Applying Bill Parcells' Rules For Drafting A QB To 2020 Class

Photo: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

I can already hear you saying this information doesn't matter because the game is different and Bill Parcells is outdated.

Maybe so, but it's still interesting to put the quarterback call through Parcells’ criteria to see just how they stack up. I did this experiment in 2018 and ‘19 with four prospects meeting all of it: Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, Brett Rypien and Ryan Finley.

The Hall of Fame head coach is a renowned talent evaluator and adopted a list to use when considering a quarterback in the NFL draft:

  • Be a three-year starter
  • Be a senior in college
  • Graduate from college
  • Start 30 games
  • Win 23 games
  • Post a 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio
  • Complete at least 60 percent of passes thrown

While none of the criteria takes into account traits identifiable on film, the central theme behind Parcells’ rules is to narrow the field down to those who are accurate, make good decisions, are mentally tough and finish what they start.

Let’s examine the top quarterback prospects in 2020.

Joe Burrow, LSU

  • Three years as a starter? No, two years
  • Is he a senior? Yes
  • Did he graduate? Yes
  • Did he start 30 games? No, 28 games
  • Did he win 23 games? Yes, 25 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 78-11
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 68.8 percent

5/7 criteria met

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

  • Three years as a starter? No, two years
  • Is he a senior? No
  • Did he graduate? No
  • Did he start 30 games? No, 24 games
  • Did he win 23 games? No, 22 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 87-11
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 69.3 percent

2/7 criteria met

Justin Herbert, Oregon

  • Three years as a starter? Yes
  • Is he a senior? Yes
  • Did he graduate? Yes
  • Did he start 30 games? Yes, 42 games
  • Did he win 23 games? Yes, 27 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 95-23
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 64 percent

7/7 criteria met

Jacob Eason, Washington

  • Three years as a starter? No, two years
  • Is he a senior? No
  • Did he graduate? No
  • Did he start 30 games? No, 26 games
  • Did he win 23 games? No, 16 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 39-16
  • Completion percentage over 60? No, 59.8 percent

1/7 criteria met

Jordan Love, Utah State

  • Three years as a starter? No, two and a half years
  • Is he a senior? Yes
  • Did he graduate? Yes
  • Did he start 30 games? Yes, 32 games
  • Did he win 23 games? No, 21 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 60-29
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 61.2 percent

5/7 criteria met

Jake Fromm, Georgia 

  • Three years as a starter? Yes
  • Is he a senior? No
  • Did he graduate? No
  • Did he start 30 games? Yes, 42 games
  • Did he win 23 games? Yes, 35 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 78-18
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 63.3 percent

5/7 criteria met

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

  • Three years as a starter? Yes
  • Is he a senior? Yes
  • Did he graduate? Yes
  • Did he start 30 games? Yes, 42 games
  • Did he win 23 games? Yes, 38 games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 80-20
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 65.1 percent

7/7 criteria met

Anthony Gordon, Washington State 

  • Three years as a starter? No, only one year
  • Is he a senior? Yes
  • Did he graduate? Yes
  • Did he start 30 games? No, 13 games
  • Did he win 23 games? No, five games
  • TD-INT ratio at least 2-1? Yes, 48:17
  • Completion percentage over 60? Yes, 71.5 percent

4/7 criteria met

FINAL TALLY

  • 7/7: Herbert, Hurts
  • 5/7: Burrow, Love, Fromm
  • 4/7: Gordon
  • 3/7: Tagovailoa
  • 1/1: Eason

If Parcells was drafting a quarterback this year, by his own rules, the candidates would be reduced to Herbert and Hurts. 

Written By:

Joe Marino

Director of Administration

Director of Administration & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Member of the FWAA.

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