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The 2023 NFL Draft & NFC West QB Storylines

In this episode, Professor Lewis assesses what cognitive biases come into play during every NFL Draft while making his own predictions for Thursday's first round.

But first, Professor Lewis reviews the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

In the show's final segment, Mike breaks down NFC West QB storylines featuring Matthew Stafford, Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, Geno Smith, and Kyler Murray.

Watch/listen here:


[00:00:00] Mike Lewis: Welcome everyone. Welcome to the Fanalytics Podcast with Mike Lewis and Doug Battle, brought to you by Emory's Marketing Analytics Center. Doug. Seems like for as long as we've been doing it, every time the N B A playoffs come around, we, we talk about.

this is like a platform, right? This is an opportunity for the next generation of players to shine, to step up. Doug, this year it seems to be about, sort of reruns with LeBron James and Steph Curry, and I don't even, how do we even describe this on a pg or g-rated show a lot of aggressive hand checking, perhaps.

[00:00:42] Doug Battle: been some below the belt,

[00:00:45] Mike Lewis: Good, good.

[00:00:46] Doug Battle: unnecessary below the belt action. I don't,

[00:00:49] Mike Lewis: And,

[00:00:49] Doug Battle: maybe that's the worst way of putting it.

[00:00:51] Mike Lewis: and the guys making the headlines are not Luka Doncic. And, I mean, I guess Trae Young's, had some nice games, but it's not this [00:01:00] next generation of stars, right? I mean, for the Grizzlies, it's Dylan Brooks more than Ja Morant, right?

[00:01:07] Doug Battle: Yeah, well, I think this Playoff, so far it's just been so dominated by little scuffles, little controversies, some odd officiating where James Harden inadvertently a slight contact below the bell on accident.

[00:01:23] Mike Lewis: But.

[00:01:24] Doug Battle: Joel Embiid does karate on the floor? No. No call.

Well, they call it, but they didn't kick him out of the same basketball game. And so, Draymond Green back with his antics. I personally enjoy Draymond Green's response when asked about being down two, oh, your team's never been down two. Oh. And he smiles and he's like, it's gonna be fun to come back from, isn't it?

It's gonna be, this is gonna be fun. And I saw that. And usually when guys say stuff like that, I'm like, oh, they just screwed their team over. Like they jinxed it. I actually thought at that point [00:02:00] the Warriors not because of that, but the Warriors looking at the situation with a veteran led team that's been there a million times a young team that gets up and they're, they're they're a little excited about themselves.

Mike Brown's coach guy who hasn't had a ton of playoff success. I see the Warrior coming back and winning. Now it's tied. I see them winning that series. I know they haven't been good on the road this year, but I feel like I've seen it a million times, Mike, when the young inexperienced team, I mean, I've seen it with Georgia's had teams over the years in football several years back when I was in school, they would get a lead on Alabama almost every time and they'd get all excited and then Alabama comes back and does what they do. And so I kind of see the Warriors doing that in this series. I don't see them going out to a young, inexperienced team, but I think that series is the talk of the playoffs and I think some of the extracurriculars with Draymond Green, some of the players on the Kings kind of getting into it. A lot of trash talk.

I think that drives fandom. It drives enthusiasm. You watch those games, Sacramento fans, [00:03:00] they haven't had a playoff series in like 20 years. They are rowdy and Golden States fans have always been that way and they have not stopped, great home atmospheres for both teams. gonna be tough to win on the road for either team.

But I said, Mike, I feel like that series has been the talk of the playoffs. Now I gotta counter you on the old guys like reruns with these old stars kind of stealing the spotlight. Cause normally it the first round, you're right, normally it's Luka donk. Normally it's kind of those, like fringe teams that have a young star who really blossoms and puts their team in the, their star power into the limelight. Anthony Edwards, Mike. Anthony Edwards, when Michael Jordan's son played to Illinois, I know a lot of people were disappointed, and felt like they expected more from Michael Jordan's son. And there's a theory out there that Anthony Edwards is Michael Jordan's son, and so we're actually getting what we wanted through Anthony [00:04:00] Edwards.

He is the long lost son of Michael Jordan out here, by the way, younger than Michael Jordan was when he was in college still.

[00:04:08] Mike Lewis: .Come out. Is this a legit theory? Is this like when they show? When they show? I mean, but like when they show the royal family and they show. Diana's, horse riding instructor and it looks just like Harry. Is it that kind of theory?

[00:04:23] Doug Battle: Yeah, it's Michael Jordan. you can pick stitch their faces. You can put, Jordan on one side, half of his face and half of Anthony Edwards face. It's the same face. It's a different hairstyle, same face. They have the same face you make Anthony Edwards bald. He's Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan Jr.

And he is been playing like it. I think that's been fun for me. Like of course I'm a Georgia guy. I've always liked Anthony. And the thing about Anthony Edwards, we've talked about the Timberwolves being the least disciplined team in basketball. Edwards, even after the last game came out and said it was that game was personal to him.

Cuz he didn't want his team to get swept. which it's like, [00:05:00] oh, that's cool, but also, it's almost admitting defeat in the series, to just say that one, it meant something to us. So we decided to win one. and so we don't lose four Oh, instead they're gonna lose like four one or maybe four two. But nonetheless, Anthony Edwards has been a star. It's unfortunate that he plays on the team that he does, because, he was very close. I don't know if you remember this, but the Golden State Warriors had the best odds at the number one pick the year that he came out in the draft. The lottery determined that the Warriors would get like the third pick where they got James Wiseman, who's not even on the team anymore.

definitely a bus. Definitely considered a bus. And Anthony Edwards goes to the Timberwolves so he could be playing with Steph Curry right now, in a, in a parallel universe. And I think. Playing with the Timberwolves has allowed him to showcase his talents more where he's the guy at times.

And that last game, you watch it and you think about how young this kid is. I don't know. He is 21. and putting on [00:06:00] some performances where, again, the only thing keeping me from saying Anthony Edwards is gonna be that guy, he's gonna be the star of the league, is maturity. And I don't say that in a sense of, I don't think he's like criminal or some of these. We'll talk about the nfl, some of these associations that coaches are making with NFL prospects. Anthony Edwards isn't like that, I don't think. I more mean like, I know coming into the b a there was actual legitimate concern as to whether or not he even liked basketball. And he is a, he's an absolute treat to watch his interviews. if you see him, there's a, been a number of viral moments in his interviews over the years, kind of marchon Lynch type. But I think the, what's, the verdict's still out on, can he be like a true professional and have the diligence, have that Kobe Bryant work ethic to be that type of star, that next tier star.

So he's the young guy right now who's kind of escalating his brand and his perception in the [00:07:00] league. And that's been my favorite part of the playoffs thus far.

[00:07:03] Mike Lewis: That's fair. I mean, and again, that's sort of the beauty of the first round

doug, I just looked up the picture and, I'm not totally convinced that he's Michael Jordan's son. I see the split image where they put the faces together.

It's well worth investigating beyond two minutes on the podcast though. I'm, I love these kind of things. But you know, look, it, it's great cuz this is the first round of the playoffs should be the time when these young guys get to take center stage and get to, elevate their brands.

