6’5″ or 5’10″, What’s in a Number?

Even Though Vertically Challenged #19 Johnny Unitas Had No Problem Throwing Over Linemen!

The greatest NFL Quarterbacks of all time would find themselves hard pressed to be drafted today based on the experts criteria needed to meet today’s prototypical NFL Quarterback standards.

Being a 6′ 5″ Quarterback means absolutely nothing in relationship to how good you may or may not be. Do you know what the following Quarterbacks ALL have in common? None of them was or is 6′ 5″!

Steve Young 6′ 2″, Joe Montana 6′ 2″, Brett Favre 6′ 2″, Dan Marino 6’3”, John Elway 6’3”, Warren Moon 6′ 3″, Troy Aikman 6’4”, Fran Tarkenton 6′ 0″, Johnny Unitas 6′ 1″, Jim Kelly 6’1”, Bart Starr 6′ 1″, Tony Romo 6′ 2″, Tom Brady 6’0”, Drew Brees 6′ 0″, Dan Fouts 6’2”, Kurt Warner 6′ 2″, Eli Manning 6’2”, Aaron Rodgers 6′ 2″, Donovan McNabb 6’2”, Terry Bradshaw 6’3”, Y.A. Tittle 6’0” and Sammy Baugh 6’2”. And, the heights of these 22 Quarterbacks are probably exaggerated on the high end by an inch or two.

Now look at the following Quarterbacks and tell me what they have in common.

Standing on His Tip-Toes to See Over the Linemen #10 Fran Tarkenton Lines-Up Against the Eagles!

JaMarcus Russell at 6’6″, Bernie Kosar 6’5”, Vinny Testaverde 6’5”, Ben Roethlisberger 6’5”, Philip Rivers 6’5”, Carson Palmer 6’5”, Peyton Manning 6’5”, Matt Schaub 6’5”, Jason Campbell 6’5”, Matt Cassel 6’5”, Matt Ryan 6’5”, Joe Flacco 6’6”, Byron Leftwich 6’5”, Derek Anderson 6’6”, Vince Young 6’5”, Shaun Hill 6’5”, Josh Freeman 6’6”, Ryan Leaf 6’5”, Jim Everett 6’5”, Colin Kaepernick 6’5” and Cam Newton 6’5”.

That’s right, all of them are at least 6’5” or taller.

Of course this is all hind-sight but when you compare the two groups of Quarterbacks, which group do you think any football fan with even a scintilla of common sense would choose for their fantasy football team? Which group would you select in the NFL Draft if they were all coming out this year?

Really not a very difficult question to answer, the group chosen would be those Quarterbacks 6’4” or shorter and not the group of Quarterbacks 6’5” or taller.

#2 JaMarcus Russell Using His 6'5" Frame to Great Advantage as He Fumbles!

The 6’5” group has a total of 149 years of NFL experience between them and the 6’4” and shorter group has 308 years of NFL experience between them. So, rather than talk total numbers we will try to focus mainly on the group averages in order to even the playing field.

Why don’t we start by comparing the average number of touchdown passes by the two groups?

The 6’5” and taller group has a total of 2,091touchdown passes which comes out to 14.2 touchdown passes per Quarterback per year and I have deducted Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick because they have yet to play their first complete season.

The 6’4” or shorter group has a total 5,462 of touchdown passes which comes out to 17.7 touchdown passes per Quarterback per year.

Let’s look at the passing yards average per year for the two groups. The 6’5” or taller group had 339,561 total passing yards, again minus Newton and Kaepernick, or 2,310 passing yards per season.

The 6’4” or shorter group accumulated 813,623 total passing yards and averaged 2,642 passing yards per season.

#16 Ryan Leaf Using His 6'5" Frame to Great Advantage as He Gets Sacked!

How about we compare NFL/Super Bowl Championships and appearances between the two groups, those QBs 6’5” and above and those 6’4” and below?

Group #1 the 6’5” Quarterbacks in 147 seasons have accounted for 6 appearances in an NFL Championship game and 4 actual Championships. That is one appearance every 24 years and one championship every 36 years. On the other hand, group #2 the 6’4” or below group has made it to 58 NFL Championship games and garnered 33 NFL Championships. That is one appearance in the NFL Title game every 5 years and an NFL Championship once every 9 years.

This means that the runts of the litter have a 500% greater probability of getting you to the NFL Championship game and a 400% greater probability of actually winning the Championship!

How about the intangibles? What kind of a leader was Unitas? Starr? Y.A. Tittle? Sammy Baugh? Joe Montana? Would you rather have Vince Young, JaMarcus Russell, Carson Palmer, Vinny Testaverde, or Jason Campbell leading your team?

Vertically Challenged #15 Bart Starr Going Under and In for Victory Against Dallas in the Ice Bowl, 1966!

Let’s try and put some perspective on this. The 6’5” or taller group, all 21 of them, have a total of 6 appearances in the Super Bowl/NFL Title Game between them. Over in the 6’ 4” or shorter group, Bart Starr alone had 6 appearances in the Super Bowl/NFL Title Game.

The 6’5” or taller group, between them, had a total of 4 Super Bowl/NFL Championships. In the 6’4” or shorter group, Bart Starr by himself had 5 Super Bowl/NFL Championships.

While the jury is still out on many of the 6’5” or taller Quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL what we do know is that, based on the available data, unless by some miracle you draft a Peyton Manning you are almost certainly going to be watching the Super Bowl at Hooters instead of playing in it.

Why do you think there are so many Quarterbacks in college 6’4” or shorter? Because they can play and win!

Boise State's #11 Kellen Moore Throws It Over Everyone in Preparation for the 2012 NFL Draft!

Now eventually if the NFL experts draft all 6’5” or taller Quarterbacks then obviously the data will show that you have to be 6’5” or taller as an NFL Quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Until that happens we know unequivocally that there is a place for the Fran Tarkentons, Joe Montanas and Aaron Rodgers of the NCAA football world in the NFL!

So come time for the 2012 NFL Draft, if the experts did their homework, we should see plenty of College Quarterbacks drafted that are vertically challenged (Landry Jones, Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden, Kellen Moore, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Case Keenum, Tajh Boyd, Ryan Tannehill and others). The 2012 NFL Draft will be the year to Get Shorty!

 

Want more from With the First Pick?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.