USA #1 (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images for Under Armour)
A few weeks ago, we linked to the peculiar -- but intriguing -- statistical analysis from R.C. Fischer at Fantasy Football Metrics that indicated that, according to his formulas, Ricky Stanzi was the top QB prospect in this year's NFL draft. The lone data point missing from Fischer's set was Stanzi's Wonderlic score. No longer: according to Fischer, Stanzi scored a 30 on the Wonderlic. That was confirmed by FOTP Mas Casa today:
That's not quite the brainiac Wonderlic score that Alabama's Greg McElroy recorded (43), but it's still good -- and well above the make-or-break line for quarterbacks (25 or 26, depending on the expert). For what it's worth (which isn't much), it's higher than either Peyton Manning or Drew Brees scored (28). Our blog-buddies at SBN's Carolina Panthers site, Cat Scratch Reader, point out that Stanzi now passes a lot of the most common models that try to predict QB success in the NFL.
The biggest knock on Stanzi during the pre-draft process has been some accuracy issues at the NFL Combine (and there's some suggestion that some of those issues may have been the result of him throwing to a spot rather than a receiver); if he puts in a solid showing throwing the ball at Iowa's Pro Day next week (March 21), he may very well find himself going higher in the draft than any of us ever envisioned a few months ago.
Stanzi's progress up the NFL draft boards could have interesting ramifications on Iowa football going forward, too. Iowa has sent plenty of players into the NFL during Ferentz's tenure (36 over the past nine years), but a few positions stand out as spots where Iowa hasn't been as prolific as others -- quarterback is one of those (and wide receiver is the other). Finally sending a quarterback to the NFL will be nice enough, but if Stanzi is able to climb into one of the first two or three rounds, he could be a seriously useful recruiting chip. It certainly didn't hurt Iowa's recruitment of guys like Marcus Coker and Rodney Coe to be able to point to Shonn Greene, who parlayed a monster season two years ago into a top of the third round draft pick and regular NFL playing time. Iowa's already recruiting pretty well at the quarterback position -- both A.J. Derby and Jake Rudock look very promising -- but Stanzi's post-Iowa success could open even more doors.