[00:07:31] Doug Battle: I'll, I wanna add a couple other things to some of the comments you made. one, I'm always up for the changing of the guard in the nba, so I wanna root for Sacramento. I will not root for any fan base with the cowbells, it's

[00:07:45] Mike Lewis: it's terrible. No. Just enough.

[00:07:47] Doug Battle: have you been to a Mississippi State game?

[00:07:49] Mike Lewis: No, and I wouldn't go, I would turn down tickets to that, that, that sounds hellish.

To have these guys banging, clanging those things in your ears. for an hour. For hours,

[00:07:58] Doug Battle: it's not pleasant.

[00:07:59] Mike Lewis: [00:08:00] yeah.

[00:08:00] Doug Battle: probably every student probably leaves school with permanent hearing damage. You don't meet a lot of audio engineers that come out of Mississippi State, think it's because of the cowbells.

[00:08:11] Mike Lewis: the other,

[00:08:12] Doug Battle: question is, why with Sacramento, Mississippi State, it kind of makes sense.

Like they're basically, if you've been to their campus, you basically feel like you're on a farm.

[00:08:20] Mike Lewis: eh,

[00:08:21] Doug Battle: in the middle of nowhere, Sacramento. What's the cowbell thing for? What's that

[00:08:25] Mike Lewis: I don't,

[00:08:26] Doug Battle: Is

[00:08:26] Mike Lewis: don't know, Sacramento, like getting into like the agricultural region of California.

[00:08:31] Doug Battle: I mean, I'm sure it's just, I don't know. I don't associate cows with even the agricultural part of California.

[00:08:37] Mike Lewis: I mean, but you know what you could do? I mean, like, the glamor of LA or the tech, the tech industry of San Francisco. And I could see the people in San Francisco going, eh, we're hayseeds, let's get out the Kyle Bells. Right. Sort of drive those folks nuts. The other one, Doug, and I don't know how much he followed this.

Phil Jackson sort of stepped up and stepped in it by [00:09:00] talking about the poli, the pol, too much politics in the NBA game. And he also was decimated by what I saw on Twitter. Now, I doubt that Phil Jackson particularly cares, but to me the NBA first round sort of we're a little, you look, I feel like every year we get these great narratives in the first round.

Maybe this year we got some okay narratives,and I think a lot more of it's kind of Draymond Green and, the low blows, this kind of stuff. Phil Jackson lighting it up a little bit on social media and taking a ton of heat. it's a mix for it. I've enjoyed the first round more in previous years.

I'll leave it at that.

[00:09:39] Doug Battle: Yeah, apparently Phil Jackson's a racist, and I say that tongue in cheek, of course, but that's kind of the, that's kind what's been

[00:09:47] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:09:47] Doug Battle: there because he doesn't support the politica, a weird word.

[00:09:52] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:09:52] Doug Battle: support politics. and it's really, I think the NBA catering

[00:09:57] Mike Lewis: Well,

[00:09:58] Doug Battle: one side of the aisle, and he's like,[00:10:00]

[00:10:00] Mike Lewis: where it's interesting right, is Jordan famously said, Republicans buy sneakers too. I don't know what his current feeling on.

[00:10:06] Doug Battle: that from Phil Jackson.

[00:10:08] Mike Lewis: Yeah, but it was, I saw that they were, Twitter was dragging Michael Jordan through the mud as well on all this.

it was kind of an interesting little aside. I was kind of grateful that it didn't seem to, didn't seem to it. It was a story that was out there for a day and then moved on. I'll just say this, Doug, I'm looking forward to the second round of the nba. I feel like this one's almost just a little too cluttered, and I don't have, I don't have the stories I'm looking for.

I don't have, the Knicks fans, Channing, Trey is bald. I don't have Luka Donk looking like the league mvp. so it's mixed for me.

[00:10:40] Doug Battle: Well, what we have had is more karate kicks

[00:10:43] Mike Lewis: Yes.

[00:10:44] Doug Battle: than any round of basketball. And N B A history.

[00:10:47] Mike Lewis: Right.

[00:10:49] Doug Battle: You're a martial arts guy.

[00:10:50] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:10:51] Doug Battle: Yeah. I don't know. I think Draymond Green started that trend a few years back. I played basketball, Mike, I don't remember that ever happening in a game. I mean, I've [00:11:00] seen basketballs when someone's going outta bounds and they're just throwing the ball back in bounds where, it's thrown, probably not in the best

[00:11:06] Mike Lewis: it seems like they're watching each other.

[00:11:09] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:11:09] Mike Lewis: I mean,

[00:11:09] Doug Battle: oh,

[00:11:10] Mike Lewis: it all seems like I can go viral, right?

[00:11:14] Doug Battle: Hey, how long before Rudy Gobert has his moment though? I mean, they've only got, they've only got one game left, probably like they're gonna be on the road and it's an elimination game, but it seems like we're overdue for a Rudy Gobert moment. These playoffs.

[00:11:29] Mike Lewis: I can. We can only hope.

[00:11:31] Doug Battle: We can,

[00:11:31] Mike Lewis: Okay.

[00:11:32] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:11:32] Mike Lewis: Of course the big story of this week, I mean the b a playoffs are sort of center stage, but as the week goes on, we will build towards the N F L draft.

[00:11:41] Doug Battle: Oh yeah.

[00:11:42] Mike Lewis: this is almost reminiscent of a couple of years ago where, we had, Trevor Lawrence and Trey Lanz and Justin Fields this year we've got another sort of, I, you know what?

I'm not gonna say it's a great quarterback class. I don't know if it's a good quarter. I don't even know if it's a good quarterback class, [00:12:00] but we've got. The NFL draft is absolutely dominated by the narrative surrounding the quarterbacks. The, the top prospects in the draft are probably, and again, the opinions are gonna vary on this, but it's the linebacker from Alabama and probably the defensive tackle from Georgia.

But in terms of the attention, it is the four quarterbacks. Now, you and I think, are gonna differ because, like at this point, I'm much more interested in kind of the storylines and so, my top guy on the draft board became Will Leviis, and I don't know how that happened because it sort of snuck up on me as he went from the lunacy of, at first with, eating the bananas and the mayonnaise and the coffee.

I was like, this is just silly. But, his latest social media moment of throwing the ball through the upright from the 50 yard line on his knees, I'm like, okay, I like this. This is like reminiscent of Jeff George. I want that quarterback out there. I'm on the field that can throw these, stunning laser beam like balls and [00:13:00] it's just kind of fun to watch.

[00:13:01] Doug Battle: mean JaMarcus Russell?

[00:13:04] Mike Lewis: Yeah,

[00:13:05] Doug Battle: You can throw the.

[00:13:07] Mike Lewis: no, I mean, my will, his balloon Doug was something that was gonna be very easy to pop.

[00:13:12] Doug Battle: That just popped it right there. no. So I'm hearing some rumors about Will Leviis into the two spot. And that would really, I, because at this point I think that it's a not so well kept secret that Bryce Young's going number one to the Panthers. That was up for debate for a while. But I think the information's out there, it's always kind of anti-climactic that number one pick.

