It’s up over at Rotoworld NFL Draft
There’s nothing that I can write about the Air Raid offense that Chris Brown of SmartFootball.com hasn’t already covered in a more thorough and insightful fashion than I could ever hope to. I’ll link to his work on the WVU offense at the end of the article, but I found this passage to be particularly illuminating regarding quarterbacks and offensive systems:
“An unfair but unsurprising label for Smith, given Holgorsen’s history, is that he’s a ‘system quarterback.’ … The most common concern about system quarterbacks is that college productivity doesn’t translate to pro success, but for Smith, the plays he’s running, albeit in a spread offense, are essentially NFL ones. The running game is based on the inside and outside zone, the passing plays are found in every NFL team’s playbook in one form or another, and, this season in particular, Smith throws the ball vertically down the field. This is not the old dink-and-dunk Mike Leach offense — death by a thousand shallow crosses. Smith is making the safety move and hitting the deep post or corner for a touchdown, just like they do on Sundays.”
Now, are there certain facets of the WVU offense that pad Smith’s numbers? There are plays like the Shuffle Pass, which is nothing more than a Jet Sweep that is tossed forward instead of handed off and counts as a pass. However, what Smith is doing is largely a function of his own talent and development as a passer, along with excellent chemistry with his supporting cast. The eventual totality of his numbers and the offensive system he plays in are secondary to evaluating his traits and skills as a passer. And in those facets, he’s elite.
There’s play breakdowns, too. Click for the whole thing.