Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you know that our starting QB in 2017 (and in 2016) was almost out of football and believed that he had no chance of being drafted.
One of the reasons for this was his injury, but the other reason was that his college stats were horrible in comparison to his peers. With numbers that bad, I figured that Trevor Siemian would have improved upon his college career numbers as an NFL rookie.
I focused on two stats - completion % and TD/INT ratio. Trevor improved dramatically (as I expected) in TD:INT ratio, but he was actually a little worse in completion %. I fully expect his completion % to improve this year.
Here is how his numbers compare to other multi-year starting QBs in the NFL from this century (multi-year is roughly 32 starts - a couple of guys were included despite less than 32 starts).
So let’s start off with the “bad:”
Completion % change in the NFL relative to college
|NFL Career||College Career||Comparison (+ is good)|
|Josh McCown||59.1%||Sam Houston St.||51.2%||7.9%|
|Tyrod Taylor||62.3%||Virginia Tech||57.2%||5.1%|
|Matt Ryan||64.9%||Boston Col.||59.9%||5.0%|
|David Garrard||61.6%||East Carolina||57.0%||4.6%|
|Derek Anderson||54.2%||Oregon St.||50.7%||3.5%|
|Kirk Cousins||65.9%||Michigan St.||64.1%||1.8%|
|Philip Rivers||64.4%||North Carolina St.||63.6%||0.8%|
|Marc Bulger||62.1%||West Virginia||61.6%||0.5%|
|Ryan Tannehill||62.7%||Texas A&M||62.5%||0.2%|
|Michael Vick||56.2%||Virginia Tech||56.0%||0.2%|
|Ben Roethlisberger||64.1%||Miami (OH)||65.5%||-1.4%|
|Josh Freeman||57.6%||Kansas St.||59.1%||-1.5%|
|Christian Ponder||59.8%||Florida St.||61.8%||-2.0%|
|David Carr||59.7%||Fresno St.||62.7%||-3.0%|
|Derek Carr||60.9%||Fresno St.||66.7%||-5.8%|
|Jameis Winston||59.6%||Florida St.||66.0%||-6.4%|
|Blake Bortles||58.8%||Central Florida||65.7%||-6.9%|
|Geno Smith||57.9%||West Virginia||67.4%||-9.5%|
Note that two guys with huge improvements in completion % in the NFL were horrible at completing passes in college - Kyle Boller and Josh McCown. Other notable QBs who have shown dramatic improvement in the completion % in the NFL are Drew Brees, Tyrod Taylor, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson. It should be noted that Wilson was deadly accurate in his final year in college, completing more than 70 percent of this passes.
On the flip side, you have guys who were in very “completion-friendly” systems in college who were unable to sustain that level of completion % in the NFL. These guys include Geno Smith, Andrew Luck, Mark Sanchez, Byron Leftwich, Cam Newton and Tim Tebow (not shown in the table - he is negative 18.5% - hitting 66.4% in college and 47.9% in the NFL).
TD:INT ratio in the NFL relative to college
Now the good, at least for Trevor. Here are the comparative data for TD:INT ratio NFL relative to college. Keep in mind that some of the really highly drafted QBs in the last five or six years have come out of systems where they have put up obscene TD:INT ratios
|NFL||College||Change (+is good)|
|Matt Ryan||2.1||Boston Col.||1.5||0.6|
|Tyrod Taylor||2.6||Virginia Tech||2.2||0.4|
|Josh McCown||1.1||Sam Houston St.||0.8||0.4|
|David Garrard||1.6||East Carolina||1.5||0.1|
|Josh Freeman||1.2||Kansas St.||1.3||-0.1|
|Derek Anderson||1.0||Oregon St.||1.4||-0.4|
|Ryan Tannehill||1.6||Texas A&M||2.0||-0.4|
|Michael Vick||1.5||Virginia Tech||1.9||-0.4|
|Marc Bulger||1.3||West Virginia||1.7||-0.4|
|Kirk Cousins||1.7||Michigan St.||2.2||-0.5|
|Christian Ponder||1.1||Florida St.||1.6||-0.6|
|Ben Roethlisberger||1.9||Miami (OH)||2.5||-0.6|
|Philip Rivers||2.0||North Carolina St.||2.8||-0.8|
|Jameis Winston||1.5||Florida St.||2.3||-0.8|
|Blake Bortles||1.4||Central Florida||2.9||-1.6|
|David Carr||0.9||Fresno St.||3.0||-2.0|
|Derek Carr||2.6||Fresno St.||4.7||-2.1|
|Geno Smith||0.8||West Virginia||4.7||-3.9|
The guys on the top of this list are some good company for Siemian to be keeping: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan.
There is some concern that Trevor’s TD:INT ratio was artificial last season because of interceptions that were dropped by defenders. I remember many of those throws (they were scary, so they tend to stick in my memory), but I haven’t gone back and analyzed how many picks he “got away with” in 2016. I think footballoutsiders.com analyzed this, but I may be mistaken. EDIT:Here’s the link to their data.
That being said, I he can maintain his 1.8:1.0 TD:INT ratio he will have greatly improved on his college numbers (which were admittedly horrible). Keep in mind that there were 786 passing TDs in the NFL in 2016 and only 415 interceptions, so league-wide the TD:INT ratio was 1.89:1.00. In other words, despite Trevor’s improvement relative to his college numbers, he was still below league average in TD:INT ratio.
What is most likely to happen in 2017 for Siemian?
This poll is closed
Large improvement in completion %
Small improvement in completion %
no change in completion %
Small or large regression in completion %
Large improvement in TD:INT
Small improvement in TD:INT
No change in TD:INT
Small regression in TD:INT
Large regression in TD:INT