- Apr 11, 2009
- Reaction score
- Greensboro, NC
It seems inevitable that the Redskins will select a young QB in the 2019 draft. Alex Smith's future hangs by a thread. The only certainty is that he will not suit up in 2019. That leaves the Skins with an unproven and injury prone Colt McCoy, and...well...some other guys. With Jay Gruden's job on the line, and the Redskins fanbase mired in doom and gloom, drafting a youngster to lead the way in the future seems like an imperative.
And don't believe the pundits. This is a great year to do so. While it's true that many of the marquee talents at QB may not be available in this draft, don't be mistaken. There is talent to be had. And in a rare scenario, most of the teams drafting ahead of the Washington Redskins in Round 1 are seemingly set at the most important position on the roster. The Redskins have two choices. Draft one of a handful of more highly touted stars with their first pick, or try and beat the Vegas odds by picking up that hidden gem in later rounds.
Our first pre-draft QB battle is a perfect matchup of two such choices as we compare projected first round pick Duke's Daniel Jones to a far less heralded QB in Boise State's Brett Rypien. Let's take a look at the measureables and some draft profile projections before the bell rings and we get down to the nitty gritty.
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 220 lbs
Career Passing Yards (3 seasons): 8,201 (2,734/season)
Career Completion %: 59.9%
Career Yards/Attempt: 6.4
Career TDs: 52
Career INTs: 29
Career Rushing Yards: 1,323
Career QB Rating: 122.9
Conventional Wisdom: Many scouts and NFL evaluators LOVE Daniel Jones. He's got a prototypical NFL build, has a 'high ceiling' in terms of potential, and has a big arm. In the short game, he is outstanding and excels at carving up defenses, especially against the zone, from 10 yds in. Jones is quite athletic. Steps into throws consistently and has very good mechanics. A natural athlete, he consistently beat blitzing defenders with his feet and overall elusiveness in college. Jones is a durable and tough QB. Although he did suffer a broken collarbone in 2018, he was back practicing within 9 days of surgery, and missed just two games. Jones has good touch on his passes (he talks about this being a strength) but can also launch balls the distance when necessary. Finally, Jones is considered a smart QB, perhaps not a surprise for a Duke QB, who knows his own game well and generally avoids mistakes. Bottom line when it comes to strengths for Daniel Jones? He's a big, strong, smart athletic QB who has great feet, can throw the ball a mile, and no doubt will go in the first round. In start contrast to our next prospect, Jones can beat you with his feet, as evidenced by his impressive 1300+ yds on the ground during his Duke career.
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 202 lbs
Career Passing Yards (4 seasons): 13,578 (3,395/season)
Career Completion %: 64%
Career Yards/Attempt: 8.4
Career TDs: 90
Career INTs: 29
Career Rushing Yards: (-) 102
Career QB Rating: 149.3
Conventional Wisdom: Rypien, as a 4 year starter at Boise State, showed himself to be a highly productive and reliable pocket passer. He threw with great precision and touch, be it short passes or on deep routes. His touch on deep balls was particularly impressive. Rypien was very accurate throughout his college career, completing more than 60% of his passes in each of his 4 seasons, including hitting on 67.3% of his passes in his senior season. Rypien rarely made poor throws, tossing no more than 8 interceptions in a season during his entire tenure as starter, a pretty impressive accomplishment given more than 1000 career attempts. Rypien has received a lot of praise for his ability to read through full progressions and make good decisions, bringing some to call him one of the most 'pro ready' of the 2019 QB draft class. Rypien is not an elite athlete and his arm strength is considered just average. In shocking contrast to Jones, Rypien had negative career yards as a rusher during his 4 year tenure. Showed a willingness to stand in and take hits (could be a strength or liability). Rypien is tough and durable, and plays within his skillset, rarely making mistakes throwing the ball. Bottom line when it comes to strengths for Brett Rypien? He is a very accurate, heady QB who reads defenses exceptionally well, throws a very catchable ball, but lacks some of the physical talent of other QBs. Projected as a 5th round or later pick currently.
Like you all, I've seen a lot of QBs come to the NFL from the college level and go in my lifetime. There's no question that when comparing Jones and Rypien, Jones is the better athlete. He's bigger, quicker, and has a much stronger arm than does Rypien. But we also know that being a physical specimen alone does not equate to NFL success.
