Plain English with Derek Thompson - Why Is It So Hard to Predict the Next Great Quarterback

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Today’s subject is football football and the Mystery of talent.


The NFL draft is this week?

That’s where Executives get together to select the college players that will join their team.

I am a huge fan of the NFL draft for a couple reasons.


I love football second.

I think talent and potential are such fascinating topics.


I think we all do and we all read articles about, you know, the next great pop star.

The next great movie star next great Product Company technology, like, next great thing is just a really fun concept, but I’m thinking about the topic of potential in the NFL specifically, the dungeon just fascinate me.


It kind of haunts me.

And that is the question.

Why is it so damn hard to predict the next great quarterback?

And to be clear.

It is incredibly hard to predict the next great quarterback.

Like, here’s a slice of recent NFL draft history in last year’s draft 2021, the top four, quarterbacks drafted in their first year, the NFL through more or interceptions than touchdowns.


That’s really bad.

Only two rookie cubies through for more than 12 touchdowns.

They were Mac Jones.

Fifth cube is selected and Davis Mills, eighth, quarterback selected.

In 2018.

The number one, pick Baker Mayfield has now essentially been go stood by his team.


The next quarterback.

Drafted, with Sam Donald.

He was bad.

Then he got traded that.

He was still bad.

The fourth drafted quarterback was Josh Rosen.

He was even worse.

Just a disaster.

The only quarterback from this draft to win.

MVP was picked.

Fifth Lamar Jackson.

The number three pick.


Joshua Allen.

Also total stud, 2017 draft produced.

Pat Mahomes may be the best quarterback in football, but he wasn’t picked first in his On draft.

So, you know, innocent person is going to think, well, the guy picked ahead of the best quarterback in football must be pretty, darn good.

Nope, Mitchell, true Biscay, who is bad.


Do you see a pattern here?

The NFL is a multi-billion Dollar business, that pays Scouts and other brainiacs millions and millions of dollars to predict, who can succeed as quarterback.

And just about every year, they find some way to screw up massively.

And today’s guest has a theory about why his name is David Berry.


He is an economist at Southern Utah, University, who researches Sports and player efficiency.

So, why is the NFL so bad at predicting?

The next great quarterback?

And what does that tell us about the challenge of predicting Talent?



I’m Derek Thompson.

This is plain English.


David Berry, welcome to the podcast.

Thanks for having me.

So you and I are speaking near hours before the NFL draft.

We cannot, therefore, comment directly on who’s going to drive to.

But we can say with, I think a high degree of certainty that many mistakes we made before we get into your research about why drafting NFL quarterbacks is so damn hard.


I would like you to tell me.

Why is an economist answering questions?

Like why is drafting an NFL quarterback?

So damn hard, I wrote it with Rob Simmons, who’s a co-author, mine in England?

And I don’t remember what led us to do this.


It is part of a broader conversation.

I’ve been having in my research about how people in sports make decisions.

And that’s interesting to Economist because one of the core assumptions in economics for very, very long time, is that human beings are perfectly rational, and Know what they’re doing.


And I have never bought that story.

I’ve always found that to be ridiculous because I’ve actually met human beings and therefore I didn’t believe that they were perfectly rational.

And so I have spent a long time investigating decision-making in sports.

And at times, they do make decisions in a way that you would think.


As an economists fits the story.

It’s their rational.

And at other times, they do not and the NFL draft is a great example of no, they do not.

Bread into it.

What is the relationship between a quarterback strap position and his subsequent performance in the NFL?


Are the top quarterbacks drafted.

The best NFL Quarterbacks is the answer.


No, or he’ll know, if you are trying to predict who’s going to play, then the quarterbacks taken first will play more in the quarterbacks taken later.


That is definitely true.

If you’re trying to predict who is going to play better on a per play basis, not a chance.

Chance in hell, they do not know that.

There is no statistical relationship between purple a performance and where they’re actually drafted.

