When it comes to the quarterback position in the NFL, what is important to you? Talent? Depth? Potential? Experience?
In my book, they all matter. Using those four criteria, I’ve compiled a list of the ten best quarterback situations in the National Football League. Enjoy!
10. Philadelphia Eagles — Philly has a proven starter in Michael Vick, a guy with regular season playing experience in Nick Foles and arguably the quarterback of the future in Matt Barkley as the top three names on their depth chart. Also in the mix is Dennis Dixon, the only quarterback on the roster with experience running Chip Kelly’s system.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars — For all of their woes and their seemingly permanent status as a punchline among football fans, the Jags have some solid depth at quarterback. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne both have a considerable amount of experience, Mike Kafka has spent time learning from Andy Reid and Bill Belichick and rookies Jordan Rodgers and Matt Scott look like serious contenders for roster spots.
8. Kansas City Chiefs — They’ve come a long way in less than a season. In 2012, the quarterback position was one of their biggest weaknesses. Now you add, despite what many say, a winning quarterback in Alex Smith and a guy who until now has spent his career backing up and learning from Drew Brees in Chase Daniel. I’ll take it.
7. Arizona Cardinals — Oh what a difference an offseason makes. Carson Palmer brings the veteran leadership to this position that the Cardinals have lacked since Kurt Warner retired. Backing him up will be dependable journeyman Drew Stanton. Compared to 2012, Cards fans must be rejoicing.
6. Houston Texans — Matt Schaub struggles at times but at the end of the day, he’s one of the best starting quarterbacks in the league. Not many starters have a guy backing them up with playoff experience. T.J. Yates has just that. Also on the roster is Case Keenum, one of the most prolific college passers in recent memory.
5. Washington Redskins — Much was made of RGIII’s success in 2012, but it was fellow rookie Kirk Cousins who stepped in and played like a veteran when Griffin went down. Washington is lucky to have two young a talented signal callers the caliber of RGIII and Cousins on the roster.
4. New England Patriots — If Tom Brady were to go down, waiting to replace him is Ryan Mallett. Many forget that Mallett was projected as potentially the top pick in the draft a couple of years ago until some characters issues surfaced during the draft. And don’t look now, but behind Mallett sits Tim Tebow, who has a winning record as a starter as well as a playoff win under his belt.
3. Detroit Lions — Everyone is aware of Matthew Stafford’s talent, but few would argue against the statement that Shaun Hill might be the best backup in the NFL. Hill has played like a starter every time he’s been asked. Sitting behind him is college football’s all-time winningest quarterback, Kellen Moore.
2. Indianapolis Colts — The Colts already had good fortune when the stars aligned and sent them Andrew Luck as the heir apparent to Peyton Manning. They hit the jackpot again this offseason when they landed Matt Hasselbeck as his backup. I count at least six teams off the top of my head that Hasselbeck could potentially start for right now.
1. Dallas Cowboys — There is no more polarizing player on a more polarizing team than Tony Romo on the Dallas Cowboys. That said, Romo puts up elite stats and keeps the Cowboys in the national conversation. Sitting behind him is the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL quarterbacks, Kyle Orton. Nobody, not fans, coaches or analysts seems to show Orton any respect, yet every time he gets a shot to play, he wins. If Romo goes down, the Cowboys might not miss a beat.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON JUNE 17, 2013