Mailbag: Do You Really Need a Mobile Quarterback to Win in the NFL?

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FLORIDA — The second leg of my training-camp swing is much shorter than the first, and we’re off to flying start. So from Jacksonville to Tampa, here we go …

From Rob O’Neill (@oneillr1): Thoughts on the “You need a mobile QB to win” in the NFL line? Looking back to 2000, I see one true mobile QB to win a Super Bowl (Mahomes), everyone else has been a traditional pocket passer.

Rob, this is a fantastic question, thanks for asking it. It’s something I’ve been talking about on radio and TV, and digging around on, for a while. And the idea I’ve been tossing around on this is quarterbacks have a finite time to cement themselves with their drafting teams, and it’s never been harder for a player at that position to adjust to the NFL that quickly, thanks to the simplification of college offenses, and complexity and speed of NFL defenses.

The evidence we’ve laid out in a good number of previous mailbags shows that, really, Year 3 is the big one for first-round quarterbacks. After that season, teams have to decide on their quarterbacks’ fifth-year options, and whether to extend them early. Evidence shows that, really, by then most teams have made up their minds, which gives guys that long to prove themselves.

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