Movie Quote of the Day:
“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
– Maximus, Gladiator (2001)
NFL analysts, experts, players, etc. have been releasing their own rankings for the top players in the NFL. The NFL Network just released their Top 100 that is voted on by the players. Also, Mike Miller at Bleacher Report has been coming out with his own rankings of the Top 1,000 players in the NFL.
I decided to create my own version of this, but I’m going to put it together by position (except punters and fullbacks because nobody cares about them) and it’ll only be 100 players. I’m not even sure I can name 1,000 people that I know in the real world let alone the NFL. I’m also going to add honorable mentions and what I like to call the “Rising Star” of each position. Another thing I added when creating these lists is that the players have to currently be on a team. No free agents.
Today is the final installment of my player rankings. For those who have been avid readers of my player rankings, I’m sure that this is the position that you all care the most about. The quarterback has become such an important part of today’s NFL. They’re now the face of any NFL franchise and the most important position on any team. There used to be a time where a below average quarterback could win a Super Bowl. However, there’s almost no chance of that happening in present day. Here’s my list:
Rising Star: Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
I was never high on Tannehill when he was at Texas A&M, and I never thought he’d make it in the NFL. I have to admit though; he’s exceeded my expectations. He has improved in almost every stat category in each year he’s been in the NFL. Just look below:
2012: 58.3 completion percentage, 3,294 yards, 12 TD, 13 INT, -0.2% TD-INT ratio, and 76.1 passer rating
2013: 60.4 completion percentage, 3,913 yards, 24 TD, 17 INT, 1.2% TD-INT ratio, and 81.7 passer rating
2014: 66.4 completion percentage, 4,045 yards, 27 TD, 12 INT, 2.6% TD-INT ratio, and 92.8 passer rating
As you can see, Tannehill has improved every season he’s been in the NFL. He’s starting to show that he’s “getting it.” Some of the reasons that Tannehill hasn’t been better are because he’s been sacked 139 times in his three years (46.3 sacks per year), and has lacked a sufficient run game. Even though I’m high on Tannehill, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t think he’s the type of quarterback that makes everyone around him better. He’s the type that is going to need quality help in order to be great, and Miami has got him some help this offseason. They traded for wide receiver Kenny Stills, signed wide receiver Greg Jennings and tight end Jordan Cameron in free agency, drafted wide receiver DeVante Parker, and also drafted running back Jay Ajayi. This season will be the true defining season for Tannehill; I believe it’ll be a breakout season for him. I think he’ll be in the Pro Bowl.
Honorable Mention: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
2014 stats: 69.9 completion percentage, 3,705 yards, 34 TD, nine INT, 5.7% TD-INT ratio, and 113.2 passer rating
There were other quarterbacks that I considered for this spot (Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, etc.), but I decided to go with Romo.
Romo has always received harsh criticism ever since becoming the face of the franchise in Dallas. Whether it’s muffing a snap on an extra point in a playoff game or throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter. Romo finally had a breakout season last year, mainly because of DeMarco Murray and the Dallas offensive line. If you can look past the unfortunate errors he’s made in late game situations, he’s a great quarterback. He has a career 65.2 completion percentage, 33,270 yards, 242 touchdowns, 110 interceptions, and a passer rating of 97.6. He’s a 4x Pro Bowler (2006, 2007, 2009, and 2014) and was Second-team All-Pro last season. This is honestly the perfect rank for Romo. He’s not a part of the elite quarterbacks, but he’s the best of the non-elite quarterbacks.
Top 5 Quarterbacks:
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2014 stats: 69.2 completion percentage, 4,952 yards, 33 TD, 17 INT, 2.4% TD-INT ratio, and 97 passer rating
If it were six years ago, I’d put him higher on this list. However, Brees is now 36 years old and has shown signs of deterioration. Brees also has to cool it with the interceptions; he’s thrown 84 in the last five years. I wasn’t sure if Brees is still a top five quarterback, but I’m not sure who else would be better than him, other than the guys I have ranked higher than him. He has an average completion percentage of 66.2 completion percentage, 56,033 yards, 396 touchdowns, 194 interceptions, and has a 95.4 passer rating in his career. Brees is a 9x Pro Bowler (2004, 2006, and 2008-2014), First-team All-Pro (2006), and 3x Second-team All-Pro (2008, 2009, and 2011). Brees was just 48 yards shy of throwing for at least 5,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. I know I said he’s shown signs of deterioration, but his numbers are still great.
