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Advanced Stats: Comparing Nathan Peterman's final collegiate season to Tyrod Taylor's 2017

Before Nathan Peterman makes his first NFL start for the Bills on Sunday, you should know how well he threw the ball in his last year in college compared to Tyrod Taylor this season in the NFL.

Obviously, the NFL presents a bigger challenge for quarterbacks than even the highest level of Division 1 football, but this side-by-side comparison will serve as a way to learn about Peterman's capabilities.

Let's start by looking at Pro Football Focus' adjusted completion percentage, a metric that better tracks a quarterback's accuracy than traditional completion percentage by factoring in drops, batted passes, throwaways, spikes, and times he was hit as he threw:

Adjusted Completion Percentage

Nathan Peterman's final collegiate season Tyrod Taylor in 2017
Overall 72% 74.20%
On 20+ Yard Throws 54.80% 40.50%
When Facing Pressure 66.10% 67.60%
When "Kept Clean" 73.30% 76.80%

In the specific 21-30 yard range, Peterman had an adjusted completion percentage of 60.7, which was the best among all draft-eligible quarterbacks in the 2017 class.

(Deshaun Watson was second in that stat category.)

While I don't have Taylor's adjusted completion percentage on throws made in the 21-30 yard range, Peterman has a sizable leg up in the accuracy department on "deep passes."

The quarterbacks fared almost identically when facing pressure, and Taylor was more accurate without pressure and overall.

Because this is a college-to-pro comparison, it's critical to also understand how Peterman's figures compared to his collegiate contemporaries.

Here's where he ranked in all the stat categories of adjusted completion percentage:

  • Overall (18th out of 40)
  • Deep Passing (5th out of 41)
  • Under Pressure (12th out of 40)
  • When "Kept Clean" (24th out of 40)

And here's where Taylor currently ranks among NFL quarterbacks:

  • Overall (14th out of 36)
  • Deep Passing (19th out of 34)
  • Under Pressure (6th out of 36)
  • When "Kept Clean" (20th out of 40)

Passer Rating

Nathan Peterman's final collegiate season Tyrod Taylor in 2017
Overall 109.4 91.4
On 20+ Yard Throws 123 90.4
When Facing Pressure 103.4 82.3
When "Kept Clean" 110.3 95.5

Obviously accuracy isn't the only important aspect of playing quarterback. Overall production matters most. And while passer rating is far from perfect, it provides a number help judge how effective a signal-caller is by considering passing yards, interceptions, and touchdowns.

Peterman's 109.4 passer rating ranked fifth among 39 qualifying, draft-eligible quarterbacks. Here's where he ranked in the other stat categories for passer rating:

  • Deep Passing (2nd out of 41)
  • Under Pressure (4th out of 40)
  • When "Kept Clean" (9th out of 40)

And here's where Taylor currently ranks among NFL quarterbacks:

  • Overall (16th out of 36)
  • Deep Passing (18th out of 34)
  • Under Pressure (5th out of 36)
  • When "Kept Clean" (21st out of 36)

Clearly, Peterman had quite the efficient final season throwing the football at the University of Pittsburgh. Now you have a relatively good idea of how he performed relative to how Taylor's fared in 2017.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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