Thursday, August 8, 2013

Top 10 Quarterbacks under 25 in the NFL

A couple of months ago came out with the Top 10 Quarterbacks Under 25 list so I decided to create my own list. So here it is, enjoy.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton has really started to step into the franchise quarterback role in Cincinnati. He has made a big step in year two. He has improved himself as a quarterback and as a leader. His passes are more accurate and he can place balls into tight windows. A.J. Green gets most of the credit for the Bengals offensive success, and he well deserves it becoming in, my opinion, the 2nd best wide out in the NFL. But, Dalton is another great component of his offense especially because he is the center of it, being the one who throws the passes into such tight windows allowing Green and the other Bengals wide outs to make the catches that have made them a playoff caliber offense. He is also criticized so harshly for not having a strong arm but he can throw the deep ball pretty well.
He is not as naturally gifted as most of the other QBs in the NFL which is why he has to improve more than most QB’s. He does not play well in big games, which is when his weaknesses start to show. He gets antsy in the pocket and becomes inaccurate. This is also when his deep ball becomes inaccurate and he will completely miss wide open receivers. It will be interesting to see how he develops and will perform in the playoffs next year (assuming they make it).
Bottom line
 I am higher on Dalton then most people are and I think he has a lot of upside and took a big leap this year. While he is not a very clutch QB he has a chance to develop into one who can be. In the draft this year the Bengals upgraded an already good offense and defense which should also help Dalton become at the very least a valuable game manager

Top Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford has the most arm talent of this group. He can and has made every throw on the field. He can throw with Peyton Manning Velocity and speed. Everyone thinks he is overrated because Megatron (Calvin Johnson) is such an amazing wide out. I am not taking anything away from Megatron and he is inhuman beast, who will one day get a bust in canton, but he wouldn’t make half of those catches if Stafford didn’t fit the ball in such tight windows. He is thought of as a pocket passer but he can run too. Some of his rushing touchdowns this season were pretty impressive outrunning some of the faster linebackers in the game. I knew Stafford was pretty good but after watching his tape I am a firm fan.
Earlier I said he has Peyton arm ability but what separates the two is that Stafford has a long way to go before he has Peyton mental ability. Most of Stafford's bad plays are from his mental lapses, not his physical ability, and his inability to read complicated defensive audibles and packages. He bites and makes the plays the defense wants him to throwing into coverage. I don’t’ put this all on him though if megatron wasn’t in that offense he might have the worst supporting cast in the NFL.
Bottom line
Matthew Stafford needs to improve on his mental ability to understand more complex defenses but, besides that I really like him. With the addition of Reggie Bush and an upgrade in the defense the lions are beginning to build around him. If he along with his team can make that next step things are looking bright for Detroit.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson
No one saw this kid coming. I saw him at the Rose Bowl when he (The Wisconsin Badgers) lost to the Oregon Ducks and I thought he might have a decent NFL career. But neither I nor anyone else saw this coming when he took the league by storm. He has tremendous speed and elusiveness making even the best tacklers misses. He runs a lot less and takes a lot less hits then RGIII which will give him longevity in the NFL. But, he doesn’t throw away his running talent when he constantly uses his legs to navigate the pocket extending the play to make throws and when he sees a large opening takes off for the first down. His passing is very impressive with his throws while being rushed inside and outside the pocket. He can make any throw that is needed. He is a leader, a class act, and has taken control of his team and the city of Seattle.
I don’t see many issues in his game but there are still a few. He tries too hard to make plays holding on to the ball for too long trying to find an open wide out. Despite holding onto the ball for so long he will still miss open wide outs and will either make a bad play or get sacked. He also is privileged to have such an amazing team that sometimes he rides on them too much and when they don’t perform as well, neither will he. This is not a horrible thing but there will be games when you need to carry your team as a franchise QB. Along that same line on the road when the 12th man (the loudest and best home field advantage in the NFL) is not there his team struggled going 3-5 on the road. In his development he needs to learn not to rely on his fans to help them win
Bottom line
Russell has a lot of upside and maybe the most minor issues that need fixing of all of the QB’s on this list. He is mature, athletic, smart, and can make any throw you may need. I am looking forward to seeing how this guy will turn out and it should be a lot of fun.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick came out of nowhere leading his team to the Super Bowl in only 10 starts. In the playoffs against Green Bay (one of the best teams in the league) he set a playoff record with 163 yards the most rushing yards in the playoffs by a quarterback. He is talented beyond belief, being able to throw darts but having the size and speed to be a punishing runner. He is bigger than RGIII which makes him more durable. He can also make great throws forcing the defense to take make a tough decision on defending his run. His arm strength is phenomenal and he will never under throw a wide receiver. His release is also quick and he throws with an insane amount of  velocity.
Many of Kapernick’s issues with me are because he has only started 10 games so he hasn’t truly been challenged, which all QBs have eventually. His chemistry is off which is to be expected when you haven’t even started a full 16 games. I question his consistency because he has not shown me enough that he will stay as good as he is now or even improve. I also wonder how he will perform when the read-option begins to fade away, and defenses figure it out. I also question his maturity when some light was shed on the “Dolphin Hat” scandal. It seems to me his fame has gone to his head a little bit, which would worry me if I was a “Niner” fan.
Bottom line

