The Kansas City Chiefs enter the off season full of questions, Who will be the next G.M.? Will the next G.M. keep Herm Edwards? Is Tony G going to stick around? Will L.J. finally get his wish to play for another team? But one of the most intriguing storylines of the off season will be what the Chiefs do at the QB position.
The Chiefs will have their shot at either Matt Stafford of Georgia or Sam Bradford of Oklahoma with the # 3 pick in the draft, there is no question the Chiefs will need to bring in either a veteran QB thru free agency or draft a QB just to improve the depth chart that reads Thigpen then Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle and Quin Gray in no particular order.
If the Chiefs new G.M. believes in Thigpen then he can use the # 3 pick in the draft to trade down and acquire more draft picks or address one of the Chiefs other needs like offensive tackle, middle linebacker or pass rushing defensive end.
One of the knocks on Double T is that he is too short to be a starting QB, Thigpen is officially listed at 6”1 not the size of your prototypical 6”5 drop back passer but QB’s like Drew Brees who is listed at 6”0 and Tony Romo 6”2 have proven you can be successful and be under 6”5. Whoever the new G.M.. will be will have a a body of work to look at and use to evaluate Thigpen.
Double T got 11 starts and saw playing time in three other contest and after a atrocious start to the season he stabilized the Chiefs offense after being reinserted into the starting lineup, but where does Thigpen’s first season as a starter compare to some of the other elite QB’s of the league?
2008 Tyler Thigpen (12 games) : Comp 230 Att 420 Passing Yards 2680 Cmp % 54.8 TD 18 INT 12 Rating 76
These stats were accumulated in basically 12 games but if these numbers were extrapolated over a 16 game season they would be slightly more impressive.
2008 Tyler Thigpen (16 games projected): Comp 306 Att 560 Passing yards 3477 Cmp % 54.8 TD 24 INT 16 Rating 76
Who could argue with giving a first year starter who throws for 3,000 yards and 20 plus touchdowns another season to prove he can be the guy before you spend your top five pick on a “Franchise QB”
2006 Tony Romo ( 11 games): Comp 220 Att 337 Passing yards 2903 Cmp % 65.3 TD 19 INT 13 Rating 95.1
Like Thigpen, Romo did not play a entire 16 game season his first year as a starter. Romo’s numbers pretty much blow Thigpen’s numbers out of the water when they are projected out over 16 games
2006 Tony Romo ( Projected 16 games): Comp 330 Att 491 Passing yards 4222 Cmp% 65.3 TD 28 INT 19 Rating 95.1
Romo and Thigpen have a similar style of game, both quarterbacks went undrafted and both came from a 1-AA school. Romo had a higher completion percentage but Thigpen had a slightly better TD to INT ratio.
2008 Matt Ryan : Comp 265 Att 434 Passing yards 3440 Cmp% 61 TD 16 INT 11 Rating 87.7
Matt Ryan did more for the Atlanta Falcons in one season than stats can really show helping lead the amazing turn around that ended up resulting in a wild card berth, with that being said Thigpen threw for more touchdowns in 12 games than Ryan did in 16 games.
1998 Peyton Manning : Comp 326 Att 575 Passing yards 3739 Cmp% 56.7 TD 26 INT 28 Rating 71.2
Peyton Manning is the gold standard by which all quarterbacks in the NFL are judged and when you compare Manning’s first season as a starter to Thigpen’s projected 16 game season you get nearly as many touchdowns with 12 less interceptions, not bad for a undrafted 2nd year player.
2002 Drew Brees : Comp 320 Att 526 Passing yards 3284 Cmp% 60.8 TD 17 INT 16 Rating 76.9
Probably the best comparison for Thigpen, both players spent a year on the bench before becoming the starter and both players are undersized. Arguably the best QB in the NFL not named Peyton Manning, Drew Brees is All – Pro QB now but in his first season he was not as productive as Thigpen.
When you look at the numbers Thigpen put up and how it compares to other QB’s Thigpen looks to be on pace or better than most of them, yet the Chiefs may still use their first pick on a QB. Thigpen is still being discriminated against for being a undrafted free agent if Brodie Croyle would have put up the same numbers as Thigpen the Chiefs would be screaming they have found their QB of the future.
The NFL is a copy cat league and when Bill Parcells found a mobile, undersized, undrafted, sometimes erratic but electric QB ( Tony Romo) he put him in the starting line up and never looked back the Chiefs would be wise to follow the same blue print.