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Is Taylor Heinicke a Poor-Man’s Colt McCoy?

NFL: Washington Football Team Minicamp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Colt McCoy and Taylor Heinicke’s collegiate careers are eerily similar.

Despite their respective colleges being worlds apart in level of competition, each player had similar collegiate success.

Both quarterbacks came from big football states - McCoy from Texas, and Heinicke from Georgia, and were decorated high school athletes at the position. Both played four years at their respective school. Each player had similar measurables (although Colt is slightly bigger than the exaggerated height/weight of Taylor, who is not even 6’). Each quarterback relied on ability to move in the pocket and make off-platform throws in college, and both relied heavily on their legs to make things happen when they needed to.

Each player has what you call limited arm talent to press the ball deep downfield, or make those tough intermediate throws on a rope into tight windows. However, both showed excellent accuracy, timing, and the ability to throw guys open in college.

Colt McCoy: 6’1” 216 4.79 40 (combine)

University of Texas (4 years)

- 70 percent completed passes

- 13,253 passing yards

- 8.2 AY/A

- 112 TD

- 45 INT

- 1571 rushing yards

- 20 TD

The two-time All-American was drafted in the third round by the Cleveland Browns after a decorated collegiate career at Texas. His NFL career never quite took off, as he’s now on his fifth team in twelve years.

Taylor Heinicke: 6’0” 215 4.62 40 (pro day - so add roughly 1.5-2.0 for combine equivalent)

Old Dominion University (4 years)

- 68 percent completed passes

- 14,959 passing yards

- 8.2 AY/A

- 132 TD

- 39 INT

- 1320 rushing yards

- 22 TD

Despite stellar collegiate production at a lower level of play, Taylor Heinicke went undrafted out of Old Dominion. He signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Now entering his seventh year as a professional, he’s bounced around between six teams, including the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL.

Unfortunately, these collegiate attributes didn’t transfer very well to the NFL for either man.


As a professional, McCoy has started 30 games, most of those coming in Cleveland during his first two seasons in the NFL. Since then he’s been a career backup, starting just nine games (six of those coming with Washington).

He has an 8-22 career record, and had thrown for 6455 yards with 30 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. He never appeared in a playoff game.

He’s found his niche as a reliable NFL backup, who can make the occasional spot-start.


Unlike McCoy, many say Heinicke’s NFL career is just beginning, but it’s hard to just ignore his past; or lack there of.

Over his six years of eligibility, Taylor has started just one regular season game, and one postseason game, and is 0-2. He’s completed 62 percent of his passes, and had 467 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in the regular season. In his one postseason appearance, he completed 59% of his attempts for 306 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the loss.

Like McCoy, he’s best suited as a spot-starter, and career backup.

For two players whose college careers were such a success (and nearly mirrored the other), their NFL path’s have not been nearly as decorated.

There are many who look at Taylor Heinicke as a future face of this franchise, but be careful in doing so, because that reflection looking back at him in the mirror looks an awful lot like Colt McCoy.


How do you see Taylor Heinicke’s career playing out in the NFL?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Career Backup
    (611 votes)
  • 36%
    Multiple-Year starter for the WFT
    (565 votes)
  • 2%
    Multiple-Year starter for another NFL franchise
    (38 votes)
  • 21%
    He’ll be out of the NFL in a few years
    (333 votes)
1547 votes total Vote Now