Kaepernick is exhilarating, and like many of the QBs on this list is a highlight waiting to happen. I want to see him play for longer so that I can really see how he performs with a city on his shoulders. He is a hit or miss who has a strong chance to be great but I could also see him fade away into NFL lore.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III
After watching RGIII’s tape it was confirmed to me how fast he is. He is a threat running the ball becoming the instant fastest player on the field. He will hurdle you, run through you, juke you, or just plain run past you. This forces the defense to focus on his running making it easier to pass. He is also tough not afraid to take the big hit to get a first down. It is rare to see a player in this much of the spotlight not be selfish, but he is a team player who is more mature than most NFL players. He has stepped into the leadership role in his team. The other far less talked about aspect of his game is that he can throw. He can throw from the pocket or on the run. My favorite part of his passing game is his deep ball because he can hit guys spot on 50 yards down the field. I had never pictured him as a deep ball guy more of a throw on the run short pass guy but, I was wrong. He is a playmaker
Simply put, he runs too much. He is relatively small for a running QB and cannot take the hits he took this season. This leads to injury such as his ACL and LCL tear. His biggest strength has become his kryptonite. If he can learn to become a better passer first and runner second I believe he will be fine but that’s not what everyone else wants. His running is spectacular and his rookie season was a highlight reel, something that we haven’t seen in a while, so the NFL and the Redskins want more.
Bottom line
This guy is a rare talent who can take control of the NFL. I don’t want him to take the run away, because that is what makes him special. But, just use his running less and avoid hits, by sliding or running out of bounds. He is a better passer the he is given credit so if he would use that more, There is no sealing to his success in the NFL.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Cam Newton

