Around the MLB in 30 Days: Opening Day, the Boston Red Sox

2014 Record and Finish ——- 71-91, 5th place in AL East

Excitement is buzzing in Fenway as Opening Day approaches and NBSR starts its annual writeups.

Excitement is buzzing in Fenway as Opening Day approaches and NBSR starts its annual writeups.

Last Year:       Two years ago the Red Sox became just the 11th team in MLB history to go from worst to first. However, last season Boston became the only team to ever go worst to first back to worst. That’s the way life goes in the extremely competitive AL East. The Red Stockings played .500 baseball through their first 40 games before going on a nine game losing streak.  That streak kept them from eclipsing the .500 mark the rest of the year. Pitching and hitting both let down Boston as they finished 10th and 11th in the AL, respectively. As you can imagine very little went right for the Olde Towne Team. Last year only three Red Sox reached double digit home run totals (David Ortiz, Xander Bogarts, Mike Napoli). Second baseman and leader Dustin Pedroia had perhaps his worst season as a pro. Clay Bucholz saw his ERA balloon to a 5.34. Bright spots included the play of Rusney Castillo (only 10 games), Mookie Betts, and the back end of the bullpen. It was also fortunate that management saw the writing on the wall, took a punt on the season, and jettisoned some high profile pitchers to make way for the future.

Departures:  RHP Ryan Dempster, LHP Burke Badenhop, C David Ross, RHP Alex Wilson, RF Yoenis Cespedes, 3B Will Middlebrooks, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, RHP Allen Webster

Acquisitions: 3B Pablo Sandoval, LF Hanley Ramirez, RHP Rick Porcello, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Justin Masterson, C Ryan Hanigan, RHP Zeke Spruill, RHP Anthony Varvaro, RHP Alexi Ogando

Outlook:          The above list of departures hardly tell the true story of the roster turnover for Boston. At a glance it appears as though not much was lost. When looking back at players traded in the middle of the season last year though, you see very high profile names. Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy were all dealt before the trade deadline. As such, the Red Sox have totally revamped their starting rotation from last season. But is there improvement? Let’s take a blind look at last season’s numbers for both the 2014 BoSox staff and the projected 2015 rotation.

IP                    ERA                WHIP              K/9                  BB/9                K/BB

Staff A:        801.1                   4.55                   1.39              7.03                 3.16             2.23

Staff B:        892.2                   3.82                   1.28              7.55                 2.49             3.03

Bounce back year for Frodo?

Bounce back year for Frodo?

If you had to make a choice, Staff B is clearly the way to go. Unfortunately for present day Boston fans, Staff B are the numbers for the 2014 rotation. Of course the 2014 numbers aren’t guaranteed to be the same for Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson, and Joe Kelly. I expect a tough adjustment to the AL for Miley. Kelly for a full season will be intriguing but I would expect an ERA in the area of 4.00. Many believe it could be a breakout year for Porcello on his contract season, and we should see bounce back years from Masterson and Buchholz. Even if all these things happen though there is no ace on the staff. Teams can win that way (see 2014 Baltimore O’s) but it won’t be easy.

Following a splurge in spending, the offense is the point of excitement. Sandoval will be an upgrade at third over Middlebrooks. The Panda is fairly overrated however due to his post-season heroics. He will turn in a solid regular season both offensively and defensively but don’t count on an MVP caliber season. He struggles mightily against left-handed pitchers, against whom he posted a .199 batting average. The Green Monster will be his best friend in that regard though so expect improvement.

Hey Mr. Manfred I think I'll go ahead and take as much time as I need at the plate.

Hey Mr. Manfred I think I’ll go ahead and take as much time as I need at the plate.

I also saw a report that he spent his entire offseason practicing from the right side. The other major pick up was Hanley Ramirez. HanRam is an absolute beast at the plate. There is a pretty large question mark next to him heading into the season though as he will be switching positions to LF. We really don’t know how his defense will be and how it will affect his performance at the dish. Leftfield generally puts a little more strain on the body as well. I anticipate a couple of trips to the DL for Ramirez. Fortunately for Boston they have the deepest outfield in the MLB. Their second outfield might start for some teams. I wish luck to manager John Farrell in doling out at-bats between Ramirez, Betts, Castillo, Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr., Allen Craig, and Daniel Nava. Should they be in contention around the deadline a couple of those guys may get dealt to help the staff. Filling out the rest of the infield with Bogaerts, Pedroia, and Napoli will make for a formidable line up. The real question is at what point does David Ortiz stop catching up to fastballs?

Prediction:       The Red Sox will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in the 2015 season. Do the offseason moves translate into a division title? Or will a questionable staff lead the Sox to another last place finish? I’m inclined to lean towards the latter. Look for a finish in the middle of a tough AL East.

Jason Kidd Broke My Heart- An Open Letter

It’s been 8 hours now since the first rumors started popping up. The Bucks were in talks with the Sixers and Suns on a pretty substantial deal to end the wild trades throughout the day. The trade itself looks innocent enough, here’s a recap (with previous teams):

Bucks get- Michael Carter-Williams (PHI), Miles Plumlee (PHX) and Tyler Ennis (PHX)

Suns get- Brandon Knight (MIL), Kendall Marshall (MIL)

Sixers get- Draft picks

BK guards MCWThe Bucks give up two guards to get two guards and a big man in Plumlee, including Kendall Marshall who started his career in Phoenix and suffered a season-ending ACL injury a few weeks back. Those at home think the Bucks got a good deal, three players for one and a half. It wasn’t just any player though, it was Brandon Knight! Here’s why President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Jason Kidd got it wrong with dealing Brandon Knight.

You see, BK has not been the BK of old this season for Milwaukee. Not only did he lead the team in points and minutes, but also steals and assists as well. Sure, he led the team in turnovers at over three per game, but the guy was a fighter. He brought it night in and night out and seemed to will the Bucks into buckets at points this season when the offense seemed out of it. BK was not only the offensive playmaker for the Bucks, but he was the heart and soul of this young team. He was “the guy” that they went to when they needed baskets. He was guy that had been around, although only three years, but more than much of the roster. The guys loved Knight in the locker room, from what nearly every report said, and Knight was a great example of how the development of a young guard could come along quickly. He had always been a guy that could score, but was just coming into his own as a playmaker, learning to play with a talented nucleus around him.

BK fights tweetWas BK a “true” point guard? No, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t a viable option at the starting point guard position, the same one he’ll play in Phoenix. Jason Kidd was a true PG, BK was not, and MCW is. Carter-Williams averages 15 PPG, 7.4 assists/game and 6.2 rebounds/game. These numbers coming on really bad teams, though. He isn’t a good shooter with 38/26/64 splits (44/41/88 for BK), but he is a true, pass-first PG that Kidd will like. No better person to learn the position from than Jason Kidd after all.

