Developing a long-term franchise quarterback is the most important part of building an NFL roster. Yet in the impulsive, Twitter-obsessed world of modern sports, NFL fans give up on young players far too easily. Gone are the days when we had the patience to watch starters develop.
On the other hand, a lot of rookies start out pretty bad and never get any better. How can we tell how much hope should be inspired by our favorite team's young quarterback?
That's the idea behind Football Outsiders' new QB Hope Index. We've taken every drafted quarterback since 1997 and looked at what variables helped determine whether that player became a long-term, successful NFL starter. The QB Hope Index accounts for draft position, on-field performance and a player's roster status (in other words, if he's not starting, who is he sitting behind?). It also incorporates age and our QBASE college quarterback projections.
The QB Hope Index formula changes from first to second to third year, as we actually get to see these players perform on the NFL stage. We've run it below for every drafted quarterback from the past three years who is currently on an NFL roster.