Smith, Barkley, Glennon, and Wilson – A Metrics Breakdown

Posted on February 1, 2013


You can see full scouting reports here:

Geno Smith | Matt Barkley | Tyler Wilson | Mike Glennon

I am the most excited about this post out of any other I’ll do pre-draft season because I did the exact same thing last year and I get to compare the results. Specifically, I’ll be comparing all of the “tier 1” quarterbacks to see how they stack up. This class is even more interesting than last year’s because no one is sure who is the top quarterback. This leaves far more room for statistical analysis to help us decide our own opinions. Within the analysis, I’ll be referring to an AvgQB which is a composite of data from last year’s QB class (Luck, Griffin, Tannehill, Wilson, Osweiler, Cousins, and Weeden).

These stats are based off of me watching game film and writing down the factors that go into a play. I marked down where the ball was caught, what the formation was, why the ball was incomplete and many more factors. In each section, I’m going to post the relevant chart and then make comments on it. So let’s delve into the QB class!


Both Geno Smith and Matt Barkley throw a high amount of screens at 30% and 22%. These are significantly higher than what the AvgQB throws at 17%(These are the targets, they only mark where the ball was caught)

  • All 4 quarterbacks throw a significant amount of passes within 1-5 yards of the line of scrimmage, but Barkley’s combined 52% screens and 1-5 yard passes are by far the highest among all QBs
  • The quarterbacks are pretty even among the 6-10 yard intermediate range, all hovering around the same 21% we see with the AvgQB.
  • Mike Glennon by far is the most likely to go deep. He’s above average in both the 11-20 range and the 20+ range. The only one of the four quarterbacks to do so.
  • Barkley, Smith and Wilson all hover in the combined 28% range past 20 yards, all are below average compared to last year’s QB class.



This one requires a bit of explanation. The color coding are comparisons to the AvgQB, thus green is above average, yellow is average, and red is below average. I have also taken out drops, for what I call the Perfect Receiver Rating, thus the completion percentages aren’t what you’d see in the box scores.

  • Both Geno Smith and Mike Glennon are elite in terms of short 1-5 yard passes. Their accuracies at 83% and 82% are better than RGIII’s last year and would have put them behind only Russell Wilson in that zone.
  • The biggest red flag for me when looking at Barkley is the low completion percentage in the 1-5 yard zone. He threw in that area 30% of the time, but wasn’t at average. Rookie QBs in the NFL are asked to throw 1-5 yard routes fairly often, so there’s a bit to be worried about.
  • Geno Smith is excellent in the intermediate zones of 6-10 yards and 11-20 yards. Tyler Wilson is really not. This is what concerns me about Tyler Wilson, he’s pushing average in the 1-5 yard zone but can’t hit average at any other range. I don’t think he’ll be able to push the ball down field in the NFL
  • Barkley and Glennon are really the solid deep threats we see here. Both can hit the 11-20 range solidly and Barkley is excellent at 20+ yards. As a reference, Luck was at 50% on 20+ last year and RGIII was at 62.5%.

Adjusted Completion %

The last bit of information I have is going to require a bit of explanation. My goal was to take out the variability of systems they all played in. Thus, how would Geno Smith have performed in Mike Glennon’s shoes? This is imperfect, but it gives you a feel for how the systems helped or harmed them.

What I’ve done is taken out drops and then used my composite of targets in each zone from last year’s QBs to create an average system. Thus, I took their completion percentages, total passes, and the average system to find out what their overall completion percentage would have been in the average system.


  • The top number is the adjusted completion percentage and the bottom number is the change from their overall completion percentage (with drops already taken out)
  • Thus we see that Geno’s system helped him the most, had he been forced to throw more deep routes and less screens his overall completion percentage would have gone down roughly 2.8%
  • Barkley similarly was harmed due to the high amount of screens and 1-5 yard passes he throws, the “gimme” passes
  • Glennon was actually helped by this. He threw many more deep passes than the others and would have benefitted overall from throwing more screens and shorter passes.

One final bit of info, I looked at the average distance that the QB’s passes traveled. This is really only yardage (before YAC) divided by completions.


  • Of course, from this we can see that Mike Glennon by far threw the deepest ball on average.
  • Geno Smith was really hurt by the amount of screens he threw and the fact that many of them were 5 -6 yards behind the LOS really dragged down his overall average

I’m going to present a few more charts with no comments. Among them are play result, completion percentage by down, total yardage by quarter, and red zone yardage.

Before the stats, if you’ve liked this, you can follow me at . I have approximately one follower right now, since I just started this up. I do work pretty much every day breaking down prospects and I’ll be tweeting out interesting stats that I come across (today I found out Justin Hunter drops ~10% of his passes), future articles/breakdowns (Dysert, Nassib, Manuel post upcoming), or let you know when I post new things (hopefully a WR post soon) . Thanks a lot!



*Interceptions were factored out of this chart, thus each column will not add up to 100%

**Throw-aways were counted as “Single Coverage”

***Overthrows had to be passes that either were too high or too far in front of the wide receiver

By Down:


Percentage of Yardage By Quarter:


Completion % By Formation:


Red Zone Yardage/ Season:


-Second Round Stats

Posted in: Quarterbacks