Cause they do a 15 minute countdown and everyone knows what's gonna happen and then it happens exactly how you would expect. And so it really, it's like the draft starts at number two with the Texans and I'm looking at one mock draft with Will Anderson from Alabama going there. for the longest time, Jalen Carter, was projected to that spot, but you know, a guy that I wouldn't be shocked to see Drop Surpri [00:14:00] like

[00:14:00] Mike Lewis: Well,

[00:14:01] Doug Battle: everyone's kind of surprised


[00:14:03] Mike Lewis: he, well, I'm gonna tell you, I, I'll give you a prediction on the guy that the cameras are gonna follow as a draft, as his position plummets, and that's Anthony Richardson.

[00:14:14] Doug Battle: Yeah, if his position Plymouth,

[00:14:16] Mike Lewis: Yeah, but that one is like tailor made for him to be around at like pick number 15 or 16 before he goes off the board. yeah, but you know, Jalen Carter is, he's that classic example of like this trickle of negative information and no one knows how to deal with the negative information. So of course there was the arrest on the, was it on the eve or the morning of the combine.

But then the follow up is what he's gained nine or 10 pounds,

[00:14:43] Doug Battle: yeah,

he's, and there's always these anonymous sources that come out, NFL coach, NFL Scout, former Georgia Co or people on Georgia staff. I've read something saying that. They couldn't get anyone on Georgia's staff to really vouch for his character, which is a concern. and [00:15:00] again, this is all anonymous, so it's like, it could be some, somebody on Reddit, somebody just totally making it up. But that information, once it's out there, you can't like disassociate it with the person. And so I think that there's this perception now that there are character issues or at least maturity issues with his arrest and with, even, I mean, there was stuff at Georgia that was a little bit concerning.

I remember the Missouri game, he got into a scuffle before the game, during warmups with the other team, and got in a shouting fest. And he's now being described as a player who. Can be great if he wants to be great and people don't know if he wants to be great. There's that. I remember I, I mentioned earlier there was question with Anthony Edwards coming into the N B A as to whether he really loved basketball. And there's still kind of, he's still one of those guys where it's like, if he has that Kobe Bryant mentality, he can be Kobe Bryant, but no one actually thinks he really has that mentality. And with Jalen Carter it's like, apparently the rumor is that the [00:16:00] Georgia coaches were, to be on him at all times to make sure he was in shape, because if they weren't, he would just totally outta shape and be, and again, these are rumors, this is speculation, but this is the information.

And sometimes it's like when there's smoke, there's fire. But on the flip side to that, in the N F L, sometimes these teams will leak information like that to try to drive down the interest in the players so that they can get a steal if they have a later pick. And so they're, you know, the Georgia fans I know will come out and say, oh, he's a great kid. it's just, this is just some team that wants him to fall to them putting this information out there anonymously.

[00:16:38] Mike Lewis: But Doug, I think the other thing is these guys are all, they're all brands at this point, right? they're all sort of almost becoming actively managed as brands, right? And so I think the na, the trickle of negative information ends up being almost more of an issue, right? when you start to say, Hey, this kid's at Georgia, he's in a very professionally run program.

He's [00:17:00] probably had an agent for a year and a half because of N I L, right? Who's been giving him some advice, and yet we still see these negative signals, right? I mean, and again,it's that tough thing where if we all kind of. and especially you got, those of us outside of the inner circle, right?

where we don't actually get to talk to these people, we don't have any choice except to sort of, you know how funny it is? We get these in pieces of information from Twitter and then we sort of decide on what the pattern means, right? And it all comes down to how the pattern was generated.

The other guy where there's some weirdness going on, right, of course, is CJ Strout. And a truly bizarre story where, what was it Brady Quinn tweeted that he might be, that he heard he might be dropping, because some people have said that he blew off some quarterback camp run by the Mannings. And then all of ESPN sort of jumping in, defending CJ Stroud and Brady Quinn, oh, I [00:18:00] think almost rightfully saying, I was asked why he might be dropping.

Right. A and so, there's these kind of layers that, that the folks that are aware of the inside conversations, maybe you can't even allude to what's going on in those. I mean, maybe Quinn is completely dead on that. That's what's going on. There's some strange back and forth, within the N F L community about, Stroud not showing up to things he said he was gonna show up to.

None of us are gonna know, but it's, it just becomes drama for us to watch.

[00:18:30] Doug Battle: Yeah, it's interesting with Stroud cuz my impression of Stroud after the, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia fans loved Stroud. They were saying, I hope the Falcons take him. He's his opponents admired him because, and the way he handled his loss with dignity, his interviews were class.

I know Georgia fans that were comparing Stetson Bennett, the championship quarterback to CJ Stroud and saying, I wish we had someone more humble, like CJ Stroud, who's gonna be a top five pick at the time at [00:19:00] least. And so he's a guy who I never heard a murmur of negative information about. Prior to the draft process and now that it's almost draft night, there's character concerns, even

[00:19:12] Mike Lewis: Okay.

[00:19:13] Doug Battle: during his playing days, it was never an issue before.

[00:19:16] Mike Lewis: But again, the weirdness of all of this, right? He's an tightly controlled, very professional program in Ohio State, and so you wouldn't expect to hear anything, right?

I, and that's what I've heard with Jalen Carter is that, he, Doug, lemme add one more thing to this.

[00:19:30] Doug Battle: like two days into his freedom. he was no longer under the rule of Kirby Smart and his, tightly operated

[00:19:37] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:19:37] Doug Battle: that kind of protects players and controls players and keeps them out of trouble and keeps them in shape and all the rest.

[00:19:44] Mike Lewis: And two days in he gets arrested, two weeks in he's put on 10 pounds. He's, he doesn't, he can't function independently. Okay. Okay. But, and again, let's sort of, take a step back and think about, and so we are all just watching this. We, I mean, we could [00:20:00] be watching,the Real Housewives for how much, for how much of this might be reality for us. But the thing is, unlike the Real Housewives, this is stuff that we really care about, right?

So, so the minds go through these, like, we're all sort of running these internal algorithms to decipher what information is valid and what information is worth taking. Seriously. What I was gonna say, the other thing that's kind of interesting about this whole CJ Straud story, Is the number of the guys defending Straud, especially the espn, RG three.

And,I forget the other ones. The other one that sort of started with the initial tweet, but they were sort of almost going off on the Mannings. Right. which almost made me think, like Straud doesn't need to, show homage to the Mannings, which almost made me start to, and again, this is like these internal algorithms that almost made me think maybe this story is real and it's the, and it's the mannings that are talking about it.

[00:20:55] Doug Battle: Maybe,I don't know. I mean, it doesn't seem like Peyton and Eli Manning are [00:21:00] easily irritated, agitated guys. So if they're going out saying something about a kid,

[00:21:07] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:21:08] Doug Battle: there might be such a cause for concern. They're certainly well respected around the league. I mean, they might be the most likable figures in sports,

[00:21:18] Mike Lewis: But Doug demanding fulfill their brand too. So we again say this, well, we're never, it's a house of mirrors. We're never gonna be able to figure out what happens until these guys have been in the league for five years.

