There are some who will argue that it is worthless to ever cite college statistics when making the case for a draft prospect, these stats being often a function of things far outside the control of the individual in question, including level of competition, scheme, etc.,
There is truth to this. But it’s also true that not all stats are created equal. Summarily dismissing all statistical evidence is equally as foolish as mindlessly citing “impressive” statistics without giving context.
In other words, sometimes you stumble across a statistic so compelling, you can’t ignore it. Even if you recognize the peril inherent in throwing out a particular stat without being able to fully contextualize it.
Sometimes your gut tells you, “Woah. That matters.”
That happened to me just a minute ago when I stumbled upon this Rotoworld blurb about Derek Carr:
ESPN Stats & Information reports that Fresno State’s Derek Carr completed only 30.9 percent of his passes when under duress in 2013.
This number is terrifying for a few reasons. First off, it’s the lowest duress rate of any top quarterback prospect. Second, NFL QBs completed 41.5 percent of passes when under duress last year. Only three NFL QBS had a duress percentage lower than Carr’s collegiate rate. We don’t need to explain the difference between NFL edge rushers and those found in the Mountain West Conference.
All the arm talent in the world won’t help a guy if he’s pooping his pants every time the pocket starts collapsing.
By no means does this one stat close the case on Derek Carr, but I do think it provides pretty compelling evidence that Carr has an issue with poise in the pocket. And that certainly should be an issue for any team evaluating him as a draft pick.
Again, one has to go to the tape to find out what this really means. But it does give you something specific to look at, if you were inclined to re-watch some Derek Carr games.