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Drew Stanton, the NFC West's best backup QB?

One writer ranks the backup QBs in each division. The Cards newcomer gets the nod.


Arizona Cardinals backup quarterback Drew Stanton has had a good camp so far. He is the unquestioned backup, as Carson Palmer is the cowboy to accompany head coach Bruce Arians into the sunset.

While we are still a few weeks away from the regular season, it is never too early to do rankings of any sort, and SB Nation has taken a look at each division in the NFL and ranked their backup quarterbacks.

Guess what? The Arizona Cardinals win in the NFC West. In a battle between Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn, Kellen Clemens and Drew Stanton, Stanton is the victor, but not because he is so good.

Here is the hart hitting analysis:

Now with the San Francisco 49ers, Colt McCoy's best game for the Cleveland Browns was a loss to a 4-12 Bengals team: 19/25, 243 yards and two touchdowns. Seattle Seahawks backup Brady Quinn's best game as a Brown: 21/33, 304 yards, four touchdowns, and a loss to a Lions team that went 2-14. What I'm trying to say here is that replacing Colin Kaepernick with McCoy or Russell Wilson with Quinn would cause civil unrest so widespread martial law would be imposed across the Pacific time zone.

Entering his eighth season, St. Louis Rams' backup Kellen Clemens has clear pros and cons as a quarterback. Biggest negative? He's never thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game. Not once. Biggest positive? Always keeps his hair neat and tidy. "But Austin Davis could beat him out!" you retort. It's a good point, but I'm already uncomfortable with how much we've talked about the Rams, so too bad.

That leaves us with the Arizona Cardinals' largely untested Drew Stanton, who hasn't thrown a regular season pass in the last two seasons. Of course, he's been behind Matt Stafford in his 41-touchdown year and Andrew Luck in those two years, so you can understand why opportunity wasn't knocking much.

The pick: We'll take a chance here and settle on Stanton, mostly because the guy who came up with "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't" didn't have to watch Brady Quinn bumble around.

Now, yes, I am a fan of the Cardinals, but I will say that given the choice at quarterback for the backup spot, I would be more comfortable with Stanton than with any of the other guys mentioned. Add that to how he has looked with this throws in training camp and I think I wouldn't want another guy to be the guy to take over for Palmer should something happen to him.

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