There is no getting around the 2015 NFL Draft rumors this far into April, and it seems like one way or another the Tennessee Titans keep getting mentioned by the media. While no one should argue the merits or trading for Philip Rivers or drafting Marcus Mariota (both of which could potentially be great in Tennessee), there is something that no one seems to be talking about.
While many people are quick to laugh at the idea of Zach Mettenberger being lauded by the Tennessee Titans coaching staff, remind me again what do you think about Blake Bortles? Essentially both had a lot of the same career benchmarks last year:
-Both had very good preseasons
-Both were forced to come in early despite coaches saying that wouldn’t happen in the preseason.
-Both had moments where they looked good, but are far from a proven commodity.
So with all those things in mind, why on Earth is Blake Bortles thought of more highly than Zach Mettenberger?
That is a topic I will dive into sometime later if the Tennessee Titans decide to stick with Zach Mettenberger for the 2015 NFL season. For now, lets look at how Zach Mettenberger ranked against the other rookies in the NFL. However, just to make it more fun, lets remove the names of the quarterbacks from this list.
Player A: 1.17 TD:INT, 64.4% completion percent, 50.2 QBR, 85 passer rating
Player B: 1.14 TD:INT, 59.8% completion percent, 30.1 QBR, 83.5 passer rating
Player C: 0.65 TD:INT, 58.9% completion percent, 21.9 QBR, 69.5 passer rating
Player D: 1.75 TD:INT, 58.1% completion percent, 38.4 QBR, 76.6 passer rating
So take a second and look over those number, which one would you think is the best quarterback on paper? For my money, it is hard to argue with “Player A”. That guy isn’t a touchdown machine, but he is tops in every other category.
Second place probably goes to “Player D”. That guy has home run potential and he is either throwing a lot of touchdowns, or very few interceptions, either way it is impressive for a rookie. Now, the completion percent is the worst on the list, but I can take a few dropped/incomplete passes if I have a guy that can get me one the board consistently.
Third place is easily “Player B”. He has a little bit of both of the top players in him. He is keeping his TD:INT ratio solidly above one and his passer rating indicates that he limits his interceptions per attempt, and will likely get better in “column A” in the future.
Finally, last place has to go to Blake Bort…I mean “Player C”. What a gross collection of numbers, he is throwing almost two interceptions for every touchdown and his completion percent shows why. With ” Player D” you can assume that his percentage was low, but his TD:INT number was high because he takes chances on the outside, but he wins them often enough to justify it. “Player C” is bad in every area, and there is really nothing positive to say.
Ok, so without any more talking, this is who the quarterbacks actually are:
Teddy Bridgewater: 1.17 TD:INT, 64.4% completion percent, 50.2 QBR, 85 passer rating
Zach Mettenberger: 1.14 TD:INT, 59.8% completion percent, 30.1 QBR, 83.5 passer rating
Blake Bortles: 0.65 TD:INT, 58.9% completion percent, 21.9 QBR, 69.5 passer rating
Derek Carr: 1.75 TD:INT, 58.1% completion percent, 38.4 QBR, 76.6 passer rating
The impressive thing about this list for Tennessee Titans fans is that Zach Mettenberger’s performance last year came with half of his offensive line missing and with Justin Hunter and Delanie Walker both missing time. It was essentially Zach Mettenberger and the Tennessee Titans second string offense taking on legitimately tough defenses.
“I would pick Mettenberger over Winston for his team.”-Greg Cosell
Perhaps no one is higher on Zach Mettenberger (publicly) than Greg Cosell. In a recent interview with the Midday 180 he had some interesting quotes about Zach Mettenberger, namely these two:
“I would pick Mettenberger over Winston for his team. Know I am in minority, doesn’t mean I’m right.”
“Not a whole lot of difference between Mettenberger and Winston when you look at traits/attributes.
If the Tennessee Titans say that they are happy with Zach Mettenberger, it isn’t hard to see why if you look at his numbers rather than the team’s failure as a whole. Still, if the Tennessee Titans brought in Philip Rivers and allowed Zach Mettenberger to learn from a quarterback that has thrived in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense, that seems like a pretty great idea right?
If the Tennessee Titans want to see more of Zach Mettenberger right away (and they also don’t want to pay Philip Rivers a ton of money) then trade down with the Cleveland Browns, grab some stud offensive players like Kevin White, Davante Parker, Todd Gurley, La’el Collins, or Andrus Peat and give him the fire power that he needs to succeed.