NFL quarterbacks tend to be associated with the leader of the team. Here is where each individual quarterback is ranked into tiers.
Tier One: The Elites
1. Aaron Rodgers
The NFL MVP for the 2014 Season is no doubt the best signal caller in the league. Rodgers combines football IQ with a beautiful arm, decent speed and perfect decision making. In 2014, Rodgers had a 38:5 TD:INT ratio, which lead the league. At of the end of the 2014 season, Rodgers has the highest TD:INT ratio in NFL history.
2. Andrew Luck
The first overall pick out of Stanford a few years ago, Luck has been an elite player, throwing for over 4,750 yards in only his third year in the league. Luck had no support at running back, as Trent Richardson had to start most of the season after Ahmad Bradshaw sustained an injury. His only help in the receiving game was breakout player, T.Y. Hilton. The Colts have acquired Andre Johnson and Frank Gore in the offseason, as well as Philip Dorsett through the draft. Luck can only improve, especially with these acquisitions.
3. Russell Wilson
Wilson is a dynamic quarterback. He can throw, run and he is a smart football player. He reads defenses like books and destroys them. Wilson is a player on the rise, with new targets Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett, he can only get better.
4. Tom Brady
Barring any changes during his appeal, Brady will be suspended for the first four games of 2015. However, he is such a smart quarterback that even with his sub-par receivers (besides Rob Gronkowski) he still manages to turn in amazing seasons. Athleticism isn’t Brady’s strong suit, but his intelligence gets him into the first tier.
Tier Two: A Little Washed Up, But Still Quality Quarterbacks
5. Peyton Manning
I am sure this is the first time Peyton Manning has been out of the first tier of quarterbacks since possibly the 2000 regular season. Peyton is getting old, as he is 39 entering the 2015 season. He admitted last year to be playing through a quad injury in the last half of the season and it seemed like it. Manning still finished with over 4,700 yards, but had his most interceptions since 2010.
6. Drew Brees
Brees has regressed athletically. The Saints have publicly admitted it and they have started to prepare for the future, by picking Garrett Grayson in the draft this year. Brees has lost his main targets, Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills and is left with Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks and Josh Hill. Although the Saints have made trades to upgrade their offensive line, a lack luster receiving game is the last thing a struggling Brees needs.
Tier Three: Great Veterans
7. Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger is an outstanding quarterback. He has arguably the best wide receiver in the league, Antonio Brown, to go along with a stud running back, Le’Veon Bell. Big Ben has physical tools, experience and IQ. He is a top notch player
8. Matt Ryan
Ryan is a wonderful player. He has constantly put up above average numbers with a below average offensive line. Julio Jones has developed quite nicely recently and Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez have helped Ryan in his past.
9. Tony Romo
Romo has the best offensive line in the league and debatably of all time. That is a huge bonus to an aging quarterback who recently had back surgery. The run by committee approach will be in full effect this year and it has a lot of potential behind the o-line. While the recent concerns over Dez Bryant sitting out week one raise some eyebrows, Romo will still make due with what he has.
10. Eli Manning
Manning has had quite an up and down career. His offensive line and defense are constantly changing from year to year, giving him little consistency. However, Manning has still been excellent, aside from some poor decisions, the additions of Ereck Flowers and Landon Collins should improve those inconsistencies. Odell Beckham Jr. exploded last season and any quarterback playing with him will be good. Victor Cruz’s comeback is also yet another weapon added to Manning’s arsenal.
11. Philip Rivers
In 5 of the first 6 games of 2014, Rivers posted over a 100 rating. While he did drop off at the end of the year, Melvin Gordon should relieve some of the offensive work off Rivers.
Tier Four: High Potential Players
12. Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill was just gifted a huge contract, signaling that the Dolpins believe in him as the quarterback of their future. He has improved every season, and getting rid of the unhappy Mike Wallace, while bringing in DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron should only further that improvement.
13. Cam Newton
Newton has potential, and he has shown flashes of it. I wouldn’t call him injury prone, but rather unlucky. Last season he was in an awful car crash that took him out for a game and aggravated his ankle. I like what Newton can bring to the run game, but he needs to be sharper with his decision making.
14. Matthew Stafford
Stafford has weapons. Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah form a great backfield tandem, while Megatron and Golden Tate on the outsides are good targets. First round pick, Laken Tomlinson, will greatly improve the offensive line. He has almost proven himself in the past, but needs to be better in the future.
15. Sam Bradford
I can’t say Bradford has played well in the past, mainly because we haven’t seen him play. He showed tons of promise at Oklahoma, enough to make him a first overall selection pick in his draft class.
16. Teddy Bridgewater
A deep sleeper, Bridgewater has a lot of potential. Adrian Peterson creates a huge diversion just by being on the field, and Mike Wallace and Cordarelle Patterson in Norv Turner’s offense should be eccentric. Bridgewater, through the last few weeks of the 2014 season, was a top 5 quarterback in the whole league, which just shows how great he can and will be.
Tier Five: Overrated Players
The following quarterbacks not only receive too much praise for their performances, but I believe they could all be considered overrated. Here are the most overrated quarterbacks in the NFL today:
Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton
Tier Six: Bottom of the League
The bottom of the barrel is not a fun place to be. Overall, these men have yet to shine in the NFL and will have the most to prove in the upcoming season. It doesn’t mean they are the worst in the league, but they have more to prove than others. Here are the quarterbacks in the bottom of the league:
Josh McCown, Nick Foles, Ryan Mallett, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Robert Griffin III, Geno Smith, EJ Manuel