[00:21:28] Doug Battle: Yeah. And with these things, I think, I don't know that, like, I'm usually skeptical that the media speculation plays into actual GM decisions. But with that said, if you're a GM and you're 50 50 between two players,

[00:21:42] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:21:42] Doug Battle: of 'em is Jalen Carter, and it's well, I don't know. There's speculation that, Georgia had to have him on a tight, on a short leash, and as soon as he got off of it, he got in trouble.

Or CJ Stroud, there's, well, I don't know. I heard something about, the Mannings didn't like [00:22:00] him or there's some concern about his character or his professionalism. and then you go with that other guy. If you're 50 50 between two players and one of the players doesn't have any smoke around him and one of 'em does, you tend to go with the other guy.

So I think like we have seen players drop in

[00:22:16] Mike Lewis: Well, Doug, and I think the thing to add to that is then once I've seen the Panthers make that decision, because maybe the Panthers know that the Manning story is true and it was sort of egregious, then I pass on him and I take the guy.

[00:22:31] Doug Battle: some, they must know something. I don't.

[00:22:33] Mike Lewis: Yeah. And then I'm taking the guy that maybe was falling in the draft boards because he was eating banana.

A banana with a peel on it and putting mayonnaise in his coffee.

[00:22:42] Doug Battle: Innocent stuff.

[00:22:44] Mike Lewis: Yeah. Innocence.

[00:22:44] Doug Battle: that might have been a brilliant move by Will Leviis, because when all the, he created attention, but it was in a very, innocent kind of weirdness

[00:22:54] Mike Lewis: Right.

[00:22:55] Doug Battle: Yeah. And where it's like, well, yeah, that's weird, but you don't have character [00:23:00] concerns about that. So he like created concerns that are very minor and that kept people from criticizing other things about him.

[00:23:10] Mike Lewis: Every once in a while, someone will like, rather than use butter on a grilled cheese sandwich, they'll use mayo, right? And then so I mean, look, I don't know, maybe Mayo works fine in coffee, right? Maybe it's just about adding fat and it's actually something kind of innovative, could, it couldn't tell you.

[00:23:25] Doug Battle: Tom Brady's got some weird stuff that he does. He doesn't drink, he doesn't drink while he eats. Like he won't drink liquid while he is eating. He'll eat and then drink or drink and then eat. But there's like 45 minutes between the two. Some weird thing like, like he's got his weird little isms. So, yeah.

so I, I know the other exciting one that we've loved to talk about is Anthony Richardson, a guy I've seen projected at number one at times now number two at times, and I've seen him as far back as like 15. [00:24:00] Could he be our Brady Quinn this year? That slips back cuz, all cameras on him and talk as to whether it's, what this is in regards to, of course as we know, it's if it happens in regards to his actual performance on the field, and not combine performance.

[00:24:19] Mike Lewis: Doug, I think he's the most likely to do that, right? I mean, he violates

[00:24:23] Doug Battle: Jalen Carter is personally, but

[00:24:25] Mike Lewis: But Richard lacks most of like the Parcells rules for who you take at a quarterback position. Not enough starts, not enough victories not going to grad. I don't think any of 'em graduate anymore. so it's. Richardson looks like that kind of classic one year wonder, and it is even a one year wonder.

Right? It's a combine warrior kind of

[00:24:45] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:24:46] Mike Lewis: And I don't know that anyone can come up with a quarterback that was a combine warrior that, that then went on to a stellar career. I'm not a,

I think people will say Josh [00:25:00] Allen, but he, I mean, Josh Allen had a lot more success in college, I think. yeah, well he was at Wyoming, right? So we.

[00:25:07] Doug Battle: didn't hear about him. Cuz he was at Wyoming, but he was tearing it up. It was kinda like Carson Wentz was perceived that way, but it's like he won national championships, in college.

yeah, I'm trying to think of, I mean, I think some people viewed Mahomes as a project coming. I mean he was like, he wasn't a number one pick, he was drafted like in the teens I think. Lamar Jackson's another one that people viewed as a project. But again, Lamar Jackson won the Heisman,

[00:25:34] Mike Lewis: Right.

[00:25:35] Doug Battle: Anth. Anthony Richardson didn't win the Heisman. He was,

[00:25:38] Mike Lewis: I think

[00:25:39] Doug Battle: he wasn't first team. I don't think he was second team in its conference.

[00:25:42] Mike Lewis: Lamar Jackson had astonishing scoring numbers, I think at Louisville as well, right? I mean, so he was,

[00:25:49] Doug Battle: Yeah. I mean, he broke records. He

[00:25:51] Mike Lewis: yeah.

[00:25:51] Doug Battle: and he fell still. So it's almost like if he fell. Anthony Richardson. It should be expected for him to fall. [00:26:00] It would almost be surprising if he went too or if he went, in the top five. but does have the physical tools and apparently he's, he

[00:26:08] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:26:09] Doug Battle: well, he did.

I mean, he kind of, he crushed it. He crushed it after the season. Once he, and you look at a guy like this, we talked about how maybe Jalen Carter was. again, speculation. Maybe Jalen Carter, let's say Jalen Carter benefited from Georgia, having him on a tight leash and at a higher level because he was being put on the treadmill and cons.

His meals were cooked, custom made for, a certain eating schedule and he had to eat those certain things. And as soon as he's off the leash, he's a different guy. He's not the same player, he is not gonna perform at the same level. Maybe Anthony Richardson, you take him and you put him in a system like Georgia and he wins a national championship.

He, he's thought of as this winner, he's thought of as this champion.

[00:26:58] Mike Lewis: This is next [00:27:00] level fandom from a Georgia guy.

[00:27:05] Doug Battle: well put 'em in Alabama. Put 'em in Alabama, put 'em in Alabama. does he win as many games as Bryce Young? And is his perception this

[00:27:14] Mike Lewis: back

[00:27:14] Doug Battle: Heisman candidate?

[00:27:16] Mike Lewis: Spurrier would've had him, Spurrier would've had him win three Heisman and I think two years. Right.

[00:27:22] Doug Battle: Yeah. So maybe like, you can look at him from that, like maybe he's underrated, even though a lot of people think he's overrated.

[00:27:29] Mike Lewis: But again, we've talked about this in the past. This is all sort of probabilistic decision making. So it's like, what is your, what's your probability assessment that he's going to be a, a boom or is he gonna be a bus player or is he gonna sort of perform as a typical first round quarterback?

Right? Is he just gonna be a solid starter? Is he gonna be a pro ball player? Is he gonna be out of the league? And, like a, what was it, Josh Rosen is the Mo Orion Lee or JaMarcus Russell. Right. And I think there's a lot of data to [00:28:00] suggest a high probability of a bust. And I think that's what everyone's, that, that's the concern with Richardson.

[00:28:08] Doug Battle: alright, Mike, I got a question. Anthony Richardson or Will Leviis, you're on the clock. There's only two players on the board and it's those two. Who's gonna have this successful? Who's neither? Neither can we say is definitely gonna have a successful career.