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
2014 stats: 61.7 completion percentage, 4,761 yards, 40 TD, 16 INT, 3.9% TD-INT ratio, and 96.5 passer rating
Andrew Luck is a great quarterback, but like Brees, he has to stop throwing interceptions. He’s thrown 43 interceptions in his three years in the NFL. Despite the amount of interceptions, Luck still led the NFL in passing touchdowns. He has made the Pro Bowl in every season he’s been in the NFL (2012-2014). He also broke the NFL record for passing yards by a rookie. Luck has an average completion percentage of 58.6 percent, 12,957 yards, 86 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 86.6 in his career.
I don’t know what it is, but I think Luck has kind of underperformed since getting in the NFL, considering how great he was in college and how much he was hyped up prior to his rookie season. I’ll say it again, I think Luck is a great NFL quarterback. I think he’s on his way to being one of the all-time great quarterbacks. Currently, he’d be one of my top choices to start a franchise with. I just want him to stop throwing interceptions, but maybe that’s just who he’s going to be in the NFL. It worked well for Brett Favre.
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2014 stats: 64.1 completion percentage, 4,109 yards, 33 TD, nine INT, 4.2% TD-INT ratio, and 97.4 passer rating
I know, I know. It’s heresy! Brady’s the Golden Boy with the looks and the supermodel wife. I can hear it now from Patriots fans in their thick Boston accents “Brady’s a frickin’ gawd (god)! Youah (you’re) just a hatah (hater)! His fah (four) rings speak fah (for) themselves! He’s the greatest of ahll (all) time!” Listen, Brady’s a great quarterback, but he’s not the greatest of all time. If you set his four championship rings aside, you can’t tell me that he’s the greatest of all time if you look at his stats. He has an average 63.5 completion percentage, 53,258 yards, 392 touchdowns, 143 interceptions, 3.5% TD-INT ratio, and a 95.9 passer rating in his career. Those are great numbers, but nowhere near the all-time greats.
Brady is a 2x NFL MVP (2007 and 2010), 10x Pro Bowler (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009-2014), 2x First-team All-Pro (2007 and 2010), and a Second-team All-Pro (2005). I’m aware that you can’t remove Brady’s rings when talking about him. I’ll never question Brady’s passion to win and his leadership. If this were a list of players with the best leadership, Brady would hands down be number one. I’ll never deny that. He has the accolades of an all-time great, because he is, but spare me on the greatest of all time. I don’t have Brady higher on this list based on talent. I don’t think he’s as talented as the players I have higher than him.
2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2014 stats: 67.1 completion percentage, 4,952 yards, 32 TD, nine INT, 3.8% TD-INT ratio, and 103.3 passer rating
A lot of people will probably hate this decision to have Roethlisberger this high, but we finally got to see what Roethlisberger could do with a quality offensive line last season. Ever since getting drafted by Pittsburgh in 2004, he’s been sacked 419 times (most among active quarterbacks). Roethlisberger was sacked just 33 times last year, not bad considering that he threw the ball 608 times. Roethlisberger was able to have the best year of his career because of a great offensive line. Go ask Tony Romo or DeMarco Murray what a great offensive line can do for your career.
Roethlisberger has an average completion percentage of 63.7, 39,057 yards, 251 touchdowns, 131 interceptions, 2.5% TD-INT ratio, and 93.9 passer rating in his career. He’s a 2x Super Bowl champion, and the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. He’s also a 3x Pro Bowler (2007, 2011, and 2014). If Pittsburgh can keep their offense together, and shape up their defense, he’ll have the opportunity to win another Super Bowl.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2014 stats: 65.6 completion percentage, 4,381 yards, 38 TD, five INT, 6.3% TD-INT ratio, and 112.2 passer rating
This isn’t even biased, Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL. He’s the most talented quarterback I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a quarterback be able to do some of the things that he can do on the football field, whether it’s his pin point accuracy, throwing it a mile by only flicking his wrist, or his ability to avoid a pass rush. No one in the NFL is anywhere close to him from a talent stand point. These plays alone speak for themselves:
Rodgers is currently the NFL all-time leader in career passer rating (106), the all-time leader in single season passer rating (122.5), and the all-time leader in career TD-INT ratio (3.96). Rodgers is probably the greatest passer in NFL history. He has an average 65.8 completion percentage, 28,578 yards, 226 touchdowns, and just 57 interceptions in his career. He’s posted a passer rating over 100 for six straight seasons. Rodgers is only 31 years old and he’s already a Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP, 2x NFL MVP (2011 and 2014), 4x Pro Bowler (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014), 2x First-team All-Pro (2011 and 2014), and Second-team All-Pro (2012). I can keep going about Rodgers’ greatness, but I think I’ve made my point. He’s the best, don’t even try to argue with me.
All stats from: http://www.nfl.com/stats/player
Thanks for reading
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53