If this was last year’s 15-67 Bucks team, I would be all for this trade, but not when you’re a hot team who has already outperformed everyone’s predictions. This Milwaukee team really came together in tough wins before the break and BK was a huge reason why. I would have liked to see these Young Bucks play out the season with what they had, plus maybe a free agent big man, but the roster they had was beautiful. Build assets for the long run is usually what teams in this position do, but the Bucks have already overachieved this season and messing with the team chemistry won’t help them gel down the stretch. I even thought maybe a nice series in the playoffs would move the learning curve of this young team forward, with guys obviously wanting more of that playoff action.

Being thin at the PF/C position because of injuries throughout the season (and Larry Sanders) didn’t help with the trade either. I almost feels like they were pressed to find help down low and ended up reaching for a guy who doesn’t even average five and five this year. Sure, Plumlee will help Zaza, John Henson, Johnny O’Bryant and Kenyon Martin, but those four could have taken matter into their own hands for the final two months, right?

Some notables in this MCW/BK deal are at the defensive end and in the check book. BK is a restricted free agent after this year and Milwaukee was skeptical that it could keep him around at a higher price tag, one that he deserves no doubt. MCW is a much safer bet to stick around. BK was a great defender, someone who helped the Bucks into becoming one of the best defenses in the entire league. MCW is not a great defender who gets lost a lot, but does have a long wingspan, something Bucks fans are used to. His length will help a Bucks team that plays a unique defensive style. If you needed another reason to believe me, think about this: MCW is actually older than BK by two months. Both are 23, but BK was much farther into his development as a professional.

It takes time for new guys to get to know schemes and teammates (see: Cleveland this year, Miami in 2011). Milwaukee doesn’t necessarily have that time, with them being hard pressed to hold onto that #6 seed in the East. Teams below them spent Thursday getting better (Miami, Boston), while Milwaukee seems to have taken a step back in the thick of the season. Although I understand every reason they did it, I haven’t been this disappointed in the Milwaukee Bucks since they drafted an 18-year-old Greek kid that nobody had ever heard of with the 15th overall pick in the draft, but I guess we know how that turned out. Fingers crossed Jason, fingers crossed.

NBA Trades we’d like to see

As we get into the 2015 NBA All-Star break, we’ll be just days away from the February 19 trade deadline. Not a ton of noise has been made so far this season on the trade front, but here are a few trade suggestions that could shake things up.

NBA trades 15 Sanders to DEN

Larry Sanders has been a headache in Milwaukee since signing a $44 million extension last season and being able to afford more marijuana than ever before. His salary makes him the highest paid player on a very young and inexpensive Milwaukee Bucks squad fighting for their 6th-seeded playoff lives. The success is due much to their defense, ranked second in efficiency league-wide. All that without Sanders in the equation, showing that he definitely is an expendable piece. The Bucks have experience all kinds of injury troubles over an array of different positions, especially in their frontcourt. Getting a guy like Hickson can help the rebounding and takes pressure off an old guy in Pachulia and an inexperienced one in John Henson. Hickson would start almost immediately while Foye would provide scoring off the bench in the OJ Mayo role. You can never have too many guys who can score off the bench, it’s like having too much pitching in baseball, and it simply doesn’t exist. Hickson takes Pachulia’s spot in a few years when he’s gone and Foye is a reliable bench guy. For Denver, it’s essentially a swap of big men, with Sanders one of the best rim protectors in the NBA. He would get a chance to play alongside JaVale McGee in the future and is better suited for a PF role anyway, although he can play both. The Bucks are in a position to throw in a 2nd round pick to sweeten up the deal as well.

The best part about this deal is that the Nuggets travel to Milwaukee for their first games after the break on the 20th, so a simple swap would be in order at the Bradley Center. Hand delivered trades are the best kind of trades.

NBA trades 15 Hill to CHA

Interesting that a team would be willing to sign a top free agent and trade him just 7 months later, but that looks like the position that the Hornets are in with Born Ready Lance Stephenson. Charlotte holds down the 7-seed in the East entering the break, and acquiring another big to pound alongside Al Jefferson could be key for this team to stay in the playoff picture. They just traded for Mo Williams yesterday and can add Hill to the mix to make 4 guys to play those 2 big man positions (Jefferson, Marvin Williams, Hill, & Cody Zeller). Trading for Mo Williams makes way for Born Ready to depart to LA, a place where his oddities may be appreciated more than Charlotte and Indy before. Throw in a reliable defender in Bismack Biyambo to help the Lakers off the bench and you’ve got a match made in heaven for all parties involved. The Lakers can play big and put Stephenson at the PG spot or run him and Swaggy P out there together in the backcourt, really the options are limitless. That’s how trades are supposed to work, right?

NBA trades 15 Turner to ORL

The Celtics are looking to build around guard play in Marcus Smart and can add a reliable rotation guy in Mo Harkless with high potential to replace the veteran of Boston in Evan Turner. Turner is only 26 but has been with a handful of teams in his 5 NBA seasons. A veteran like Turner can go a long way in helping tutor young guys on basketball and life in the league, especially young kids like Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo at the guard spots. Orlando is a young team that is looking for that veteran presence not names Ben Gordon. As for Boston, Harkless could come in and get many minutes right away. He may not start at the SF position but he, Jae Crowder and big man Brandon Bass could rotate through in the PF spot, especially with Harkless standing at 6’9” and 225 lbs. The Magic may be rebuilding, but losing games by a lot without learning much isn’t good for a rebuilding effort either. Turner could provide much needed scoring for a team full of ball-stopping young kids and a PG that can’t shoot. They barely have a solid PF on the roster with Aaron Gordon getting the most minutes at that position, whose game is better suited for a PF spot anyways. The Celtics get another piece to build with and the Magic get a solid contributor that can come in and start around the pieces already in place.

NBA trades 15 Bosh to HOU

This one doesn’t exactly work out on the trade machine (because of the wide disparity of salaries between the 3 guys), but that won’t stop us from bringing it up. The money is the issue with this one as Houston would have to be willing to take on at least half or more of Bosh’s max contract, while Miami would probably agree to pay $4-5 million/year of that contract for the next few years. Here’s what happens in Houston: Bosh comes in and starts at the center position right away until Dwight Howard returns from injury, then slides over to the PF spot to play alongside Howard and Harden. Bosh is extremely effective and can stretch the floor from the 3-point line as we saw in Miami, something that is very important to GM Daryl Morey and his efficient-shot offense (3’s are better than long 2’s, etc.). Bosh shoots well at 46% on the season and 38% from deep. For Miami, they would get a big man in Donatas Motiejunas and a SF in Kostas Papanikolaou, and each would come in right away to take Bosh’s scoring responsibilities. We know how much Miami coach Erik Spoelstra likes to stretch the floor, and Papanikolaou can do just that. With the Heat fighting for the 7-8 seed in the East and Hassan Whiteside playing well, Miami would plug Motiejunas in at PF for Bosh and bring Papa off the bench as he does now in Houston. In the Miami offense, Bosh can tend to be a bit of a ball-stopper, and in an era of ball movement, the two foreigners will help the Heat claim a playoff spot come season’s end.