So we do know that if you’re taken earlier, you’re going to get a lot of chances and if you’re taking later, you are not going to get a lot of chances and but all those who end up getting chances their performance and their draft position or not actually related.


So, Jack position predicts opportunity, but it does not predict performance.

Let’s go right through this paper for those.

Follow me at home.

The name of the paper is catching a draft on the process of selecting quarterbacks in the National Football League amateur draft.

So in a nutshell, David, your thesis is that where people draft quarterbacks basically is unreal, a unrelated to Future NFL performance?


Take me through everything that you looked at in order to come to that conclusion.

Yeah, we looked at a wide variety of performance measures some that I’ve created.

And so I’ve gone through and looked at the data and connected it to winds and looked at how many wins a quarterback produces some of it is is the measures that the NFL has created such as the quarterback rating, some is completion.


And then the individuals task completion percentage touchdowns for a tent interceptions per attempt fumbles /, rushing attempt, and they’re just simply as nothing.

That’s very predictable.

You don’t really, you can’t predict any of this stuff knowing where they’re drafted.

Once you see them play, they There just is, no, there’s no difference between them.


And so there are there are quarterbacks who do play better than others.

It’s not related to where they were drafted, though.

So this is a quote, from your paper on a per play basis.

Quarterbacks chosen with PIX11 through 50, as well as pics 51 through 90, outperform quarterbacks chosen in the top 10 top 10, quarterbacks really don’t offer more.


They just get to play more one explanation of this one.

Explanation of the fact that That the top drafted quarterbacks don’t end up being the most efficient on a per play.

Basis, is it?

This is a reverse order draft.

That means that the quarterbacks chosen in the top 10 tend to be going to really sucky team.


So like, maybe the quality of the teams that are hiring, the top 10 picks is lowering their numbers.

You looked into that potential explanation.

Is that it is.

It is it because of the reverse order draft that we’re seeing this phenomenon.

Part of that is the story, right?


It is the fact that quarterback play is entirely depends on the context of we put around up.

So when you look at a top quarterback, we often this is the mythology.

The media creates a top quarterback makes their team.

So amazingly great, that it doesn’t make a difference.


Team they play on their just winners.


They’re all winners.

That’s the story.

They like we got to draft a winner and that’s ridiculous.

That’s not how it works.

You are the quarterbacks play depends on who you put around them.

You give them better receivers, a better offensive line.

A better rushing attack a Our offensive coordinator.

Remember the quarterbacks not calling the plays.


The offensive coordinator calls the play.

What I think so interesting.

Is that the cult of the quarterback, sort of sees it in sees the role of this position in two, very different ways.

And the one hand you put your finger on this.

The quarterback is I think rightly considered the most important part of a football team, but at the same time, the quarterback is in many ways, the most contextual position in professional sports, like the best basketball players can run.


Their own plays, they can dribble the ball right.

Up the court and drive.

Right to the hoop in baseball.

Baseball is just basically a series of duels, right?

If you’re at Weber Aaron judge, like you walk up to the plate and you face the picture.

It doesn’t met like, you know, having team chemistry, who cares?


You’re up against one picture.

It’s just a dual, the pitcher, pitches the pitch, and you swing, but quarterbacks are both unbelievably significant to the outcome of the game and absurdly.

Contextual, the running plays they didn’t.

Necessarily choose behind a line.

They didn’t draft throwing two wide receivers who are not them.


They simply cannot do what a lot of stars other sports.


I want to go back to your paper?

Because there’s a couple subtle points that you make that I think are really interesting.

You looked at all the stuff.

They measure at the combine body mass index.

And for those who only vaguely know what we’re talking about, sort of vaguely the two ways that you can draft a quarterback or Scout a quarterback.


Excuse me, you can look at their performance in college and then you can look at them at the combine at the combine.

You get all these stats body mass index.

