I’m a corporate guy, so I’ll always try to support whatever content my colleagues post on our network, but I’m going to draw the line at this latest SB Nation piece that places New England Patriots QB Tom Brady as the 23rd quarterback off the board in a quarterback re-draft.
The premise of the article is simple. “Imagine every quarterback in the NFL was dropped by their current team and a draft decided who would go where.” Brady is nearly 40 years old so I understand that he wouldn’t be the first player off the board.
But 23rd?! Excuse me?!
There are a few quarterbacks I would understand. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (33 years old), Colts QB Andrew Luck (27), Falcons QB Matt Ryan (32), and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (28) are four that would definitely come off the board first. I’d even throw in Raiders QB Derek Carr (26), Washington QB Kirk Cousins (29), and Lions QB Matthew Stafford (29) and wouldn’t contest it. I’d listen to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (24) and Titans QB Marcus Mariota (23).
I’m not unreasonable. I just listed nine other quarterbacks I’d be okay with a franchise selecting before drafting the 40-year-old Brady. I understand that almost every single one of those players listed will never reach the heights that Brady achieved in a single season, but that 15 years of Mariota is a solid decision over, what, maybe five years of Brady?
But here are some of the players listed ahead of Brady in the rankings:
Old and washed up
Giants QB Eli Manning
Manning is coming off one of the worst seasons since he established his career, a level he’s reached just once (2013) since his entry in the league from 2004-07. He has declined in performance each year over the past three seasons
If we were to create a “league average starting quarterback” that wasn’t Chiefs QB Alex Smith, it would be the Frankenstein’s Monster combination of these players. Dalton is as good as the players around him, Flacco and Taylor are as boom-bust as quarterbacks go, Bradford is as conservative as quarterbacks go, Tannehill is basically already Alex Smith, and apart from his stellar MVP season in 2015, Newton has been a shockingly mediocre quarterback during his career.
That said, I’m curious to know what Taylor can do with better coaching and what Tannehill can do in his second year in Adam Gase’s offense. Maybe I’ll come back to this next season and bump these guys to the top tier, but I haven’t seen enough to warrant that move based on their careers so far.
As for Winston, sure, he’s thrown for a lot of yards, but he’s still playing like a below average quarterback. It’s too early to say where he’ll stand in the hierarchy of NFL quarterbacks, but he hasn’t done enough to jump into the top tier.
They’ve done nothing
What have these players accomplished to have them rank ahead of Brady? Wentz was pretty terrible as a rookie and I’d rather three years of elite play from Brady than a lottery ticket.
Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo
This is the million dollar question the Patriots will be asking themselves over the course of the 2017 season. Do you take the 25-year-old Garoppolo, or do you take the 40-year-old Brady? Garoppolo could technically fall into the “they’ve done nothing” category and I would take any of the nine quarterbacks I listed at the start of the article over Garoppolo.
I actually don’t know if I’d take Brady or Garoppolo and I’m happy that I don’t have to make this decision.