I tried to trade Kevin Love about 10 different times but couldn’t come up with anything that both made sense and lined up with money requirements. If you think we missed anything, put something together on the trade machine and tweet it @NBSportsReport. If these teams would listen to what we were saying, they’d be in a better position in no time.

The Best Posts of 2014

Letter logo

It’s been a great year, our first full year as a website here at NBSR. In celebrating, we’re taking a look back at the most-read posts on our site.

1. Phil Jackson vs. Erik Spoelstra: A Complete Comparison (4/16/14)

“This game is now about younger coaches who are technologically skilled, innovative, and bring fresh new ideas. That’s what we feel we are getting with Erik Spoelstra. He’s a man that was born to coach,” said Pat Riley in 2008. From one man that was born to coach to arguably the greatest basketball coaching mind of all time, the similarities are there to see.
Senior writer Dan took a look and compared both coaches. Not taking a stance on either, just simply looking at them both. Our most-read post of all-time.

2. Gagliardi Trophy Watch (10/14/14)

The award is named after the legendary coach from St. John’s University in Minnesota, John Gagliardi. You could consider it to be the DIII equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, but athletic accomplishments is only a third of the criteria. The Salem Rotary Club looks at academics and community service as well when considering a winner.
Senior writer Brett took a look at 5 candidates from around the country in the D3 football world to put together this list. This post got the most Twitter activity from any of our posts to date.

3. Derek Jeter is Overrated (5/20/14)

In the midst of Derek Jeter’s farewell tour he is being showered with gift baskets (ironic?). I don’t have a gift basket to offer, just my two cents on his career.
Brett once again delivered this post on the career of newly-retired SS Derek Jeter. He takes a look at Jeter where few are brave enough to look.

4. How to Really Fix the Dunk Contest (2/19/14)

After what was a so-so display of dunks on All-Star Saturday Night last weekend, and a confusing format, the NBA’s dunk contest is broken. I feel that it’s my personal responsibility to fix it. This is basically what I would do when I become commissioner of the NBA, a few years from now.
Dan offered his take on the dunk contest and how the tinkering played a role in the all-star festivities.

5. NFL Draft Review: The QBs and more (5/11/14)

After our big mid-season piece on ranking the top 120 FBS quarterbacks, you knew we had have a special draft edition didn’t you? Your NBSR staff will take you through their top pick if going for a QB early, and their top choice if their fictitious team that they are the fictitious GM of, wanted to wait to find a QB…and their thoughts in between.
Dan & Bryce draft their teams a QB from the fresh crop. The best of our tag team posts of the year.

Going Bowling: Picking every game

If you’re like us, then you’re watching the New Orleans Bowl right now as it kicks off bowl season. After a rather unimpressive showing in last year’s picks, Bryce & Dan are back to make more. This time Brett joins us to fill out the roster. Here’s every bowl game, with viewing info, and our professional football watchers picks:

Bowl Location Date/Time TV BRETT DAN BRYCE
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome Dec. 20 11 a.m. ESPN Nevada ULL ULL
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Utah State vs. UTEP Albuquerque, N.M. University Stadium Dec. 20 2:20 p.m. ESPN Utah State UTEP Utah State
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Utah vs. Colorado State Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium Dec. 20 3:30 p.m. ABC Rado St Utah Utah
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan vs. Air Force Boise, Idaho Albertsons Stadium Dec. 20 5:45 p.m. ESPN AF Western Mich. West Mich
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl South Alabama vs. Bowling Green Montgomery, Ala. Cramton Bowl Dec. 20 9:15 p.m. ESPN BGSU USA USA
Miami Beach Bowl BYU vs. Memphis Miami Marlins Park Dec. 22- 2 p.m. ESPN BYU BYU BYU
Boca Raton Bowl Marshall vs. Northern Illinois Boca Raton, Fla. FAU Stadium Dec. 23- 6 p.m. ESPN NIU Marshall Marshall
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Navy vs. San Diego State San Diego Qualcomm Stadium Dec. 23 9:30 p.m. ESPN Navy SDSU Navy
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky Nassau, Bahamas Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium Dec. 24 Noon ESPN CMU WKU W. Kentucky
Hawai’i Bowl Fresno State vs. Rice Honolulu Aloha Stadium Dec. 24- 8 p.m. ESPN Fresno St Fresno St Rice
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech Dallas Cotton Bowl Dec. 26- 1 p.m. ESPN Illinois La Tech La Tech
Quick Lane Bowl Rutgers vs. North Carolina Detroit Ford Field Dec. 26 4:30 p.m. ESPN UNC UNC Rutgers
Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl NC State vs. UCF St. Petersburg, Fla. Tropicana Field Dec. 26- 8 p.m. ESPN NC State UCF UCF
Military Bowl presented By Northrop Grumman Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech Annapolis, Md. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Dec. 27- 1 p.m. ESPN Cincy VT Cincy
Hyundai Sun Bowl Arizona State vs. Duke El Paso, Texas Sun Bowl Dec. 27- 2 p.m. CBS Zona St ASU AZ State
Duck Commander Independence Bowl Miami vs. South Carolina Shreveport, La. Independence Stadium Dec. 27 3:30 p.m. ABC The U Miami Miami
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Boston College vs. Penn State Bronx, N.Y. Yankee Stadium Dec. 27 4:30 p.m. ESPN Hackenbergs PSU Penn State
National University Holiday Bowl Nebraska vs. USC San Diego Qualcomm Stadium Dec. 27- 8 p.m. ESPN USC Nebraska Nebraska
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Texas A&M vs. West Virginia Memphis, Tenn. Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Dec. 29- 2 p.m. ESPN A&M A&M WVU
Russell Athletic Bowl Oklahoma vs. Clemson Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl Dec. 29 5:30 p.m. ESPN Clemson Clemson Oklahoma
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl Arkansas vs. Texas Houston NRG Stadium Dec. 29- 9 p.m. ESPN Texas Arkansas Arkansas
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Notre Dame vs. LSU Nashville, Tenn. LP Field Dec. 30- 3 p.m. ESPN Irish LSU LSU
Belk Bowl Georgia vs. Louisville Charlotte, N.C. Bank of America Stadium Dec. 30 6:30 p.m. ESPN The Ville Georgia Georgia
Foster Farms Bowl Maryland vs. Stanford Santa Clara, Calif. Levi’s Stadium Dec. 30 10 p.m. ESPN Stanford Stanford Maryland
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl No. 9 Ole Miss vs. No. 6 TCU Atlanta Georgia Dome Dec. 31 12:30 p.m. ESPN TCU TCU TCU
VIZIO Fiesta Bowl No. 20 Boise State vs. No. 10 Arizona Glendale, Ariz. University of Phoenix Stadium Dec. 31- 4 p.m. ESPN Zona Arizona Boise
Capital One Orange Bowl No. 7 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech Miami Gardens, Fla. Sun Life Stadium Dec. 31- 8 p.m. ESPN Ga Tech Miss St. Miss State
Outback Bowl Auburn vs. Wisconsin Tampa, Fla. Raymond James Stadium Jan. 1 Noon ESPN2 Auburn Wisconsin Auburn
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Baylor Arlington, Texas AT&T Stadium Jan. 1 12:30 p.m. ESPN Mich St Baylor Mich State
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Missouri vs. Minnesota Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl Jan. 1- 1 p.m. ABC Sota Mizzou Minnesota
Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern MutualCollege Football Playoff Semifinal No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State Pasadena, Calif. Rose Bowl Jan. 1- 5 p.m. ESPN Oregon Oregon Oregon
Allstate Sugar BowlCollege Football Playoff Semifinal No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome Jan. 1 8:30 p.m. ESPN Bama Bama Ohio State
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Houston vs. Pittsburgh Fort Worth, Texas Amon G. Carter Stadium Jan. 2 Noon ESPN Houston Pitt Pitt
TaxSlayer Bowl Iowa vs. Tennessee Jacksonville, Fla. EverBank Field Jan. 2 3:20 p.m. ESPN Tennessee Iowa Iowa
Valero Alamo Bowl Kansas State vs. UCLA San Antonio Alamodome Jan. 2 6:45 p.m. ESPN UCLA K-State K-State
TicketCity Cactus Bowl Washington vs. Oklahoma State Tempe, Ariz. Sun Devil Stadium Jan. 2 10:15 p.m. ESPN OKST UW Washington
Birmingham Bowl East Carolina vs. Florida Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field Jan. 3- 1 p.m. ESPN Florida ECU ECU
GoDaddy Bowl Toledo vs. Arkansas State Mobile, Ala. Ladd-Peebles Stadium Jan. 4- 9 p.m. ESPN Toledo Ark St. Arkansas State
College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T TBD vs. TBD Arlington, Texas AT&T Stadium Jan. 12 TBD ESPN Alabama Oregon Oregon