Is a Wonderlic Test which is a very dubious test of intelligence.

You time.

They’re 40 yard dash and your results found that.

Basically, none of this is related to either a quarterback’s College performance or their professional performance.


I mean, am I over simplifying by saying that according to you.

The combine is basically one enormous red herring that throws.

This like mountain of Statistics at Scouts.

Almost none of which Which is actually useful for the quarterback position.



That’s try.

I think this is, this is a fallacy that people often make and decision making is they think I want as much information as possible.

But the question has to be, is the information you’re Gathering related to the decision that you’re making.

And so they collect a lot of information on quarterbacks and they give them the Wonderlic.


Test, the great example, has no football questions on it.

So it’s not relevant to the job.

There’s a bunch of questions.

Not related to anything.

You’re going to be doing.

Here, how will you doing that?

It’s like why don’t you go have them?

Take an organic chemistry class with not be just as good that has nothing to do with anything either.


So it’s just it’s a silly thing they do and then they they do things like we’re going to measure your height and they sit there and they say, well, this guy 64 and this guy 62, and they think that’s different.

I’m sorry.

That’s the same.

That’s that doesn’t make any difference.

Height predicts where they’re drafted, but has nothing to do with how they subsequently perform.


One of the best ones is hand size.

They look at it.

They abscess.

Son hand size and they sit there and they measure their hands and and they did this with, with Pickett this, and this draft, his hand was too small and they’re like, I wonder if he’ll be able to hold the ball in a place, like Pittsburgh, where he played college football for 44 years, holding the ball.


Yes, he can hold a football.

He’s already established.

He can do that measuring.

His hand is pointless.

He’s already done that.

So, that would only be relevant if he never did it before, then you would measure his head of all the things that you look, And it’s really the paper is really phenomenal.


Because you go through all this, all the various college stats, that could be predictive of professional performance.

You obviously, go through the combine stats.

I should be clear that there is one statistic, one, statistic that your analysis found had a statistically significant and positive impact on performance at the professional level.


And that’s the cystic was College completion percentage, the share of passes thrown in college that are actually completed.

Just Just tell me a little bit about how we should interpret that part of the paper that have all these things.

You can look at there is a little bit of a positive relationship here in completion percentage.


Okay, so this is the, this is the point.

I make two students and this is, this is what statistical significance means statistical.

Significance means that what you found is not zero, so that does it mean, and we say this over and over again in class.

That doesn’t mean it’s important.

Not zero is not the same thing as important, so, Bang.


Hey, I found something.

That’s not zero.


Does it actually help me make better decisions?

Yeah, probably not because it’s not a very big effect and there’s all sorts of examples of quarterbacks.

You know, Josh Allen is a great example, the quarterback who couldn’t throw in college and they taught him how to throw in the NFL and there are other quarterbacks who taught through really well in college, but can’t throw in the end it because the problem you have is that these quarterbacks are playing college football with non NFL players and non NFL coordinators against non NFL defenses.


And then you’re trying to project in your mind.

What that’s going to mean, when they play with NFL players against NFL defenses and NFL coordinators.

And I’m sorry, those things are not really related to each other.

So we don’t know what that means.

If you’re a quarterback at a top school, like Alabama or Clemson, and you’re throwing two receivers who are immensely better than the defensive backs that are covering them and they’re open by 10 15 yards, down the field and you manage to complete a pass.


You’re not playing quarterback.

You’re Catch.

And that doesn’t prove anything because in the NFL they’re all going to get covered.

They’re all going to be covered by other NFL players and you’re going to discover when you get in the NFL.

Oh, that guy’s not opened by ten yards anymore.

Now the guys right next to what should I do?


And the court is getting, throw the ball anyways, but it might get picked off.

It might not, we don’t know.

You Gotta Throw it because the defensive backs not going anywhere.

He’s gonna stand right there by them.

They’re not going to be that open anymore.

You just got to throw it and you hope for the best.



