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Backup QB's Who Could Have Kaepernick-like Rushing Upside (1 Viewer)


Link (with tables that won't copy & paste here)

Tyrod Taylor, Baltimore Ravens

Speed Score: 108

Agility Score: 10.87

College YPC: 4.4

College Rush TD: 23

Tyrod is the cream of the backup running quarterback crop. If I had to choose anyone on this list to win leagues down the strech in 2013, it would probably be Taylor. He’s an elite athlete and was a true dual threat in college, averaging 8.7 A/YA his senior season at Virginia Tech. In each of his 3 preseason games in 2013, he rushed the ball 5 times at 4.4 yards a carry. If Joe Flacco goes down for any amount of meaningful time, I’m fully comfortable spending a considerable amount of FAAB or burning a #1 waiver priority to acquire Taylor. I believe in Torrey Smith as a #1 wide receiver and the lack of talented supporting options just makes it more likely that Taylor is used as a rusher as would be needed. Similar to the namesake of this index, he’ll be thrust into a very run heavy offense that has its’ best talent in the backfield. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are both far above average talents and if the Ravens coaching staff gets as creative as the Seahawks, 49er’s, Panthers and Redskins coaches did last year, the rushing upside of Taylor could even approach Kaepernick-ian levels. It is because Taylor is an adequate passer and above-average runner that he is the most important name on this list.

Josh Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals

Speed Score: 101

Agility Score: 11.98

College YPC: 5.9

College Rush TD: 20

Coming out of college, Johnson was a very explosive rusher. He was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster before being picked up by the Bengals this offseason and in his NFL career has rushed 37 times for 6.9 yards per carry. His agility and speed scores aren't as impressive as his production would indicate, but the numbers show that he has always been an effective runner. If Dalton were to be injured, Johnson would most likely be a weekly borderline top 12 play. He doesn't have the passing chops of Taylor, but what we really care about is the rushing yards. As the ##### discussed, quarterback scoring is effectively broken, meaning that a QB that throws for 150 yards and a touchdown but rushes for 80 yards and a touchdown is easily a top 10 in a given week. The offense that Johnson would be at the helm of features many talented pass catchers. He would have the potential of spreading the defense out with AJ Green, Giovani Bernard, Tyler Eifert, Mohammed Sanu and Jermaine Greshem, all of whom are above average at their positions. I wouldn't prioritize Johnson the same way I would Taylor, but he'll be worth a speculative add, especially in deep leagues.

Dominique Davis, Atlanta Falcons

Speed Score: 102

Agility Score: 11.05

College YPC: 1.8

College Rush TD: 14

How can a guy with a 1.8 yards per carry in college be considered a 'running quarterback'? I hear your skepticism, so let me explain. The most positive sign, when just looking at the college numbers is the 14 rushing touchdowns. Even if they are sneaks, it shows that either his college coaches trusted him around the goalline, or that he has the Aaron Rodgers/Andrew Luck/Geno Smith type athletic ability to run touchdowns close to the endzone. Additionally, in his 4 preseason performances, Davis' has ran the ball 12 times in 94 dropbacks (12% scramble percentage) for 8.2 yards per carry. Additionally, his combine numbers suggest a player who should run the ball more and would be effective. An agility score of 11.05 is good for a running back or wide receiver, much less a quarterback. The combine metrics aren't the end all, be all, especially for quarterbacks, but he is athletically capable of making positive plays happen when he tucks and runs. Again, imperfect, but this video shows several athletic rushing plays.


Most importantly, is who Davis takes the field with. Anyone throwing the ball to the likes of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez is going to look good. His theoretical ability to run the ball in the open field combined with those weapons intrigues me as a speculative add, should Matt Ryan be derailed by injury. He's easily 3rd on the list behind Taylor and Johnson, as he hasn't shown over a large sample that's he capable of gaining the yardage needed to be considered a running quarterback, but he has the athletic ability to do so.

Deep Diving: These are 3rd strings that probably aren't ever going to see the field in an NFL game, but if they do, could help you. In regards to Pat White, the brilliant Sigmund Bloom remarked on Twitter that he was a broken clock that just happened to be right for today's NFL. Couldn't agree more with that statement. As the 3rd stringer in the Redskins read-option offense, White is a low-cost, disposable replacement should RG3 take too much of a beating and Kirk Cousins/Rex Grossman prove athletically incapable of running the system. I wouldn't ever say he is a top 12 guy, but that offense the Shanahan's created is beyond effective. Tarvaris Jackson isn't a spectacular runner, or even above average, but he did win the backup job behind Russell Wilson and we know that offense has incorporated elements of the zone read. Jackson has 159 career rushing attempts and in his one good Minnesota season, had 3 touchdowns and better than 5 yards a carry. If RW3 goes down, it's unlikely that Jackson is even 80% as effective as Wilson but if they let him run 5 times a game or use the read option near the goalline he could be a value in 16 team or 2-QB leagues.

Nick Foles. Not the speediest guy in the world, but if he's running Chip Kelly's offense then he will definitely have a higher number of rushes than the average QB.

Nick Foles. Not the speediest guy in the world, but if he's running Chip Kelly's offense then he will definitely have a higher number of rushes than the average QB.
We'll really have to see what that offense looks likes, because it certainly won't be his athleticism that gets it done.

So what is this supposed to even be? Are we looking at 20 deep league teams? I guess why would you worry about if someone can run? It's the situation a little more important for backup QBs? Look at when Brady went down? How about when Alex Smith went down? Even when Matt Flynn lost his job last year to Wilson? These are all situations where the team is very good to begin. RG3 is really the only running QB that you could argue makes the team a lot better than they would otherwise be.

Seattle = Running Team/Game Manager Needed/ Great Defense

49ers = Running Team/Game Manager Needed/ Great Defense

Patriots = Great All Around Team/ Competent Passer Needed

In the end I think its much more about the team when a backup comes in as opposed to the QB and if he can run or not.


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