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How does the 2018 NFL Draft QB class rate on the Rule of 26-27-60?

NCAA Football: Cactus Bowl-Kansas State vs UCLA Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback is the most difficult position to evaluate in the NFL Draft. There still are a number of different formulas and theories that attempt to predict the unpredictable.

Back in 2010, John Lopez wrote in Sports Illustrated about the Rule of 26-27-60.

Perhaps we should not be stunned by JaMarcus Russell’s utter flop as an NFL quarterback -- low-lighted this week by his arrest for possession of a controlled substance in Alabama.

But could a simple formula have warned us of Russell’s lack of NFL readiness? And Ryan Leaf’s and David Carr’s and other failed, high-pick quarterbacks?

Call it the Rule of 26-27-60.

Here is the gist of it: If an NFL prospect scores at least a 26 on the Wonderlic test, starts at least 27 games in his college career and completes at least 60 percent of his passes, there’s a good chance he will succeed at the NFL level.

There are, of course, exceptions. If NFL general managers always could measure heart, determination and other intangibles, then Tom Brady would not have been drafted in the sixth round.

It certainly is not an ironclad rule. I personally would argue the Wonderlic is a dubious measure of quarterback evaluation. Still, the theory floats out there so let’s take a look at how the quarterback class of 2018 fares. We will take a look at the top five in this class, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson.

Wonderlic Score

Josh Allen: 37

Josh Rosen: 29

Sam Darnold: 28

Baker Mayfield: 25

Lamar Jackson: 13

Games Started

Baker Mayfield 44

Lamar Jackson 34

Josh Allen 32

Josh Rosen 30

Sam Darnold 24

Completion Percentage

Baker Mayfield 68.5

Sam Darnold 64.9

Josh Rosen 60.9

Lamar Jackson 57.0

Josh Allen 54.2


Josh Rosen 3/3

Baker Mayfield 2/3

Sam Darnold 2/3

Josh Allen 2/3

Lamar Jackson 1/3


So that is what these results have to say. As with any measure, it isn’t set in stone. Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, and yes Tom Brady are among the names who only hit two of the three measures so that shows you how critical it is to hit all of them.