I can imagine that some people listen to your argument.

Are worried that you’re representing a point of view that they might think of as scouting nihilism.

That is the idea that absolutely nothing predicts anything when it comes to quarterbacks.


So if you want to draft a quarterback, you might as well just write their names, a little ping-pong balls, and put it in one of those little things with the wheel and spin it and spin it until it.

Pip, you know, spits out a number like, you’re playing bingo or something, you might as well utterly.

Mais the process and I cannot possibly believe that the process can or should be randomized.


I watch football.

I love football.

Pat Mahomes is better than Nathan Peterman.

He just is like, Joe burrow is better than some undrafted quarterback who just sucked in college and Scouts saw that.

So the way that I interpret your research is something like this.


And you tell me how you disagree with this interpretation collectively and individually, Scouts are pretty crummy when it comes to determining within the set of pretty good quarterbacks, which are the absolute best and which are the second or third best, but they’re not worthless at creating that set.


They’re not worth this at.


These are roughly the five to ten best quarterbacks in the draft.

But then, once you’ve narrowed it down, Randomness and context and fit and the That the most highly evaluated Talent is typically going to the worst teams, these environmental factors essentially take over and that creates the relatively chaotic outcomes that you found in your paper.


Tell me how my interpretation either fits or doesn’t fit with the facts as you put them together.

All right.

So so you mentioned Mahomes and you mentioned Borough, but you could always come back and say, well, yeah, Kurt Warner is also better than a whole lot of other quarterbacks and he was working at a grocery.


But when they found him Tom Brady was a sixth round draft pick and we all think he’s the greatest quarterback ever.

And again, six round draft pick.

They had no idea.

Nobody knew Tom Brady was going to be good.

Nobody, the Patriots didn’t know.

Either, the Patriots have said that if we thought he was good.

We would have picked him in the first round.


We took him in the sixth round because we didn’t think it was any good.

And so I if you’re saying that the suggestion is randomly pick the quarterbacks and that’s what the research saying.

We don’t know.

We’re not saying that because we don’t know that either.

So there’s No, we what we what we’re saying here is, we don’t know how to rank the quarterbacks and maybe you ought to think a little bit harder and building your offense that there’s more involved in this than who you’re picking at quarterback.


Maybe you ought to be thinking about who your offensive line is and who your wide receivers are who you’re running back and and who’s calling the plays.

And what you maybe want to do is just find quarterbacks who can do the things that you need to have done.

Make the throws that you need to make make make the decisions that you need.


Make and that should be the criteria and not get this idea that.

If I get this magical quarterback, it’s going to solve all my problems.

The reason why we give this this halo effect on these drafted quarterbacks?

Because you haven’t seen them be bad yet.


And so you’re imagining in your head.

Well, they’re just going to be amazing.

I spent time talking to them, and they’re just leaders and they just, it’s like, they haven’t done it yet.

Wait till they fail a few times.

X and then tell me how great you think they are.


There’s one other discovery that you made in your research.

This is with Brian Burke from Advanced football,

I think Bears very directly on this conversation.

So you and Brian looked at the correlation between NFL quarterback play season to season.


So this isn’t college versus professional.

This is professional season, 2, professional season, and the results indicated that even a veteran.

Quarterback, will often have a lot of variability.

In the season, you found the correlation between a quarterback’s interception per attempt season to season, was basically zero for Touchdown per attempt.


It was only a little bit higher.

I think this is so interesting and so important.

Because first of all it, caches it matches my experience watching sports.

Like, you know, Russell Wilson is electric.

It’s the first half of two years ago, and then suddenly kind of falls off a cliff, Cam Newton, extraordinary MVP winning season next year basically nothing.


A car is amazing and then he’s not very good and these amazing again.

He’s like, you know, top 10 again and the draft offers this kind of an illusion of a focusing point.

It’s like can we predict the future today?

