What if the Best Quarterback Isn’t a Quarterback At All?

Reading the title, there is a pretty good chance you have no idea what I am asking. How could the best quarterback not be a quarterback? Well, the question popped into my head a couple of weeks ago: how good have non-quarterbacks been when they throw the ball?

I thought about this because of the report by Fox Sports Jay Glazer that the New Orleans Saints “love” offensive weapon Taysom Hill. The Saints think he could be the one to replace the legendary Drew Brees.

Like I said, this report it got me thinking. How successful have non-QBs been passing the pigskin? I know Taysom Hill could be considered a quarterback, but in his time with the Saints he hasn’t been much more than a gadget player. When he passes the ball it is essentially a trick play. With that being said, my curiosity got the best of me. I decided to compile the stats of all non-QB throws in the NFL between 2010 and last season.

For this data set I considered a “non-QB” someone whose primary position at the time was not quarterback. That means players like Taysom Hill and, former quarterback, Terrelle Pryor qualified.

Using Pro Football Reference, I was able to come up with the following stats for non-quarterbacks in a given season:

2019: 31/51, 496 yards, 6 touchdowns, 5 interceptions
2018:  29/49, 673 yards, 13 TD, 2 INT
2017: 13/27, 313 yards, 3 TD, 5 INT
2016: 17/37, 279 yards, 7 TD, 1 INT
2015: 8/16, 131 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
2014: 19/34, 325 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
2013: 14/25, 227 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT
2012: 16/30, 303 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT
2011: 10/26, 281 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT
2010: 15/33, 197 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT

If you add that all up, non-quarterbacks have compiled a the 3,225 yards, 53 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions with a 52.4 completion percentage.

Like I said with Taysom Hill, almost all of these passes can be interpreted as trick plays. But regardless those numbers are kind of ridiculous. These plays have given offenses chunks of yardage as well as PLENTY of scores. 53 touchdowns on 328 attempts? That is good for a touchdown percentage of 16.1 percent and a quarterback rating of 102.1. To compare, last years passing yardage leader, Dak Prescott, posted a quarterback rating of 99.7. Not half bad, huh?

In the end, this makes a potential case that coaches should be more inclined to use other offensive players to throw the ball. There are a lot of players on the gridiron that have the skill to throw the ball effectively (example: Mohamed Sanu).

Trick plays keep defenses on their toes. Putting more of them in the playbook could help the offense gain chunks of yardage and get them into the end zone. It isn’t like the offense has to run something like that every other play either. If a teams offense runs 50 something plays a game, making 10 of those plays “tricky” or unusual keeps the defense on edge like I said. Interceptions may become more common of an occurrence, but you got to risk it for the biscuit: the biscuit being more points on offense.

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-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @PHLEaglesNation

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