FanPost

Henne vs. Flacco vs. Ryan

 

"With the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Matt Ryan, quarterback, Boston College."

Several draft choices later…

"With the eighteenth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Joe Flacco, quarterback, Delaware."

Commissioner Roger Goodell had said what every Falcon and Raven fan wanted to hear.  And why not?  According to most scouts, these were the two best quarterbacks in the draft.  Miami, at the time had just drafted Jake Long, the beast of the trenches, a choice that clearly indicated the urgent need for an offensive upgrade in South Beach.

By pick fifty six, the third quarterback was drafted.  Brian Brohm of Louisville was taken by the Green Bay Packers.  On the very next pick, Miami was on the clock.  They took Chad Henne from Michigan. 

Now, between fifty-seven and three is fifty-four spots (for all you math whizzes), but on Sunday’s, we now can see that fifty-seven is actually much closer to number three than most of us thought.  And, let me tell you this… I’m not saying Chad Henne is the best QB out of this draft, but I am here to say that after grabbing a two-time Pro Bowler in Jake Long with the first pick overall, the Dolphins can arguably say that they took the number three pick in the draft, too.

Henne is at a disadvantage when being compared to Ryan or Flacco, because he only has one solid year under his belt, and it wasn’t even a full season behind center.  Ryan and Flacco have been starters for basically two complete seasons.  They deserve credit for being thrown right into the fire and coming out successful.  Henne took his rookie year learning from Chad Pennington, as we know, and when it came Henne’s turn to lead the offense, it was evident Henne was properly battle-tested from Pennington’s guidance.

            So, the fairest way to look at the three quarterbacks of the 2008 NFL Draft was to break down the statistics to game averages.  And remember, Henne doesn’t have the experience as Ryan and Flacco have thus far.  Henne was thrown in during blow outs in his rookie year, and statistically didn’t produce because he was put in situations where he couldn’t get into a rhythm.  But, nonetheless, Henne caught up to his draft classmates by the end of his second season in the league.  Take a look at Henne…

 

 

G

GS

Comp

Att

Pct

Yds

Avg

TD

Int

Sck

SckY

 

2009 Yds/G

Matt Ryan

2009

14

14

263

451

58.30

2916

6.50

22

14

19

92

 

208.29

2008

16

16

265

434

61.10

3440

7.90

16

11

17

104

 

 

Difference

-2

-2

-2

17

-2.80

-524

-1.40

6

3

2

-12

 

 

Totals

30

30

528

885

 

6356

 

38

25

36

196

 

 

Career Game
Averages

 

 

17.60

29.50

59.66

211.87

 

1.27

0.83

1.20

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Flacco

2009

16

16

315

499

63.10

3613

7.20

21

12

36

218

 

225.81

2008

16

16

257

428

60.00

2971

6.90

14

12

32

276

 

 

Difference

0

0

58

71

3.10

642

0.30

7

0

4

-58

 

 

Totals

32

32

572

927

 

6584

 

35

24

68

494

 

 

Career Game
Averages

 

 

17.88

28.97

61.70

205.75

 

1.09

0.75

2.13

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chad Henne

2009

14

13

274

451

60.80

2878

6.40

12

14

26

176

 

205.57

2008

3

0

7

12

58.30

67

5.60

0

0

0

0

 

 

Difference

11

13

267

439

2.50

2811

0.80

12

14

26

176

 

 

Totals

17

13

281

463

 

2945

12.00

12

14

26

176

 

 

Career Game
Averages

 

 

16.53

27.24

60.69

173.24

 

0.71

0.82

1.53

10

 

 

 NOTE: THIS PART OF THE TABLE WAS LEFT OUT.  IT REPRESENTS YARDS/GAME FOR 2009 SEASON. COLORS MATCH WITH QUARTERBACK.

 

 
208.29
 
225.81
 
205.57

 

First, if Ryan and Flacco are considered "franchise quarterbacks", then I think we are right on track to finding ours, too.  Between these three rising quarterbacks, Henne and the Dolphins were fourth in the run game, followed by a close fifth of Flacco’s Ravens, just thirty one yards behind.  With that said, both Henne and Flacco are considered run-first offenses.  I consider Atlanta (15th run offense) to be one too, despite Michael Turner going down.  However, the thing about Miami is that as the season progressed, the Dolphins went away from the run game and relied on Henne more and more. 

/

Henne notched three 300+ yard passing games in his last five games.  If he stayed in against Pittsburgh in the last game, he was just below pace of breaking the 300 yard mark (140 yards at half).  Clearly, Henne can get the job done.  However, Henne threw for more INT’s than TD’s during this stretch, too.  These are something experience will help with.

/

Flacco—the most successful QB out of these three quarterbacks (playoff wins) really is just flashy.  He’s good for a 300+ game, then disappears into the mix of two or more games around 175 yards.  For example, Flacco, through weeks 8-14 only got over the 200 yard mark twice, and only recorded four touchdown throws in these seven weeks.  Not very good.  But, he then exploded for four TD’s and broke the 300 yard mark in week fifteen.  So, Flacco is up and down, but finds a way to win.  I’d still take Henne at the end of this year over Flacco, although I wish Henne had the 6’6" height like Flacco.

/

Matt Ryan is probably the most consistent out of the three.  But, unlike Miami or Baltimore, Ryan has an elite receiver to throw to in Roddy White and a Hall of Famer in Tony Gonzalez.  Considering those targets, I expected more from Ryan this past season, especially in yards per game—because 22 TD’s and 14 INT’s are very solid numbers.  Ryan only broke 300 yards once this year, and came against San Francisco.  However, Ryan was consistently in the 200’s for yards week in and week out.  But, would you settle for consistency even when your team is down?  Ryan really hasn’t made any notable big plays in the spot light. Henne cruised down to victory over the Jets in just his second career start.  Again, Henne—end of the season—getting over 300 yards against solid teams at the end of the year in his first actual year of playing… with the receivers we have… I like Henne over Ryan, too. 

/

The one thing I want to end on Henne is that he only had 12 TD’s this year.  Ryan, in his first season as a starter, only had 16 TD’s, and Flacco had 14.  Both threw for over 20 TD’s in their second year as starters.  That being said, Henne should shine next season, even if we don’t upgrade at the receiver spot.

I’m convinced we took the first overall pick and the third overall pick of the 2008 Draft. 

/

 

            The last thing I want to mention is our Front Office.  It seems like every two seconds someone is posting about a free agent or draft pick.  We’ve been throwing around some big time names, too.  Boldin, Wilfork, Dansby, and Rolle are three that highlight the talk around The Phinsider this offseason so far.  But, how probable is it we pick up free agents like these?  Let’s think back to Sparano’s first year.  On March 1, the Dolphins signed five players (Justin Smiley, Reggie Torbor, and Randy Starks to name a few).  The three players just listed were all signed for five years except Torbor (four years).  So clearly, the Front Office was investing in a long term solution.  Two days later, Yeremiah Bell re-signed for a one year deal, too.  So, bottom line is that anything is possible with this organization if we truly want it.  Now, Boldin, Wilfork, and company are certainly on a different scale than those who were signed March 1, 2008—but it doesn’t mean anything.  The majority of these years’ free agents are unhappy where they are now.  And the sun is always shining in Miami, so let’s take a shot at a few.           

 

 

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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