FanPost

The Modern NFL & The Manuel Measuring Stick.

EJ Manuel, The Buffalo franchise QB hopeful, and number one draft pick is now officially starting the season in his rookie tenure. A lot of talk swirling around these boards on what fans expect to see. We had the first choice of quarterbacks in the entire draft class and with it comes high expectations. The one element of chatter I refuse to get on board with is the notion of "giving the kid time." Those days are long gone in the modern NFL. As i watched over the past several years I have noticed that the bar has been set quite high for a first round quarterback and what they should produce as a first year player when your judging true franchise worthiness.

I don't wanna waste time talking about how good this team is or isn't and the correlation between that and Manuel's rookie season. Again, the past two years have seen some unbearably awful teams suddenly bounce back into relevance with the help of their new rookie passer. Do I think Manuel will end up in my list of most likely to franchise bust or succeed list? Only his numbers will tell.

Looking at the stat lines of rookie quarterbacks below you can see a lot of reasons why the groups are separated. Is this science, no, but it seems quite clear that the true mark of greatness seems to flower quite early on in this list with regards to first tier passers. I believe to be a true elite quarterbacks in the making, each one individually has to display one or multiple stat marks uncharacteristic of the old ideas of what "rookie numbers" should look like. The opposing list of second tier passers is riddled with very bad signs and less then average numbers across the board.

Does that mean the second tier QB's will never succeeded in the NFL? Not necessarily but what this trend IS telling me is that this second tier of "potential busts" is very likely to never elevate to anything beyond average in terms of ceiling. We have experienced average very recently for the last three years in Ryan Fitzpatrick. He played with one of the worst defenses in franchise history, one dependable receiver (we thankfully gutted the rest), and a coach that refused to hand the ball off to a rare and talented back in CJ Spiller. Through all that adversity and his less then impressive pedigree he was still able to put up average numbers. Again, that's the problem, his average stat lines of 3400 yards and 24 TD's looks fine but those numbers are pedestrian when looking at the short list of elite quarterbacks that currently sit a top the NFL. To further compound that matter, Ryan Fitzpatrick would have made a good game managing QB if surrounded by enough elite talent and talent that wasn't underutilized. This team was horrific on so many levels over the past three years that fans yearned for the obvious, an elite QB who could carry this horrible team on his back. Fans in Buffalo don't want average, it hasn't got us a playoff birth in over a decade. They thirst for an elite QB that takes over games. The rookie classes are no different in terms of substantial production increases in today's pass happy NFL when marked with budding greatness. EJ should and will be measured on this alone and not the hope of such.

So what do you expect? I expect to see first tier numbers out of EJ Manuel. Modern NFL rookie passer stat lines with eye popping numbers in one or a variety of categories that have been produced by other rookies over the past few years. EJ is here not only because we needed a franchise QB but because this franchise needed a new angle to sell hope. Well, i'm not buying hope without production. He is a raw talent. Well, if he is too raw then he shouldn't have been drafted in the first round and he shouldn't be starting day one. Production needs to happen and no excuses are currently good enough for me to not see first tier stats out of year one. I'm tired of losing. I'm tired of watching this franchise make marketable "Owens-esque" moves to keep the people in the seats and sell the idea of a better tomorrow that so many willingly ingest without question or consciousness.

I want EJ to win now. If he cannot overcome what looks to be an only slightly improved defense (by default of coaching alone) then I want to at least see stat lines that suggest what is implied in the first tier grouping of rookies set before you. Should anyone of us expect anything less?



Second Tier Rookie QBs












Name -

YR

GP

CMP

ATT

CMP%

YRD

AVG

TD

LN

INT

F

QBR

RAT

Gabbert

2011

15

210

413

50.8

2,214

5.36

12

74

11

5

20.6

65.4

Ponder

2011

11

158

291

54.3

1,853

6.37

13

72

13

5

33.7

70.1

Tannehill

2012

16

282

484

58.3

3,294

6.81

12

80

13

5

50.4

76.1

Weeden

2012

15

297

517

57.4

3,385

6.55

14

71

17

3

27.0

72.6

Locker

2012

11

177

314

56.4

2,176

6.93

10

71

11

2

44.5

74.0















First Tier Rookie

QBs
















Newton

2011

16

310

517

60.0

4,051

7.84

21

91

17

3

56.2

84.5

Griffin

2012

15

258

393

65.6

3,200

8.14

20

88

5

3

73.2

102.4

Wilson

2012

16

252

393

64.1

3,118

7.93

26

67

10

3

71.7

100.

Luck

2012

16

339

627

54.1

4,374

6.98

23

70

18

9

65.2

76.5

Kaepernick

2012

13

136

218

62.4

1,814

8.32

10

57

3

2

72.2

98.3

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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