Ranking The Top 35 Quarterbacks For 2016

Remember last year we ranked the Top 32 quarterbacks? The responses were fun. But due to all the injuries quarterbacks suffered in 2015, we’re going to extend the list to the top 3 quarterbacks this year.

The retirement of Peyton Manning lets me know (and should let you know) we’re all getting old. Despite these thoughts that the college game isn’t sending enough quality quarterbacks to the NFL (which is bullshit), the game is just changing. Because of social media, we’re able to critique these quarterbacks every single move. And you can definitely believe people do the most.

Starting with the 2011 draft, a new age of quarterbacks are being ushered in and many of them are just now getting adjusted to the NFL game. We saw what Cam Newton was able to do last year, winning league MVP and leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl berth in the process. Last year I had Cam ranked in my “Quarterback Purgatory” tier because while I felt Cam was talented, he had yet to take that next step and boy did he take that next step in 2015. The scary thing is he can still improve.

Last year I had the quarterbacks split up into nine different tiers:

  • The Cream of the Crop
  • Fast Risers
  • Some Damn Good Quarterbacks
  • A League of their Own
  • Quarterback Purgatory
  • Middle of the Pack
  • Jury is Still Out
  • The Rest
  • Rookies

This year it will be just a little different:

  • The Elite
  • Damn Good Quarterbacks
  • Things Could Be Better. They Could Also Be A Lot Worse
  • The Rest
  • Just Accept Them For What They Are
  • Give This Man A Clipboard Please

Keep in mind that because of various quarterback injuries in 2015, there were tons of “interesting” backup quarterbacks that gained consideration for this list.

The Elite

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Ben Roethlisberger
  3. Russell Wilson
  4. Cam Newton
  5. Tom Brady

 

These are the best of the best. You could argue that a name or two is left out, but you can’t argue that none of these five men belong.

The gap between Rodgers and Roethlisberger/Wilson/Newton really isn’t as wide as you think.

Excluding his 2013 season which he missed 7 games due to injury, Rodgers is coming off of his worst statistical season yet. While there is an argument that not having Jordy Nelson to open up the passing game and the lack of a running game thanks to Eddie Lacy doing his best late 90s Kelly Price impersonation greatly affected Rodgers play, we can also be honest and admit Rodgers just wasn’t at his best last year.2015 showed Rodgers was still human.

Roethlisberger’s 2015 season was so odd. He threw the second most interceptions in his career (16) yet he still led the NFL in passing yards per game (328) and guided Pittsburgh to one of the top ranked offenses in the league despite missing 4 games. Despite some amazing passing performances in 2015, there were times where the decision making was off.

2015 saw Wilson become the quarterback many people thought he would never become. The defense struggled at times and Marshawn missed a lot of time due to injury but Russell Wilson kept this team headed in the right direction. It wasn’t always pretty but by midseason he was the focal point of the offense.Over the final 7 games of the 2015 regular season, Wilson threw 24 touchdowns and 1 interception and averaged 272 passing yards a game.

Cam Newton had arguably the greatest season a quarterback has ever had in NFL history. His skill set alone gives him the potential to not only be the best quarterback in the NFL today, but the best quarterback in NFL history. What Cam lacks as a passer he makes up for with his legs. He led the league with 45 touchdowns last season (35 passing and 10 rushing)

Tom Brady is Tom Brady man. Every year his skills diminish, yet he’s still better than a large majority of the league.

Damn Good Quarterbacks

6. Phillip Rivers
7. Carson Palmer
8. Andrew Luck
9. Drew Brees

Just because Phillip Rivers will never win a Super Bowl, hell it’ll be a miracle if he sniffs the playoffs to be honest but none of that means he isn’t a great quarterback. He’s just on an awful team.

Carson Palmer’s 2015 season pretty much solidified his place as a top 10 quarterback when healthy. Carson Palmer’s 2015 postseason will have you questioning some things when trying to figure out his place in the top 10.

Andrew Luck played like some shit last year when he was healthy. Well, in other words last year he was the same player he’s always been.

Drew Brees is still a great quarterback. I wouldn’t call him elite anymore As long as Payton is in New Orleans Brees will continue to put up these great passing numbers. But…

This wasn’t a diss. You see I tweeted this almost two months before…

But it’s all good though…

Things Could Be Better. They Could Also Be A Lot Worse

10.Andy Dalton
11. Eli Manning
12. Tony Romo
13.Joe Flacco

The Next Generation

14. Derek Carr
15. Tyrod Taylor
16. Jameis Winston

The Rest

17. Matt Ryan
18. Alex Smith
19. Blake Bortles
20. Teddy Bridgewater
21. Kirk Cousins
22. Marcus Mariota

Just Accept Them For What They Are

23. Ryan Tannehill
24. Matt Stafford
25. Ryan Fitzpatrick
26. Jay Cutler
27. Sam Bradford
28. Brock Osweiler
29. Robert Griffin III

Purely A Backup

30. Brian Hoyer
31. Mark Sanchez
32. Blaine Gabbert

Give These Men A Clipboard Please

33. Matt Cassel
34. Josh McCown
35. Matt Hasselbeck

 

Notes

  • Russell Wilson vs Cam Newton is going to be a debate for years to come. As I mentioned earlier, I think Cam has the potential to be the greatest QB ever. But for that to happen he would have to be better than Russell Wilson and he isn’t. He has never been to be real. And if you choose to argue this point
  • Brian Hoyer isn’t completely awful. He’s just a backup quarterback. He always self destructs when the pressure is really on him.
  • Nick Foles is so terrible. That’s how you know Chip Kelly’s system actually works.
  • This offseason I have struggled to get a good read on Marcus Mariota. It’s almost like he’s another Ryan Tannehill/Alex Smith type of quarterback. And that’s not a bad thing at all. We’ll have to see what Mariota looks like this year. He has a pretty nice ceiling.
  • I really like Blake Bortles. But he’s also really overrated to me right now. Folks are acting like 2015 was his breakout season. Hell to the no. He has the potential to be a dangerous quarterback. He has some Big Ben to his game and so many weapons. He’s just not there yet. Too many mental errors. He is young of course.
  • Blaine Gabbert showed he is decent enough to be on an NFL roster. He’s a decent backup.
  • Tyrod Taylor is pretty underrated. Not by me though. Hopefully that offense can remain healthy all at the same time.
  • Jameis Winston vs Blake Bortles: Both players are very boom or bust right now. I give more of the nod to Jameis Winston at the moment.
  • Matt Ryan is the worse quarterback in the NFC South.
  • Hopefully Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota can work the deep ball into their passing game this upcoming season.
  • Andy Dalton is a top 10 quarterback. This season gives him the opportunity to move up into that 5-7 range.
  • Do not let Big Ben’s questionable decision making fool you. Roethlisberger is in the midst of playing the best football of his career. Despite being over 30, Roethlisberger has improved as a passer every year for the last 4 years. That trend looks to continue.