If one were to base a draft pick on stats alone, there would be no debate here. Rypien is the better QB. Of course, college stats never tell the whole tale (just ask Danny Wuerffel or Colt Brennan). What system a QB played in, the conference and level of competition, what that QB was asked to do - they all play a huge part in a college QBs success. This is even more true today than ever as many college QBs rarely play from the pocket making predicting how they'll transition to the NFL level even more challenging.
I'll go ahead and get my fight prediction out there and then give my rationale. Brett Rypien would be my pick in the 2019 draft and I might even use a 3rd rounder on him if that's what it took to ensure he's a Redskin. The Redskins connection is a nice story, but it has nothing to do with my belief he'd be the right choice. The rationale for selecting Daniel Jones would primarily be based on arm talent and measureables. As previously stated, he's big, he's very athletic, he looks like your protypical NFL QB. He can throw it a mile, and when need be, he can make you look silly with his feet. But several things concern me about him. Jones has decent, far from great, accuracy. And I think that's an absolute essential for an NFL QB. Jones accuracy falls precipitously off on throws downfield. Being able to throw it 80 yards is meaningless if the ball cannot be thrown accurately.
While he can throw it as long as any prospect in this draft, a lot of scouts have focused on a lack of velocity on his throws - something that gets a lot of young NFL QBs in trouble in the form of INTs and pick 6's. This is also a criticism of Rypien (I mention here only as a factor is assessing Jone's 'big arm'). Jone's critics also focus on his tendency to lock onto the initial read and force the ball instead of moving through progressions to other possible targets. Duke ran a 'quick' offense in which Jones excelled. But he'll likely be asked to run a more traditional offense at the NFL level and has yet to show he can have success reading complex defenses and making great decisions in an environment where the first 1 or 2 reads may be well-covered. Jones is no doubt the finest QB ever to stand under center of a Duke football team but I have wondered more than once if that hasn't resulted in some overhyping of his actual abilities and some glossing over of some significant flaws in his game. This is particularly true in the context of possibly taking him with the 15th pick of the draft.
I'd be very nervous watching my team spend a first round pick on a QB with as many question marks as there are with Jones.
Which brings us to young Mr. Rypien. I love this kid - and I'll tell you why. He's an extremely accurate passer - and it doesn't matter whether he's fitting a bullet into a tight window 4 yds downfield, or throwing a 60 yard post pattern. He has amazing touch and throws a beautiful and very catchable ball. Rypien was one of the most consistent college starters in his 4 years under center at Boise State, and had an incredible senior year. Rypien is a classic touch passer (think Drew Brees) and consistently hits his receivers in stride giving them the maximum chance for YAC. He is not without concerns (what NFL QB prospect is?). He has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. He does not have great arm strength and may struggle throwing outs and other more challenging NFL throws. But I believe his accuracy and touch will allow him to mask those weaknesses.
NFL scouts and front office folks love to talk about 'ceiling' and there's no doubt that if you believe Daniel Jones can be developed that he is a superior athlete and prospect. But in this case I simply don't buy into that rationale for selecting Daniel Jones as our future QB, particularly with a first round pick. I have yet to see an NFL prospect with a 'high ceiling' and superior physical talent actually BE developed and become a perennial NFL starter. I believe, for the most part, that a QBs ability to complete passes is largely set by the time they reach the NFL level. A cumulative result of their arm strength, ability to read a defense, poise, and more than a few intangibles set a QBs tendencies and I believe those are extremely difficult to alter or mold.
So, if the choice for our beloved B&G comes down to either Jones or Rypien, for me it's not a tough one. Measureables are overrated. Intangibles are always undervalued. Rypien is the pure pocket passer with great accuracy up and down the field that the Redskins need. He makes few mental mistakes. During 4 years as a Boise State starter, when placed on the horns of a dilemma, he almost always made the right decision. And he's tough and smart. If we can get him with a bargain pick, all the better.
Bring on Brett Rypien.
***Next Up: Dwayne Haskins vs. Kyler Murray***
WARNING: Readers of the QB Battle Threads should embrace predictions with caution, as the creators of this feature may be wrong, misguided, or generally way off base. The author retains the right to totally deny such predictions, delete embarrassing content, or otherwise reject responsibility for statements that prove to be stupid, errant, or humiliating.