2014 QB Rankings #31-45

McGough in the Spring Game

45. Alex McGough, FIU, FR (NR)
2014 stats (12/17): 138/274 (50.4%), 1680 yds, 14 TD, 10 INT

Typical freshman year for a second tier Florida school freshman. And we’ll admit this is an awfully bold ranking. Let’s say this one is about 95% based on projectability and because we believe McGough should be a four year starter when all is said and done.

44. Kale Pearson, Air Force, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/18): 96/162 (59.3%), 1513 yds, 14 TD, 3 INT, 157 att, 646 yds, 6 TD

Led the Falcons to big wins over Boise State and Georgia Tech. Will see Western Michigan in bowl game.

Kale Money

 

43. Joe Licata, Buffalo, JR (81)
2014 stats (12/18): 224/345 (64.9%), 2647 yds, 29 TD, 11 INT

More TDs, fewer INTs from when we saw him last year in fewer pass attempts. If their Kent State game didn’t get postponed and then cancelled, we might see Broadway Joe here in a bowl game. Either way, looking forward to his senior season at Buffalo. Also the Western New York High School record book leader in three pointers made.

Licata

 

42. Dylan Thompson, South Carolina, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/18): 248/417 (59.5%), 3280 yds, 24 TD, 11 INT

South Carolina really underperformed this year all around, but they will be heading to the Independence Bowl against Miami (sponsored by first year partner Duck Commander). Threw for over 62% completion in half of the games. In a year where SC didn’t play Alabama, Ole Miss, or Mississippi State, again we say the Gamecocks underperformed.

41. Grant Hedrick, Boise State, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/17): 270/381 (70.9%), 3387 yds, 22 TD, 13 INT

Started five games last year in injury replacement duty and started all 13 for the Fiesta Bowl bound Broncos. Had two bad games which resulted in Boise State’s two losses.

Hedrick

Eight interceptions combined between the Air Force and Ole Miss losses. Lowest point total in wins was 28; had 27 points between the two losses. Arizona’s trouble at the quarterback position could make for a very interesting Fiesta Bowl matchup.

 

40. Hutson Mason, Georgia, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/18): 176/307 (57.3%), 2019 yds, 20 TD, 4 INT

It’s tough to follow the greatest statistical QB in SEC history in Aaron Murray, but Mason is trying and succeeding for the most part. Georgia QBs are tasked with taking care of the football and making the easy throws to open receivers. Murray got a little more leeway than most, but Mason is back in that mold. Not a great athlete, but Mason moves around well in the pocket, steps up and finds guys down the field. Has only taken 15 sacks this season. With all that said, he’s still a great turn-around and hand it off guy, which is just what the Bulldogs like in a QB. Mason has done his job in his time at UGA.

39. Brad Kaaya, Miami, FR (NR)
2014 stats (12/18): 202/345 (58.6%), 2962 yds, 25 TD, 11 INT

A young guy that got the nod as the starting QB held up well and put up nice numbers in his freshman season. If you’re looking for a guy to build around, he is it, and just a

Brad

freshman. Only had 2 games of positive rushing yards, with a net gain of 6 total yards on the year. So no, he’s not a scrambling threat, but Kaaya can do many different things well. His yards per completion is one of those things at a very good 8.6 yards. That shows that he can read a defense and make the right read down the field, which Kaaya has been trusted to do at the U. He could find himself very high on our rankings when all is said and done at Miami.

38. Jacoby Brissett, NC State, JR (NR)
2014 stats (12/18): 206/344 (59.9%), 2344 yds, 22 TD, 5 INT

A Florida kid making the trip north to NC State, this is his first year as the starter, but sat time in a few games each of the last 2 seasons previous. Good frame at 6-4, 230 lbs and good athleticism make him a nightmare to bring down both in the pocket and on the run. Ran for 167 yards on 14 attempts against UNC the last week of the season. THe more I read on this guy, the more I like about him. He runs in the 4.6 range and projects well, especially after another year to simmer with the Wolf Pack. Will like to see what he doesn with a little more freedom next season as well, but for now a matchup against UCF in the St. Petersburg Bowl will have to hold me over.

