Quarterback Padawans Revisited Following Preseason week Four

(This article is constantly being updated the week of the cut-down to 53 as rosters and practice squads are still fluid).

We revisit the rookie and second year quarterbacks to see who has excelled for the full preseason. The previous week raking is shown in parenthesis following the name (NR=Not ranked, HM=Honorable Mention). There are now 14 up from 12 as more quarterbacks were introduced in week four. I list the top 33%.

The Top Fourteen

1 ) Steeler Joshua Dobbs (1) finished the preseason in game four going 8 of 12 for 151 yards, one passing touchdown, three rushing attempts for 18 yards and an additional rushing touchdown. He had one fumble. Dobbs had the best preseason quarterback rating of all Steeler quarterbacks. I would not be surprised if the Steelers cut or trade Landry Jones and keep Roethlisberger, Dobbs and third rounder Mason Rudolph on the 53 man roster.

2) Buffalo Nathan Peterman (2) did not play in game four. His preseason passer rating of 124.7 was fifth best in the league. He was tied for third most passing plays of 20+ yards (8). Peterman led the league in preseason completion percentage (80.5% on 41 attempts).  He is listed on the Bills depth chart as 1st string with AJ McCarron. It looks like Peterman should be the day one starter.

3) Colt Phillip Walker (3)  had the highest preseason passer rating among the Colts quarterbacks (101.2 with 49 passing attempts). In the week four game he was 19 of 31 for 263 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran four times for 20 yards and lost one fumble. He is currently QB3 on the depth chart behind Luck and Jacoby Brissett. I would not be surprised if the Colts kept all three on their 53 man roster.

4) Chief Patrick Mahomes (5) finished the preseason with a 72% completion percentage and a 103.5 passer rating. Both best among Chiefs quarterbacks. Mahomes is the Chiefs starter.

5) Bronco Chad Kelly (4) has beaten out Paxton Lynch to secure the quarterback backup spot. This as announced by coach Vance Joseph and confirmed by John Elway. Kelly had the best passer rating (92.8) and completion percentage (66.7%) among Bronco quarterbacks in the preseason.

6) Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (NR) will most likely be QB3 on the 53 man roster. The Saints traded for Teddy Bridgewater. Hill plays a valuable role on special teams. Saints quarterback coach Joe Lombardi before the trade – “I think he’s (Hill) going to be on special teams regardless,” . Hill’s preseason stats include a 73.5% completion percentage on 49 attempts, five passes of 20+ yards and a 90.9 passer rating.

7) Chief Chase Litton (7) for the preseason was 24 of 41 for 299 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions. He was 39% on pass plays 1st down conversion, had 3 pass plays of 20+ yards and had a passer rating of 89.4. Litton is fourth on the Chiefs current depth chart for quarterback. However he is third in preseason passer rating pushing Matt McGloin for a third quarterback spot.

8) Packer DeShone Kizer (9) looks to maintain the backup role as he finished with the second best preseason passer rating on the Packers trailing Aaron Rodgers. Kizer had four passes of 20+ yards in the preseason with two being for 40+ yards. He had three touchdowns and one interception.

9) Brown’s Baker Mayfield (10) started off very strong week one making the number one spot. While he didn’t continue that outstanding performance he was in the top 10 every week.He finishes the preseason at number 9, tops among the 2018 round 1 quarterbacks and only second to Mahomes for round 1 picks in the last two drafts. Mayfield had a league high 10 preseason passes of 20+ yards.

10) Brown’s Brogan Roback (NR)had a nice week four game going 7 of 14 for 130 yards and one touchdown.  His preseason passer rating was 97.5.  Roback was cut by the Browns on Friday August 31st in a first pass at trimming the roster.

11) Steeler Mason Rudolph  (NR) went 5 of 9 for 102 yards and two touchdowns  and a 135 passer rating in the week four game. He had four passes of 20+ yards in the preseason and had a 90.6 passer rating for the preseason. If the Steelers do not want to risk a third round draft pick on the practice squad they may wind up cutting Jarvis Landry and keeping Dobbs and Rudolph on teh 53 man roster.

12) Viking Kyle Sloter (11) had a 114  preseason passer rating on 56 attempts which ranked eight.1 passer rating. h in the league and tops among Viking quarterbacks. He also had a 73.2% completion percentage, four touchdowns and zero interceptions for the preseason. He could challenge Trevor Siemian for the backup quarterback role behind Kirk Cousins.

13) Panther Kyle Allen (NR) finally got to play in week four and he made the most of it. He was 25 of 36 for 250 yards, one touchdown and a 98.1 passer rating. He is currently fourth on the Panthers depth chart. The competition between Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke and Garrett Gilbert is a close one.

