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Cowboys Pre-Draft Visit Tracker: Ranking The Six QBs Coming To Dallas For Official Pre-Draft Visits

The Cowboys pre-draft visitor list is beginning to fill up as the Cowboys kick off their 30 allotted visits today.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Todd Archer of ESPN broke the news today that the Cowboys will be bringing in six quarterbacks for official pre-draft visits. In addition to the top three QBs (Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch) Archer reports that the Cowboys are also bringing in three more QBs:

Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch will visit Valley Ranch this week but they have already been linked to the Cowboys through the Senior Bowl, where they coached Wentz, or private workouts.

The Cowboys will also have Christian Hackenberg, Connor Cook and Jacoby Brissett at their facility for pre-draft visits.

The Cowboys are allowed to bring in up to 30 national draft-eligible players for official pre-draft visits, and using six of those spots for QBs is pretty telling. Additionally, they also bring in as many draft-eligible local prospects as they like for visits and workouts during "Dallas Day", which is scheduled for Friday.

Over the weekend, KC Joyner, also of ESPN presented an interesting approach for ranking QBs in the 2016 draft class. Joyner uses the Parcells QB Rules as a measuring stick to evaluate this year's QB crop. Here's the summary of the  article in chart form. Joyner did not include Jacoby Brissett in his analysis, but I'm including him here to complete the half dozen visitors.

Parcells QB rules
QB rules Connor
3-year starter Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Senior in college Yes No No Yes Yes No
Graduated from College Yes No No Yes Yes
Started 30 games Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Won 23 games Yes No No No No No
2-to-1 TD/INT Ratio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Completion rate > 60% No Yes Yes Yes No No
Total 6 4 4 4 3 2

Some of Parcells' rules seem a bit arbitrary, and Joyner himself points out that Matt Leinart and Tim Tebow are two propsects who hit all the marks here, but hit little once they came to the NFL.

Two data points that are a little less arbitrary are completion percentage and Adjusted Passing Yards per Attempt (AY/A, basically a souped up version of yards per attempt). It's not always easy to compare college stats of QBs who play a vastly different quality of opponents, but in principle, you want a guy who is accurate and is able to get you a lot of yards.

The next chart plots the completion percentage and AY/A for the last college season of the 17 QBs with a draftable grade on the CBS big board (data courtesy of

QB class

Of course, QB is one of the most complex and demanding positions in sports, so reducing it to just two numbers is a bit of an oversimplification, but it can be an interesting starting point for a discussion about a prospect's strengths and weaknesses. In principle, you want an accurate QB who can gain yards by passing the ball. It's hard enough projecting a QB from the college system to the pro system, but it gets even harder when that QB hasn't shown the type of performance in college that you're looking for in the pros.

Obviously a lot of factors like scheme, playcalling, quality of teammates, quality of opponents and others have to be considered when looking at these numbers, but overall, I would have hoped the Cowboys had looked more in the top right for their prospects, and not necessarily in the bottom left.

Another thing you're looking for in a prospect is arm strength. And one way of measuring that is the velocity with which he throws the ball, which the staff from measured with a speed gun at the NFL Combine.

Throwing velocity, NFL Combine

Velocity in mph
50 58 59 57 56 56

Five of the six have what you would consider an NFL arm.

Now that you know which six QBs are coming and have seen a few more stats on each, who'd be your favorite for the Cowboys to pick in the draft?


With the addition of the three QBs, we now know of 20 national invitees, six of which are quarterbacks, five of which are running backs, and all of which are listed below:

Cowboys Pre-draft Visitors per 4/4/2016
CBS Rank Name POS College Proj. Rd Status
2 Jalen Ramsey CB Florida 1 Official Visit
3 Joey Bosa DE Ohio State 1 Official Visit
5 Jared Goff QB California 1 Official Visit
6 Deforest Buckner DE Oregon 1 Official Visit
7 Carson Wentz QB N.D. State 1 Official Visit
8 Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State 1 Official Visit
10 Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida 1 Official Visit
11 Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss 1 Official Visit
13 Shaq Lawson DE Clemson 1 Official Visit
14 Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville 1 Official Visit
18 Will Fuller WR Notre Dame 1-2 Official Visit
32 Kevion Dodd DE Clemson 1-2 Official Visit
33 Paxton Lynch QB Memphis 1-2 Official Visit
38 Derrick Henry RB Alabama 1-2 Official Visit
39 Connor Cook QB Michigan State 1-2 Official Visit
43 Tyler Boyd WR Pitt 2 Official Visit
71 Christian Hackenberg QB Penn State 2-3 Official Visit
80 Karl Joseph SS West Virginia 2-3 Official Visit
104 Kenyan Drake RB Alabama 3-4 Official Visit
107 Connor McGovern OG Missouri 3-4 Official Visit
116 Paul Perkins RB UCLA 3-4 Official Visit
120 C.J. Prosise RB Notre Dame 3-4
Official Visit
165 Jacoby Brissett QB NC State 5 Official Visit
167 Isaac Seumalo OG Oregon State 5 Official Visit
610 Deon King LB Norfolk State - - Official Visit

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