But what your observation here suggests is that if on any given day, we try to make predictions about future quarterback performance.


It’s really really hard because once again the Paradox of the quarterback, is that the most important position in Football is also among the most contextual in football.

He is at the mercy of all these forces around him, that he doesn’t control.


And that’s why you have this enormous variation in performance year to year, even among all these veterans.




So, so Jared Goff, and the first eight, or ten games this last season, was the worst quarterback in the NFL and he had no receivers of throw to and then suddenly they went and got one receiver that he used to throw to with the Rams Josh run.


Has one and then they changed offensive coordinators and in the last, you know, four or five games, he was among the top five quarterbacks in the league and you’re like really.

That’s all it took.

You just give him one guy to throw to and suddenly he’s like, oh I know how to do this and that’s that’s quarterbacking and NFL.


It’s you can change things every ever so little and suddenly their performance because it all depends on what plays are you calling?

Who are they throwing to who’s blocking for them?

And so it’s the quarterback is not out there by themselves.


We place so much importance on this one position and it just isn’t realistic to think that that quarterback is going to transform by themselves.


A team that is you know, 2 and 15 into a team.

That’s 15 and 2 because all these other things have to happen as well.

And so you so as a decision maker you have to take a step back and say look I’m not going to be able to find magical quarterback to solve my problem.

I got to build a team and I got to think about all of the different units on the team and what they’re doing and how how do I maximize all of that rather than just hey quarterback.


Win the game for me all by yourself because that’s not realistic.

And this is something that also people should think about when they think about quarterbacks winning games at the end.

This John Elway used to do this all the time when games at the end and and few of my friends, including my wife who was a Broncos fan would always point this out.


The only reason why John Elway is to win the game at the end because he couldn’t play well.

The first three quarters, that’s what’s happening here.

He knew how to play the first Quarters, we would need him at the end.

It’s like I don’t need you to do that.

Why don’t you play the first three quarters?

I want to make sure that that I guess you in this point because I I don’t want to at least represent myself as thinking that I don’t believe Talent exists, but I think the quarterback Talent is something that is purely.



I think the two things are true.

I think that quarterbacking Talent absolutely exists.

I think it’s a thing.

I think it’s a thing with vast distribution.

I think there’s some people that are terrible at playing quarterback and there’s some people that are just unbelievably gifted at throwing, at being aware in the pocket at making decisions in three and a half seconds at understanding context and understanding the likely defense.


He’s going to face play after play.

I think all those things exist.

I just also think the context in the quarterback position is Important that, it might explain why results like yours find that there’s so much variance season to season and quarterback performance.


And why there’s so little Effectiveness in predicting quarterback performance when even immensely talented, people are making this transition from one team in an amateur League to another team.

In a professional league.

Is that an OK summary of where you live?


Exactly, right?

That’s exactly what we’re saying.

Is that, is that it does?


It could be the case that some Players are way better at this than others again.

We don’t, we don’t know that, but they could be true.

But it is case that who you put around them is going to make a huge difference.


And also I think we underestimate it matters who you’re playing and it matters, what that defense is doing.

The defense is doing stuff there.

You know, Steve Mariucci said this years ago after a loss.

He said, you know the other team tries to I mean, I’m not doing this by myself.


This is again, you’re not watching a play where we’re scripting everything on our own, they’re Two against us and they’re doing stuff and they’re trying their hardest and sometimes they just try better than we do.

And that’s life.

That’s how it works.

And and so that’s and I think, people think they dismissed that as, you know, when a quarterback throws interception, sometimes, it’s because the defensive backs simply made a play.


It also could be the receiver ran the wrong route.

It could be the line, didn’t walk, right.

I mean, there’s a lot of things that go into that and we blame all these outcomes.

Um’s on just the quarterback and it’s like, you know, I I tell students is how many times when you watch a quarterback Stone interception, they run down the field and they have a long intense conversation receiver, which appears to be, you know, you were supposed to look at the defense and the and the route goes in, not out.


