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fordfixer
05-17-2009, 11:13 PM
Many factors go into grading a quarterback,
and every scout places different
levels of emphasis on different aspects
of the game. Scouts also must consider
things that can’t be measured: Leadership,
the quarterback’s role within a system
and performance under pressure. All this
makes for uncertainty and goes a long way
towards explaining why it is so hard to find
agreement on players at the NFL’s marquee
position.
RealScouts, Sporting News Today’s team
of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20
quarterbacks for ’09:

1. Peyton Manning, Colts. Critics
point to the postseason loss
to San Diego, but Manning is the
reigning MVP and threw for more
than 4,000 yards for the ninth
time in 11 NFL seasons. And he
did it all while recovering from
knee surgery and adjusting to life
without the real Marvin
Harrison.

2. Tom Brady, Patriots. Before his
knee turned the wrong way in
Week 1, Brady was on his way to
becoming perhaps the best QB in
league history. He is practicing
with a knee brace and again ready
to battle Manning for the No. 1
spot.

3. Drew Brees, Saints. Last
season, Brees became the
first QB since Dan Marino in ’84
to pass for more than 5,000
yards. And he did it with RB
Reggie Bush, TE Jeremy Shockey
and WR Marques Colston—his
top three weapons—missing a
combined 15 games.

4. Carson Palmer, Bengals. Palmer
has received the all-clear on
his elbow, but it remains to be seen
what kind of arm strength the man
nicknamed “Jugs” will show in ’09.
An improved line and talk of a
balanced attack won’t put the
weight of the season on Palmer’s
arm.

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers. The
Steelers were battered by
injuries and inconsistent line play
for much of ’08, so Big Ben didn’t
have his best statistical season. But
he saved his best for the biggest
games, didn’t he?

6. Philip Rivers, Chargers. In ’08, he
set career highs in completion
percentage, yards per attempt and
touchdowns and cleared the
4,000-yard plateau for the first
time in his career. With LaDainian
Tomlinson seemingly in decline,
San Diego could lean more heavily
on the passing game.

7. Donovan McNabb, Eagles. Contrary
to those who think
McNabb is on the decline, he set a
personal career high in passing
yards last year, and the 23 touchdowns
were his most since 2004.
The line has been upgraded
significantly, and potential impact
players have been added at the
skill positions.

8. Kurt Warner, Cardinals. It looks
as though all the pieces will
be back in ’09, and as long as he
stays healthy—he does turn 38 in
June—another 4,000-yard,
30-touchdown season is within
reach.

9. Eli Manning, Giants. Giants fans
will be irked that Eli isn’t
ranked higher, but Plaxico Burress
and Amani Toomer are gone. Elite
quarterbacks can carry teams, but
Manning failed last year after
Burress and Brandon Jacobs got
hurt.

10. Tony Romo, Cowboys. The
Cowboys’ plan to run more
speaks to their quality running
backs and the lack of depth at wide
receiver. It also raises a flag with
regard to the coaches’ confidence
in Romo after an up-and-down ’08.

11. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks. He
turns 34 in September and
has a history of back and leg
problems. His receiving corps,
even with T.J. Houshmandzadeh,
lacks an explosive weapon. Still,
Hasselbeck has proven capable of
raising the play of those around
him, so we hold out hope for ’09.

12. Jay Cutler, Bears. Cutler has a
big arm and a knack for
making big plays, and the Bears
should have an improved offensive
line and a strong running game.
The big question: Who’s he going
to throw to?

13. Matt Ryan, Falcons. He has a
strong running game, and
the addition of All-Pro TE Tony
Gonzalez will make him more
effective in the short passing game.
Ryan should continue to move up
this list.

14. Aaron Rodgers, Packers.
Rodgers was among the top
passers in his first year as a starter,
throwing for 4,038 yards, 28
touchdowns and just 13 interceptions
while playing much of the
season after separating his
shoulder.

15. Jake Delhomme, Panthers. He
got his team to the postseason
but then turned the ball over six
times in its only playoff game. He is
in decline, for sure, but has a strong
line and a great running game.

16. Joe Flacco, Ravens. Flacco has a
big arm and certainly proved
himself as a rookie, but he was
protected by an elite defense and the
AFC’s No. 1 running game. The
coaches gave Flacco conservative
game plans to limit his mistakes, yet
he still threw 12 interceptions.

17. Matt Schaub, Texans. With a
growing arsenal of weapons
led by WR Andre Johnson and TE
Owen Daniels and consistency in the
coaching staff with offensive coordinator
Kyle Shanahan and line coach
Alex Gibbs, Schaub could skyrocket
up this list if able to stay healthy.

18. Jason Campbell, Redskins.
Redskins officials tried to
trade for Cutler and trade up to
draft Mark Sanchez, so they
obviously don’t believe in Campbell.
He can be successful, however,
in a system that takes
advantage of his strong arm and
athleticism.

19. Chad Pennington, Dolphins. He
made a run at NFL MVP
honors last year by bringing the
1-15 Dolphins to the playoffs. That
said, he has played only a full
16-game schedule three times in
nine NFL seasons, and it is only a
matter of time before heir-apparent
Chad Henne gets a shot.

20. Matt Cassel, Chiefs. Cassel
wildly exceeded expectations
after Brady got hurt, but a
good portion of his success can be
attributed to the system. He will
not be lining up behind the Patriots’
line or be throwing to Randy
Moss and Wes Welker anymore.

— RealScouts analyze NFL and college players, coaches
and teams exclusively for Sporting News.

Djfan
05-18-2009, 12:44 AM
Whatever. Keep your numbers 1 - whatever ranking. I'll take rings.

Got Ben?

Uncle Rico
05-18-2009, 08:01 AM
"........Big Ben didn’t have his best statistical season."

Statistics only tell about 1% of the whole story when it comes to Ben's ability to play QB.

Oviedo
05-18-2009, 08:05 AM
Whatever. Keep your numbers 1 - whatever ranking. I'll take rings.

Got Ben?

Totally agree. Brees got ton of stats but has won nothing. Same with Palmer. I would only put Brady with Ben and that might be the "old" Tom Brady not the one we see from here forward.

I'll take a winner over a "stats compiler" anytime.

Slapstick
05-18-2009, 09:08 AM
One hit wonder Cassel at #20? Really?

We'll see in KC...

BURGH86STEEL
05-18-2009, 10:05 AM
Whatever. Keep your numbers 1 - whatever ranking. I'll take rings.

Got Ben?

Totally agree. Brees got ton of stats but has won nothing. Same with Palmer. I would only put Brady with Ben and that might be the "old" Tom Brady not the one we see from here forward.

I'll take a winner over a "stats compiler" anytime.

In fairness, winning is mostly a result of team play. I believe that Brees and Palmer would have a lot success winning if they were the Steeler's QB. I doubt Ben would be as successful winning in Cincy or New Orleans as he is with the Steelers.

stlrz d
05-18-2009, 10:08 AM
Whatever. Keep your numbers 1 - whatever ranking. I'll take rings.

Got Ben?

Totally agree. Brees got ton of stats but has won nothing. Same with Palmer. I would only put Brady with Ben and that might be the "old" Tom Brady not the one we see from here forward.

I'll take a winner over a "stats compiler" anytime.

In fairness, winning is mostly a result of team play. I believe that Brees and Palmer would have a lot success winning if they were the Steeler's QB. I doubt Ben would be as successful winning in Cincy or New Orleans as he is with the Steelers.

I disagree. There is NO way Brees of Palmer get out of the messes Ben finds himself in due to pass rushers coming free from the snap of the ball.

Conversely, we've seen Ben sling it with the best of them when his O line gives him time.

birtikidis
05-18-2009, 10:15 AM
the only guy that I think could have a ton of success in pittsburgh other then ben is peyton. and that's only because of his pre-snap reads and a quick release.

snarky
05-18-2009, 10:24 AM
It's funny. I watched the replay of the Steelers-Colts playoff game from the 2005 season this weekend. Manning cranks up the stats for sure but he makes some bad decisions from a 'game manager' perspective. Drunk Idiot Kicker gets the blame for that loss, but I've never seen anybody mention Manning throwing into the EZ and going for the win rather than simply picking up a first down on 3rd and 3 with 30 seconds to go and two time outs remaining.

Rankings individual performance strictly through the accumulation of stats never tells the whole story. As a pure quarterback (i.e. throwing a football through a swinging tire) I do think Manning and Brady are probably still ahead of Ben (but only slightly) but in terms of who I would want lining up under center there's nobody I'd take over BR.

BURGH86STEEL
05-18-2009, 11:38 AM
Whatever. Keep your numbers 1 - whatever ranking. I'll take rings.

Got Ben?

Totally agree. Brees got ton of stats but has won nothing. Same with Palmer. I would only put Brady with Ben and that might be the "old" Tom Brady not the one we see from here forward.

