During his long tenure as a successful talent evaluator, Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells came up with a list of seven criteria he used when grading quarterbacks in an upcoming NFL draft.
1. Be a three-year starter
2. Be a senior in college
3. Graduate from college
4. Start 30 games
5. Win 23 games
6. Post a 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio
7. Tally a completion rate of 60 percent or higher
There can be reasonable disagreements about how these rules are applied, but the central theme behind them is important. They aim to help teams identify durable, accurate and self-motivated passers who will finish what they start and who can convert drives into touchdowns while avoiding mistakes.
It's rare for a first-round caliber quarterback to meet all of these rule requirements. In the BCS/Power 5 era (which includes the 1999 through 2015 NFL drafts), only 10 have successfully done this. They are, in alphabetical order: Drew Brees, Robert Griffin III, Byron Leftwich, Matt Leinart, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Marcus Mariota, Chad Pennington, Philip Rivers and Tim Tebow. Parcells himself indicated that Teddy Bridgewater could also be included on the list despite leaving college as a junior because Bridgewater had already completed his degree.
That list includes two likely Hall of Famers (Brees and Manning), a player with 96 career wins and five playoff berths (Rivers), one who posted playoff berths in every season he started 10 or more games (Pennington), a current top-five quarterback (Luck) and two of the best young quarterbacks in the league (Bridgewater and Mariota). That's seven success stories and doesn't include Griffin, who won the offensive rookie of the year award before off-field issues seemed to derail his career.
So how does this year's quarterback draft crop rate in the Parcells Rules? Let's take a look, but in an effort to expand the field, we'll review quarterbacks who ranked in a first- or second-round tier in Todd McShay's tier rankings, a list that includes Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg.