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Depth of Quarterback Throws

Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 7/18/23 |

Personnel has a large say in what areas of the field quarterbacks throw the ball. However, being able to identify how often they throw into a certain range over a two-year period should give us an idea of what players - be it running backs, receivers and tight ends - stand to benefit the most.

Over the next two weeks, I will examine and analyze recent historical data as it relates to where quarterbacks tend to throw and what it means for the pass-catchers attached to them for the 2023 season.


BLOS - Behind the line of scrimmage
Short - 0-9 yards
Medium - 10-19 yards
Deep - 20+ yards

 Depth of Quarterback Throws (2021 and 2022 seasons)
Players Tm Year G BLOS % Short % Med % Deep % BLOS +
Sh +
Med +
Kyler Murray ARI 2021 15 22.3 36.9 18.8 14.8 59.2 78.0 33.6
Kyler Murray ARI 2022 11 18.7 44.1 17.2 11.5 62.8 80.0 28.7
Matt Ryan ATL 2021 17 13.9 48.8 21.6 9.1 62.7 84.3 30.7
Marcus Mariota ATL 2022 13 14.3 38.0 26.3 16.0 52.3 78.6 42.3
Desmond Ridder ATL 2022 4 19.1 40.0 26.1 8.7 59.1 85.2 34.8
Lamar Jackson BAL 2021 12 9.9 48.4 19.1 14.1 58.3 77.4 33.2
Lamar Jackson BAL 2022 12 14.4 42.6 20.2 14.4 57.0 77.2 34.6
Josh Allen BUF 2021 19 14.1 43.2 22.3 12.3 57.3 79.6 34.6
Josh Allen BUF 2022 18 11.3 42.9 21.8 16.0 54.2 76.0 37.8
Sam Darnold CAR 2021 12 16.0 44.3 19.7 9.9 60.3 80.0 29.6
Justin Fields CHI 2021 12 8.1 47.0 24.1 15.9 55.1 79.2 40.0
Justin Fields CHI 2022 15 18.9 36.2 18.9 16.0 55.1 74.0 34.9
Andy Dalton CHI 2021 8 15.7 45.3 24.2 6.8 61.0 85.2 31.0
Joe Burrow CIN 2021 20 12.7 51.5 17.2 12.1 64.2 81.4 29.3
Joe Burrow CIN 2022 19 16.1 45.2 22.1 9.0 61.3 83.4 31.1
Baker Mayfield CLE 2021 14 13.2 43.8 22.0 13.2 57.0 79.0 35.2
Jacoby Brissett CLE 2022 12 11.4 45.3 21.1 14.1 56.7 77.8 35.2
Deshaun Watson CLE 2022 6 12.4 44.7 22.4 7.6 57.1 79.5 30.0
Dak Prescott DAL 2021 17 14.4 47.4 20.5 12.2 61.8 82.3 32.7
Dak Prescott DAL 2022 14 12.9 48.5 23.1 10.8 61.4 84.5 33.9
Russell Wilson DEN 2022 15 15.9 41.3 15.9 16.1 57.2 73.1 32.0
Teddy Bridgewater DEN 2021 14 12.7 50.5 16.7 12.2 63.2 79.9 28.9
Jared Goff DET 2022 17 14.5 47.4 19.3 9.4 61.9 81.2 28.7
Jared Goff DET 2021 14 15.8 50.8 16.6 9.1 66.6 83.2 25.7
Aaron Rodgers GB 2021 17 17.3 45.4 17.1 13.0 62.7 79.8 30.1
Aaron Rodgers GB 2022 17 20.7 40.4 15.9 15.5 61.1 77.0 31.4
Jordan Love GB 2021 4 14.5 48.4 21.0 12.9 62.9 83.9 33.9
Jordan Love GB 2022 4 14.3 47.6 28.6 4.8 61.9 90.5 33.4
Davis Mills HOU 2021 13 17.5 47.2 17.5 10.7 64.7 82.2 28.2
Davis Mills HOU 2022 15 16.1 42.8 19.8 12.9 58.9 78.7 32.7
Matt Ryan IND 2022 12 15.8 47.3 22.8 4.3 63.1 85.9 27.1