I don’t know why.

You don’t know that and the receivers, like, oh, yeah.

You’re right.



Safety was okay.

Yeah, I got that.




You just threw me in her.

So basically, it’s an important point that the receiver doesn’t get the interception, right?

Like she knows like status.

Shins could give the receiver the intersection, but we always give it to the quarterback, which goes to this difficulty of predicting season to season because you might get a wide receiver that is more prone to essentially allowing interceptions on.


I have crabs.

He understands that this I’ve never tested but I have this hypothesis and maybe someone could Tesla sometime that intercept, that that defensive backs have a lot of interceptions earlier in their career.

And it’s because they’re clueless, because they don’t know where they’re supposed to be.

And so, therefore, they end up in places that Quarterback doesn’t think they’re going to be there.


So they start the quarterback throws, it throws it right to the defensive back defensive back.

Looks like a genius look, I was right there and the quarterbacks like going.

I’ve seen your defense.

What are you doing?

I actually don’t know what I’m doing.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

I don’t know what defense were running, what it suggests.

However, if you’re right, I’m not entirely sure that I buy that thesis, but to the extent that these, this might be correct.


But Bill Belichick should do is inject, like Randomness into his defenses like every single play one.

Defender shouldn’t know what they’re supposed to do.

So they Walk around random randomly and so it’s harder therefore, for the scouts on the other team.

Essentially, for the offensive coordinator for the other team to predict the defense, because there’s always one agent of Randomness that is never doing something consistently gain application.


That is essentially, I think what, Matt, Patricia’s defense was with the Patriots.

Unfortunately, when I got to the Lions his idea was that all positions could be interchangeable.

Therefore, you couldn’t predict what anybody was doing, but he always he forgot the fact that some of those players actually have to be good.


The term should be optimal.

Enos that defenses should be.

Should achieve optimal Randomness is what are?

You can switch roles?

But no good.

If you can’t do any of them, right?

I want to I want to conclude here on a big picture, thought about what it is they were talking about because what we’re talking about is, how do you predict human achievement?


How do you predict talent and the model in my head from your research goes something like this.

There’s like three factors that determine success in a sport like football.

There’s hard ability, which is height wingspan.

Vertical leap.

These things are relatively Easy to measure, there’s soft ability.


It’s like, intelligence decision making.

I don’t know.

Grit those things are much harder to measure, much harder to predict and then there’s context, which is basically impossible to predict, because it doesn’t exist yet.

You can only guess you’re drafting players into a context that does not exist.


You taking the flower that blooms in Australia and trying to plan into California.

You have no idea what’s going to happen.

So hard ability, soft ability and context seem to me to be the variables that were playing with.

That might explain why in other sports, Scouts are a little bit more accurate.


So for example, in the NBA, every MVP other than nickel, uh, ironically has been drafted in among the first 15 players.

So collectively team seemed pretty good at identifying the best players draft after draft.

They’re not great at it.


It’s top 15.

They’re not, it’s not perfect at all.

But clearly, they’re better than at football and that makes sense because basketball is a little bit less.


An individual point guard or shooting guard or Lebron James, some plays every position can truly take over a game late and just essentially play offense by themselves in a way that no quarterback can even remotely do, do you buy this idea that essentially as the context element goes down as context becomes less important.


It becomes easier for Scouts to predict Human Performance because what they’re predicting is more transferable across time.


Oh, that’s a really big issue.

When we think about Cisco.

And Alice, is that what we’re trying to do in measuring performance is, are you measuring a skill or are you measuring lock or context?


And so when it comes to football measures and going back to that paper?

I wrote or Brian Burke.

We did.

We went through a whole bunch of different measures of performance.

None of them were very consistent across time and it tells you that really you can’t really measure quarterback performs, very well.

