Best of the Best: Part VI – Top Young Quarterbacks

Manning Brady

Those of you who watched ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast last week (Colts-Jags) are certainly sick of hearing about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Even Tony Kornheiser fans like myself were disgusted with how much he talked about the topic Monday night. Was that all he prepared? Without a doubt it was his low point in the broadcast booth to date.

Blah blah blah “this is Peyton Manning saying ‘here I am, I’m still here, I’m still great’ this is his chance to get people to start talking about him again” blah blah blah. I’m sorry Tony, but I haven’t forgotten about Manning, nor did I forget that he won the Super Bowl last season, nor did I forget that he’s still the most talented quarterback in the NFL.

This display was so sickening I decided it’s time to stop talking about the two mega-stars. The upcoming onslaught of Colts-Pats analysis is just going to be too much to bare.

Maybe there actually are other quarterbacks in this league … What a novel thought. Indeed there are other quarterbacks. In fact there is quite the youth movement happening at the quarterback position as we speak.

Without further ado, here are my rankings of the top young quarterbacks in football today. I set the age restriction at those born in 1981 or later making the players 26 or younger:

  1. Eli Manning(’81) – He gets far too much criticism for what he’s accomplished. Now in his third year as the starter he is making plays and showing he isn’t just Peyton’s brother. In 2005 he threw for 3700 yards and 24 td’s the next year he threw the same amount of td’s but the yardage dipped to 3200. This year he’s on pace for 26 td’s and over 3000 yards. Still a young man, he has a lot to improve on but he’s going to be a great player.
  2. Ben Roethlisberger(’82) – Winning the Super Bowl may have been too much too soon for him as the criticism piled up last season despite having to throw nearly 500 passes. Remember, it was just his third season in the league. This year he has cut down on interceptions and has the Steelers back in contention in the AFC. Once Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are done demolishing the record book he will be battling for MVP trophies.
  3. Phillip Rivers(’81) – Rivers was born into wealth. A quarterback’s best friend is a running game and he happens to have a man behind him who is the best at just that. Tomlinson made Rivers’ transition to starter much easier. He’s in his second year as the man now and his stats may not reflect an improvement across the board but thusfar he is completing 65 percent of his passes as opposed to 61 last season. He is efficient if anything and that side armed release didn’t keep him from throwing for 3300 yards last season.
  4. Jason Campbell(’81) – he’s really in his first year as the starter though he started seven games last year. With a talented receiving core and a hall of fame coach there’s plenty of upside to this former high school all-american.
  5. Jay Cutler(’83) – he evokes the toughness you love in a QB after being battered around while leading the downtrodden Vanderbilt program to several upset wins in his career there. He took over for the Broncos midway through last year. Like Campbell, he started a few games last year but really took the reigns this year. His mobility is perfect for Mike Shanahan’s offense and he already has the bootleg aspect of it down. Once he becomes a more polished pocket passer he’ll start looking a lot more like Elway.
  6. Matt Schaub(’81) – For a few seasons he was the Falcons little toy, trade bait in the purest sense. Now he’s the man in Houston and teams with Andre Johnson to form a potentially lethal combination in the years to come. Thanks to Atlanta holding their cards until the worst possible moment we don’t really know much about Schaub other than that he’s the prototypical NFL quarterback at 6’5 240. He’s completing a high percentage of his passes right now but so did David Carr.
  7. Vince Young (’83) – He’s a winner and he’ll win again. Vince won’t put up gaudy numbers early in his career but he can will his team to victories like few other NFL quarterbacks before him. He will bring Jeff Fisher a Super Bowl before too long.
  8. Alex Smith(’84) – Small hands was showing signs of improvement before he got injured this season. Darrell Jackson and Vernon Davis are essential in his development. He must continue to improve but there isn’t much reason to believe he can be a top flight quarterback in the league.
  9. Matt Leinart(’83) – The left-hander was given an unlimited amount of talented teammates in college and his adjustment to the NFL hasn’t been smooth. He’s shown he is a leader and with all the talent around him he’s bound to be a great pickup in fantasy football leagues for the next five years.
  10. JP Losman(’81) – The Tulane product put together a nice season last year, completing 62 percent of his passes for 3000 yards and 19 touchdowns. Many predicted a breakout season for Losman in 2007 but so far it hasn’t happened. Injuries and promising young backup Trent Edwards have kept Losman on the sidelines for much of five consecutive games now. He has retained his starting position for now after leading the team to a victory against the Jets. This week vs. Cincinnati will be important for his future as the starter in Buffalo.

