As the 2018 season comes barreling towards a reality, the lists continue to pile up to preview the season.
One such way to do that is to talk with NFL executives and listen to what they think as we head into the new NFL season.
ESPN did just that as they ranked all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks into four tiers, here is how they describe each tier:
A Tier 1 quarterback can carry his team each week. The team wins because of him. He expertly handles pure passing situations.
A Tier 2 quarterback can carry his team sometimes, but not as consistently. He can handle pure passing situations in doses and/or possesses other dimensions that are special enough to elevate him above Tier 3. He has a hole or two in his game.
A Tier 3 quarterback is a legitimate starter, but needs a heavier running game and/or defense to win. A lower-volume passing offense makes his job easier.
A Tier 4 quarterback could be an unproven player with some upside, or a veteran who is ultimately best suited as a backup.
Well, Arizona Cardinals likely starter Sam Bradford found himself at the very bottom of the tier 3, as the 28th ranked starter, but it wasn’t as bad as it sounds:
Bradford got more Tier 3 votes (29) than Tier 4 votes (20) and there was even a Tier 2 in there, but the obvious durability concerns were an overriding factor.
”If it’s 7-on-7, he is a 1 every day of the week, but it is not 7-on-7, so he is a 3,” one voter said.
The Rams, Eagles and Vikings all moved on from Bradford since March 2015. He has a 16-15 starting record with 42 touchdowns, 19 interceptions, a 94.2 passer rating and 47.1 QBR since then. One coordinator noted that Bradford played in 15 games two seasons ago, and didn’t see why that could not happen again.
”I think he is developing a lot of NFL scar tissue that isn’t good for a career,” a head coach said.
The criticisms are fair, while the fact he was able to still be viewed as a tier 2 to some was impressive.
His numbers are really, really good, but when you look at it, they also are very empty, as his teams haven’t succeeded, which could make sense as to why he’s on his fourth team in his career.
Russell Wilson was a tier 2 and sixth overall.
Jimmy Garoppolo was tier 2 and 13th overall.
Jared Goff was tier 3 and 19th overall.