In the second edition of our Sleeping with the Staff series we again focus on the quarterback position, this time looking for under-performing busts for 2013. While the Xperts didn’t come to a consensus agreement on breakout performers, we think you’ll see that there is a definite theme that emerges on this list of potential busts. We hope you enjoy!
Adam Ronis – Colin Kaepernick – Kaepernick is an excellent quarterback with a lot of talent, but his memorable postseason, especially his record 181 yards rushing for a quarterback in the playoff win over Green Bay will cause many to have lofty expectations and push him higher than he should go. The loss of his favorite target, Michael Crabtree, is a huge loss. The 49ers will emphasize the run, and while Kaepernick will play a part in the running game, the passing numbers will be limited in an offense that has question marks at wide receiver. He still has to improve as a passer. The position deep and he’s a low-end QB1.
George Kurtz – Tom Brady – I have a feeling this will be a popular pick. I know he’s great, a first ballot Hall of Famer, but if you look at his numbers, he’s at his best when he gets rid of the ball in about three seconds. With all of these new receivers, not sure that will be possible.
Sarah Bojarski – Colin Kaepernick – Everyone loves him after his small sample size last year. He lost Michael Crabtree, and the rest of the SF offense leaves a lot to be desired. He’s mobile, but when that is all that he has, defenses will be all over him. I think he’ll still be good, but he isn’t going to have the monster year that many are predicting.
Scott Engel – Jay Cutler – Some experts think Cutler will take a leap forward in production with Marc Trestman now in Chicago. I just don’t see it. He’s a stubborn whiner who makes questionable decisions and holds onto the ball too long.
Tom McFeeley – Cam Newton – I’m always nervous about quarterbacks whose greatness is in their legs. Newton’s been a good passer in his first two seasons, but topped 250 passing yards only six times last year and only four times after Week 2. Imagine a sore shin or hamstring tightness — what would he look like then? He was a more consistent rusher in his rookie year and a bit more explosive but more up-and-down last year. There are just too many “ifs” for my QB1. I’ll pass.
Jake Ciely – Colin Kaepernick – This is based on where he’s drafted. Kaepernick has truckloads of upside, we saw it last year. However, you can’t tell me a full offseason of the 31 other teams studying 49ers tape and Michael Crabtree’s injury doesn’t hurt his potential. When you factor in that he is the sixth QB taken (ADP of 57.2), you have a QB with way too much risk at way too big of a cost. Give me Matt Ryan instead any day.
Evan Tarracciano – Cam Newton – Through half the season last year Newton threw only six touchdowns with eight interceptions and many critics were quick to call it a sophomore slump. During the second half of the season he improved, but Carolina made no attempt to improve offensively through the draft. With Steve Smith a year older and Brandon LaFell not scaring anyone, Carolina looks to journeymen Ted Ginn and Domenik Hixon for help. Greg Olsen is a serviceable tight end, but this is still a below average offensive team. I wouldn’t expect third year resurgence from Newton.
Bobby McMann – Russell Wilson – Wilson is one of the top young QBs in the league and the Seahawks are likely going to put the ball in his hands more often this season. Still, even with that and the addition of Percy Harvin, the Seahawks will continue to run the ball frequently and rely on a dominating defense to win games. He certainly has the upside of a QB1, but will not likely have the opportunity to rack up big passing yardage totals each week and that could hold him back.
Pat Mayo – Tony Romo – He was coming off the best season of his career and he still only managed to finish 8th in standard scoring. He’ll be steady, no doubt, but there just isn’t elite potential there. I’d rather gamble on the Wilson, Kaepernick, Luck, Stafford group and hope to strike gold.
Ian Riley – Russell Wilson – Out of all the QB1 candidates, Russell scares me the most. On paper, the addition of Percy Harvin looks like a huge boon to his value, but I really have trouble believing this team strays from their ball control ways. With their suffocating defense and power run game, Wilson doesn’t have to win games for this team every week. He won’t be a game manager by any means, but the full-fledged breakout campaign many are expecting just doesn’t seem likely.
Jennifer Millman – Colin Kaepernick – I don’t get why everyone is so quick to believe that one year with a lot of flash and Fantasy success means more Fantasy success, especially for a former second-round pick who played behind Alex Smith his first season in the league. Kaepernick certainly came on once he took over for Smith, but he relied heavily on Michael Crabtree, who is out for who knows how long with an Achilles tear. Kaepernick has Anquan Boldin, but they need time to develop rapport; he’s got a bunch of young guys who haven’t played much, and he’s got Frank Gore, who should be his most reliable weapon. I just don’t see a huge performance this year; he only had one game where he completed more than 20 passes and teams are going to look for him to run.
Adam Zdroik – Colin Kaepernick – Honestly, we’re in an age where there aren’t many busts at QB because there are so many that perform well. Kaepernick is getting Boldin, but Crabtree is still out for a bit. Plus, we haven’t seen Kaepernick play a full season yet.
Dr. Roto – Joe Flacco – Flacco has no Anquan Boldin, a huge contract, and a Super Bowl Winner’s target on his back. There is too much pressure to repeat.
Jayson Braddock – Ryan Tannehill – There is a huge buzz surrounding Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins after their big spending offseason. Buyer beware! Last season, Tannehill struggled on third downs, on the road, and when the game was on him. He also was well below average passing outside of the numbers. All of his flashy toys are new and there is no chemistry with this offense; new tight ends, receivers, starting running back, and most importantly left tackle.
Next up, Running Back busts!