Carson Wentz IND 2021 17 14.7 46.5 19.8 11.4 61.2 81.0 31.2
Trevor Lawrence JAC 2022 19 17.9 43.0 20.6 11.6 60.9 81.5 32.2
Trevor Lawrence JAC 2021 17 14.3 46.3 19.9 10.3 60.6 80.5 30.2
Patrick Mahomes KC 2021 20 21.0 41.8 18.2 9.7 62.8 81.0 27.9
Patrick Mahomes KC 2022 20 18.1 43.2 21.0 9.4 61.3 82.3 30.4
Baker Mayfield LA 2022 12 20.0 41.2 20.3 9.6 61.2 81.5 29.9
Justin Herbert LAC 2021 17 12.2 51.2 19.9 9.5 63.4 83.3 29.4
Justin Herbert LAC 2022 18 18.0 45.6 17.1 9.8 63.6 80.7 26.9
Matthew Stafford LAR 2021 21 14.3 46.2 23.6 11.6 60.5 84.1 35.2
Matthew Stafford LAR 2022 9 20.1 48.2 17.8 8.9 68.3 86.1 26.7
Derek Carr LV 2021 18 15.6 44.6 20.7 11.9 60.2 80.9 32.6
Derek Carr LV 2022 15 11.6 44.6 20.3 14.1 56.2 76.5 34.4
Tua Tagovailoa MIA 2022 13 10.5 38.3 31.5 13.8 48.8 80.3 45.3
Tua Tagovailoa MIA 2021 13 14.4 48.7 25.3 7.5 63.1 88.4 32.8
Jacoby Brissett MIA 2021 9 13.3 52.0 17.8 8.9 65.3 83.1 26.7
Kirk Cousins MIN 2021 16 15.9 42.4 19.6 12.7 58.3 77.9 32.3
Kirk Cousins MIN 2022 18 13.9 44.9 22.6 9.7 58.8 81.4 32.3
Mac Jones NE 2022 14 19.7 42.8 15.6 15.2 62.5 78.1 30.8
Mac Jones NE 2021 18 14.7 47.2 20.8 11.3 61.9 82.7 32.1
Andy Dalton NO 2022 14 10.1 50.0 22.2 10.1 60.1 82.3 32.3
Daniel Jones NYG 2022 18 16.3 49.6 19.5 4.9 65.9 85.4 24.4
Daniel Jones NYG 2021 11 13.6 50.4 22.7 6.6 64.0 86.7 29.3
Zach Wilson NYJ 2021 13 14.9 44.4 20.6 11.2 59.3 79.9 31.8
Zach Wilson NYJ 2022 9 14.9 37.6 21.1 13.6 52.5 73.6 34.7
Jalen Hurts PHI 2022 18 15.4 46.4 16.6 13.0 61.8 78.4 29.6
Jalen Hurts PHI 2021 16 16.4 36.4 21.5 15.8 52.8 74.3 37.3
Kenny Pickett PIT 2022 13 12.6 49.1 18.8 12.1 61.7 80.5 30.9
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 2021 17 16.5 51.6 17.4 10.9 68.1 85.5 28.3
Geno Smith SEA 2022 18 13.8 46.1 21.9 11.2 59.9 81.8 33.1
Russell Wilson SEA 2021 14 17.0 42.8 15.0 18.8 59.8 74.8 33.8
Brock Purdy SF 2022 10 15.9 43.8 19.7 11.6 59.7 79.4 31.3
Trey Lance SF 2021 5 12.7 32.4 25.4 18.3 45.1 70.5 43.7
Jimmy Garoppolo SF 2021 18 14.8 46.6 24.3 7.6 61.4 85.7 31.9
Trey Lance SF 2022 2 25.8 32.3 22.6 9.7 58.1 80.7 32.3
Jimmy Garoppolo SF 2022 11 17.9 47.6 19.2 9.1 65.5 84.7 28.3
Tom Brady TB 2021 19 17.7 43.2 22.8 10.9 60.9 83.7 33.7
Tom Brady TB 2022 18 16.9 48.8 18.1 9.1 65.7 83.8 27.2
Ryan Tannehill TEN 2022 12 11.7 52.3 19.1 10.2 64.0 83.1 29.3
Ryan Tannehill TEN 2021 18 15.5 45.6 22.5 9.9 61.1 83.6 32.4
Sam Howell WAS 2022 1 5.3 68.4 5.3 10.5 73.7 79.0 15.8
Carson Wentz WAS 2022 8 17.4 49.6 13.4 12.3 67.0 80.4 25.7
Taylor Heinicke WAS 2022 9 14.7 39.8 23.6 11.2 54.5 78.1 34.8
Taylor Heinicke WAS 2021 16 18.6 42.1 19.6 13.6 60.7 80.3 33.2
 Averages 15.5% 45.3% 20.2% 11.4% 60.8% 81.0% 31.6%