 

Marquise

37. Marquise Williams, North Carolina, JR (NR)
2014 stats (12/17): 245/391 (57.3%), 2870 yds, 20 TD, 9 INT, 178 att, 737 yds, 12 TD

The slew of first year starters in this portion of our rankings continue with the dual threat QB who, while he wasn’t ranked last year, saw 6 starts behind Brynn Renner. Williams stepped in and helped lead the Tar Heels to a Belk Bowl win over Cincy in 2013. This year he’ll be looking to bring another bowl victory when they face off wi th Rutgers in the Quick Lane Bowl.

36. Zach Terrell, Western Michigan, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/18): 231/330 (70.0%), 3146 yds, 23 TD, 10 INT

Dan’s newest crush

This guy was incredible and could easily be higher than 37, but that’s where we find him until next year. He completed 70% of his throws at 9.53 yards/completion. 7 multi-TD games and leading the Broncos to a bowl game gets you come credit. His progression from last year was insane, where he only completed 53% of his passes with a 8-8 TD-INT split. Some QB gurus we’ve got over at Western Michigan apparently. Runs a good 40 time at 4.6 and eludes the pressure while getting what he can, but also keeping his eyes down the field. With Terrell at the helm, Western Michigan could be the new NIU in the MAC.

35. Cyler Miles, Washington, Soph.
2014 stats (12/18): 194/291 (66.7%), 2129 yds, 16 TD, 3 INT

Completes balls at a good clip. We’d like to see a couple more throws out of Miles before putting him higher, but definitely has the potential. 6-4, 225 lbs of tough-to-bring-down QB. We could have a fun one in the Cactus bowl against Oklahoma State.

34. Kevin Hogan, Stanford, SR (15)
2014 stats (12/17): 218/332 (65.7%), 2603 yds, 17 TD, 8 INT

Hogan getting some love

Super similar stats to last years #15 ranking. I guess the Cardinal’s winning ways persuaded us a bit last year, so we’ll let their down season this year persuade us the other direction. When it comes down to it, Hogan is a game manager. And while we thought that meant he made the team better because of it last year, we see this year it may not be entirely the case. Of their 5 losses, only in the overtime loss to Utah did he throw for more touchdowns than interceptions.

33. Keenan Reynolds, Navy, JR (72)
2014 stats (12/17): 49/104 (47.1%), 826 yds, 6 TD, 3 INT, 231 att, 1182 yds, 21 TD

Comparable numbers to last year. Just a bit lower, but he did miss 2 games this year. Big rushing games include 173, 251, and 277 yard performances. Also threw for 231 yards against Rutgers in a 7 point loss. Next up the Midshipmen will face a fellow 7-5 team in the San Diego Poinsettia bowl.

Best helmets in football

 

32. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana, JR (26)
2014 stats (12/18): 101/167 (60.5%), 1151 yds, 6 TD, 3 INT

Well our plea to #FreeNateSudfeld didn’t exactly work out as we planned last season. We saw him throw a lot over the first 5 weeks of the season, including a 350 yard performance against BG, but then the injury bug bit. Sudfeld suffered a shoulder injury that ended his season. He was fairly inconsistent when he did play in the first half of the season, throwing for games of 111, 347, 252, 126, & 230 before bowing out. As you remember last year, Sudfeld split time, and they opted for a run-heavy approach in the last half of the season without him this year. We’re still waiting on those big things to come from Nate Sudfeld. It looks like he’s free though, judging by his could-be first 5 week numbers. 

31. Jared Goff, Cal, SO (84)
2014 stats (12/18): 316/509 (62.1%), 3973 yds, 35 TD, 7 INT

If you’re counting at home, that’s a 53-spot jump from #84 as a freshman last year. He’s the first member of the 50+ club at NBSR and maybe the reason that Cal won any games this year. Yes, the system helps, but playing in that same system last year didn’t produce what we saw this year. He averages 42 pass attempts per game and completes the down the field well, especially the long ball. 9 multi-TD games from the sophomore gives us and Cal hope that things are looking up. We’ll see you in the top 20 next year, Jared Goff.

mhmm

Middle-of-the-Pack QB Rankings, #60-46

 

60. Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State, SR (D2): 2014 stats (12/11): 283/427 (66.3%), 3602 yds, 34 TD, 11 INT

From Texas, straightlaced, 6’3”, 215 pounds, pre-season all-american, and completing 66% of his passes. Almost too good to be true. Threw 7 touchdowns and 408 yards in season opener, and went 28 for 46 with 313 yards and a touchdown in the season finale against Ouachita Baptist in the Battle for Arkansas and Great American Conference supremacy. Oachita won and nabbed a four seed in the D2 tourney but exited with a second round loss to UM-Duluth. We think Rodgers will get a healthy whiff of the CFL…speaking of Canada…

59. Brandon Bridge, South Alabama, SR (NR): 2014 stats (12/11): 140/270 (51.9%), 1648 yds, 14 TD, 6 INT

NFL scouts are salivating over Bridge, I mean look at the kid.

Did we mention he can do this? #BridgeForHeisman

The first Canadian on our countdown. A pretty good athlete with all the measurables (6-5, 235 lbs.), he’ll get a chance to show what this relatively unknown team is all about on the national stage in the Camellia Bowl against Bowling Green.

58. Jameill Showers, UTEP, SR (82): 2014 stats (12/16): 146/262 (55.7%), 1732 yds, 17 TD, 5 INT

From last year’s rankings: “The big thing we see her with Showers is that UTEP does better when he throws less. Jameill shows potential to lead UTEP to a .500 season next year if the offense can ever click.” Well, UTEP is a .500 team with the help of Showers, who improved in nearly every statistical category. We’ll see the Miners in the New Mexico Bowl against Utah State. Even with all the improvements, UTEP is still a much better team when Showers throws the ball less. There could be multiple reasons for this, but it seems that the team is much more comfortable when Showers is running an effective read-option. He’s still got all the tools in terms of athleticism that he showed as not Johnny Manziel at A&M, and could translate as a Denard Robinson in the NFL.

57. Anthony Boone, Duke, SR (40): 2014 stats (12/11): 240/422 (56.9%), 2507 yds, 17 TD, 7 INT

Weird year as he split time and was hurt. This year he throws 100 more pass attempts but only 4 more touchdowns and 300 yards. However he did split his interception rate in half. Adds about 30-40 yards a game on the ground and won’t intend to hurt you with his feet but can if he’s resorted to it. If he were a junior we’d think he could sneak into draft conversations.

