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How Accurate Is the 26-27-60 Rule for Drafting Quarterbacks?

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday we took a look at some of the guidelines Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells had for drafting quarterbacks. Today let's take a look at another theory, the 26-27-60 rule.

The rule came to prominence after a Sports Illustrated article from 2010 noted the success rate in the NFL of quarterbacks who had at least 26 college starts, scored at least 27 on the Wonderlic test, and had a completion percentage of at least 60%.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Wonderlic, it is a timed intelligence test in which the participant has to process a lot of information in a short amount of time. It is not specifically designed for NFL prospects. It is used all over. NFL prospects do take it. Its use is controversial.

How did our group of 14 top quarterbacks fare on the 26-27-60 rule? Once again, we will count the one year Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton had playing in junior college.

Hit all three benchmarks (9/14)

Peyton Manning

Drew Brees

Tony Romo

Russell Wilson

Philip Rivers

Eli Manning

Andrew Luck

Joe Flacco

Aaron Rodgers

Hit two of three benchmarks (4/14)

Ben Roethlisberger
Cam Newton
Tom Brady
Matt Ryan

Hit one of three benchmarks (1/14)

Carson Palmer

..............................................

How do the actual numbers break down?

Started at least 26 college games (13/14)

Peyton Manning

Drew Brees

Tony Romo

Russell Wilson

Philip Rivers

Eli Manning

Andrew Luck

Joe Flacco

Aaron Rodgers

Ben Roethlisberger

Cam Newton

Carson Palmer

Matt Ryan

This one is about as rock solid as it gets. Only Brady did not hit the threshold, and he had 25 starts. There were also extenuating circumstances. Brady missing 26 starts doesn't necessarily say anything bad about him. Michigan won the National Championship with Brian Griese playing quarterback the year before Brady got the starting job.

Scored at least 27 on the Wonderlic (11/14)

Peyton Manning

Drew Brees

Tony Romo

Russell Wilson

Philip Rivers

Eli Manning

Andrew Luck

Joe Flacco

Aaron Rodgers

Matt Ryan

Tom Brady

Roethlisberger, Newton and Palmer were the three who missed out.

Completed at least 60% of passes in college (12/14)

Peyton Manning

Drew Brees

Tony Romo

Russell Wilson

Philip Rivers

Eli Manning

Andrew Luck

Joe Flacco

Aaron Rodgers

Tom Brady

Ben Roethlisberger

Cam Newton

You have to be around 60% at a minimum to be successful as a pro. If you can't do that in college, how can you expect to do it in the NFL? The only two not to hit this mark were Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan. Palmer was a late bloomer at USC who put it all together in a Heisman Trophy winning senior year. Ryan would be at 60% if not for a game he had to start his freshman year before he was ready.