Note: The cutoff for the quarterbacks on this list was 200 pass attempts in a season. Several others - such as Desmond Ridder and Sam Howell - were included to provide perspective on their tendencies, albeit with very limited sample sizes. The averages at the bottom of the table are the averages for the 74 entries.

Kyler Murray, Cardinals

Our journey begins with an injured quarterback (ACL) that may not play much this year on a team that turned over its coaching staff and will embrace more of a conventional run-based offense under first-year OC Drew Petzing. He is almost certain to emulate parts of Kevin Stefanski's offensive philosophy after serving on the Browns' staff since Stefanski took over the top job in Cleveland. It should not come as a surprise that Murray posted two of the top 10 marks in percentage of BLOS throws in 2021 and 20222 since those passes are usually a hallmark of the Air Raid offense that former HC Kliff Kingsbury ran in Arizona.

Desmond Ridder, Falcons

Four games is not a large sample to draw many conclusions, but it is interesting that Ridder and Marcus Mariota threw short and medium at virtually the same rate but flip-flopped in terms of how often they threw behind the line of scrimmage and deep. Mariota's 16 percent deep attempt rate is one of the highest in this two-year sample, while Ridder's 8.7 is one of the lowest. Contrast both of these players with HC Arthur Smith's first season in charge when Matt Ryan threw behind the line of scrimmage a Mariota-like 13.9 percent of the time and deep on a Ridder-like 8.7 percent of his throws.

Lamar Jackson, Ravens

The major differences in Jackson's 2021 and 2022 seasons were a five-percent uptick in his throws behind the line of scrimmage (9.9 to 14.4) and a subsequent six-percent downturn in short throws (48.4 to 42.6). Baltimore is almost certain to open things up more under OC Todd Monken - especially with the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers and the return of Rashod Bateman - so we probably have to rely on the resumes of the new faces to determine what part of the field Jackson will attack the most. While the aforementioned three receivers and TE Mark Andrews can all stretch the field, it seems unlikely Jackson will attempt as many deep passes as he did BLOS throws again this year (47 apiece).

Josh Allen, Bills

The primary difference in Allen's 2021 and 2022 seasons was a transition from former OC Brian Daboll to new OC Ken Dorsey. Allen's BLOS pass attempts dipped by 2.8 percent, but his deep throws picked up by 3.7 percent. He should be a solid bet to throw at least 22 percent of his passes in the 10-19 yard range and 43 percent of his attempts in the 0-9 yard range again in 2023. Not only is that where Stefon Diggs does most of his work, but it should be where rookie TE Dalton Kincaid - the favorite to be the primary slot option - lives as well.

Bryce Young, Panthers

Rookie - No data

Justin Fields, Bears

There are plenty of narratives floating out in cyberspace about Fields' accuracy woes, but one could easily make the argument he has yet to play with a receiver in the pros as good as the ones he had at Ohio State. That will change this season with D.J. Moore. As such, expect Chicago to take advantage of Moore's run-after-catch ability on short and medium throws while dropping a few points from his BLOS and deep marks. Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts are recent examples of seemingly inaccurate passers who became a lot more accurate in the same year they added a star receiver. Expect Fields to follow suit.