56. Gary Nova, Rutgers, SR (77): 2014 stats (12/17): 178/307 (58.0%), 2667 yds, 20 TD, 12 INT

Voted the team MVP and why not. Of the 12 interceptions, only 2 were thrown in victories (finished 7-5). Five picks coming in 13-10 loss to Penn State, the only loss in which they can say they should have won (other losses Ohio St, Mich St, Nebraska, Wisconsin). The question on everyone’s mind is Rutgers football on the rise? Are shades of Ray Rice and Kenny Britt soon to come? Only time will tell. And also depends on Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Will see UNC in the Quick Lane Bowl-I’ll take Nova and the Knights by 12.

55. Drew Hare, Northern Illinois, SO (NR): 2014 stats (12/16): 179/299 (59.9%), 2097 yds, 17 TD, 2 INT, 145 rush, 850 yds, 8 TD

Jordan Lynch who?

It’s tough replacing a school legend like Jordan Lynch, but Hare has done everything that’s been asked of him. He might not be the runner that Lynch was, but he looks to be just as physical and will likely go over the 900 yard mark in the bowl game. Hare is challenging people to see how quickly they can forget.

54. Brandon Allen, Arkansas, JR (94): 2014 stats (12/16): 178/316 (56.3%), 2125 yds, 18 TD, 5 INT

Much, much, much, much, much, much, much more efficient and protective of the football in his junior season at the helm than what we saw last year as a sophomore. Maybe the reason the Razorbacks find themselves in the Texas Bowl later this month. You can compare him to many-a Stanford QB out west, but he’s there to hand the ball off and not turn it over. Sprinkle in 18 TDs this season and you’ve got the makings of a much improved player and team in general. Allen is the first ever member of the 40+ club, signifying that a QB has jumped that many spots from the year before. We may very well see a performance reminiscing those Stanford QBs next season as a senior.

53. Chad Voytik, Pittsburgh, SO (NR): 2014 stats (12/11): 158/252 (62.7%), 2011 yds, 15 TD, 7 INT

The 6-6 Panthers grabbed a bowl game with Houston, probably because of their win over U of Miami in the final week. Voytik is interesting, because while he doesn’t do most of his work with running the ball, that is precisely where he is most effective. Watched him rack up over 100 yards rushing against Virginia Tech and thought of a right handed, smaller Tim Tebow the way he absorbed contact. At 6-1 205 he won’t be able to run the ball 25 times for Pitt, but this season if he ran more than 10 times, they didn’t lose [in regulation].

52. Jake Rudock, Iowa, JR (76): 2014 stats (12/16): 211/337 (62.6%), 2404 yds, 16 TD, 4 INT

Rudock jumped up 24 spots mostly because he’s not making dumb decisions this year. Just another year of progression for a young QB. We promised last year that he’d be in the top half of B1G QBs by his senior year, watch out.

51. Kevin Ellison, Georgia Southern, SO (NR): 2014 stats (12/17): 71/128 (55.5%), 1001 yds, 5 TD, 3 INT, 172 att, 1096 yds, 12 TD

Hard to deny the incredulous running ability Ellison brought to the 9-3 Eagles who won the Sun Belt their first year in. Also because it was their first year in the FBS, they don’t get any bowl time. Ellison didn’t complete more than 10 passes in any one game this year, making their November 19, 2016 matchup with Georgia Tech a running attack matchup to not be missed.

50. Blake Frohnapfel, Massachusetts, SR (NR): 2014 stats (12/17): 241/437 (51.7%), 3345 yds, 23TD, 10 INT

Typically you don’t see a QB from such a bad team make it this high in the rankings, but Blake may deserve it. The one trick spot is allowing his stats to bloat a little bit because of throwing the ball from behind all year. Transferred from Marshall to UMASS because of a dude named Rakeem Cato. Twin brother was tight end at Marshall too.

49. Kenny Hill, Texas A&M, SO: 2014 stats (12/16): 214/321 (66.7%), 2649 yds, 23 TD, 8 INT

Not quite Kenny, not quite.

Remember after week 1 against South Carolina how ESPN anointed Hill as the next best thing to Manziel? Yeah me too. Since that 511 passing yard performance, Hill only played in 7 more ball games and played ok…until the last 3-game stretch. He threw 6 INTs in his last 3 games and may have wore his arm out each week throwing the rock so much. 8 INTs in his final 5 games didn’t help his cause. Any way you slice it, Hill is a tremendous talent and he could make “the leap” next season, whether it’s the system or by his own doing. We’ll be watching Kenny, don’t disappoint us.

48. Paxton Lynch, Memphis, SO (99): 2014 stats (12/17): 235/367 (64.0%), 2725 yds, 18 TD, 6 INT

Miami Beach Bowl matchup with BYU could be a lot better than most expect. Memphis only had 3 losses this year, Houston, Ole Miss, and UCLA playing the roles of bad guys. Not often anyone has ever gotten amped up on a Memphis quarterback, but the 6-7 Lynch has already progressed half way up our list in 1 year. Can’t wait to see how Lynch develops and see if he can ever become a Top 25 NBSR QB.

47. Wes Lunt, Illinois, SO (NR): 2014 stats (12/16): 149/233 (63.9%), 1729 yds, 14 TD, 3 INT

Ugly kid, effective QB.

Put on 20 pounds and Lunt would be a QB guru’s dream, but for now he’s just an Illinois QB waiting for his turn to sling it. His output will go up, but watch out for the efficiency, as he only played in 7 games with a few of those being cupcakes. Played great in his first 4 games, got hurt, played well a week later and fell off the map after reinjury. He’s another leap guy to watch out for next season.

46. Driphus Jackson, Rice, JR (NR): 2014 stats (12/17): 176/307 (57.3%), 2524 yds, 21TD, 8 INT

Will head to Hawaii to face a Fresno State team that is, oddly, 6-7. Shake and bake athleticism that keeps up from getting tagged by the best defensive backs.