Cam Newton
Cam Newton is a highlight waiting to happen. He is a duel threat quarterback who can juke you out truck you or just plain make you miss. At the same time he can throw a 70 yard bomb and hit his receiver for a touchdown. He was the leading rusher in both touchdowns and yards on his team this year. He is polarizing and because of his ability to do so much the opposing defense is forced to focus on him allowing his teammates to make plays. He can improvise and make big plays either with his feet or his incredibly strong arm.
Cam is immature and wants to be the only player on his team to make plays. He gets upset when things don’t go his way and is unwilling to accept blame. He spends more time on commercials then putting in the extra effort to be the best. He expects himself to be the best instead of improving and working at it. If you look at the elite quarterbacks they all have phenomenal work ethic, being first to come in and last to leave, I don’t believe Cam has that. While he is a stat king he needs to be able to make the plays when it really counts to get wins and be a playoff team.
Bottom line
Cam Newton is so talented and has so much upside. But, in order to become an elite player he needs to start acting like one. If he loses the selfishness and gains and elite work ethic he can be unstoppable but until then he will stay the same and eventually disintegrate into one of the greatest what ifs of all time.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under: Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck
Andrew luck is a natural leader who will put his body on the line for his team every day. He is so tough and never complains always trying to make himself better. His athleticism is surprising because he is thought as a pocket passer so it was surprising to see him run for 5 touchdowns this year. Along with his rushing ability he extends the play to get out of the pocket and then make the throw. He is an accurate passer with a quick release. Like many of the quarterbacks he can throw the deep ball with such great touch. Lastly his football IQ is so great and his development has only begun.
Andrew luck is a double edged sword because his only visible weakness is when he is under pressure. This happened a lot this year which caused him to force passes, try to escape and make his worst decisions resulting in interceptions and sacks. He tried to do too much instead of throwing the ball away. But on the other edge of the blade some of his best plays came from blitzes when he was able to escape and make some great throws.
Bottom line
Luck has just begun. The Colts will begin to build an offense around him and as he continues to push himself to be the best there is no telling where he will go. He is headed for great things and may find himself in Canton one day.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under:Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill
Despite being overshadowed by three of the most impressive rookie seasons of all time (Wilson, Luck, and Robert Griffin III) Ryan Tannehill had an exceptional rookie season. He showed the promise to become a star quarterback in the NFL. He is smart and seems to understand the playbook of the Dolphins. He has shown he is able to make every throw on the field. He is a pocket general who stands in and makes the tough throw, despite being drilled. His mobility makes him a threat, but he uses it occasionally when needed to avoid injury. Being a former wide receiver at the collegiate level has and will continue to help to better understand his offense. He has also shown he can be a clutch QB leading his team to TDs and close wins when he is needed.
Tannehill has a lot of upside but struggles with inconsistency. He has defeated better teams than his but also lost to inferior ones. He can be very accurate but also make bonehead mistakes. His inconsistency was a big problem in important games, which if he keeps it up will lead to a Tony Romo like persona. He is a rookie so I expect him to improve, but it will be interesting to see his improvement in year two.
Bottom line
Tannehill is only a rookie so his ceiling is exceptional if he can be more consistent and perform better in the games that really count I see no reason why he won’t be a house name in the playoffs and NFL Top 100 List. He is exiting and I’m ready to see what will happen from him.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under:Jake Locker

Jake Locker
When I first watched Jake Locker’s game tape I was shocked by how skilled he was. I saw him make almost every throw I needed to see. He is athletic and can throw on the run. He can climb the pocket and throw a deep bomb down the field. Surprisingly he reminds me of Brett Farve. When he is on fire he can do everything and can make some of the most beautiful throws any quarterback can make.
He is highly inconsistent. He is not able to keep up with the scoring of top offenses and is not normally very clutch. He also lacks the football IQ that constantly confuses him when the defense disguises packages causing him to make rookie mistakes. This is a make or break year that will decide how his career goes. He is not even close to that next step and needs to work at every aspect of his game.
Bottom line
It is not very well known but Jake Locker is extremely talented and has the skills to become a star QB, which is why he made my list over Sam Bradford who made the NFL Networks list. He is not consistent at all but if he is able to develop immensely into a more consistent QB he has the chance to be one of the best quarterbacks on this list.

