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Matt Schaub: superstar

Posted by Doug on April 14, 2006

I have a question that can't be answered with a database query, so I'm kind of at a loss. Maybe you fine folks can help.

From this article:

The Vikings offered Atlanta one of their two second-round picks for Schaub, who many believe is ready to start for a West Coast-style offense like the Vikings'.

The Falcons are evidently holding out for a first-round pick. It seems to be a foregone conlcusion among knowledgeable football fans that Schaub is the real deal.

Question 1: How do the Vikings --- or anyone else, for that matter --- know enough about Schaub to be willing to part with a second round pick for him? He has thrown 134 passes in his two year career. His career game was a loss against the Patriots in week five of last season in which he threw for nearly 300 yards. Drew Brees and Jake Plummer shredded the Patriots' defense the week before and after that one, respectively, by the way. Not that it wasn't an impressive performance, but is that the sole reason he's so popular? Has he played particularly well in the preseason?

I guess my question is more general: how much information does one NFL franchise have about a player on another franchise who has very little meaningful game experience? And in particular: what do the Vikings know about Schaub that they didn't know prior to the draft two years ago, and how did they learn it? Why is there buzz around Schaub, but not David Greene or Andrew Walter or John Navarre or Stefan LeFors? Is an untested young quarterback simply assumed to be good if his team doesn't take active steps to acquire another backup? Can a team earn a free second or third round pick every year by simultaneously protecting and hyping the players that back up their stars?

If I sound like I'm being skeptical, I'm not. In fact, a quick top-of-the-head attempt to recall similarly hyped young backup quarterbacks turns up a lot of successes and few failures. Of course, there are lots of factors causing the top of my head to remember the successes and forget the failures. Let's try to run through them.

Question 2: in the last, say 10 or 15 years, who were the hottest young backups that moved into a starting role with a different team? And what became of them? I'll start the list.

Definite successes: Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhomme.

Marginally successful: Scott Mitchell, Aaron Brooks.

Definite failures: Rob Johnson. Does A.J. Feeley count?

This entry was posted on Friday, April 14th, 2006 at 4:54 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.