2014 College Football QB Power Ranking #71-61

In case you’ve missed it, here are links to our previous posts:

#101-120 – Includes the likes of Kevin Burke, Anthony Jennings, and Cooper Rush
#87-100 – Includes the likes of Fredi Knighten, Taylor Lamb, and Devin Gardner
#72-86 – Includes the likes of Will Gardner, Chandler Whitmer and Justin Worley

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

71. Mark Myers, John Carroll University, SR (D3)
2014 stats (12/14): 255/379 (67.3%), 3428 yds, 41 TD, 4 INT

NFL scouts have to be salivating looking at this guy. No, he won’t be a first round pick, but he was a D1 guy at Pitt and has all the measurables (6-5, 230 lbs.). He’s not a great athlete but makes great decisions and simply did not turn the ball over against teams not named Mount Union this year. Obviously when comparing D3 guys to D1, you have to take the stats with a grain of salt, but Myers is as efficient as any QB I’ve seen; regardless of division you still have to complete the throws. Composed in the pocket with a big arm. Sees defenses well and doesn’t make dumb decisions. If he doesn’t get drafted late, he should have his pick of places to at least take part in training camp. Wouldn’t be surprised if he made a team as a 3rd string.

Justin Thomas, GT

70. Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech, SO
2014 stats (12/11): 89/175 (50.9%), 1594 yds, 17 TD, 5 INT, 176 att, 965 yds, 5 TD

Only 2 points away from an ACC championship and proving to the world that the triple option offense never died. Surprised by the passing numbers a bit, and probably why he makes his way inside the top 75.

69. Chris Bonner, Colorado State-Pueblo, JR (D2)
2014 stats (12/13): 225/374 (60.2%), 3413 yds, 33 TD, 9 INT

Chris Bonner

The Junior from San Diego originally went the JUCO route before becoming a Thunderwolf. The mascot alone might have convinced me, but a team good enough to be competing for the D2 National Championship (Dec 20, 2pm, ESPN 2) probably did the trick for Bonner. And at 6’7” and another year to go, you can go ahead and cue the scouts salivation. His arm strength is what scares me. This tape from his sophomore year will show you a fifty yard pass on the run and then a 40 yard completion off his back foot, while getting hit, in between three defensive backs. I stopped the video there because if we saw anymore of that we’d become even more of a Bonner hype machine than we are already are. We’ll finish by saying the D2 competition prevents him from getting ranked too high, however next year might be a different story.

68. Morgan Roberts, Yale, JR (FCS)
2014 stats (12/12): 248/371 (66.8%), 3230 yds, 22 TD, 9 INT

Morgan Roberts

Second in the FCS in yards per game, which is key for an Ivy League school that only plays 10 games and doesn’t have post-season football. Probably helps to have a 1400 yard/22 TD running back even-ing out the load. Roberts went to Clemson in 2011 and redshirted, threw 3 passes in 2012, came to Yale in 2013 (finished year with 339 pass yards, 58 rush yards, 15 receiving yards, 5 total TD), solidified a captain role in 2014. Only thing we don’t like is the trend of big potential Ivy Leaguers who have flopped under the spotlight (see Quinn Epperly of Princeton and Brett Nottingham of Columbia).

67. Trevor Knight, Oklahoma, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/12): 162/279 (58.1%), 2197 yds, 14 TD, 9 INT

Cleared to play in the Russell Athletic Bowl against Clemson after injuring his knee and missing the last three games of the year. Would have been close to 3,000 yards and 20 TD’s if he would have finished out the year. Played in 8 games last year with 5 starts, one of which being a Sugar Bowl. Has the experience and will be poised for a breakout year in 2015.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

66. Cody Clements, U-Alabama-Birmingham, JR (NR)
2014 stats (12/14): 183/275 (66.5%), 2227 yds, 14 TD, 8 INT

RIP Blazer football. Their QB goes out at #66 in the most powerful QB ranking out there. Very efficient passer within the offense. Played well against Mississippi State on the road in week 2. Just athletic enough to give the defense something to think about when he steps up in the pocket, but won’t win many foot races. Averages a pretty impressive 8.1 yards/completion, which means he finds his receivers down field well. We’d like to see a bigger sample size, but Clements definitely has the arm and brain to be a solid starter. I’ll be interested to see where he ends up once the NCAA says he can play next year when he leaves UAB.

65. Jacquez Johnson, FAU, JR (86)
2014 stats (12/11): 182/315 (57.8%), 2215 yds, 17 TD, 5 INT, 120 rush, 513 yds, 7 TD

A common progression up our boards from last season. Held onto the ball much better this year with his 5 picks and upped his TD numbers.

J. Johnson, 12

J. Johnson, 12

That being said, Johnson did not do a whole lot to help his team win games. He did next to nothing against the big boys this year (Nebraska/Bama), but also didn’t get to throw the ball a whole lot within the offense. He threw for less than 100 yards on 3 different occasions this season. Of all his numbers, the only one that went down was completion percentage. I like his reads this year seeing highlights on the YouTube machine. Provides great athleticism running the ball and looks more like a WR than a QB standing back there. With some help around him, he may be poised for a breakout senior campaign in 2015.

Towles, UK

64. Pat Towles, Kentucky, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/11): 225/392 (57.4%), 2718 yds, 14 TD, 9 INT

The 6’5” sophomore led his team to hot 5 and 1 start with that one loss being a triple overtime game with Florida. Then the real meat of the schedule arrived and the Wildcats from Lexington lost their last 6 games of the year finishing not bowl eligible. Only threw multiple touchdowns in 3 games but did provide 6 rushing touchdowns.

Richardson, Iowa State

63. Sam Richardson, Iowa State, JR (90)
2014 stats (12/11): 254/451 (56.3%), 2669 yds, 18 TD, 9 INT

Two wins this year over Toledo and rival Iowa. 345 yards and 3 TD’s in 3 point loss to Texas was probably his best performance of the year. Not a running quarterback but definitely poses as a dual threat who can hurt with his feet when he wants to. We like his progression from his sophomore season and expect a similar jump to his senior year.

62. Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/12): 289/457 (63.2%), 3476 yds, 30 TD, 16 INT

Old Dominion QB, T. Heinicke

While ODU finished 6-6 and bowl eligible, their season will end there. 0-2 gainst power 5 teams but the Monarchs are a team on the rise and doing well with their FCS to FBS transition. Heinicke was the Walter Payton award winner in 2012 (FCS’s Heisman equivalent) and will be showing off his talents in the East West Shrine game. Rightfully so as he put together a commendable year and has some fair pro potential.

61. Tommy Amrstrong Jr, Nebraska, SO
2014 stats (12/11): 152/294 (51.7%), 2314 yds, 19 TD, 11 INT

Next up for Tommy and the Huskers is a Holiday Bowl without head coach Bo Pelini. Threw for 966 yards in a fill in role for injured Taylor Martinez last year, which probably helped with stepping in this year. Ran for over 50 yards in seven games and contributed 5 touchdowns on the ground too.

2014 Quarterback Rankings #72-86

86. Kyle Pohl, Akron, JR (Last Year: 103)
2014 stats (12/12): 208/382 (54.5%), 2189 yds, 9 TD, 8 INT

Missed two games this year dropping his total to 10 games played. In those 10 he only threw for touchdowns in 4. Projectability may get him higher in our rankings than he should.