Who's more likely to succeed at the next level?

[00:28:24] Mike Lewis: Okay. Well, and I'm just gonna give you my internal algorithm because I think when we're pro, when we're trying to figure out these guys, what we're trying to do is sort of figure out. The insider's information. Right? And so when I look at these, when I look at these guys, I lean towards Will Leviis at this point.

and I know that seems kind of strange and it's, and it is almost more related to the way Anthony Richardson is covered, right? Where I think as Dan Orlovsky, I've heard talk about Richardson a lot on E S P N. and they like go through a list of like, he's got amazing [00:29:00] physical tools. He's got a great, football iq.

He has an amazing work ethic. and I listen to all of this and I kind of go, well then why isn't the performance there, right? And so then I start to process that and I go, oh, So I don't know where the gap is, but it seems like they're trying to hide a gap for some reason. Well, in contrast, the storyline on Will Leviis is, oh God, this guy is just, he's, he is just beyond goofy, right?

And then they roll out the videos and then they show, but then they do show like some of the amazing physical tools as well, like throwing the ball through the uprights from his knees at the 50 yard line. And,I look, Doug, I'm gonna be honest with you, I don't fully get it. And we've talked about this for years.

For some reason the media machine in particular, ESPN, falls in love with certain quarterbacks and falls outta love with other quarterbacks. I'm not trusting at this point of the quarterbacks with, let's say I'm trying to find the right word sort, not dubious is too strong, but with [00:30:00] mixed profiles in terms of accomplishments and talents that E S P N falls in love with.

Okay. And so that's why I then sort of shift towards Will Leviis. But again, think about what I'm doing. I'm being honest about it. It's not that I've studied all the stats, I haven't done all the analytics. It's that I'm sort of almost, I'm looking at what I can see and then making inferences in terms of the coverage.

[00:30:25] Doug Battle: Yeah, I think if I'm in that position, I don't think either one has a high likelihood of success, but I would go with Richardson just purely on the upside. just pure, I think he has a higher upside and, I think they both have a pretty bad downside. I could see both of 'em

[00:30:39] Mike Lewis: Frankly, I think it's a coin flip. I mean, in, in terms of,

[00:30:43] Doug Battle: All right, one last, one last quarterback I want to touch on.

I mean, we mentioned Stroud, but it's more the bias that goes into how people evaluate Straud that I want to talk about. Ohio State quarterbacks, historically in, in recent years at least, haven't succeeded in the [00:31:00] nfl. Those top 10 picks, whether it's. And I don't know, all these were top 10 picks, but there's been an Justin Fields was, and then there's Pryor and Braxton Miller and Barrett. And I mean, it seems like my entire life, there's always been an Ohio State quarterback who looks like an NFL quarterback in college, gets drafted high and fizzles out in the pros and fields might be the most successful of the guys I've listed, who, and he's still kind of verdict, still out on Justin Fields. And so is it unfair to CJ Stroud to look at him and say, he's another Ohio State quarterback. I'm gonna take a different guy because he's more likely to bust or fizzle out because he played in the same system as these other guys that looked amazing in college and didn't pan out.

[00:31:48] Mike Lewis: Is that, look as we go into the NFL draft, And again, you and I have talked about this issue as well. There is always this notion of the comparable, right? And so we're gonna compare this [00:32:00] player to, someone else who's played in the pros, right? Very often it's a guy that played at his own school.

It's almost always a player of the same, demographic background. When you started talking about Ohio State quarterbacks, I did a quick search in terms of top Ohio State quarterbacks in terms of NFL careers. It's pretty lean.

[00:32:23] Doug Battle: Joe Burrow leaves Ohio State

[00:32:25] Mike Lewis: so we could,

[00:32:26] Doug Battle: and then he has the.

[00:32:29] Mike Lewis: but it is almost like this notion, and again, not to get too in the weeds, like this notion of this availability, bias where people evaluate these guys based on the, what they've seen in the past. It's hard not to be influenced by that right now.

[00:32:44] Doug Battle: I remember when Nick Chubb was coming out and hearing him compared to Todd Gurley, and those two could not be more different as far as how they run the football, how they're built, all that. But people look at him and say, the last Georgia running back to be drafted MVP of the league right now.

And [00:33:00] this guy's in that same system, and he's gone through that same schooling, if you will. It's almost like looking at a job candidate based on where they went to school, and so I, I think that Ohio State, it's like there's some legitimacy to it, but I'm also like, is it unfair?

Because, should we just look at these guys on a one by one case or is that information valuable in evaluating a guy like Stroud?

[00:33:21] Mike Lewis: I think we should look at 'em. I mean, I think we should look at 'em on a one to one. So in this case, I think we look at the success of Ohio State quarterbacks. And then we sort of consciously adjust if that might be something that's causing us to boun, to downwardly rate Strout, right? Because what a quarterback that was produced by Urban Meyer.

what does that have to do with CJ Strout? Nothing.

[00:33:43] Doug Battle:

[00:33:43] Mike Lewis: Essentially it, I mean, same, very kind of substantial professional, well, I don't know what you want to call Herbi Meyer professional after everything that came out, but the same kind of high end, high resource program competing in the Big 10 and [00:34:00] Ohio State has been dominant.

I, I think people start to make up stories, right? Ohio State quarterbacks perform better because they play in a Big 10 that is systematically weaker than the opponents that you're gonna play in the s e c, so they end up with inflated, stats, et cetera, et cetera. Right? but I think what you have to do is you go, it's almost like you have to go in the reverse and say, these Ohio State quarterbacks have not panned out.

So am I downwardly biasing Stroud because of that?

[00:34:28] Doug Battle: Yeah.

Yeah, that's, I just keep seeing that conversation popping up with Stroud every time his name comes up. A lot of people dismiss him and say he played at Ohio State quarterback, the last 10 guys to do that, didn't succeed. part of me, of me likes Stroud cuz I've watched him play, I've seen his best moments and I've also seen some pretty pedestrian play from him. And he's a guy that at the end of the day, un under the big lights, he played his best football. And you can't say that about Anthony Richardson. You can't say that about Will Leviis. and so, [00:35:00] and like I said, Justin Fields was kind of like a better prospect really than Stroud coming out like bigger, faster, stronger, more accurate passer and. he led his team to a national championship game where they lost, but he, he had a great playoff performance as well. and he hasn't panned out. And so it's, you can't help but compare the guy to the guy before him at that school. And that's where I think players at Alabama have, and players at Georgia, players at these schools, like Bryce Young, Tua was the last guy and like, he's hanging in there.

He is doing pretty well. But as a whole, like half of the NFL's players are Alabama or Georgia or LSU players and or Florida, a couple of those s e C teams. And so there's no as to did he play good enough competition? Was he in a, has he. in an N F L type environment and done the weight training and done the, and so guys like that ha seem to have an advantage.

[00:35:57] Mike Lewis: And I think that's why we're seeing more, in the [00:36:00] transfer portal. That's another reason for players. Like if Will Leviis, if Bama this year, if they had been in the same quarterback situation a year ago and Will Leviis transfers in and he's QB wine and they go win 12 games, whatever. He's the first pack.

