As most of you know, July is the time for my annual roster rankings. We go position by position and rank each team’s room. I try to leave as much bias out as possible, but have been called a homer in the past. (Thanks Rams fans).
For the past few years, I usually had Arizona up there with the Seahawks, simply because both teams were the perennial Division winner/runner up. But with both teams in a sort of slump recently, things could change this year.
My breakdown will consist of an entire positional group. If I seem to think the rooms look and feel similar, the win will go to the position with the better starter. This year, the Quarterbacks will be interesting. Each team now has a starter who has done good things in the league. But can the backups separate one from the rest of the pack?
This year I will have a different grading scale for each position, mainly because I cannot grade the Offensive Line, the same way I grade the Quarterbacks and Receivers.
Quarterback Grading Scale:
Success in NFL
The Cardinals kickoff this years lists finishing last for Quarterbacks. If this list was purely on talent? Yeah I would rank them higher. But as we have a grading scale to follow, it’s impossible to rank them higher.
Sam Bradford has yet to shown any sign he can stay healthy. His 2017 record was a perfect 2-0, but only played one full game, and left the second after tossing 11 passes. In those two games, he completed 74.4% of his passes for 382 yards and three touchdown passes. He was sacked five times on 48 drop backs. He completed his season with a 68.9 PFF grade and was unranked on their website. In his eight NFL seasons, he has completed one full season and carries a record of 34-45-1.
Mike Glennon is the teams second Quarterback on paper. His statistics are not horrible. 34 touchdown passes, 20 interceptions and 4933 yards in 25 career games. His record as a starter is though. He is 6-16 when given reigns of an offense.
Josh Rosen is the teams future however. If any of these other teams had an aging Quarterback with no replacement in sight, Arizona would get to leapfrog them because of how strongly I feel about Rosens future, but unfortunately, every NFC West team has a young Quarterback with a lot of seasons left.
The one edge Arizona has over everyone else is the experience on the bench. You will see that the rest of these teams don’t have anyone outside their starters with extended time as a NFL starter.
Woah Alex. How can you put Jimmy G this low on the list? Only reason I put him this low is the 49ers lack of proven talent. While Garappolo is undefeated as a starter in his career, sitting at a pretty 7-0, Garappolo has yet to play a full season and while he has made 23 career appearances his most recent season saw him throw seven touchdowns to five interceptions. The 49ers will be improved this season, and Garapolo will be a big factor for that.
CJ Beathard will be a capable backup it appears. Beathard went 1-4 last season, throwing 1430 yards four touchdowns and six interceptions The 49ers didn’t have the best talent around either of their Quarterback’s so a rookie quarterback took more of a hit than Garappolo, who already had the experience.
Second and third are pretty much option 1a or 1b. They have the same questions surrounding them, and both starters have about as much live game experience as one another.
Los Angeles Rams
Goff had a resurgent year under new Head Coach Sean McVay. His rookie season saw him go 0-7 post five touchdowns to seven interception. Under McVay and a bounce back year from Todd Gurley, Goff finished with a 62.1 completion percentage, 28 scores and seven interceptions. Goff was sacked 25 times in 502 drop backs, as well as rushing 28 times for 51 yards and a score. Goff finished his 2017 campaign with an 81.3 grade from PFF, good for 15th best.
At 23, if Goff continues to develop under McVay we could see a new number one atop this list.
Behind Goff will likely be Sean Mannion. Mannion has only made six appearances in his NFL career, starting one game, but wound up losing that game. In six games, he has posted 235 yards and one interception. Why do I take Mannion over Beathard? While I do like Beathards potential to be a capable NFL backup, a la Drew Stanton, he only has one NFL season. Mannion survived a coaching change which means both Jeff Fisher and offensive minded Sean McVay, are comfortable with him in the wings.
I think everyone knew this was coming. The Seahawks hands down have the best starter in all grading criteria. Wilson has the best basic stats, has been the most successful QB in the West, and was the highest graded PFF QB in the West.
Wilson finished his 2017 campaign with a 61.3 completion percentage, 3983 yards, 34 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. He was sacked a WHOPPING 45 times on 596 drop backs, which was caused primarily to perhaps the weakest offensive line in football, and the lack of a complimenting run game. Wilson finished 2017 with an 87.2 grade, good for sixth in the league.
In his six season, Wilson helped lead the Seahawks to back to back Super Bowl appearances, winning one of them against Peyton Manning. He has played all 16 games in every season and has posted only one season below 10 wins, going 65-30-1 in his career.
Behind Wilson is Austin Davis. Davis has 10 career starts, 3-7 as a starter, as well as making an appearance in six others. He’s posted 13 touchdowns to 12 picks and threw for 2548 yards in those contests. With Wilson managing to start in all 16 games each season, Davis being needed is not a major worry, but if he is called upon the Seahawks have a capable fill in for a game or two, but likely won’t be a full time replacement.
There we have it. The Quarterbacks are done. This list focused on the starters and their immediate backups. As we go through the positions that won’t always be the case, as some teams might have a running back by committee approach, or offensive lines will always be in flux.
With one portion in the books, I encourage you to share this and comment so we can create some lively offseason debates before Camp rolls around.