14) Seahawk Alex McGough (8) had six passes of 20+ yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the preseason. McGough was in the top 12 padawans for each of the last three weeks. Brett Hundley was traded in as the backup quarterback. It is a close competition between McGough and Austin Davis for a third quarterback spot or McGough could go on practice squad.  In college McGough was a four year starter at FIU and only missed 3 games due to injury. Alex holds multiple FIU passing and total offense records.

Most Improved

From week one preseason to the final game which players showed the biggest improvement.

Chief Patrick Mahomes started off slow in week one completing 5 of 7 passes for an average of 4.7 yards per attempt and 6.6 yards per completion.  He had zero touchdowns and zero passing plays of 20+ yards. Only 29% of his passing plays went for a 1st down and his passer rating was 81. By week four his cumulative stats were he had completed 31 of 43 with an  average of 8.5 yards per attempt and 11.8 yards per completion. Now 37% of his passing plays were for a 1st down. He had two touchdowns, three passing plays of 20+ yards and a passer rating of 103.5.

In week one Raven Lamar Jackson had a 39% completion percentage on 28 attempts. He averaged 5.4 yards per pass attempt and 13.8 yards per completion. He had one touchdown with one interception, a 21% first down conversion rate on passing plays, three passing plays of 20+ yards and a passer rating of 54.5. His week four cumulative stats included a 50% completion percentage on 68 attempts, a 6.0 yards per pass attempt average and 12 yards per completion. He had three passing touchdowns to one interception, a 25% 1st down conversion rate and six passing plays of 20+ yards. His passer rating was 77.3.

In week one Joshua Dobbs completed 9 of 13 passes (69%) for an average of 7 yards per attempt and 10 yards per completion. He had one touchdown to one interception, he converted 31% of his passing attempts to first down.  He had one pass play of 20+ yards and a passer rating of 82.5. By week four his cumulative stats were he completed 29 of 43 attempts (67%) with an average of 10 yards per attempt and 15 yards per completion. He had four touchdowns to two interceptions, he converted 40% of his passing attempts to first downs, he had eight passing plays of 20+ yards and a passer rating of 112.

Under Performing Expectations

Which young quarterbacks that had high expectations have not played up to those expectations in the preseason.

Texan Deshaun Watson has made 9 completions on a total of 15 attempts for a 60% completion percentage.  He has averaged 6.1 yards per attempt and 10.2 yards per completion. He has one touchdown to one interception. Thirty three percent of his passing attempts go for a first down. He has two passing plays of 20+ yards and zero of 40+ yards. His passer rating is 72.1.

Bear Mitchell Trubisky has completed 11 of 18 attempts (61%) with an average of 5.2 yards per attempt and 8.5 yards per completion. Twenty-two percent of his pass attempts go for a first down. He has one touchdown to one interception. Trubisky has zero passing plays of 20+ yards. His passer rating is 70.1.

Most Regressed

Which young quarterbacks started off good in week one but by the end of the preseason their cumulative production had regressed.

Cowboy Cooper Rush started week one 15 of 23 (65.2%) with a 6.3 average yards per attempt and 9.7 average yards per completion. He converted 34.8% of his pass attempts for 1st down and had one touchdown to zero interceptions. He had 1 passing play of 20+ yards and a 97.2 passer rating. His cumulative stats by week four included being 46 of 74 (62.2%) with a 4.8 yard average per attempt and a 7.8 average per completion. Cooper had one touchdown to four interceptions. He was converting 23% of his passing attempts to first downs. He still only had the one passing play of 20+ yards and his passer rating was 56.

Titan Luke Falk started week one as 10 of 19 (52.6%) with a 5.5 yards per pass attempt and a 10.5 yards per pass completion. He had one touchdown to zero interceptions. Twenty-six percent of his passing attempts were for a first down. He had one passing play of 20+ yards and a 86.5 passer rating. By week four his cumulative stats include being 32 of 58 (55.2%) with a 5.1 yards per pass attempt average and a 9.3 yards per completion average. He still only had the one touchdown but added one interception. Twenty-five point nine percent of his passing attempts made a first down. He had three passing plays of 20+ yards and a passer rating of 67.9.

Packer Tim Boyle started week one as 7 of 15 (46.7%) with an 8.7 yards per attempt average and 18.6 yards per completion average. He had two touchdowns with zero interceptions. One third of his pass attempts made first down. He had two pass plays of 20+ yards with one for 40+ yards. His passer rating was 116.7. By week four his cumulative stats included 26 of 53 (49.1%) with a 5.5 yards per attempt average and a 11.3 yards per completion average. He now had three touchdowns to two interceptions. Twenty eight percent of his pass attempts made first down. He now had four pass plays of 20+ yards with still only the one of 40+ yards. His passer rating was was 69.2.

