ESPN’s Ron Jaworski has been breaking down NFL quarterbacks over the past few weeks and believes that Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick could be poised for a career season in 2012. He points out that Vick has not had the benefit of a full off season since he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. Based on his career numbers and the liberal passing rules in the NFL, it shouldn’t be difficult for Vick to eclipse his career numbers provided he stays healthy, and therein lies the rub.
In the last two seasons with the Eagles, Vick has thrown for over 3,000 yards, posting his career high in 2011 with 3,303 yards. 16 quarterbacks threw for more yards last season. Despite Vick’s highly touted NFL career, he has never thrown for more than 21 scores in a single season. Last season, Vick tossed 18 scores but also accounted for 17 turnovers.
Jaworski states that Vick’s throwing skill set could be top-five in the league but that he needs more discipline in the pocket. I trust Jaworski’s analysis, but I am skeptical that Vick will evolve into a pocket passer. In the past two years with the Eagles, Vick has averaged 88 rushes per season and it’s his scrambling style which includes all the additional hits his small frame has to absorb. I don’t really know if it’s possible to de-program a quarterback which scrambles naturally, especially at this point in his career. His running style is instinctive and has been his trademark throughout his career.
From a fantasy football standpoint, I have 10 quarterbacks ranked higher than Vick for 2012. As financial institutions issue the advertising disclaimer that past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, I don’t know if Vick can be trusted to be your starting fantasy quarterback. He has only appeared in all 16 regular season games just once in his career and has missed seven games in the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. The turnovers of last season have to be weighed carefully. Is it reasonable to think at this point in his career, that Vick’s approach on the field will suddenly change? I do however think it’s reasonable to assume that Vick could eclipse his career numbers of 3300 passing yards and 21 scores, again however, if he stays upright and on the field.