I'll take a winner over a "stats compiler" anytime.

In fairness, winning is mostly a result of team play. I believe that Brees and Palmer would have a lot success winning if they were the Steeler's QB. I doubt Ben would be as successful winning in Cincy or New Orleans as he is with the Steelers.

I disagree. There is NO way Brees of Palmer get out of the messes Ben finds himself in due to pass rushers coming free from the snap of the ball.

Conversely, we've seen Ben sling it with the best of them when his O line gives him time.

A lot of times Ben gets into those messes because he does not always have good pre snap reads & holds the ball too long. He stepped up most of the time when he had to but overall he was not a very good QB this past season. I think those QBs would have success in Pittsburgh. They are good QBs. They've had some success with Cincy, Chargers, and NO. Just because I think they would have success with the Steelers does not take anything away from Ben. Kordell had a lot of success with the Steelers. Kordell showed flashes of being a good QB but was not Palmer nor Brees as a QB. Maddox is another guy that had some success with the Steelers. A QB does not need to be an escape artist to be successful in the NFL.

Ben is not inconsistent as a passer because of the Oline. He is inconsistent because he needs to improve in a few areas of his game. That does not mean he is a bad player. If he is given more time, he will continue to look to break or run around in the pocket. I've watched it happen on several occasions when he had time. At this point, it is a habit on his part that I don't know if he will every break.

stlrz d
05-18-2009, 12:00 PM
Kordell and Maddox played behind O lines that were vastly superior to Ben's O lines.

And the more I watch all these past Steelers games that NFLN is airing the more I think the theory that Ben creates the pass rushing issue is pure and total bunk. Sure it's true on a few plays a game, but for the most part...pure bunk.

People remember what they want to remember. Rewatching the games is proof that the guy knows what he's doing...and can pass when he needs to (remember his rookie season all the critics said he couldn't sling it...until his 300 yard game against the Giants - he also had a ridiculous YPA of over 11 yards in that game!) and he can make plays that other QBs just can't make. If we had any of those other QBs you mentioned we don't win the SB. The second play he makes here (on 1st and 20) would almost certainly have been a sack for most other QBs. The great thing is not only did he avoid the sack, but he kept his eyes down field and made a completion that resulted in positive yardage. I would argue that most other QBs, had they avoided the sack, would have been looking to throw the ball away.

[youtube:vne52b67]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/DI_fUCr4Kc0&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/DI_fUCr4Kc0&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/youtube:vne52b67]

NorthCoast
05-18-2009, 12:17 PM
Gotta agree with Burgh on this. Ben benefits from the No. 1 defense, no doubt. It is a silly notion anyway trying to project how others might perform given the same circumstances. The mere fact of inserting them into a different scenario changes the scenario....sorta like some law of physics, I vaguely recall, being broken.

Anyway, I take Ben with all his shortcomings if he can continue to bring the wins regardless of how he does it.

snarky
05-18-2009, 12:49 PM
The mere fact of inserting them into a different scenario changes the scenario....sorta like some law of physics, I vaguely recall.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

Completely OT, but this might also be of interest:

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea ... id=2455307 (http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=2455307)

Uncle Rico
05-18-2009, 01:09 PM
Ben just MAKES PLAYS.

stlrz d
05-18-2009, 01:40 PM
Gotta agree with Burgh on this. Ben benefits from the No. 1 defense, no doubt. It is a silly notion anyway trying to project how others might perform given the same circumstances. The mere fact of inserting them into a different scenario changes the scenario....sorta like some law of physics, I vaguely recall, being broken.

Anyway, I take Ben with all his shortcomings if he can continue to bring the wins regardless of how he does it.

I don't think anyone asserts that he doesn't benefit from having such a good defense. Of course he does. It's the people who assert that the D bails him out and that they are responsible for his success who are foolish.

mshifko
05-18-2009, 02:19 PM
ben's easily my #1 QB on the mshifko QB rankings...he makes plays and wins, what more can you ask for?

he creates plays when things breaks down, can make all the throws, and has has 2 super bowls under his belt...the guy's just a winner

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
05-20-2009, 09:33 AM
The ranking of QBs is subjective and there is no right answer. Who is number 1, Peyton or Brady. You can go with either and still have a valid argument.

How about the rest of the top 5? Ben, Brees, Warner, Rivers, McNabb, Eli......an argument can be made for any of these QBs without loss of credibility.