[00:36:14] Doug Battle: yeah, he's probably the first pick in the draft.

And same with Anthony Richardson. And so that's where, there, there is kind of a bias to the programs that these guys play for.

[00:36:22] Mike Lewis: Yeah. And again, it's probably an over, but you know, and again, this is why I think we just. it's almost like what this conversation is leading to is kind of the limitations of analytics, right? Because you start to get into all these kind of soft factors, right? Where Well, because you could start, again, you start to solve these stories.

So let's say Leviis did come in and as a transfer, now he's working with Nick Saban in an incredibly professionally run program.

[00:36:52] Doug Battle: All

[00:36:52] Mike Lewis: now,

[00:36:53] Doug Battle: receivers, NFL offensive line running backs.

[00:36:56] Mike Lewis: but now he learns this, these leadership, he develops these leadership traits,[00:37:00] and he gets polished up by the Alabama media machine and suddenly he is, he's that prototypical number one pick in the draft because Levi is also, physically impressive, right? Especially compared to like, Bryce Young, right?


[00:37:15] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:37:16] Mike Lewis: it's almost an automatic thing, right? But again, how much do we need to, you're never gonna be able to figure it out just based on whatever data we have available to us as the general public. How much do we sort of, cause we get into something kind of funny here, right?

Played at Ohio State. We are gonna discount your accomplishments because of what these, they've done you play at Alabama? Well, Hertz, Tua,

Mac Jones That

[00:37:43] Doug Battle: their last three quarterbacks are starting NFL quarterbacks.

[00:37:47] Mike Lewis: right. And their next one is going to be the first overall pick.

[00:37:52] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:37:53] Mike Lewis: I don't even know who, look Doug, I don't even know who's next up at Alabama, but I would guess they're gonna be a top 10 quarterback prospect in the [00:38:00] nfl, right?

[00:38:02] Doug Battle: Probably I, they

[00:38:02] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:38:03] Doug Battle: they didn't have the best quarterback display at their spring game, but that's a discussion for another day. They'll get some guy, they'll get some guy in the transfer portal come in and he'll be a top 10 pick next year or two years from now. So,

[00:38:14] Mike Lewis: Okay, moving on. Our final division and our rundown of the quarterback narratives from the last N F L season is the N F C West. Doug At the top of that division, we've got what I think is in some ways a strange story, and that's the San Francisco 49ers nine ERs, because it doesn't appear that, it appears that whoever they plug in performs exceptionally.


[00:38:40] Doug Battle: rock

[00:38:40] Mike Lewis: they've had some, they've had, yeah, Brock Purdy last, well, he was Mr. Irrelevant, right? So the last pick in the NFL draft, Jimmy G, who doesn't seem to get a lot of, never seems to get really a lot of love. I think he had, like I looked at the stats, it was something like 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, which is a great ratio.[00:39:00]

Yeah, Purdy's ratio is just about the same as Jimmy G's, Jimmy G has now moved on. Now we get into this debate of is Brock Purdy the guy, or is this now a competition between Trey Lanz and Brock Purdy? And it seems like the 49ers are also mentioned with just about every potential quarterback acquisition out there as well.

[00:39:23] Doug Battle: . I love Brock Purdy though. I love Brock Purdy. I love his story. I could see. I could see a Jimmy G type situation with him where he kind of plateaus at pretty good and the fans grow disgruntled.

[00:39:38] Mike Lewis: I haven't run the numbers, but I suspect that if you run the numbers that those San Francisco where, cuz historically Jimmy G was a plus one kind of win guy, so an above average player. I assume that might be the same thing for Brock Purdy. And so the implication of that right, is that the 49ers are a plus five kind of team, right?

And [00:40:00] so whoever gets that job is actually going to look, Derek Carr would've looked great out there, right?

[00:40:05] Doug Battle: being the quarterback at Alabama,

[00:40:08] Mike Lewis: E exactly.

[00:40:08] Doug Battle: If Tom Brady hadn't retired, that would be my, that would be my landing spot for him.

[00:40:13] Mike Lewis: Or maybe he.

[00:40:14] Doug Battle: maybe he comes back. I mean, what, I think Brett Favre came out of retirement twice. I, he retired with the, Jet? No, with the, with the Packers and then with the Jets, and then played for the Vikings after that, so it's not unprecedented. yeah, Los Angeles Rams, Mike, we won a Super Bowl. Coaches kind of thought of as this brilliant, next big thing in coaching and they made a Super Bowl with Jared Goff a couple years back too. So at that time he was already being considered in, in those terms. Matt Stafford Super Bowl mvp, they return almost everybody from that team.

Aaron Arnold don't make the playoffs this year. some injuries contributed to that, but man, I don't know if [00:41:00] I've seen a team look so different from one year to the next.

[00:41:03] Mike Lewis: There were five and 12, right? I mean, it was an amazing,

[00:41:07] Doug Battle: go from Super Bowl winning to five and 12 with the same core intact.

[00:41:12] Mike Lewis: collapse, in fact. Yeah.

[00:41:14] Doug Battle: I don't know what's happening there.

And. It begs, it begs the question that is LA gonna remain or the Rams gonna remain LA's team with the Chargers, kind of on the come up. I think winning that Super Bowl was huge for the Rams in terms of establishing themselves as kind of the Alpha team, like they're the Lakers

[00:41:32] Mike Lewis: But was it enough?

[00:41:36] Doug Battle: I don't know. I don't know. That's what I'm kind of getting at is that

[00:41:39] Mike Lewis: Especially in the middle of time, right. I mean,

[00:41:42] Doug Battle: Yeah, it was weird. I mean, I think it also, it benefited them that the Super Bowl was in their city, in their stadium that year. And so I think that they're kind of the default team for somebody. But are they gonna stay that with of the better young quarterbacks in the league playing f in the [00:42:00] same stadium in a different jersey? and for a team that's making the playoffs consistently, whereas the Rams might have been a one hit wonder, we'll find out this year. But it's a little bit concerning. And like I said, they've bounced back before cuz they made the Super Bowl with, same coach, different quarterback. Then they had a couple down years and then they go and windows Super Bowl.

So it's not that their windows closed, but it is a concerning trend.

[00:42:24] Mike Lewis: You have a lot of faith in Stafford going forward.

[00:42:28] Doug Battle: No,

[00:42:29] Mike Lewis: Okay. I mean, there's a lot of,

[00:42:31] Doug Battle: I love Stafford by the way, but,

[00:42:33] Mike Lewis: at this point, right?

[00:42:34] Doug Battle: Yeah. And, I mean, I mean I, like I said, I love Stafford. I hate that the majority of his prime was spent on really terrible teams. If he could have been in a situation like this when he was much younger, I think he would've won several Super Bowls. But his age and his, when I've watched his performance, there's always kind of been some head scratching interceptions, even the year that when they won the Super Bowl. But you look at the talent in the NFL at quarterback, like [00:43:00] you, like I said, you look, in the same stadium as the other guy. I think anyone in the right mind's gonna take Justin Herbert right now. Right now. Again, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, I mean, he's not one of those guys. And so, and he is aging even more.