Too old:

Tony Romo (’80), Byron Leftwich (’80), Carson Palmer (’79), Drew Brees (’79)

Too young:

JaMarcus Russell (’85), Brady Quinn (’84), Drew Stanton (’84), Aaron Rodgers (’83), Tavarris Jackson (’83)

The next wave – draft eligible college QB’s:

  1. Brian Brohm – Louisville : Brohm is catching a lot of flak for Louisville’s down season. He’s only having his best statistical season of his career. In just nine games he’s already thrown for 3200 yards (career high), 26 touchdowns (career high) and has completed 68 percent of his passes (matches career high). He’s already thrown 368 passes, a career high and 50 more than last season. Brohm has the size at 6’4 230 and his old college coach (Bobby Petrino – now Atlanta Falcons HC) will have a high enough pick to select him in the upcoming draft.
  2. Andre Woodson – Kentucky : Woodson has been at the epicentre of Kentucky’s recent rise from mediocrity in the SEC. In last year’s landmark season he threw for 3500 yards, 31 td’s, completed 63 percent of his passes and threw just 7 interceptions in the rugged southeastern conference.
  3. Chase Daniel (Jr.) – Missouri : Standing at just 6’0 tall he doesn’t have size scouts will drool over but his mobility makes up for some of that. Daniel is still a junior and will probably remain at Missouri for his senior year. When he comes out I can’t see him being any worse than an early second round pick and for someone with his efficiency (69.9 % completions this year), that’s a steal.
  4. Matt Ryan – Boston College : Ryan is a popular pick among some analysts. He reminds some of Tom Brady but I don’t see it. My feeling with Ryan is he will be drafted in the first round and an NFL team will pin all its hopes on him only to be disgusted with the outcome. He looks like a bust but it’s hard to ignore the attention he’s getting.
  5. Colt Brennan – Hawaii : Another popular pick because of the numbers he puts up in Hawaii’s fun’n’gun offense. He possesses great mobility and may have been a first round pick last year. The stats are relatively useless but for just to show you the incredulous numbers on his resume, why not. 4300 yards as a sophomore, 5500 yards as a junior. 35 td’s as as soph, 58 as a jr. This year the numbers haven’t been quite as ridiculous (just two 500 yard games? please, my grandmother could do that), but still insane nevertheless. His Heisman consideration has lost some support with a few multi-interception games but he will still sneak in the back end of the first round of the NFL draft.
  6. Dennis Dixon – Oregon
  7. Chase Holbrook (Jr.) – New Mexico State
  8. Erik Ainge – Tennessee
  9. John David Booty – USC
  10. Chad Henne – Michigan
  11. Curtis Painter (Jr.) – Purdue
  12. Nate Longshore (Jr.) – California
  13. Anthony Morrelli – Penn State
  14. Sam Keller – Nebraska
  15. John Parker Wilson (Jr.) – Alabama

Diaper Dandies (god bless Dickie V):

  1. Matt Stafford(So.) – Georgia : No truth to the rumour doctors actually surgically replaced his arm with a shotgun. He’s improving (1500 yards and 13 td’s through 8 games) but hasn’t really progressed as a passer yet.
  2. Tim Tebow (So.) – Florida : The superman comparisons are legitimate, people questioned his ability to throw the football but forgot how many yards he threw for in high school. By the time he’s up for the NFL how many hits will he have taken? How will Alex Smith’s development affect the way scouts look at him?
  3. Ryan Perrilloux (So.) – LSU
  4. Josh Freeman (So.) – Kansas State
  5. Dan Lefevour (So.) – Central Michigan
  6. Mark Sanchez (So.) – USC
  7. Matt Grothe (So.) – South Florida
  8. Jake Locker (rFr.) – Washington
  9. Ryan Mallett (Fr.) – Michigan
  10. Tyrod Taylor (Fr.) – Virginia Tech

3 Responses

  1. Just wanted to say congrats to Matt Ryan and the rest of the BC Football team. See you in the pros Matt.

  2. The response to national disaster is great but it’s a damn shame that so many citizens take advantage of the negative situations.

    I mean everytime there is an earthquake, a flood, an oil spill – there’s always a group of heartless people who rip off tax payers.

    This is in response to reading that 4 of Oprah Winfreys “angels” got busted ripping off the system. Shame on them!

  3. Usually, I come here to scan the older threads without commenting only now I should comment my trouble in showing this post properly. It is a form of aligning problem since all text is aligned far to the left. Ehm, appears similar to a technological problem … or perhaps the error is at my end? Apropos, I’m using the actual version of Firefox. Anybody else receiving this problem?

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