July 09, 2007

QB Rankings: Scouts Inc. gets it right

After reading the last NFL QB rankings from Sports Illustrated, I had to rip Peter King a new one, for having McNabb ranked so low. Scouts Inc. knows football, and they are on the ball with their ranking of McNabb being number five. I actually made my own rankings, and I have the same top six as Scouts Inc. Props to them for not forgetting how good Donovan really is. Here is their top five:

1. Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning continues to play at a level that most QBs can only dream about. He is a master at reading defenses, getting in and out of plays and is so well prepared, he can even adjust the blocking assignments up front before the snap. He makes better presnap decisions than any QB in the history of this league and his career completion rate is 64 percent. He has even improved his one weakness, mobility, over the past two years, and now does a good job of moving around and avoiding sacks. Backup Jim Sorgi has limited arm strength and lacks Manning's presnap creativity, but he's played pretty well in some mop-up situations and has an excellent feel for the Colts' offense. Veteran John Navarre is big and strong and will occupy the No. 3 spot, but with Manning being the most durable QB in the NFL, the Indianapolis backups don't get a lot of work.

2. New England Patriots
There is no better QB at accomplishing more with less than Tom Brady. In 2006, with a mediocre receiving corps, he threw 24 TD passes to 11 different receivers. He is the consummate leader and combines outstanding toughness with great physical skills. He has a better feel for pressure than any other QB in the league and has an uncanny ability to move around the pocket, beat the blitz and find the matchup he wants. With a better group of receivers in 2007, Brady should put up huge numbers. Backup Matt Cassel is a young guy with a lot of Brady-like qualities and the coaches have a lot of faith in him. Still, he hasn't started a game since high school, which is not a major concern as long as Brady continues to be Mr. Durable.

3. New Orleans Saints
In a short amount of time, Drew Brees has become the face of this organization and a favorite son to a city that needs a diversion. He may have the best touch and accuracy of any QB in the league and does a great job of spreading the ball around to all of his receivers. He does not have great arm strength, but he doesn't need it because the Saints' offense puts the emphasis on underneath routes. He is the unquestioned leader and has a calming presence that seems to filter through the entire team. Backup Jamie Martin has the confidence of his coaches, but he's probably not a long-term answer if he had to replace Brees. Still, he does know the system and could step in for a short run. Rookie Tyler Palko has the inside track for the No. 3 job, but this is clearly Brees' team.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
Carson Palmer rebounded from a devastating knee injury in 2005 to play all 16 games last season, throwing for 4,035 yards with a 62.3 completion percentage. He is big, strong, has a great arm and can be lethal running the no-huddle offense. He has worked hard this offseason to improve his mobility -- he was sacked 36 times last season -- and passing on rollouts. He did not play great at the end of the 2006 season and seemed to force the ball at times, but his weaknesses are fixable and he is poised to have a great year. Following Anthony Wright's signing with the Giants, the backup role goes to veteran Doug Johnson, who has a good feel for the offense and good overall skills. Rookie Jeff Rowe will fill the No. 3 spot and will be brought along slowly.

5. Philadelphia Eagles
Donovan McNabb is the heart and soul of this team, but now 31, he has lost significant playing time due to injuries over the past several seasons and durability is a big question. Still, he's big-play guy capable of putting up huge numbers in the Eagles' pass-oriented offense and his arm strength, accuracy, mobility and leadership remain top-notch. The No. 2 spot starts with A.J. Feeley, who has shown glimpses of promise in stops at Miami and San Diego and knows this system, but he may have to battle Kelly Holcomb, who was obtained in an offseason trade from Buffalo. Holcomb has average skills, but he's tough and competitive. Rookie Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia's top draft pick, will be brought along slowly as the QB of the future.
..Read the rest of the list at ESPN>>


jason said...

McNabb isn't 31... Unless Scouts Inc is assuming we'll read this in late November.

Brian S said...

This must be a misprint. Where's Romo?