However, one name who cannot go into the top five with any type of reasonable assessment is Carson Palmer. This is not 2005. He was a young player with a ton of talent and surrounded by a solid team. Today he is 29, coming off of another injury plagued season, coming off a season before that where he threw 20 ints. He has led his team to one career playoff game, playing mostly in an average division.

It may not be entirely his fault that his team has had so little success, but you can only judge a player in the situation that he is in. Could Ryan Leaf been a PB QB in Indy while Peyton may have failed in dysfunctional San Diego? No way to know for sure.

Any ranking of top QBs (not most talented QBs, top QBs) that puts Palmer ahead of Ben, McNabb, Rivers, Warner (for now), Eli is flawed.

If I put Carson top 5 on a QB list it is the list of "QBs who when you sift through their numbers and hype you are shocked with how little they have actually accomplished". He is number two on that list after Romo.

Jom112
05-20-2009, 09:23 PM
The ranking of QBs is subjective and there is no right answer. Who is number 1, Peyton or Brady. You can go with either and still have a valid argument.

How about the rest of the top 5? Ben, Brees, Warner, Rivers, McNabb, Eli......an argument can be made for any of these QBs without loss of credibility.

However, one name who cannot go into the top five with any type of reasonable assessment is Carson Palmer. This is not 2005. He was a young player with a ton of talent and surrounded by a solid team. Today he is 29, coming off of another injury plagued season, coming off a season before that where he threw 20 ints. He has led his team to one career playoff game, playing mostly in an average division.

It may not be entirely his fault that his team has had so little success, but you can only judge a player in the situation that he is in. Could Ryan Leaf been a PB QB in Indy while Peyton may have failed in dysfunctional San Diego? No way to know for sure.

Any ranking of top QBs (not most talented QBs, top QBs) that puts Palmer ahead of Ben, McNabb, Rivers, Warner (for now), Eli is flawed.

If I put Carson top 5 on a QB list it is the list of "QBs who when you sift through their numbers and hype you are shocked with how little they have actually accomplished". He is number two on that list after Romo.

"I think Carson's a much better quarterback than I am,".

Care to guess who said that? :stirpot

http://fantasy.sportingnews.com//nfl/ar ... 93773.html (http://fantasy.sportingnews.com//nfl/articles/20060105/693773.html)


I agree with you that Carson shouldn't be rated that high because he hasn't been as successful on the field since 2006. Whose at fault for that is debatable, but the fact remains he hasn't produced. I think he's still a great QB but he will have to prove that on the field this season before ranking him that high...

NKySteeler
05-20-2009, 10:33 PM
"I think Carson's a much better quarterback than I am,".

Care to guess who said that? :stirpot

http://fantasy.sportingnews.com//nfl/ar ... 93773.html (http://fantasy.sportingnews.com//nfl/articles/20060105/693773.html)


I agree with you that Carson shouldn't be rated that high because he hasn't been as successful on the field since 2006. Whose at fault for that is debatable, but the fact remains he hasn't produced. I think he's still a great QB but he will have to prove that on the field this season before ranking him that high...

C'mon man... What was he supposed to say before they played that year in the playoffs?... Being "humble" is a good thing before a big game... But using that article is a weak argument at best considering the circumstances when it was written.

Ben has proven it on the field multiple times over since this article was written. Carson has not.... Now I do like Carson, as he's a USC guy... But he isn't worthy of the accolades because as you said, he needs to prove it on the field.

RuthlessBurgher
05-21-2009, 09:13 AM
"I think Carson's a much better quarterback than I am,".

Care to guess who said that? :stirpot

http://fantasy.sportingnews.com//nfl/ar ... 93773.html (http://fantasy.sportingnews.com//nfl/articles/20060105/693773.html)


I agree with you that Carson shouldn't be rated that high because he hasn't been as successful on the field since 2006. Whose at fault for that is debatable, but the fact remains he hasn't produced. I think he's still a great QB but he will have to prove that on the field this season before ranking him that high...

C'mon man... What was he supposed to say before they played that year in the playoffs?... Being "humble" is a good thing before a big game... But using that article is a weak argument at best considering the circumstances when it was written.

Ben has proven it on the field multiple times over since this article was written. Carson has not.... Now I do like Carson, as he's a USC guy... But he isn't worthy of the accolades because as you said, he needs to prove it on the field.

Talking up your upcoming opponents has been going on forever. Remember when Lou Holtz was coach at Notre Dame? He would fawn over Southwest Missouri State as if they were the '85 Bears.