Greg Cosell Would Take Zach Mettenberger over Jameis Winston

By Jason Lisk

Greg Cosell of NFL Films said he would take Tennessee Titans 2nd year QB Zach Mettenberger over Jameis Winston, in a radio interview on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. Cosell watches a lot of film, and he generally provides good information.

As he notes, Mettenberger and Winston are similar in style–neither is going to be very mobile running out of the pocket. “I’d argue Mettenberger is more advanced as an anticipatory thrower and has a little bit better arm,” Cosell said.

Evaluating quarterbacks is hard, even looking at a lot of film, though. So before we view this as a market inefficiency where those that have Winston going highly don’t know what they are talking about, consider that Cosell has offered differing opinions before. In fact, one of the good things about him is that he will provide evaluation and doesn’t always fall into groupthink. However, when there is a big difference in his opinion, it’s not like there is this great track history–so far–of Cosell seeing something that the NFL decision makers are missing, at least in my search of commentary.

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Here’s a summary of opinions on a player that didn’t necessarily match where the player was drafted in the last few drafts.

He didn’t like Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel. Tebow going first round was more of Josh McDaniel going against consensus thought than Cosell, as his being drafted in the first round was a surprise.

He called Logan Thomas the most intriguing prospect last year, and said he was more “pro-ready” than Cam Newton when he came out and was taken first overall. In fact, this came up during my breakdown of the term “pro-ready”, where Cosell also called Ryan Lindley one of the most pro-ready passers in his draft as well. Cosell’s views seem to align with someone like Bruce Arians since both of those players played for Arizona last year.

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Ryan Nassib was Cosell’s top rated passer in the 2013 draft. Plenty of mocks had Nassib going much earlier than he went–110th overall to the Giants–so every NFL team passed at least three times and everyone either disagreed that he was the best passer (or only teams that never going to take one agreed). That’s not a QB draft that has exactly bathed itself in glory so far, so maybe Cosell will be proved correct. I’ll note that Cosell, who provides plenty of breakdown beyond soundbites, said that Nassib (and Thomas last year) had “slow eyes” as one of the concerns. I don’t want a QB with slow eyes even if he can throw well.

In 2012, he had Robert Griffin III ahead of Andrew Luck–something that was certainly hotly debated before and after that rookie season. He said at the time, “The bottom line in my 5 game film evaluation: Griffin is a superior arm talent and natural passer than Luck. Will he be a better NFL quarterback? We’ll find out soon enough.”

So is Jameis Winston overvalued, or Mettenberger undervalued? (he was injured, which affected his ultimate draft position, and plenty liked him as a pocket passer prospect). Who knows? The good thing about Cosell is he is willing to state views that aren’t influenced by others. Projecting quarterbacks is hard, though.

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