By Tony Grossi
The Morning Kickoff …
Ranking the QBs: As the Browns embark on acquiring a competitor to -- if not a replacement for -- Brandon Weeden, we decided to compile our quarterback rankings now rather than wait for the slow weeks before training camp.
Our rankings are divided into categories -- the Super Elite (best of the best, must have a championship ring), Franchise Elite (you wouldn’t trade them for anybody), Very Good, Not Great (self-explanatory), Journeymen (veterans who can start, but …), Jury Still Out (young and unproven) and No, thanks (self-explanatory).
These rankings take into account the player’s most recent season but also his career and potential moving forward.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay: Strong and accurate arm, mobile, unflappable, respected leader, pressure player. What else is there?
2. Peyton Manning, Denver: His truly remarkable 2012 season secured his place among the sport’s all-time greats.
3. Tom Brady, New England: The Joe Montana of his generation.
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Probably the best indoor quarterback in NFL history.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: The most physical quarterback ever.
6. Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants: Lacks consistency, but when on, the prettiest thrower around.
7. Joe Flacco, Baltimore: Strongest arm today, plus a pulse that hardly registers.
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta: Most likely to graduate into Super Elite next year.
9. Cam Newton, Carolina: First among the new-wave, read option wonders because of his incredible physical skills.
10. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis: He’s capable of a Hall of Fame career as a classic dropback QB or in the read option.
11. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco: A Super Bowl appearance in his 10th career start? I remember when five years was the standard apprenticeship.
12. Russell Wilson, Seattle: Truly a unique talent with rare leadership skills.
13. Robert Griffin 3, Washington: His light physical frame will always be unnerving to a coach.
14. Tony Romo, Dallas: Needs a demanding coach to kick him in the butt.
Very Good, Not Great
15. Matt Schaub, Houston: Has a chance to ascend, but 2013 will be a make or break year for him.
16. Phillip Rivers, San Diego: Blessed with one of the best supporting casts, he hasn’t been able to lead.
17. Matthew Stafford, Detroit: Can throw a pretty ball, but that’s about it.
18. Jay Cutler, Chicago: Very good arm, very bad body language. Has he won anything at any level?
19. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay: He has all the physical attributes. Just needs a good coach to lead him to the next level.
20. Alex Smith, San Francisco: A nice guy who can win a game, but is not an exceptional leader or thrower.
21. Carson Palmer, Oakland: Living example of ‘be careful what you wish for because you might get it.’
22. Ryan FitzPatrick, Buffalo: You’ve got to believe he would be better with a dome- or southern-based team.
23. Michael Vick, Philadelphia: At this stage of his career, he may be the most over-rated player in the league – an aging athlete who can’t run or throw like his legend.
Jury Still Out
24. Sam Bradford, St. Louis: Has not been well-served in his career with changing offenses and minimal support at skill positions.
25. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati: Without A.J. Green, it’s doubtful anyone would know his name.
26. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland: Don’t pass judgment on him until his big arm gets one year in the Norv Turner offense.
27. Ryan Tannehill, Miami: Had the benefit of playing in same offense as in college, and his rookie year was underwhelming.
28. Jake Locker, Tennessee: His arm makes him worth a longer look.
29. Christian Ponder, Minnesota: Hand off to Adrian Peterson. Dink. Dunk. Hand off to Adrian Peterson.
30. Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets: An organizational failure, it may be too late for him succeed in New York.
31. Kevin Kolb, Arizona: Has best chance of doing anything in a West Coast system.
32. Nick Foles, Philadelphia: Never looked as good as he did in preseason.
33. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville:Mike Mayock ranked him ahead of Cam Newton in the 2011 draft. Yep.
34. Chad Henne, Jacksonville: Should settle into a career backup role.
35. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee: Strictly a West Coast offense QB who has trouble staying healthy, his value now is as a backup.
36. Matt Moore, Miami: His ceiling is the journeymen category.
37. Matt Cassel, Kansas City: Charlie Weis the only coach who got anything out of him.
38. Tavaris Jackson, Buffalo: Good legs, nothing else.
39. Brady Quinn, Kansas City: His one shining moment in the aftermath of a team tragedy may have made his career.
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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