But What About ….

Who are the quarterbacks that we expected to see more of in this series but did not appear much? What happened with them?  They did okay. They did not do bad and therefore were not highlighted. However they did not either excel.

Cardinal Josh Rosen has a cumulative 55% completion percentage, a 5.1 yards per attempt average, a 9.3 yards per completion average, 31% of his passing attempts go for a 1st down, he has two passing plays of 20+ yards and zero of 40+ yards, he has one touchdown to zero interceptions and an 80.8 passer rating all on 29 passing attempts. Except for the touchdowns to interceptions nothing else stands out as excelling. Even the touchdowns is low compared to other padawans.

Jet Sam Darnold was 29 of 45 (64.4%) with a 5.4 yard average per attempt and a 8.4 yard average per completion. He had two touchdowns to one interception and one third of his pass attempts went for a first down. He had no pass plays of 20+ yards and had a passer rating of 83.9. Of the top fourteen padawans all had at least three pass plays of 20+ yards except for Kyle Allen. Allen at least had a 6.6 yard average per attempt and a 10 yard average per completion. I would expect a “franchise” quarterback to push the ball more downfield.

Buffalo Bill Josh Allen was 24 of 44 (54.5%) with an average of 4.8 yards per attempt and 8.8 yards per completion. He had two touchdowns to zero interceptions and 20.5% of his pass attempts made a first down. He had three pass plays of 20+ yards and was sacked seven times. His passer rating was 82.6. The only statistic that stands out is the two touchdowns to zero interceptions. Otherwise everything else is just okay.

And the Cuts Begin

The following quarterback padawans had been cut in the process of reducing rosters to the required 53. I will update this list as the cuts progress.

  • Brad Kaaya – Had only four pass attempts in the 2018 preseason. He was waived-injured. (Colts)
  • John Wolford – a late addition to the Jets most likely just to fill in for week four. (Jets)
  • Brogan Roback – one of the top fourteen of the preseason. His completion percentage was only 50% on 18 attempts. But he had a 97.5 passer rating and a padawan high 16.9 yards per completion. Roback was competing against Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield and recent veteran free agent signing Drew Stanton for a roster spot. (Browns)
  • Peter Pujals – only saw playing time in week four (Vikings)
  • Jack Heneghan – only saw playing time in week four (49ers)
  • Austin Allen – on 19 attempts finished with a 37% completion rate and a 15.4 passer rating (Buccaneers)
  • Kurt Benkert – had only a 44% completion percentage and a 35 passer rating on 64 attempts Benkert had zero touchdowns to four interceptions. (Falcons)
  • Tanner Lee – had a 50% completion percentage on 30 attempts (Jaguars)
  • Garrett Grayson – had a 37% completion percentage and a 47 passer rating on 19 attempts. (Falcons)57.6% completion percentage on
  • Kyle Allen – a top fourteen padawan. Allen had a 65.8% completion rate on 38 attempts and a 93.1 passer rating. Allen had a shot competing against Garrett Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke for a backup role behind Cam Newton. (Panthers)
  • Phillip Walker – a top fourteen padawan. Walker had the highest preseason passer rating among Colts quarterbacks (101.2). He had a respectable 61% completion percentage on 49 attempts. Walker could push the ball downfield having eight pass plays of 20+ yards, a 9.1 average yards per attempt and a 14.9 average yards per completion. The 14.9 was third best among the padawans. Walker competed against Jacoby Brissett for Andrew Luck’s backup. (Colts)
  • Garrett Gilbert – had a 57.6 completion percentage on 33 attempts and a 93.6 passer rating. Though he started out strong in the preseason the other padawans passed him by in their performance statistics. (Panthers)
  • Luke Falk – had a 55% completion percentage on 58 attempts and a 68% passer rating. He averaged 5.1 yards per attempt and 9.3 yards per completion. He was sacked seven times, had one touchdown and one interception. (Titans)
  • Danny Etling – had only a 53% completion percentage on 38 attempts and a 52 passer rating. He had one touchdown to two interceptions. Etling averaged 4.7 yards per pass attempt and 8.9 yards per completion. He had only one pass of 20+ yards and had a 21% first down conversion rate on pass attempts. (Patriots)
  • Nic Shimonek – had a 65% completion percentage on 20 attempts and a 72.9 passer rating. Shimonek averaged 4 yards per attempt and 6.2 yards per completion. He had zero touchdowns ad zero interceptions. Only 15% of his pass attempts made first down. He had zero pass plays of 20+ yards. (Chargers)
  • Logan Woodside – had a 56% completion percentage on 18 attempts with an average 5.6 yards per attempt and 10 yards per completion. He had zero touchdowns with zero interceptions and 22% of his attempts made a first down. He had a passer rating of 71.5 and had 2 passes of 20+ yards. (Bengals)
  • JT Barrett – had 55% completion percentage on 11 attempts with an average 5.7 yards per attempt and 10.5 yards per completion. He had zero touchdowns to one interception and zero pass plays of 20+ yards. His passer rating was 33.5.
  • Chase Litton – was a top fourteen padawan. He had a 58.5% completion percentage on 41 attempts with an average 7.3 yards per attempt and 12.5 yards per completion. Thirty-nine percent of his pass attempts made a first down and he had a passer rating of 89.4.  Litton had one touchdown with zero interceptions. He had three passes of 20+ yards with two going 40+ yards. Litton was competing with Chad Henne and Matt McGloin as Mahomes backup. (Chiefs)
  • Luis Perez – played only in week four. He had a 53% completion percentage on 15 attempts with an average 2.9 yards per attempt and 5.4 yards per completion. He had zero touchdowns with one interception and a passer rating of 31.2. (Rams)
  • Chad Kanoff – had a 41.7% completion percentage on 36 attempts with an average 4.9 yards per attempt and 11.9 yards per completion. A quarter of his pass attempts got a first down and he had one touchdown with zero interceptions. He had 2 passes of 20+ yards with one for 40+ yards. His passer rating was 66.7. (Cardinals)
  • Alex McGough – made the top 14 padawans. He had a 58% completion percentage on 62 attempts with an average of 6.7 yards per attempt and 11.6 yards per completion. McGough had three touchdowns to one interception and 26% of his pass attempts made first down. He had six passes of 20+ yards and a passer rating of 87.8. McGough had to compete against new free agent veteran signing Brett Hundley and Austin Davis for the backup role.
  • Davis Webb – had a 53% completion percentage on 53 attempts with an average 5.3 yards per attempt and 10.1 yards per completion. He had one touchdown, zero interceptions and 26% of his pass attempts made first down. He had three passes of 20+ yards with two going 40+ yards.

