Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nittany Lions in the Pros - Quarterbacks

Well my Nittany Lions in the Pros feature is officially over after today's installment - the quarterbacks. It's been a fun two months, recapping how past Penn Staters fared in the unforgiving NFL. Some were great and made their mark; others lasted only a year (or less).

One of the least productive positions in Penn State history, in terms of NFL success, is the position viewed by many to be the most important on the gridiron. The QBs that have played at Penn State have been adequate but rarely top professional talents. Our field generals usually did enough to win games (or just enough not to lose them). In the NFL that just doesn't cut it; you need a playmaker, something few former PSU QBs are able to accomplish at the next level.

The QB list is short. A mere 12 players have participated at the NFL level since 1966.

Click to enlarge statistics.


Just 12 former Nittany Lion QBs have appeared at the highest professional football level since 1966. In fact, half of that group only lasted one or two years in The League. The 12 QBs accumulated a total of 63 years in the NFL, just over fiver per player. But, as I previously stated, half of those 12 only contributed 8 of those 63 years. The other half total 55 years, more than eight seasons per player. Unfortunately none of these QBs ever made the All-Pro First Team. Former Penn State QBs have made the problem just four five* times. And, technically, only twice because Milt Plum was a Pro Bowler in 1960 and 1961 - five years before the official Super Bowl era. He's included on this list because he played through 1969. Kerry Collins made the Pro Bowl twice and Jeff Hostetler made it to Hawaii once. Collins along with Todd Blackledge, who will always be loved in State College for his work with the 1982 team, were the only PSU QBs taken in round one. Blackledge was part of the famed QB Class of 1983, which produced John Elway, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino.

*Collins' 2008 Pro Bowl appearance was not factored into Pro Football References statistics yet.

This is a simple one. Kerry Collins beats out Milt Plum and Jeff Hostetler. Collins, while not living up to his #5 draft slot, has had a solid NFL career. While he hasn't captured a Super Bowl title like Hostetler, he did lead a team there (oddly enough the same franchise Hostetler lead to a championship in 1990). He has had some great years and has a good one or two left as well. Collins has played in 178 games with 164 starts spread out over five teams - Carolina Panthers (1995-1998), New Orleans Saints (1998), New York Giants (1999-2003), Oakland Raiders (2004-2005), and Tennessee Titans (2006-present). Collins has amassed 3,160 completions on 5,669 passing attempts (55.7%). He has thrown for 37,393 yards which ranks 14th all-time. He has 186 TDs and 179 INTs credited to him thus far in his career. He took the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV versus the Baltimore Ravens following the 2000 NFL season and, last year, was a key cog in making the Tennessee Titans the best team in the AFC during the 2008 regular season. Collins is one of my favorite NFL players, having graduated from Penn State was well as from my high school (Wilson in West Lawn, PA). I have personally gotten his autograph on multiple occasions and, despite the rocky start to his career, he is a stand-up guy through and through.

2009 DRAFT
No former PSU players will be entered this years draft as a quarterback.

No comments: