Nathan Peterman is an intriguing prospect out of the University of Pittsburgh. He is getting some Day Two buzz for the upcoming NFL Draft, but still seems to be a relative unknown. Let’s find out a little more from the former Tennessee transfer.
What His Numbers Say
Here are Peterman’s career statistics courtesy of Sports Reference:
I also put together his final year game log, complete with opponent pass defense ranking in terms of Football Outsiders S&P+:
After not seeing much playing time at Tennessee, and a lackluster junior year campaign, Peterman absolutely smashed in his final year at Pittsburgh from an efficiency standpoint. His 10.1 final year AYA is the best of any prospect studied so far. That comes with the caveat that his 306 pass attempts ranked just 81st in all of Division I college football.
I took a look at all quarterbacks since 2000 who had thrown between 250 and 350 passes and had a passer efficiency rating of at least 155. That gives a very interesting 54-man cohort. Here is the breakdown by round drafted.
As you can see, this group typically produces undrafted signal callers. However, it also seems to produce plenty of first round draft selections. Unfortunately, not many players, regardless of round, have become fantasy QB1s. Only about ten percent of quarterbacks in this cohort have become QB1s (If you want to count Dennis Dixon’s 2009 season in which he played one game, that would jump to 12 percent.). Here is the full list:
- Cam Newton (5)
- Vince Young
- Marcus Mariota
- Andy Dalton (2)
- Russell Wilson (4)
A key component for many of these success stories is running ability. Newton, Mariota, and Wilson all ran under 4.6 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Young did not run, but may be the fastest player of the group. Even Dalton is a far superior athlete to Peterman, with a far better three-cone time (6.93 to 7.14). It would appear Peterman looks nothing like the successful players on the list of low-volume, high-efficiency passers.
Player Comparison: Connor Shaw
The player Peterman reminds me most of right now is the uber-efficient Connor Shaw from South Carolina.
It probably shouldn’t be considered a good thing that the quarterback Peterman relates to best is an undrafted free agent on his second team in three years. Both players were high-efficiency, low-volume signal callers, who lacked elite agility and quality ball velocity. I would have a hard time drafting Peterman before Day Three at this point.
Ideal Landing Spot: Patriots
This one may come off as odd, but the Patriots have succeeded with seemingly anyone at quarterback; from Matt Cassel to Jacoby Brisset to Tom Brady. With Jimmy Garoppolo expected to be traded at some point, New England could be in the market for a new backup in the draft. Peterman’s skill-set fits the type of offense the Pats play and there would be no pressure to play immediately.
CURRENT 2QB FANTASY ROOKIE DRAFT PROJECTION: Third Round (Undrafted IN 1QB LEAGUES)
I’m expecting Peterman to come off the board late in Day Two at the very earliest and potentially in the middle of Day Three. If that happens, he would have no real shot at immediate playing time, leaving fantasy owners to select him with the hopes of winning a job down the road. That makes him a third-round, developmental type in 2QB leagues. In 1QB leagues he isn’t even on the radar.
When I initially saw Peterman’s numbers, I was intrigued by his potential. Having dived deeper into both his statistical and athletic profiles, I’m not impressed at all. I think teams would be making a big mistake to invest major draft capital in Peterman and will probably not take him at all in my drafts.