[00:43:14] Mike Lewis: Yeah, so Stafford's got 13 years of 13 years in the league, right? So it's.

[00:43:20] Doug Battle: I mean, he's 35. He's not that much younger than

[00:43:24] Mike Lewis: So is he one of these guys, is he an Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, fountain of Youth guy? Or is he, like most of 'em in, 35, that we're on, we're gonna be on the decline

[00:43:37] Doug Battle: I think when the Rams signed him, they knew what they were. I think they knew that he was likely not that you hope he's

[00:43:43] Mike Lewis: Contract goes through 26.

[00:43:44] Doug Battle: right. You hope he's Aaron Rogers, but you wanna win a Super Bowl, he gives you your best chance of winning a Super Bowl. Now you ink him for that deal, you go and win a Super Bowl.

I think it's worth it and I just think they kind of have to pay for it on the back end. they're, I think they're paying for what [00:44:00] they had.

[00:44:01] Mike Lewis: Yeah. I don't know. In on the, in the mock drafts are what are they talking about? Speculation for the Rams. Do you know, do you have any sense of,

[00:44:08] Doug Battle: I've seen all kinds of

[00:44:10] Mike Lewis: they would seem like a team to be looking at a developmental quarterback prospect as well.

[00:44:16] Doug Battle: Yeah, well they do. They even, I don't think they have a first round pick.

[00:44:21] Mike Lewis: Yeah, maybe they don't. Maybe that was,

[00:44:22] Doug Battle: Stetson Bennett going and playing behind Stafford

[00:44:25] Mike Lewis: Doug, the rumor, Onte and Bennett. Right. the hot is now the Ravens

[00:44:30] Doug Battle: Oh, I saw Monkin. With Monkin. He's not athletically. You put him with Lamar Jackson, no chance. No.

[00:44:41] Mike Lewis: No chance. and they have the Ravens have a good QB too as


[00:44:47] Doug Battle: but I saw a rumor for him to the Cowboys and honestly, I can see that. I can see

[00:44:54] Mike Lewis: He seems like Mary Jones would be taking him to brunch. He'd love the kids.

[00:44:57] Doug Battle: I remember when Jerry Jones was flirting with the idea of [00:45:00] Johnny Manzel, and I think this

[00:45:01] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

chance Yeah. It's a, it's a third round Jenny Menzel. Right.

[00:45:05] Doug Battle: exa, I mean, I think I could see him going that path and I could, Stetson, his arrest was in Dallas.

I believe it, I know it was in Texas. I believe it was in Dallas. So it would just kind of come full circle that way. and he's kind of got that cocky Dallas cowboy aura to him. So I don't know, I, I could see that being a later round quarterback take. And then it would be one of those things where you would have fans pushing for him to play at some point if the starter isn't playing the level they want him to.

And it's kind of absurd to think about that with Dak Prescott, but nonetheless, that's how fans behave.

[00:45:43] Mike Lewis: I love it.

[00:45:43] Doug Battle: could see it. I could see it happening.

[00:45:45] Mike Lewis: In some ways he's the perfect fit for that.

[00:45:48] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:45:50] Mike Lewis: okay. Doug, let's sort of pick up the pace here just a little bit. we also have the Seattle Seahawks. This was one of the bigger surprises last year. It looked like Seattle was [00:46:00] essentially almost, trust the process, kind of going into tanking mode last year.

And Gino Smith had a career year with, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. And I think the Seahawks may have been just above, they were right around 500, if not a game above. Let check this,

[00:46:20] Doug Battle: I think as far as

[00:46:21] Mike Lewis: they were.

[00:46:23] Doug Battle: rehabilitation project quarterbacks go, Gino Smith's 32 years old. To take a guy at that age who hasn't had much success as a starter in the N F L and totally him or see him transform. That doesn't happen very often. I mean, that's what I'm, if I'm taking on Baker Mayfield this year, if I'm the Panthers, that's what I'm hoping for.

I'm hoping we can still get his potential outta him. And I know people probably feel that way taking on like Mitch Trubisky or whatnot, even though some of these players feel like a lost cause. But Gino Smith, I think he [00:47:00] felt like a lost cause to a lot of people and to go out and have the year that he had, a Pro Bowl year as far as what he, how he performed.

And I, I don't know that he played in the Pro Bowl, but he earned a spot and all that said, if I'm the, if I'm the Seahawks, I still don't feel like I have my quarterback of the future. The right guy's available on the draft. I'm taking, I'm sorry, Gino.

[00:47:21] Mike Lewis: No. You know what, Doug, what? What I take away from Gino Smith last year is that Pete Carroll. Might be an even better coach than I thought. Right. I mean, and with Carol, I actually go back to what he accomplished at USC because there was a time when Carol had that program essentially operating like Alabama operates now,

[00:47:40] Doug Battle: Yep.

[00:47:41] Mike Lewis: right?

Where it was just, they just loaded in, they reloaded every year and no one, they were just blowing people off the field.

[00:47:47] Doug Battle: like Matt Leiner, Carson Palmer, they had, who was it, the backup that ended up being an NFL starter for a little while. I mean, they were, and running back Reggie Bush, like Lindell [00:48:00] White, that team, those teams were so stacked. They were winning so many championships. I think USC wants to be that again, by the way.

[00:48:06] Mike Lewis: And Of course.

[00:48:08] Doug Battle: they're playing like some serious money ball, not an analytics sense, just purely throwing money at football players. but that's kind of been their strategy. But I, what me the most about Pete Carroll is the fact that what if Russell Wilson wasn't as the lead as we thought he was this whole time,

[00:48:26] Mike Lewis: he was just in a great system.

that's my whole point, right? That with most of these guys, when the quarterback leaves, we, this was always the thing with the Belichick and Brady, right?

[00:48:38] Doug Battle: right.

[00:48:38] Mike Lewis: And so these partnerships are really Tomlin and roethlisberger. These partnerships are impossible to disentangle. And so Russell Wilson left to a

[00:48:49] Doug Battle: Denver.

[00:48:50] Mike Lewis: terrible performance in at Denver.

And Geno Smith has a career year. I think you've gotta look, I mean, I, and I think people should take note of that in some ways. If I'm a rookie [00:49:00] quarterback, I'm a free aging quarterback, I kind of think I might want to go to Seattle, right? That this is something where I'm gonna have my game elevated.

[00:49:09] Doug Battle: Yeah, and Russell Wilson's 34, so he's a little bit older. but again, going back to Stafford, I mean Stafford's 35 like that does seem like that age is about where guys start to fall off typically, unless it's Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady exception to the rule. And so, yeah, I mean, I think the right, like if I'm Anthony Richardson and I can play for the Seahawks and an offense where Geno Smith

did what he did and where an aging Russell Wilson was making the playoffs annually and performing at a really high level, I think that could be the perfect fit for a guy like that.