Joe Burrow, Bengals

Contrary to popular belief, Burrow attempted throws of 20 yards or more down the field at one of the lowest rates in the league last year (nine percent), which was a 3.1 percent drop from 2021. He ramped up his BLOS passes by almost the same percentage (3.4). The same kind of phenomenon happened at the short and medium levels, as the former jumped by 4.9 percent and the latter fell by 6.3 percent. As it specifically relates to the Bengals, my working theory as of now is that defenses played significantly more shell coverages designed to keep Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins from beating them deep, which resulted in a lot more throws in the 10-19 yard range.

Deshaun Watson, Browns

It serves little purpose to read much into Watson's six-game sample last season, other than offering it up as an interesting sidebar to the quarterback he was during his final days as a Texan. In 2020, Watson's BLOS-Short-Medium-Deep splits were 11.9-43.8-26.7-12.3. In 2019, they were 11.5-51.4-17.3-14.7. (During his suspension-shortened 2022 season, those marks were 12.4-44.7-22.4-7.6.) All of this is to say that Watson strayed from the deep throws last year and focused more on medium passes, which was probably the product of having two players in Amari Cooper and David Njoku who tend to do their best work in the 10-19 yard range. Having another year to work with Donovan Peoples-Jones and adding more speed (Marquise Goodwin, Elijah Moore) should see Watson return to more of the deep-ball tendencies he exhibited in Houston.

Dak Prescott, Cowboys

Prescott's distribution has been remarkably similar over the last three seasons, so it remains to be seen how much of an impact - if any - that the transition from former OC Kellen Moore to HC Mike McCarthy (and new OC Brian Schottenheimer, to a lesser extent) will have on it. The addition of Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup's expected return to 100 percent health figure to play a bigger role than the change of offensive leadership, although McCarthy historically has leaned on the conservative side. Nevertheless, the departure of Dalton Schultz and the addition of Cooks should push Prescott's short-range attempts down and his medium and deep shots up.

Russell Wilson, Broncos

Outside of his sheer volume of pass attempts (400 in 2021 and 483 in 2022), very little changed for Wilson in terms of where he threw the ball in his last year in Seattle versus his first year in Denver. The question then becomes one of personnel (are DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett that much better than Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton?), creativity (was Nathaniel Hackett that bad?) and decline (Wilson's on-target percentage was 73.3 percent - the second straight season that mark has dropped by three percent). The addition of Marvin Mims and the return of Tim Patrick point to Wilson's deep-ball rate going up to pre-2020 levels (at least 16 percent).

Jared Goff, Lions

Goff has only twice surpassed a 10-percent deep passing rate - but not in any year since 2018. For the most part, his two years in Detroit have been remarkably similar, except for the small flip-flop in his short and medium attempts. That is to be expected given how important Amon-Ra St. Brown has been to the offense. What remains to be seen is how much a healthy Jameson Williams affects that. While Williams will obviously do some work on BLOS and short targets, he was drafted with medium and deep targets in mind. Unfortunately, the Lions (and fantasy managers) will have to wait through Williams' six-game suspension before finding out what impact he can have on this offense.

Jordan Love, Packers

The former first-round pick has attempted a mere 83 passes in three NFL seasons, so drawing many - if any - conclusions about how deep he is throwing the ball would be foolish. Perhaps it is worth some consideration in comparing and contrasting his mark to Aaron Rodgers', albeit over a much larger sample size. Love did not throw behind the line of scrimmage much with his opportunities over the last two seasons (six percent less than Rodgers in 2022) but threw a significantly higher percentage of his passes in the 0-9 yard range. A similar dichotomy played out in the medium and deep ranges, as Love targeted 10-19 yard throws at a much higher rate than Rodgers, who went deep much more often than his protégé.