Other Padawans Making a 53 Man Roster

As of the latest update nine of the top fourteen padawans have made the 53-man rosters of their teams.  An additional four of the top fourteen have made practice squads. That leaves only one of the top fourteen as free agents (Brogan Roback). After the top fourteen here are the other padawans on a roster in order of their preseason performance starting after the top ten. The order is from better to worse. The padawans cut are not shown.

11) Lamar Jackson (Ravens)

12) CJ Beathard (49ers)

13) Sam Darnold (Jets)

14) Josh Allen (Bills)

15) Josh Rosen (Cardinals)

16) Tim Boyle (Packers)

17) Mike White (Cowboys)

18) DeShaun Watson (Texans)

19) Mitchell Trubisky (Bears)

20) Cooper Rush (Cowboys)

21) Kyle Lauletta (Giants)

And After Waivers

Luke Falk (cut by Titans) was claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins. He is now on a a roster that carries three other quarterbacks – Brock Osweiler and David Fales backing up Ryan Tannehill.

Kurt Benkert (cut by Falcons) cleared waivers and was added to the Falcons practice squad.

Danny Etling (cut by Patriots) cleared waivers and was added to the Patriots practice squad.

Chad Kanoff (cut by Cardinals) cleared waivers and was added to the Cardinals practice squad.

Chase Litton (cut by Chiefs) cleared waivers and was added to the Chiefs practice squad.

Tanner Lee (cut by the Jaguars) cleared waivers and was added to the Jaguars Practice Squad.

Logan Woodside (cut by the Bengals) cleared waivers and was signed by the Titans to their Practice Squad.

Davis Webb (cut by Giants) cleared waivers and was signed to the Jets Practice Squad.

Alex McGough (cut by Seahawks) cleared waivers and was signed to  the Seahawks Practice Squad.

Brad Kaaya (cut by Colts) cleared waivers and signed to Colts Injured/Reserve.

Phillip Walker (cut by Colts) and signed to Colts Practice Squad.

Padawans Currently as Free Agents

The following eleven padawans are from the forty-two originally on rosters that are now free agents.

Brogan Roback (cut by Browns)

Garrett Gilbert (cut by Panthers)

Jack Heneghan (cut by 49ers)

Austen Allen (cut by Buccaneers)

Garrett Grayson (cut by Falcons)

Peter Pujals (cut by Vikings)

John Wolford (cut by Jets)

Nic Shimonek (cut by Chargers, Redskins)

Kyle Allen (cut by Panthers)

Luis Perez (cut by Rams)

JT Barrett (cut by Saints)

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