Jamie Newman: Contextualized Quarterbacking 2021

For anyone new to the family here at The Draft Network, Contextualized Quarterbacking is an annual project I put together for TDN Premium subscribers. In Contextualized Quarterbacking, I chart the significant draft-eligible quarterbacks across their final seasons, tagging each dropback with a ton of situational features that allow us to understand their game at more specific and situational levels.

Each throw is graded both for Accuracy and for Ball Placement. Accuracy is a general metric for catchable passes—an accurate pass is a catchable pass—while Placement scores take more details into account: maximizing YAC opportunities, protecting the wide receiver from unnecessary hits, and protecting the ball from being played on by the defensive back. Throws are also charted relative to depth and passing direction, to understand how target distribution affects accuracy scores for each quarterback. It’s harder to throw deep!

Contextualized Quarterbacking helps us understand what each college offense asked of their quarterback, which gives us an additional tool for projecting these passers to the pros. When we understand their college offense, we can better identify those skills that will translate to the pro level, and accordingly, project the ideal scheme fits for each player.

It’s easy to root for Jamie Newman. A class leader in attempts into a tight window (32%) and attempts from adjusted platforms (23%!), Newman’s just out there slinging it. He’s completely fearless of safeties, which is sometimes a weakness but largely a strength, has enough arm to hit nine routes relatively late in the down, can slot a closing window between zone droppers, and can tuck and run with decent darger. The difficulty comes in divorcing Newman’s janky feet and three-quarters release and first-read reliance from an RPO-dedicated passing game that seemed to encourage all of those traits from him. He’s a project, which means he’s fun and that’s probably it. But in this class, fun on Day 3 is exciting news.

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