Is Josh Freeman the class of the 2009 QB class?
I'm not asking that question. The New York Times is. Freeman, the Bucs second-year quarterback, was taken after Detroit's Matt Stafford and the Jets' Mark Sanchez in the 2009 NFL Draft. And while Sanchez is off to a spendid start with the Jets and Stafford, despite injuries, has shown wonderful potential, it's not outrageous to wonder if Freeman is the best of the bunch so far. In a NY Times blog, writer Luis DeLoureiro writes:
The Bucs' Freeman, selected 17th in the '09 draft, has thrown 10 touchdown passes, with five interceptions, while leading the Buccaneers to an unexpected 5-3 record. His yards per pass attempt (Y.P.A.) of 7.0 is not only better than those of Sanchez (6.7) and Stafford (5.6), but it is also equal to that of Tom Brady and better than those of Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer. His 85.8 passer rating ranks higher than Sanchez's (79.4). Stafford’s rating is 91.3, but he does not have enough attempts to qualify for the official rankings, and another shoulder injury is jeopardizing his season.
Just a gut feeling, but in the end, I think we will look back years from now and declare Stafford as the best QB from the 2009 draft with Freeman just a touch behind and Sanchez a distant third. And although Freeman is only 24 games into his NFL career, he has proven enough to shut up the critics who thought the Bucs made a mistake using the 17th overall selection on him a year ago.