[00:49:46] Mike Lewis: Now, then you get into the other side of it. You almost wanna look at the quarterbacks that a guy like Carol or a guy like Belichick wants,

[00:49:56] Doug Battle: Yeah,

[00:49:57] Mike Lewis: Yeah. Okay.

[00:49:59] Doug Battle: know. I think [00:50:00] that Seahawks, I could see them taking a first round quarterback, the right guy's there, and

[00:50:06] Mike Lewis: Well, I could, even if they have some confidence in, Gino, it almost, it's time to do it right. That.

[00:50:12] Doug Battle: the perfect placeholder guy in the sense that you could bring in a Will Levies or Anthony Richardson and not feel the pressure to start him cuz you're winning games with Gino Smith and still develop a younger player. I remember when Eli Manning came into the Giants and Carrie Collins was starting quarterback. Oh, Carrie Collins. And then Kurt Warner was a starting quarterback and Warner started the majority of that first season. and he went on to, he played in the Super Bowl for the Cardinals after that. Like he was still a legitimate starting n f l quarterback, but he was older and it, there was no sense that this guy's the future of the franchise, but it took some of the pressure off Eli Man, where you could work him in and develop him.

And Patrick Mahomes had that under Alex Smith when he came into Kansas City and so. We've seen that as a successful formula, and I think Gino Smith's kind of the right guy to have [00:51:00] in front of a player like that where he's, I mean, to have the success that he's had, he's doing things the right way, and yet he probably doesn't have the ego of an Aaron Rodgers.

You don't want Aaron Rodgers to get supplanted mid-season by his backup. Gino Smith has been a backup for the majority of his career, and so it, it does seem like a good situation for a young quarterback especially.

[00:51:22] Mike Lewis: Okay, Doug, last guy on, the last guy in the N F C West, and this closes out our retrospective. Look at the 2022 Quarterback narratives is a guy that I have not been particularly kind to. now again, when I say that, it's always based on the analytics, at least as the starting point. of all the quarterbacks, who have signed big money deals, Kyler Murray was the one that frankly I was the most suspicious of, or the most dubious of, or doubtful about, looking at the data.

[00:51:55] Doug Battle: I just didn't, I just didn't see it. And there was a moment where, [00:52:00] and again, this market moved so fast, is Murray still a top five paid quarterback? I mean, he got big money. There was obviously rare, the weirdness when he got the money and there was like, something in the contract that film

[00:52:13] Mike Lewis: he had to watch film

[00:52:15] Doug Battle: and then

[00:52:15] Mike Lewis: then,

[00:52:15] Doug Battle: a question of was he not watching film before?

[00:52:18] Mike Lewis: and then you look at, the production last year. And look, if I'm the Arizona Cardinals, I'm really starting to wonder. It's like, I wouldn't be surprised if they were drafting a third round pick that kind of developmental prospect just to have a backup depending on how this goes moving forward.

[00:52:37] Doug Battle: I believe is gonna be the fourth highest paid guy this year behind Hertz Rogers and Russell Wilson, and in front of Deshaun Watson. So those Wilson Murray Watson, none of those are particularly

[00:52:49] Mike Lewis: No,

it's amazing how many mistakes are made paying people that position, isn't it?

[00:52:55] Doug Battle: yeah, I mean, of course Patrick Mahomes is not a mistake no matter what you pay [00:53:00] him. And

[00:53:01] Mike Lewis: No. And you know what? We can,

[00:53:03] Doug Battle: it kind of varies by, if you're looking at just the,

[00:53:07] Mike Lewis: yeah, it's,

[00:53:08] Doug Battle: or what the base

[00:53:08] Mike Lewis: no, it's almost impossible to decipher. but this is the thing, you signing Kyler Murray. Always felt a little bit risky, looking at the numbers, looking at, hi, his performance signing Joe Burrow to mega deal doesn't feel risky. Right. Signing Patrick, Mahomes giving him even more money doesn't feel risky.

[00:53:30] Doug Battle: no.

[00:53:30] Mike Lewis: and so it's these big money deals for these second tier guys. That just strikes me as,sort of just, I'm still amazed at the number of GMs that are willing to do that. Right. and I think they think of it as the conservative approach, but it just, it just sort of slots you in.

I was gonna say it slots you into being an eight and eight kind of T team, but in the case of the Cardinals, I don't even think they were close to 500. Last year.

[00:53:57] Doug Battle: Yeah, eight and eights probably sounded pretty good. [00:54:00] the worst, I don't like Russell Wilson's

They were four and 13. Doug, with the, with one of the top paid quarterbacks. Yeah, that's not good. I don't like Russell Wilson's quarterback, contract rather. I think my least favorite contract has gotta be Deshaun Watson, cuz I'm looking at it right now. And the most guaranteed money is to Sean Watson, which

[00:54:17] Mike Lewis: that's a Cleveland, that's a Cleveland contract. You gotta separate that out as a different category

[00:54:22] Doug Battle: I'm just saying that like, It's interesting to me that he has the most guaranteed money because it wasn't, even when they signed him, it wasn't even guaranteed that he was gonna be able to play. So you would think that like he would have the least guaranteed money and the most incentives,

[00:54:35] Mike Lewis: and two, right.

[00:54:38] Doug Battle: yes. So he's, I mean, that, I think it's the worst contract in football right now, and I think that it screwed

[00:54:44] Mike Lewis: be the worst trade, right. It might be the worst deal as well

[00:54:47] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:54:47] Mike Lewis: in the last five, 10 years.

[00:54:49] Doug Battle: It's

[00:54:49] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:54:49] Doug Battle: everyone who now signing quarterbacks because that's the standard. And Kyler Murray's up there, but man, that Deshawn Watson deal is [00:55:00] bad. And that's only, that's one sense in which Kyler Murray is up there. He's not often up there.

[00:55:05] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:55:06] Doug Battle: He

[00:55:06] Mike Lewis: Okay. Doug, I think we're kind of hitting our time this week. Anything else you wanna mention from the world of sports? I can tell you that this was the, this last weekend was the 2023 World's Strongest Man competition. That's sort of, no. Yeah, I love World's Strongest Man competition.

I'm amazed with all the programming that is, that is broadcast, that, that is in fact not broadcast live on tv. And so I think it's broadcast on CBS B later in the summer. It was won by Mitchell Hooper from Canada. it is one of my favorite things to watch. I will, if I'm flipping through ESPN and I don't even know if they still cover this, those late night things where you're seeing Magnuson or Brian Shaw or Edie Hall or Big Z, pulling, lifting cars over and over again, pulling airplanes with their teeth, all that kind of stuff.

I love [00:56:00] that. I don't understand why that's not a bigger sport.

[00:56:03] Doug Battle: Toxic masculinity. That's my two word answer, my two word answer

[00:56:11] Mike Lewis: Okay. And you know what, that's a good phrase to end it on this week. So, as always, or soon more, like I said, I'm kind of teasing this up like I'm a prof. My day job as a professor, I got a lot of grading to do. But we will start to get the 2023, next generation fandom survey out, and the NFL fan equity stuff is just about ready to go.

So it'll be a busy may, for us next week.



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