of the shorter quarterbacks in the draft at 6-2, 230 pounds. Could be his desire to pass to back shoulder routes early and often. With a year of sitting out, Dak Prescott will be a beast in the NFL.

I would be willing to put a 2nd round grade on Dak Prescott. He is currently projected at late 2nd – mid 3rd round.

The draft field versus Gabbert or Kaepernick

College Gabbert or College Kaepernick didn’t have the kind of seasons that Goff, Cook, or Prescott had and I believe that either of the three mentioned will have a better stat line than either of the 49er quarterbacks in their first full year as NFL quarterbacks.

Conclusion

The Niners will not be able to draft Goff at 7th overall unless we trade up which hasn’t been done since moving up to get Eric Reid.

Look for the Niners to draft Prescott in the 2nd or 3rd. or take a chance on guys like Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, or Cardale Jones in later rounds.

The Niners will draft a quarterback this year unless they decide to open the door back up on Colin Kaepernick. The question is where do they draft a quarterback.

This draft is riding on Trent Baalke and Trent Baalke is riding on this draft. Make it a good one.

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