Every projected 1-2-3 QB in the NFL, listed in order of college passing attempts

Since Matt Barkley was a 4-year starter at USC, I was curious how his college passing attempts stacked up to other QB’s around the NFL. And so, using Ourlads’ depth charts, I took the projected top 3 QB’s for each team (on a few teams I only used 2) and compiled pass attempt data. It turns out there were 14 QB’s who had more college attempts than Barkley.

Secondarily, I was curious if I might find other trends while compiling the data. Unfortunately, if there were a lot of interesting trends to be found, I missed them. There were only two things of interest that caught my eye. There are a lot of QB’s from spread offenses at the top, although that would have been obvious/predictable before even aggregating the data. The other was that there were two #1 overall picks in the bottom 5 in passing attempts in college, and 3 in the bottom 10.

The average number of attempts was 1090. There are good QBs at the top, bad QBs at the top. There are good QBs in the middle, bad QBs in the middle. There are good QBs at the bottom, bad QBs at the bottom.

Since the work is already done, here’s the entire list:

Player School Current pro team Attempts
Case Keenum Houston Texans 2229
Landry Jones Oklahoma Steelers 2183
Graham Harrell Texas Tech Packers 2011
Luke McCown Louisiana Tech Saints 1776
Ryan Lindley San Diego St. Cardinals 1732
Philip Rivers North Carolina St. Chargers 1711
Drew Brees Purdue Saints 1678
Zac Dysert Miami Ohio Broncos 1672
Kellen Moore Boise State Lions 1658
Colt McCoy Texas 49ers 1645
Chase Daniel Missouri Chiefs 1609
Brady Quinn Notre Dame Seahawks 1602
Dan Orlovsky Connecticut Buccaneers 1567
Kevin Kolb Houston Bills 1565
Matt Barkley USC Eagles 1562
Carson Palmer USC Cardinals 1543
Austin Davis Southern Miss Rams 1527
Derek Anderson Oregon State Panthers 1515
Russell Wilson North Carolina St., Wisconsin Seahawks 1489
Geno Smith West Virginia Jets 1465
Nick Foles Arizona, Michigam St. Eagles 1403
Sean Renfree Duke Falcons 1389
Chad Henne Michigan Jaguars 1387
Peyton Manning Tennessee Broncos 1381
Charlie Whitehurst Clemson Chargers 1368
John Skelton Fordham Bengals 1363
Eli Manning Ole Miss Giants 1363
Rusty Smith Florida Atlantic Titans 1361
Matt Ryan Boston College Falcons 1347
Andy Dalton Texas Christian Bengals 1317
Ryan Nassib Syracuse Giants 1312
Ben Roethlisberger Miami Ohio Steelers 1304
T.J. Yates North Carolina Texans 1277
Colin Kaepernick Nevada 49ers 1271
Kyle Orton Purdue Cowboys 1262
Jay Cutler Vanderbilt Bears 1242
Dominique Davis Boston College, East Carolina Falcons 1241
Robert Griffin III Baylor Redskins 1192
Josh Freeman Kansas State Buccaneers 1151
Jake Locker Washington Titans 1148
Kirk Cousins Michigan State Redskins 1128
Bruce Gradkowski Toledo Steelers 1120
Chandler Harnish Northern Illinois Colts 1110
Rex Grossman Florida Redskins 1110
Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame Panthers 1110
Brandon Weeden Oklahoma State Browns 1102
AVERAGE     1090
Matt Schaub Virginia Texans 1069
Mike Glennon North Carolina St. Buccaneers 1069
Josh Johnson San Diego Bengals 1065
Andrew Luck Stanford Colts 1064
Tarvaris Jackson Arkansas, Alabama St. Bills 1031
B.J. Coleman Tennessee, Chattanooga Packers 1016
Kellen Clemens Oregon Rams 1005
Matthew Stafford Georgia Lions 987
Christian Ponder Florida State Vikings 965
Ryan Mallett Michigan, Arkansas Patriots 955
Tyler Wilson Arkansas Raiders 948
Joe Flacco Pittsburgh, Delaware Ravens 942
David Carr Fresno St. Giants 934
Blaine Gabbert Missouri Jaguars 933
Ricky Stanzi Iowa Chiefs 907
Matt Moore UCLA, Oregon St. Dolphins 898
E.J. Manuel Florida State Bills 897
Brian Hoyer Michigan State Browns 896
Sam Bradford Oklahoma Rams 893
Tony Romo Eastern Illinois Cowboys 892
Jason Campbell Auburn Browns 872
Tyrod Taylor Virginia Tech Ravens 865
Drew Stanton Michigan State Cardinals 847
Brad Sorensen Southern Utah Chargers 815
Caleb Hanie Colorado State Ravens 811
Terrelle Pryor Ohio State Raiders 783
Pat Devlin Penn State, Delaware Dolphins 776
Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M Dolphins 774
Seneca Wallace Iowa State Saints 712
Tom Brady Michigan Patriots 711
Matt Hasselbeck Boston College Colts 701
Brock Osweiler Arizona State Broncos 680
Matt Scott Arizona Jaguars 676
Aaron Rodgers California Packers 665
Josh McCown SMU, Sam Houston St. Bears 664
Greg McElroy Alabama Jets 658
Mike Kafka Northwestern Patriots 637
Scott Tolzien Wisconsin 49ers 602
Alex Smith Utah Chiefs 587
Mark Sanchez USC Jets 487
Shaun Hill Maryland Lions 455
Ryan Fitzpatrick Harvard Titans 454
Matt Flynn LSU Raiders 437
Michael Vick Virginia Tech Eagles 343
Cam Newton Florida, Auburn Panthers 292
McLoed Bethel-Thompson UCLA, Sacramento St. Vikings 252
Matt Cassel USC Vikings 33
Josh Portis Florida, Maryland Seahawks 14


  1. Great blog! My first time here and looks like I will be here more times to go through the sites you have reviewed here.

  2. Phillyboijr says:

    Real riveting stuff. Maybe we should look how many times each QB handed off to a running back in college.

  3. Hokieshibe says:

    There are way too many variables that go into passes thrown in college. Years started, scheme, and even the quality of your defense all play a major role. I think a more relevant stat might be games started and then maybe some sort of college passer rating (TD/int ratio, completion percentage, whatever). Then you plot the qbs on the axes and you would probably get a pretty good correlation with the quality qbs (I would think).

  4. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    This proves that Tom Brady sucks.

  5. stuff says:

    or bored

  6. stuff says:

    you’re getting board aren’t you.

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