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NFL Draft 2015: Can Spread QB's Immediately Succeed?

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Much has been said about Marcus Mariota's Spread offense as a detriment. How do spread QBs do in their first year?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There is a narrative out there that because of the style of offense played, Jameis Winston would have a much quicker transition to the NFL than Marcus Mariota. That may be true, we'll find out in September - however, the narrative that a spread QB cannot succeed early isn't necessarily true.

Sander pointed out some great examples in his Mariota Won't Need to Sit article. But let's dive a little deeper.

Here are the numbers for spread QBs with their first year starting at least 6 starts in the League since 2009.

Great
Robert Griffin III 15 starts, 9-6 rec, 258 att 393 comp 65.6 comp pct 3,200 yds 8.14 ave 20 TDs 5 ints 3 fumbles, 7 rushing TDs, 102.4 QB Rating

Colin Kaepernick 7 starts, 5-2 rec, 136 comp 218 Att 62.4 comp pc 1,814 yds 8.32 ave 10 TDs, 3 Ints, 2 fum, 5 rushing TDs 98.3 QB Rating

Cam Newton - 16 starts, 6-10 rec, 310 comp 517 att 60.0 comp pct 4,051 yds7.84 ave 21 TDs 17 ints 3 fumbles, 14 rushing TDs, 84.5 QB Rating

Solid
Derek Carr - 16 starts, 3-13 rec, 348 comp, 599 att 58.1 comp pct 3,270 yds 5.46 ave 21 TDs 12 ints 4 fumbles, 0 rushing TDs, 76.6 QB Rating

Sam Bradford - 16 starts, 7-9 rec, 354 comp 590 Att 60.0 comp pct 3,512 yds 5.95 ave 18 TDs 15 ints 6 fum, 1 rushing TD, 76.5 QB Rating

Meh
Ryan Tannehill - 16 starts, 7-9 rec, 282 comp 484 att 58.3 comp pct 3,294 yds 6.81 ave 12 TDs 13 ints 5 fum, 2 rushing TDs 76.1 QB Rating

Colt McCoy - 8 starts, 2-6 rec, 135 comp 222 att 60.8 comp pct 1,576 yds 7.10 ave 6 TDs 9 ints 1 fum, 1 rushing TD, 74.5 QB Rating

Jake Locker - 11 starts, 4-7 rec, 177 comp 314 att 56.4 comp pct 2,176 yds 6.93 ave 10 TDs 11 ints 2 fum, 1 rushing TD. 74.0 QB Rating

Tim Tebow - 11 starts 7-4 rec, 126 comp 271 att 46.5 comp pct. 1,729 yds 6.38 ave 12 TDs 6 ints, 6 rushing TDs 72.9 QB Rating

Blaine Gabbert - 14 starts, 4-10 rec, 210 comp 413 att 50.8 comp pc 2,214 yds 5.36 ave 12 TDs 11 Ints 5 fum, 0 rushing tds, 65.4 QB Rating

Terrible
Brandon Weeden - 15 starts, 5-10 rec, 297 comp 517 att 57.4 comp pct 3,385 yds 6.55 ave 14 TD 17 ints 3 fum, 0 rushing TDs, 72.6 QB Rating

John Skelton - 7 starts, 5-2 rec, 151 comp 275 att 54.9 comp pc 1,913 yds 6.96 ave 11 TDs 14 ints 1 fum, 0 rushing TDs 68.9 QB Rating

Geno Smith - 16 starts, 8-8 rec, 247 comp 443 att 55.8 comp pct 3,046 yds 6.88 ave 12 TDs 21 ints 4 fumbles, 6 rushing TDs, 66.5 QB Rating

Josh Freeman - 158 comp 290 att 54.5 comp pct 1,855 yds 6.40 ave 10 TDs 18 Ints 6 fum, 0 rushing TDs 59.8 QB Rating

By comparison - "Pocket QBs" who have played in a "Pro offense" in their first season with at least 6 starts.

Great
Russell Wilson - 16 starts, 11-5 rec, 252 comp 393 att 64.1 comp pct 3,118 yds 7.93 ave 26 TDs 10 Ints 3 fum, 4 rushing TDs 100.0 QB Rating

Andrew Luck - 16 starts, 11-5 rec, 339 comp 627 att 54.1 comp pct 4,374 yds 6.98 ave 23 TDs 18 Ints 9 fum, 5 rushing TDs, 76.5 QB Rating

Solid
Mike Glennon - 13 starts, 4-9, 247 comp 416 Att 59.4 comp pct 2,608 yds 6.27 ave 19 TDs 9 Ints 3 fum, 0 rushing TDs 83.9 QB Rating

Teddy Bridgewater - 12 starts, 6-6 rec, 259 comp 402 att 64.4 comp pcy 2,919 yds 7.26 ave 14 TDs 12 Ints 3 fum, 1 rushing TD 85.2 QB Rating

Meh
Nick Foles - 6 starts, 1-5 rec, 161 comp 265 Att 60.8 comp pct 1,699 yds 6.41 ave 6 TDs 5 ints, 5 fum, 1 rushing TD 79.1 QB Rating

EJ Manuel - 10 starts, 4-6 rec, 180 comp 306 att 58.8 comp pct 1,972 yds 6.44 ave 11 TDs 9 Ints 3 fumbles, 2 rushing TDs, 77.7 QB Rating

Christian Ponder - 10 starts, 2-8 rec, 158 comp 291 att 54.3 comp pct 1,853 yds 6.37 ave 13 TDs 13 ints 5 fum, 0 rushing TDs 70.1 QB Rating

Terrible
Blake Bortles - 13 starts, 3-10 rec, 280 comp 475 att 58.9 comp pct 2,908 yds 6.12 ave 11 TDs 17 ints 4 fum, 0 Rush TDs, 69.5 QB Rating

Matthew Stafford - 10 starts, 2-8 rec, 201 comp 377 att 53.3 comp pct 2,267 yds 6.01 ave 13 TDs 20 Ints 4 fum, 2 rushing TDs, 61.0 QB Rating

Mark Sanchez - 15 starts, 8-7 rec, 196 att 364 comp 53.8 comp pct 2,444 yds 6.71 ave 12 TDs 20 Ints 8 fum, 3 rushing tds 63.0 QB Rating

Jimmy Clausen - 10 starts, 1-9 rec, 157 comp 299 att 52.5 comp pct 1,558 yds 5.21 ave 3 TDs 9 Ints 1 fum, 0 rushing tds 58.4 QB Rating

As you can see, there are more spread QBs who are successful their first season than "pro style" QBs. Of course, there's a larger sample size. There are more Meh or worse Spread QBs as well.

The point is, just because you're in a pro style offense or in a spread offense, doesn't automatically translate to instant success in the NFL. It truly depends on the player, how quickly they can learn, adapt and adapt to the changes defenses make for them.

There in lies the trouble trend for spread QBs. Many have fired onto the scene like a meteor streaking out through the sky but like that meteor, fizzle out before hitting paydirt.

Can Mariota break that trend? We'll find out in a few years.

Update: Moved Mark Sanchez from Spread to Pro category.