It does depend a lot on context the way to illustrate the context argument is think about this take Top player like LeBron James or James Harden or whoever take them off the team.


They’re on right now.

Put them on another team tomorrow night.

Do you expect their performance to be any different at all?

And the answer is no, it’s going to be exactly the same even though they’re playing with totally different teammates, with a different coach who apparently has some ideas on offense that nobody’s listening to.

So, right?

They all know that, right.


I think you’re exaggerating with exactly the same, but I take your point that it’s gonna be much more similar than taking this one of my favorite team team team really, really high.

You take some baseball.

We expected to be.

Zach for the same, right?

We baseball expect also to be very similar, right?

But you take, you take a quarterback on Sunday, off that team.


And next Sunday, put them on another team with a different coach, different receivers.

You’re going to see disaster.

They’re not even able to play as our, they’ve had no time with these receivers.

They have no idea what they’re doing, and it doesn’t make a difference who the quarterback is.

You can’t trade a quarterback, a middle of season and expect that performance is going to stay basically the same because their performance depends on who’s around them and what plays they’re calling and what we’re doing here.


And you just can’t teach that in a week.

And so that is that’s the issue, is that?

That’s the problem.

You have here in predicting performance.

And this is one of the going back to you know, do the undrafted quarterbacks.

Are they any good?

Well, we could never know because you never give them a chance to play for all we know if you stuck that under after quarterback and you gave them a bunch of practices and you let them play, you know, two or three seasons.


Maybe they would be just as good.

I don’t know.

You don’t know either.

And so, we don’t know how many Kurt Warner’s are working in grocery stores, right?

It seems unbelievable.

That was the only one that’s Kurt.

Warner was the only grocery store employee who could turn out to be a Hall of Fame quarterback.


It could be that there are others who could do exactly the same thing, but they were never given the chance.

I’ve a co-author right now who used to be a, he was in an NFL Camp years ago, and he was, he got taken in as a camp and he was told the very Day, you are not making this team.


We already have three.


You’re just here to help us run practice and no matter how well, you run those practices.

It will make no difference.

You are not making the team.

I already got my three quarter.

That’s that’s what an underactive quarterback faces.

You’re not.


They bring them in but they’re just practice.


They’re not there to make the team and they’re not going to do that.

Because the coach is like, I’m not going to pin my whole team on an undrafted guy.

Nobody picked this guy.

I don’t know that there.

Any good.

Very last point that I want to make because this is draft night or if people are listening in the morning, draft night was last night.


You do make the point in the paper that to the extent that there are.

And if the positions that can be profitably, predicted offensive, lineman is actually one of them.

Not that, it’s the easiest thing in the world to predict.

Great offensive.


There are of course busts, but when you think about what it is about offensive, lineman do, yes, they work within a Phalanx of players, but they’re also dueling.


They are up against And typically sometimes two defensive lineman that are trying to get past them.

And so the job is more transferable.

The work is more transferable and less context-based than quarterback play and that might explain why in your findings.


It is easier to predict great offensive lineman play than it is to predict great quarterback.


It is a safety about the context quotient.



The same thing is probably true for wide receivers as well.

I mean wide receivers a lot of there.

There, what they do and defensive backs a lot.

So what they do is based on physical ability that is predictable.


If it does make a difference of a defensive back runs, a 4740 that is not the same thing as a 44. 40.

That’s a totally different thing.

And so and you can’t predict that if your quarterback runs the 4740 versus a 44, 40 that may not make any difference because I’m never going to ask him to run 40 yard.


So I don’t need you to do.

Peyton Manning, never run more and more than two yards in his life, and thank God, because that was the ugliest parts of his career.

That I had the displeasure of watching.


Tom Brady, this is the way I described Tom Brady.

After his combine footage least athletic male model in the history of male models, No Lie perceived in that statement David Berry.


Thanks very much for joining me.

I appreciate it man.


Plain English with Derek Thompson is produced by Devon.


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