85. Daxx Garman, Oklahoma State, JR (Last Year: Not Ranked)
2014 stats (12/11): 152/277 (54.9%), 2041 yds, 12 TD, 12 INT

Trying to follow in the footsteps of an oddly-historic college QB proving ground in Stillwater. Didn’t play in a week 1 loss to Florida State and took over for starter JW Walsh in week 2 after a leg injury. He hasn’t looked back since then, although Garman was hurt himself the final 2 weeks of the season. The scouting report is that he plays well in wins, bad in losses. Funny how that works. He’s taken 31 sacks in just 8 games (that’s a lot), but is a strong kid with a big arm to fire the football. Has more multi-INT games than multi-TD games so the decision making will need to be improved for him to move up our list anytime soon.

chandler+whitmer+uconn+close

Chandler Whitmer, Connecticut

84. Chandler Whitmer, Connecticut, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/12): 124/223 (55.6%), 1522 yds, 11 TD, 8 INT

Playing time diminished after game 9 and probably rightfully so. Threw for over 300 yards once, 200 once, and under 100 once.

83. Quinn Kaehler, San Diego State, SR (83)
2014 stats (12/14): 158/280 (56.4%), 2016 yds, 9 TD, 10 INT

Has to take care of the ball when we see him in the Poinsettia Bowl against Navy.

82. Lamar Jordan, New Mexico, FR (NR)
2014 stats (12/14): 59/112 (52.7%), 895 yds, 6 TD, 5 INT, 120 rush, 612 yds, 3 TD

Not a whole lot to base this 70th-place ranking on the list. We like his projectability to run the offense for the Lobos. Kind of a Manziel-type, but running a spread option-type offense.

Lamar Jordan optioning out

Did play in all but 1 game for UNM, but the highest amount of pass attempts was 18, twice against San Diego State & Utah State. On the ground, not a lot of rushing TDs, but a whole lot of yards and attempts. More rushing attempts than passing attempts leads us to believe he’s in the infancy stage of a QB progression. If he stays at that position, check out where he lands next year with a spring of development under his belt.

81. Logan Woodside, Toledo, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/14): 165/270 (61.1%), 2096 yds, 19 TD, 7 INT

Beautiful display of QBR-ing this season from Woodside, including a 300+ QBR performance! Led the Rockets to a 8-4 record and a berth in the Go Daddy Bowl.

80. Justin Worley, Tennessee, SR (92)
2014 stats (12/14): 157/525 (59.7%), 1579 yds, 12 TD, 8 INT

Hasn’t played since October 18 @ Ole Miss, but racked up some nice numbers before that shoulder injury. One game with fewer than 34 pass attempts and a knack for making good decisions under pressure. Will get you next to nothing with his legs, but does have 3 rushing TDs on 3 QB sneaks.

Worley

79. Jerry Lovelocke, Prairie View A&M SR, (FCS)
2014 stats (12/14): 202/351 (57.5%), 2473 yds, 16 TD, 9 INT, 60 rush, 281 yds, 10 TD

Lovelocke was the best player on the field in most games, but did not necessarily take advantage of it. Tough time completing passes and decision making must improve. Could be moved to a TE position in the league, but don’t count on it. Used his size well to make running lanes for himself. Another Blake Bell comparison is in order here.

78. Sefo Liufau, Colorado, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/14): 325/498 (65.3%), 3200 yds, 28 TD, 15 INT

Finally we see a D1 guy who chucks the ball all around the field. Inflated numbers for a QB who throws it 40+ times/game. Sefo does so effectively within the offense and doesn’t force much. Didn’t for many wins for the Buffaloes either, losing their final 8 games.

Sefo and his Lady

Not a great athlete, but has a great arm. Prototypical pocket passer size (6-4, 225) and a great arm will make him a draft dream in a few years. Many of the stats were inflated because he threw the ball so much, but if he takes care of the rock over the next 2 year, he’ll find himself in the top 20 before all is said and done.

77. Will Gardner, Louisville, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/11): 127/221 (57.5%), 1669 yds, 12 TD, 3 INT

Did not start in 4 of the team’s games this year, which accounts for the lower numbers. Started in the games 3 losses and threw his 3 interceptions in two of those 3 losses. Will see Georgia in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium.

76. Nick Arbuckle, Georgia State, JR (NR)
2014 stats (12/14): 259/429 (60.4%), 3283 yds, 23 TD, 17 INT

Off to a hot 1-0 start to the year before losing 11 straight. Not Arbuckle’s fault, as he was really the lone bright spot for the Panthers. Looks as though the defense was more of the problem, since Arbuckle led the offense to around 25 PPG.

Nick Arbuckle, Panthers of Georgia State

75. Nick Mullens, Southern Miss, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/12): 218/365 (59.7%), 2470 yds, 12 TD, 9 INT

Taking only starts into consideration, Mullens threw 274.4 yards a game. Racked up the yards and did a solid job in the touchdown and completion departments given his surrounding talent.

74. Cody Sokol, Louisiana Tech, SR (NR)
2014 stats (12/11): 246/420 (58.6%), 3189 yds, 29 TD, 13 INT

We call it a solid year, as Sokol, a first year starter, helped his team get to a Conference USA championship game.Frosh Ryan Higgins was the starter last year. Will face Illinois in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

73. Justin Holman, Central Florida, SO (NR)
2014 stats (12/12): 200/339 (59%), 2661 yds, 20 TD, 13 INT

Holman

Only got 14 attempts in behind Blake Bortles last year. Admirable effort in the season opener loss to Penn State, that probably would have had a better result for the Golden Knights had it not been Holman’s first start. St. Petersburg Bowl with NC State should be a good one where they put their 1-2 record against the power 5 on the line (9-3 this year overall).

72. Mitch Leidner, Minnesota, SO (85)
2014 stats (12/14): 101/206 (49%), 1540 yds, 10 TD, 8 INT, 117 rush, 462 yds, 10 TD

Mitch Leidner in Novembeard

Good size (6-4, 235) & good athleticism don’t make you a good QB, as Leidner has a tough time completing his passes. It feels like a Blake Bell comparison is in order here as he has run for 50+ yards in 5 different games, but only completed over half his throws in 4 games. We’ll see Leidner in the Citrus Bowl against an awfully good defense in Mizzou. Nothing like an SEC matchup to show what you’ve got as a QB, right?

Here’s how the rest of the rankings will shape out:

Tuesday: #61-71
Wednesday #46-60
Thursday #31-45
Friday #16-30
Saturday #1-15