On The Decline
Colt McCoy is currently getting the Tim Tebow treatment by both the Browns and the media. After drafting quarterback Brandon Weeden with the No. 22 overall pick in this year’s 2012 NFL Draft, the Browns have made it relatively clear that McCoy is not in their long-term plans. In fact, the team is looking and planning on trading the passer, which I will address in a moment.
Does Cleveland’s doubt mean that Colt McCoy is not starter material at the NFL level? Does this doubt mean that McCoy has zero “stud” potential?
No. While McCoy may never get the chance to start in the NFL again, which is something I have no control of, I want to go on the record saying that Colt McCoy has top 5-10 NFL/fantasy quarterback upside and the Browns are making a HUGE mistake turning their back on the passer.
Believe me, I’m getting ready for the “you’re crazy” comments below, but for me, this is Tim Tebow all over again. Like Tebow, McCoy has been doubted by an overwhelming amount of scouts/media ever since coming out of college, and while everyone knows how much of a supporter I am of Tebow, I will say I have even higher hopes for McCoy. In the right spot, which could have eventually been Cleveland, I think we’re looking at the next Matthew Stafford. Before you balk at that statement, keep in mind that it wasn’t too long ago when a majority of NFL and fantasy fans were doubting Stafford’s place in the elite circle of fantasy quarterbacks. McCoy has Stafford-like upside and I firmly believe he could be a Pro Bowl passer if given the chance.
Sure, McCoy struggled a bit in 2011, throwing for just 2,733 yards, 14TDs (and 11 INTs). He only played 13 games, but even stretching those stats over 16 games, it’s safe to say that McCoy disappointed in 2011. All that said, at times McCoy showed flashes of brilliance, especially during the preseason, when he completed 9-of-10 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Packers, then completed 10-of-18 passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns in the Browns’ second preseason game; McCoy led all NFL quarterbacks with a 132.6 passer rating through the first two games of the 2011 preseason. I know, it’s was the preseason, but it’s not just about the stats, it’s about that “it” factor, which Mccoy has. Regardless of stats or failures, I’ve seen tremendous talent and upside in this kid and I don’t care what any other scout or media source says about the 25-year-old.
Football Outsiders actually cranked out an interesting article regarding a process that forecasts the career potential of college-turning-pro quarterbacks. The system, called the “Lewin Career Forecast”, analyzes a combination of specific data, including, but not limited to, career college games started, career completion rate, BMI-related evaluations, rushing stats, and more… Interestingly enough, Colt McCoy sits at No. 4 overall, only behind Robert Griffin III (No. 1), Philip Rivers (No. 2) and Drew Brees (No. 3). Here is the top 7 quarterbacks according to the forecast system:
|Robert Griffin III||2012||2530|
This system is not an exact science, and it’s important to note/warn that Jason Campbell showed up at the 10 spot. Still, it’s interesting data, a lot of which I agree with. It’s also very interesting to find both Andrew Luck (No. 7) and Robert Griffin III (No. 1) inside the top 7; I think one of the two rookie passers, if not both, could very well end up being top 10 overall quarterbacks of the future.
Ok, so if I like McCoy so much, aside from the drafting of Brandon Weeden, what’s the problem? Well, Weeden’s selection proves that Cleveland has already given up on McCoy, and that alone won’t bode well for his trade value, which could possibly have McCoy being acquired in the next couple of weeks as a back-up passer. This is my main concern, and this could make his road to success quite a bit tougher to travel; it could even destroy his long-term opportunity all together. A team like Arizona would be smart to reach out and acquire this kid. Even if a team like the Cardinals had their doubts, like so many others have, it wouldn’t take too much to land the passer, and it provides much needed depth at a position the Cards should have already addressed during the off-season. Provide McCoy a receiving crew like Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd and you have yourself a top 5 NFL quarterback and a top 5-10 fantasy quarterback (just like Stafford.
The Latest News on Colt McCoy
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Browns will look to trade Colt McCoy “soon.”
“The Browns are opening to listening to offers,” Schefter stated. “… Colt McCoy (is) soon to be headed out of town.”
While I’m not suggesting that Brandon Weeden will fail in Cleveland, I am suggesting that the Browns are blind to what they have right in front of them. I felt this way about Carson Palmer entering his top 5QB season in 2005… I felt the same way about Cam Newton last year, absolutely calling him the next elite quarterback and a must-own for all dynasty leaguers… I felt the same way about Tim Tebow and projected his eventual rise even when he was sitting No. 3 on the Broncos’ depth chart during the months of August and September… Well, I’m making it crystal-clear right now that Colt McCoy is a star-in-waiting. Now, whether he gets a shot, or continues to wait, that no one has any control over. Hopefully an NFL team sees the upside and provides McCoy the opportunity to capitalize upon. Even if in the next couple of weeks he gets traded as a back-up passer, let’s hope he lands in an environment where he can quickly climb the ranks.