Yesterday on ESPN News, Newsday’s Eric [sic] Boland noted he had heard that there were some inside the organization that had “soured” on Kellen Clemens, presumably based on last summer and his 2007 campaign.
Meanwhile, Football Outsiders writer Bill Barnwell wrote on ESPN’s Insider section yesterday that he’s got a suggestion on who the Jets should be behind center come next September.
So now what? Are the Jets back at square one with regard to the quarterback position? Is former Utah quarterback Brett Ratliff ready to take over? Should the Jets turn to free agency or attempt to trade for a starter?
Our suggestion is to stick with Clemens, whom ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski regarded as better than both Vince Young and Jay Cutler entering the 2006 draft. (Jaws knows a thing or two about quarterbacks.) Research into college quarterbacks conducted by our David Lewin has shown that the only two factors that matter when judging college quarterbacks selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft are completion percentage and games started.
Clemens completed 61 percent of the passes he threw at Oregon and started 32 games, numbers comparable to those of Eli Manning (60.8 completion percentage, 37 starts) and Drew Brees (61.1 completion percentage, 37 starts) on the high end and Patrick Ramsey (58.9 completion percentage, 32 starts) on the low end.
Merrill Hoge was similarly effusive about Clemens in 2006, but I’m much more likely to actually pay attention to Jaws than Hoge. Hearing from Boland that there might be folks from inside the building that are already passing final judgement on Clemens career strikes me as insane, and only confirms to me that sometimes being too close to something can make one myopic.
Barnwell goes on to further note that McNabb, Palmer, Bledsoe, Peyton and Eli all had worse starts than Clemens in terms of QB ratings and only buttresses the point that the verdict isn’t out on Clemens yet and to assume it is is beyond foolish.
Wag of the John Deere trucker hat to Alon Shapiro for sending this on.