Thursday, June 21, 2012

Early 2012 Quarterback Tiers

Tier 1: The Mega Elite
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Tom Brady

Who I want the most: Aaron Rodgers. This is quite possibly the easiest decision in this draft. Aaron Rodgers never once scored less than 20 points last season, unless you count week 17 against the Lions when Matt Flynn went off. He scored over 30 points seven times and 40 points twice. Aaron Rodgers was no doubt the most consistent and highest scoring quarterback, and he still believes that he has room for improvement. He has a legitimate case to be number one overall, but is nevertheless a top 5 overall pick.

Tier 2: The Elite
3. Drew Brees
4. Cam Newton
5. Matt Stafford

Who I want the most: Drew Brees. While this is a tough call, Brees is hands down the most proven of the bunch. Stafford is still an injury concern and there is no way I expect Newton to replicate his 14 rushing touchdowns. While the Saints are a bit troublesome with the whole bounty scandal, expect Brees to still be one of the safest and best picks of the draft.

Tier 3: The Rock Solid Value
6. Tony Romo
7. Michael Vick
8. Philip Rivers
9. Eli Manning
10. Peyton Manning

Who I want the most: Michael Vick. This year, Vick is a bargain. Rather than being drafted in the first round like last year, Vick should slip past the second and be available between the 3rd and 5th rounds. Jump on him. Last year's disappointment still ranked him 11th among all quarterbacks even with only 13 games played. And while I expected his rushing touchdowns from 2010 to decrease, I did not expect a 1 rushing touchdown season. He still averaged 8 yards a carry last season and has elite potential. Take your chances, but be sure to get a solid backup in case of injury.

Bust potential: Philip Rivers. While I was high on Rivers last year, this year worries me. Ryan Mathews is becoming a feature back and Rivers lost Vincent Jackson. While Rivers should still produce, he is more of a risk than previous years.

Tier 4: The Producers
11. Ben Roethlisberger
12. Matt Ryan
13. Matt Schaub

Who I want the most: Ben Roethlisberger. He has weapons in Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. He also no longer has Rashard Mendenhall, which may actually help Big Ben's numbers. They will rely more on their passing attack and I think Roethlisberger will finish as a top 10 quarterback. Matt Ryan, who ranked in the top 10 last year, could also be a bargain with Turner aging and elite weapons in Roddy White and Julio Jones. If you miss out on any of the top 10 guys, do not be afraid to jump on either of these two.

Tier 5: The Rest
14. Jay Cutler
15. Robert Griffin III
16. Joe Flacco
17. Josh Freeman
18. Ryan Fitzpatrick
19. Andrew Luck
20. Tim Tebow

Who I want the most: Robert Griffin III. Or Tim Tebow. Griffin has huge upside in an above average offense in Washington. His running ability puts him into the Vick/Newton territory as he should benefit from 500+ rushing yards and around 5 rushing touchdowns. And as for Tim Tebow, well you know, I love him. Do not draft him, but keeps tabs on him because there is one current starting quarterback I could see Tebow overtaking. And that man is Mark Sanchez.

Sleeper Potential: Jay Cutler. As much as it pains me to say this, Cutler could be in for a big season. He is reunited with Brandon Marshall and has solid options in Chicago. With an offensive line that improved as the year went along, Cutler might actually see time in the pocket. While I won't be surprised to see his pouty face multiple times, Cutler might finally produce a better than average season.

Extra Sleeper: Nate Amodio. This season, instead of being a Woodhead/Tebow hybrid, he will be called upon to be the Aaron Rodgers of the returning playoff team, the Pineapple Chunkers. With an excellent scrimmage in the offseason already, his arm looks sharp and his decision making has been great. However, a second pulled hammy in 4 months is making him less than a surefire option. And he needs his mobility to be top-notch because as you all know, he can barely see over his own lineman in the pocket. But given a healthy body and handlebar mustache, I expect nothing less than excellence.

Deep Sleeper: JaMarcus Russell. I can't imagine waking this guy up. He slept through 3 NFL seasons.

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