Top 10 Quarterbacks 25 and Under:Josh Freeman

Josh Freeman
Josh Freeman is very inconsistent, but when he is at his best it’s pretty amazing. He has true cannon for an arm. He is very accurate especially on deep and medium passes. He is also a mobile quarterback and when he takes off running he possesses great speed, and because he is a big man, power. He can throw from outside and inside the pocket. When he is inside the pocket he controls it moving around to extend the play and standing in to make the throw even if it means getting drilled. At his best he throws tight spirals with velocity as well as anyone in the league.
Like I said before he is inconstant one week he throws darts shredding defenses and playing touchdown for touchdown with some of the best QB’s in the league, the next he throws interception after interception and is destroyed by teams that are worse than his. He makes bad reads and throws into coverage. He can also be inaccurate missing wide open receivers. I doubt his leadership and football IQ. He is a true tale of two tapes.
Bottom line

Freeman has a lot of talent but I have a lot of questions about him. One game he is great the next he plays like an inexperienced rookie. I would like to see more consistency with him this upcoming season. I do not see him ending up having a truly great career. At best he is a solid starter for six or seven more years. The only reason why he was ranked above Jake Locker was because he is more consistent not because he has more potential.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My "Top 100 Players of 2013"

After watching NFL Networks "Top 100 Players of 2013" the last three years I have realized one thing, I seldom agreed with the players placements. So I decided to make my own list, this like the real list will be controversial but I quite enjoyed making it, so enjoy. 

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Calvin Johnson
  3. Aaron Rodgers
  4. J.J. Watt
  5. Tom Brady
  6. Patrick Willis
  7. Peyton Manning
  8. Von Miller
  9. Aldon Smith
  10. Arian Foster
  11. A.J. Green
  12. Matt Ryan
  13. Drew Brees
  14. Brandon Marshall
  15. Marshawn Lynch
  16. Ray Rice
  17. Charles Tillman
  18. Richard Sherman
  19. Joe Flacco
  20. Julio Jones
  21. Andre Johnson
  22. DeMarcus Ware
  23. Jamaal Charles
  24. Larry Fitzgerald
  25. Joe Thomas
  26. Jarred Allen
  27. Clay Matthews
  28. Reggie Wayne
  29. Gino Atkins
  30. Andrew Luck
  31. Patrick Peterson
  32. Ed Reed
  33. Rob Gronkowski
  34. Alfred Morris
  35. Russell Wilson
  36. Vince Wilfork
  37. Roddy White
  38. Ndamukong Suh
  39. Robert Griffin III
  40. Justin Smith
  41. NaVorro Bowman
  42. Jason Witten
  43. Dez Bryant
  44. Tony Gonzalez
  45. Frank Gore
  46. Vincent Jackson
  47. Duane Brown
  48. Wes Welker
  49. Justin Houston
  50. Eli Manning
  51. Tim Jennings
  52. Luke Kuechly
  53. Doug Martin
  54. Julius Peppers
  55. Vernon Davis
  56. Haloti Ngata
  57. Jason Pierre-Paul
  58. Chris Johnson
  59. LeSean McCoy
  60. Earl Thomas
  61. Terrell Suggs
  62. Champ Bailey
  63. Eric Weddle
  64. Derrick Johnson
  65. Ben Roethlisberger
  66. Darrelle Revis
  67. Demaryius Thomas
  68. Jairus Byrd
  69. Chad Greenway
  70. Victor Cruz
  71. Mario Williams
  72. Joe Staley
  73. London Fletcher
  74. Matthew Stafford
  75. Cam Newton
  76. Logan Mankins
  77. Jimmy Graham
  78. Cameron Wake
  79. Lance Briggs
  80. Brandon Flowers
  81. Jerod Mayo
  82. Dwayne Bowe
  83. Colin Kaepernick
  84. Jerrell Freeman
  85. Stephan Tulloch
  86. Gerald McCoy
  87. Percy Harvin
  88. Bernard Pollard
  89. Daryl Washington
  90. Dashon Goldson
  91. Tony Romo
  92. Jacoby Jones
  93. Heath Miller
  94. Russell Okung
  95. Anquan Boldin
  96. Max Unger
  97. Robert Mathis
  98. Johnathan Joseph
  99. Mike Iupati
  100. Dennis Pitta