C.J. Stroud, Texans

Rookie - No data

Anthony Richardson, Colts

Rookie - No data

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars

Lawrence essentially turned just over three percent of his pass attempts in the 0-9 yard range for more throws behind the line of scrimmage. That comes as a minor surprise considering Urban Meyer - he of the spread offense - was calling plays for most of 2021. In terms of his actual efficiency, one reason why Lawrence performed so much better in 2022 was that his short completion rate jumped from 71.7 percent to 77.1. It is also worth noting that Lawrence tied Russell Wilson for third in most 20-plus yard throws, which could have been as much of a product of the Jaguars adding Christian Kirk as it was a show of faith in the quarterback's abilities. For what it is worth, his deep completion rates in both years (30.6 in 2021, 33.3 in 2022) have been among the worst of the 74 entries on the board.

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

The 2022 season saw Mahomes attempt fewer BLOS throws (from 21 percent to 18.1) and attack the medium area of the field much more often (18.2 to 21). His short throws rose a modest 1.4 percent. The increase in short and medium throws checks out considering how much he relies on Travis Kelce. Interestingly, his deep ball rate dropped a mere three-tenths of a percent despite the departure of Tyreek Hill. One of the many things that helps Mahomes separate himself from the competition is his deep completion rate. In each of the last two years, he has connected on at least 44 percent of his 20-plus yard throws. Kirk Cousins is the only other quarterback in the table above who can make the same claim.

Justin Herbert, Chargers

Perhaps it had to do with the number of games missed by Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but Herbert's reliance on BLOS throws last year (read: Austin Ekeler) cannot be explained away in the same way that Stafford's was - namely a revolving door on the offensive line. Perhaps former OC Joe Lombardi felt his hands were tied, but 2022 was not the first time one of Lombardi's offenses was overly conservative. Under new OC Kellen Moore, expect a return to Herbert's rookie season in 2020 during which he attempted passes of at least 20 yards on 11.3 percent of his throws. With his current supporting cast, Herbert could easily post a medium plus deep passing rate of over 30 percent for the first time in his career.

Matthew Stafford, Rams

Most of the biggest gaps in the depth of throws from year to year that we have seen in quarterbacks to this point have been around three percent. That brings us to Stafford, who threw one of every five balls behind the line of scrimmage (20.1) in 2022 after averaging one every 7.1 throws in 2021. The combination of the offensive line falling apart and Cooper Kupp being Stafford's only quick-throw option undoubtedly played a role in this development. The increase in BLOS throws came at the cost of his medium throws, which dipped from 23.6 percent to 17.8. Predictably, his deep throws took a big hit as well, dropping from a respectable 11.6 percent in 2021 to 8.9, which is one of the lower percentages in the table above. His medium throws took a bigger nosedive, going from 23.6 percent to 17.8.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Raiders

Garoppolo's reputation precedes itself: he gets hurt a lot and does not throw downfield very often. Unlike most other quarterbacks, however, it is hard to blame him for throwing behind the line of scrimmage or short on 65.5 percent of his throws - as was the case in 11 games last year - when he had Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel at his disposal. What is mildly surprising about his 2022 breakdown is that 9.1 percent of his throws traveled 20-plus yards, which should help ease the minds of Davante Adams' fantasy managers a bit. It is far from an ideal number, but it also seems reasonable that HC Josh McDaniels will push that number over 10 for the first time since 2018 - the year Garoppolo was traded from the Patriots - who had McDaniels running the offense at the time - to the 49ers.

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins

While it is probably not a surprise that a quarterback attached to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle threw deep on 13.8 percent of his throws last season, there was a time not so long ago that Tagovailoa's ability to do just that was in question. However, there is a more startling number to discuss. The former Alabama standout completed 54.5 percent of those throws, which is by far the highest mark over the last two seasons. When his medium-range throws are included, Tagovailoa attempted passes of at least 10 yards 45.3 percent of the time last season and completed 61.8 percent of those attempts.

