This is a rather dense look at what college statistics can be used to predict which QBs succeed in the NFL. David Lewen at Football Outsiders looked at all the QBs in the last decade or so and found some interesting corollaries regarding college stats and NFL success.
Basically 37 games started and 60% completion rate is the bench-mark for a successful NFL career. However this only holds for 1st and 2nd rounders. If you are drafted in the first two rounds, and had over 37 games started and a completion rate of over 60%, chances are you will be successful in the NFL. QBs drafted in the first two rounds who started less than 37 games are almost never successful. (There is a great graph on the above link)
(If you disagree with those numbers or don’t understand the math, you can take it up with the people on the site, I am bringing them up to enlighten the 2010 QB debate.)
The quarterbacks that are each in the top-5 for Scout, Bleacher Report, NFL Draft Scout (CBS sports) and Mel Kiper are Bradford, McCoy and Dan LeFevour. Jevan Snead and Tim Tebow made 3 of the 4 top-5s, Zac Robinson made 2, and Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike each made 1:
Looking at the stats for those players and comparing them against the benchmark of 37 games started and 60% completion, the initial conclusion is this: This is going to be the best QB draft in the last decade…by far.
Based on the metrics given in the first link, McCoy is looking to be the best QB prospect in the last decade. If Bradford stays in school his senior year, he would be a close second; although even when he does come out next year, he is an amazing prospect. Even LeFevour looks like one of the top 5 QBs of the past decade (maybe the second best after McCoy). I’m sure most of you will vehemently disagree with that last statement, but the stats are the stats and the corollary between those stats and success is pretty damn impressive.
As for the other players listed above, Zac Robinson and Tim Tebow could be successful QBs, but only if they are deemed good enough to be drafted in the first two rounds (that is weird, but makes sense if you think about it). Jevan Snead is shaping up to be the worst prospect and the others are somewhere in the middle, which means they probably won’t be successful.