In this fanpost I will do my best to grade the 3 major offensive positions for each team in the NFC West: Quarterback, Running Back, and Primary Wide Receiver.
I will use a 5 point scale, 5 being the highest to grade each player based on what quality of player they are currently.
5 rating= Drew Brees
1 rating= Jamarcus Russell
Quarterback: Sam Bradford
A rookie quarterback 1st pick overall, which more often than not means he is headed to the worst team in the league of the prior year. He was the 1st player taken in the draft which mean his potential is that of the highest, Bradford is not going to be inserted into a good team in search of a quarterback, he will be inserted to a team a long way from any post season appearance so don't expect him to have the opening season of the more fortunate Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez. Instead expect him to have the growing pains of Matt Leinart and Matt Stafford.
So Bradford on a scale of 1-5 gets a 3 rating, being that he obviously is gifted but has to show us those gifts in the NFL to get a higher score.
Runningback: Steven Jackson
Steven Jackson is a punishing back one that has the same attributes of the Cardinals Beanie Wells that being he can hurt linebackers, scare defensive back, and tip toe through defensive linemen, but he is 5x better than Wells because he has been in the league 6 years going on seven. If this man was had talent around him we could see something great, instead he is on a team that again is less talented and we still see something special when #39 touches the ball.
Is it any surprise that Jackson pulls a 5 rating even though he is playing for the Rams.
Wide Reciever: Keenan Burton
I don't know much about Keenan Burton but as you can see above he was the primary receiver for the Rams in 2009 when he went down in week 10 with a injury that ended his season. He ended 2009 with 25 catches which would give him about 2.5 a game, not very impressive is that fault of Burton or the Rams I'd venture to say the Rams.
Take my score for what it is worth, a 2 rating, why because at 2.5 receptions a game for a primary receiver thats way too low, Jackson is still able to shine on a bad team if Burton was half as talented he'd be able to as well but he did not.
Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck
Hasselbeck is a few years removed from being the secondary killer he once was, due to age and injury, and I'd like to believe that both are equal reasons for his current struggles. Hasselbeck saw 14 games last year and put up 3000 passing yards and a equal TD to PIC ratio. He had two decent receivers at his disposal Housh and Branch but still did not deliver wins. I don't see Hasselbeck losing his starting job this year because of lack of talent but because the team won't help him win and a Whitehurst calling will erupt.
Hasselbeck gets a 3 rating because I'd take him as a starter over Ryan Fitzpatrick and Charlie Whitehurst, however second winds like Kurt Warner are as rare as steak broiled on one side for 4 minutes, Hasselbeck had a good career but he's done.
Runningback: Justin Forsett
The Seahawks don't believe Forsett is the answer for their backfield after cutting him in the offseason and resigning him in 2009. This offseason they bring in Leon Washington and LenDale White furthering Forsett as a afterthought for the front office (I now LenDale is gone, but they did bring him in). In believe Forsett will rise from the depth chart and become the Seahawks 2010 running back. Forsett is fast and can make defenders whiff him, however he doesn't do that very often only because of lack of experience.
Forsett gets a 3 rating, he isn't Ray Rice, but he also isn't going to be burried in the depth chart like Larrod Stephens-Howling
Wide Reciever: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
TJ has put together a nice quiet NFL career, he performed well 2nd to Ocho which is why I guess he was fairly quiet, and then signed with the Seahawks, again which is why his career has been quiet. But all this man has done is perform 79 receptions in 2009 a pretty good year. Hopefully Golden Tate opens up the field for Housh before Golden takes over as the #1 guy.
Housh commands a 4 rating he is better than most but isn't elite, think Stevie Breaston, but he's aging and will probably never be elite.
Quarterback: Alex Smith
Alex Smith a talented Quarterback no doubt, however Jamarcus Russell is also talented too. Smith is not Russell however he has work ethic, and the guy knows 4-5 different systems. And this year he will actually have the opportunity to continue with a system he has previously played with. 9er fans are right when they say Smith hasnt had his opportunity 2010 is his time and I'm excited to see how he plays out.
Smith gets a 3 rating, because he's a good quarterback, not overly awesome but he isn't horrible either, like say Jamarcus Russell.
Runningback: Frank Gore
Gore is a truck, he sees a hole and he hits it and he runs hard, built like a fullback run speed like a average back, think Jerome Bettis. If the hole isn't there Gore will not find it he isn't a dancer, but he a damn good runningback that always produces. And although Gore doesn't have the speed he doesn't need it, because if he does get out in the open field its because he's already destroyed anything trying to stop him and doesn't need to outrun anybody.
5 rating, Gore is a top 10 back in the NFL.
Wide Reciever: Michael Crabtree
Crabtree is likely the next Terrell Owens in San Francisco, TO because no one will ever be Rice. Crabtree entered last season late but a few weeks in he was already producing like he had been through the whole offseason, thats scary.
A 4 rating because he played very very well last year, but was no where near being considered with the likes of Fitz, Johnson, and Wayne. Think Desean Jackson.
Quarterback: Matt Leinart
Leinart finally gets his 2nd chance, HOFer Warner retired leaving behind a protege a one Matt Leinart. Leinart was given the starting job in 2006 being a 1st round 10th overall pick and had a better rookie debut than Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers in his first full season. Leinart was injured and Kurt Warner finalized his legacy while Leinart learned it. No need to delve into a well known story.
Leinart gets a 3 rating, because he too is a good quarterback, but that needs to translate into a successful season before his stock goes up.
Runningback: Tim Hightower
Hightower is the starter until unseated by fast and upcoming Beanie Wells. Hightower isn't the fastest runner or the best dancer and he doesn't break off huge gains very often. So why is he the starter? He has a very good football IQ almost always in the right place on the field, very good blocker and he is a hard worker and with Wells chomping at his heels he should only get better until Wells surpasses him.
Timmy gets a 3 rating and throughout his football career he will probably never be higher rated, he just wasn't blessed with the tangibles to do so, but he will have a long productive NFL career, think Jeff Zgonina.
Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the NFL hands down he splits double teams and makes insane catches, and even smoked Troy Polamalu in the open field of Super Bowl XLIII. Its long been debated that Andre Johnson is #1 and Fitz is #2, vice versa, people even say that they are complete equals. Well if they are both equally gifted take this, Johnson is freak fast like Chris Johnson and DRC, Fitzgerald is not and still embarrasses secondaries.
Now adding up all the score and totaling each to rank the power of the offense is plain stupid, so I wont do it. If anything this post just evaluates the current standings of the current primary playmakers in the NFC West's offenses.
Thoughts below please?