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

Year 1 of the Kevin O'Connell experience saw Cousins throw the ball deep less than 10 percent of the time for the first time in nearly 10 years (when he was a backup in Washington behind Robert Griffin III in 2013). There are a multitude of reasons why that could be the case, but the three of the most likely explanations are that Justin Jefferson works the short and medium part of the field, Minnesota lacks a true field-stretcher after K.J. Osborn and Cousins will turn 35 in August. Still, fantasy managers should want to see their quarterbacks top the 30 percent mark when they add their quarterback's medium and deep throws together because that is where the big plays typically happen. Another thing that makes it a good idea is Cousins' proficiency on deep (45 percent completion rate in each of the last two seasons) and medium (63 percent combined over the last two years) throws.

Mac Jones, Patriots

During his rookie year, it was a common refrain to hear that Jones might be the best quarterback in his draft class. Last season, there were whispers of him eventually losing his job to Bailey Zappe. This can happen when a team decides to make a longtime defensive coordinator its offensive coordinator. In short, we can probably dismiss most of what we saw from this offense in 2022. Perhaps the most interesting nugget as it relates to the topic du jour is how Jones ramped up his BLOS (from 14.7 in 2021 to 19.7 in 2022) and deep throws (11.3 to 15.2) and dialed down the short (47.2 to 42.8) and medium (20.8 to 15.6) attempts. This means that former OC Matt Patricia believed his offense was best suited to pick up yards after the catch - largely with Rhamondre Stevenson (good) - and go for broke with DeVante Parker while focusing less on Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry (not so good).

Derek Carr, Saints

One of the reasons we can feel optimistic about Jimmy Garoppolo throwing downfield a bit more often in 2023 - due to the presence of Davante Adams - is because Carr did the same thing. Interestingly, Carr's short and medium throws occurred at about the same rate in 2022 as they did in 2021, while the percentage dip on BLOS throws was accounted for on deeper attempts. This makes a difference because Carr's new offense is expected to be similar to the one he just left - albeit with a better supporting cast. That, and Chris Olave proved to be a very good deep-ball receiver as a rookie. Throw in the reported development of speedster Rashid Shaheed's game and Carr could beat last season's deep-ball percentage of 14.1.

Daniel Jones, Giants

It is too early to make any declarative statements about passing game tendencies after one year with HC Brian Daboll, if only because the Giants didn't have a weapon like Stefon Diggs in 2022 (and still don't). However, one look at how infrequently Jones threw the ball 20 or more yards down the field in 2022 (4.9 percent) is a pretty strong indication we aren't about to see the second coming of Josh Allen. (For anyone out there hoping for such a thing.) As evidenced by their offseason moves (such as Parris Campbell this spring), New York is likely expecting Jones to continue limiting mistakes and let his receivers do work after the catch. Jones threw medium or deep a meager 24.4 percent of the time in 2022. While adding Darren Waller should drive that number a bit, it is highly unlikely to move much past 27, which would still be one of the lowest marks if included in the table above.

Aaron Rodgers, Jets

The 2021 season is probably a better barometer of what Rodgers might do in New York than 2022. Not only was his "new" offensive coordinator (Nathaniel Hackett) with him in Green Bay but so was Davante Adams. It appears Adams' role will now fall into the capable hands of Garrett Wilson. At any rate, Rodgers distributed the ball beautifully to all four areas of the field in 2021, sending at least 13 percent of his throws to each one. (He was over 15 percent to each area in 2022, but the absence of Adams obviously played a role in him taking a step back from his MVP form, as did one of every five attempts going to a target behind the line of scrimmage.) Supporting cast should not be a problem for him this year, as Wilson can win at every level, Lazard can win in contested-catch situations and Mecole Hardman can do work on BLOS targets (as can a healthy Breece Hall).

Jalen Hurts, Eagles

The addition of A.J. Brown opened the offense up in a big way, but it was not because Hurts threw the ball deep more often (2.8 percent drop from 2021). His medium throws even declined by 4.9 percent. What changed the most besides his modest increase of efficiency to all areas of the field was a 10-percent increase in his attempts in the 0-9 yard range. A large part of that can probably be explained by the sizable increase in run-pass option pass attempts (122 in 2022 after 95 in 2021), which tend to lead to throws in the short area of the field. Considering how often Hurts throws behind the line of scrimmage (15-plus percent in each of the last two years), D'Andre Swift and Kenny Gainwell could see more usage than most expect in 2023.

