Reaction to ESPN's Quarterbacks Worth The Top Overall Pick


Which current NFL quarterbacks are worth the 1st overall pick in the draft? ESPN's Mike Sando wrote a good article today and for once, Ben's name is where it should be.

In light of the upcoming Draft, Mike Sando wrote an article today and asked former GM Bill Polian, Matt Williamson and an anonymous NFL GM which current QBs would be worth the #1 overall pick. For the first time in a while, Ben's name is right where it should be.

This group is titled Clearly Worth A #1 Pick


1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Of the seven unanimous choices, only Manning and Luck were actual No. 1 overall selections.The others were drafted later in the first round (Rodgers, Roethlisberger), early in the second round (Brees), in the third round (Wilson) or in the sixth (Brady). Manning stands apart. He has a league-leading 80.9 Total QBR score since 2006. Quarterbacks have reached that level eight times over the course of a single season during that span, with Manning personally responsible for four of those standout seasons -- even though he missed the 2011 season entirely.

No surprise here, Manning is a shoe in Hall of Famer when his time comes and has arguably the most impressive resume of any NFL quarterback in history

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The order between Rodgers, Brady and Brees seems inconsequential. All three have consistently produced at a high level statistically. All three have carried their teams. All three have won a championship. Rodgers ranks second in Total QBR (77.2) and third in passer rating (103.1) among quarterbacks with at least five postseason starts since 2008, his first season as a starter. He ranks among the top two in both categories in the regular season over the same period.

He is probably my favorite quarterback not named Ben Roethlisberger. Yes I know he broke our hearts on February 6, 2011 but you can't deny his ridiculous talent. He is in my opinion the best current QB in the NFL. He is the most accurate QB, he has a really strong arm, very mobile, can make any throw and most importantly he can take a licking and not be afraid to stand tall in the pocket. Even if you are constantly hitting him, he will hang in there and deliver a strike. Brady and Manning get out of rhythm when they are being hit. It doesn't seem to phase Rodgers as much.

3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Brady hasn't been consistently good in the playoffs, posting an 8-7 record in the postseason since 2006. Still, no quarterback has made more playoff starts over that span and none of the six others on this list has more postseason victories. Not that anyone would seriously challenge Brady's spot on this list.

Again, Brady is easily worth a #1 overall pick, but he does make a good point. Ever since Brady's 1st post season loss in '05 he is 8-7 in the playoffs and has not won a championship since '04. People like talk about the greatness of Brady and that Steelers fans live in the past yet Ben has won a championship twice since Brady's last one in '04. Just sayin'

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Again, not much to discuss at this point. Brees is ... Brees. Any team that got his level of performance out of a No. 1 overall draft pick would be thrilled.

Can't say Brees doesn't belong here. His track record speaks for itself

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

This is where the conversation gets a little more interesting. Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl victories, as does Eli Manning, but only Roethlisberger made the cut across all three ballots. He wasn't very good in one of those Super Bowls, but he has played better than Manning recently and that was the difference.

"Ben had a running game early in his career, but he has not had it as much lately," the GM said. "The throw he made to win the Super Bowl against Arizona, that was like making an 80-foot putt to win the Masters. It was incredible and you cannot teach that."

The guy made some good points. Yes he did have a running game early on and he wasn't good in SB XL, however people tend to forget how great he played in the '05 playoffs prior to the Super Bowl. In 3 games he had 7 TDs, 1 INT, 680 yards, 68.1% completion percentage and a 122.9 passer rating. I also love what they said about his throw in SB XLIII. It was like sinking an 80 foot put at the Masters. People also forget he made the perfect throw twice. It was incredible and you can't teach that and there are 3 maybe 4 guys in the NFL right now who could make that throw. Plus you factor in that he had to drive 88 yards (officially 78, but Kemoeatu had a holding penalty the 1st play) in crunch time for a TD to win a Super Bowl. That's something you can't teach either

6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Four out of five team-builders consulted for an October project on cornerstone players went with Luck as their preferred quarterback. He's a great athlete and has carried Indianapolis to the playoffs twice despite coaching instability, a suspect defense and an inconsistent ground game. Luck's career Total QBR score (counting playoffs) drops from 62.9 to a below-average 47.8 without rushing plays.

Even though he hasn't won anything yet, you'd be an idiot to not take him 1st overall. Indianapolis would have been nowhere near 22-10 these last 2 years without Luck

7. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson and Luck are the least experienced of the seven unanimous selections. Luck has lived up to his pedigree as a No. 1 overall choice, so it's no surprise seeing him on this list. I was less sure what the analysts would think of Wilson, who has occasionally had to carry a team known more for its defense and punishing ground game. Polian hesitated before naming Wilson to his list simply because the Seahawks quarterback has started only two seasons and lacks prototypical size. Like every personnel evaluator, Polian would prefer a highly drafted quarterback to stand taller than Wilson, who measures at 5-foot-11.

"In the end, you cannot deny what Wilson has done," Polian said. "He has won at two major college programs, he's won playoff games every year in the NFL and he has won a Super Bowl in his second season."

He like Ben has a good running game and defense, but his body of work is very impressive in 2 years. 28-9 in 2 seasons (including playoffs) and a ring to go with that is impressive and Wilson will only get better.

That was it for the unanimous QBs they would select 1st overall. Gotta say I'm a little surprised Joe Flacco wasn't on there due to his playoff run in 2012, but for the reasons given, I can see why. Polian and the GM both hemmed audibly before answering on Flacco. "He has won [the Super Bowl] as a wild card and on the road and he was a huge reason why," the GM said, "but last year, just the inconsistencies make you wonder. He got the big payday. It could have just been an off season. I like him. He is big and stays in there, but he is not very mobile. You have to be able to run the football for sure." They make a good point, but some of the other guys listed ahead of Flacco like Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan have never won a Super Bowl.

For the article in its full content, you can read it here if you have a subscription to ESPN Insider. If not, here are the remaining guys listed in order after Wilson. This group is titled Close, but not Quite. Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Cam Newton.

You Could Make an Argument For Them: Joe Flacco, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford

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