Kenny Pickett, Steelers

Pickett was the victim of his inexperience and a poor offensive line last year, not to mention some curious offensive philosophy by Matt Canada. Things began taking a turn for the better near the end of the season, but this offense figures to remain a conservative unit for the foreseeable future. Thus, it would not be surprising if Pickett's distribution remains roughly the same in 2023, with perhaps a slight dip in deep passes and a slight bump in medium attempts. To a large degree, the personnel dictates it after George Pickens. Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth, Allen Robinson and Darnell Washington will not be asked to stretch the field very often.

Geno Smith, Seahawks

It was clear early on last season that Smith throws a great deep ball (47.1 completion rate on deep throws and 52.9 accuracy rate on them - both very good marks). Surprisingly, he did not go deep nearly as often as one might expect. His 11.2-percent deep passing rate was just a shade higher than the average of the quarterbacks in the table above but a far cry from the 18.8-percent figure Russell Wilson posted with Seattle in 2021. Where Smith made up the difference was in the short passing game (85.7 percent completion rate) and by throwing in the 0-9 yard range (3.3 percent more than Wilson in 2021) and 10-19 yard range (plus-6.9 percent) more often.

Brock Purdy, 49ers

In terms of where they threw the ball in 2022, the biggest differences between Purdy and Jimmy Garoppolo were that Purdy averaged about four fewer passes per game, pushed the ball down the field about once a game more than Garoppolo and was ridiculously accurate on throws of 10-19 yards (80.4 percent). While Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel do some of their fine work there, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle do more work than their aforementioned teammates on medium throws. Since all of Purdy's starts came after the McCaffrey trade and San Francisco's supporting cast remains roughly the same, it seems reasonable to believe about the only thing that will change about Purdy's distribution is that he will probably focus more often on medium throws. (That assumes he fully recovers from his elbow injury on time and keeps the starting job.)

Baker Mayfield, Buccaneers

It is probably not a great idea to read too much into Mayfield's time with the Rams or Panthers last year. Not only did he arrive midway through the season in Los Angeles (and thus had limited knowledge of the playbook with the Rams), but he also had little to work with in both spots. Interestingly enough, Mayfield's previous two seasons with Cleveland (2020 and 2021) were near carbon copies of each other, as his BLOS and deep throws were within one percentage point of each other both times. He also attempted passes in the 10-19 yard range 23 percent of the time. It is worth noting that he has completed deep passes at a significantly higher rate than the average of the quarterbacks listed above. In 2020, he completed exactly half of those throws. In 2021, it was 40 percent. He was at 50 percent again in Carolina last year and 43.8 during his time with the Rams. In short, Mike Evans' biggest fans have reason to be hopeful.

Ryan Tannehill, Titans

Simply put, it appears much of Tannehill's drop-off last year was a product of throwing short more often (52.3 percent in 2021, 45.6 in 2022) and being much less accurate with those attempts (82.6 percent versus 75.3). Otherwise, he was a more accurate medium and deep thrower than he was in 2021. That last statement is an interesting one considering it came after the trade of A.J. Brown. Furthermore, the Titans opted for BLOS throws less often (15.5 percent in 2021, 11.7 in 2022) with a much less refined route-runner with considerable run-after-catch skills (Treylon Burks) than it did the previous season. All of which probably makes it a good idea the Titans moved on from former OC Todd Downing and are rolling with new OC Tim Kelly, who fared better than he probably should have as the Texans' play-caller for part of 2020 and all of 2021.

Sam Howell, Commanders

Limited data - his first (and only) NFL action came in Week 18 last season.

Doug Orth has written for FF Today since 2006 and has appeared as a guest analyst on several national sports radio shows and podcasts, including Sirius XM's Fantasy Drive, FantasyPros and RealTime Fantasy Sports. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.