Monday, June 27, 2011

Who is the Best QB in the NFC West?

Danny Kelly over at Field Gulls asks the question, and since multiple people wanted me to touch on the QB situation, I figured this was a good opportunity to do so. I've rated them in descending order based on current level of play and perceived upside.

8. Max Hall - The prototypical Ken Whisenhunt QB, which is to say, nothing. I would be surprised if Max Hall ever took another snap in the NFL. Hall lacks accuracy at all levels, has very little arm strength (at least, little that he demonstrated last season), and his smarts just didn't show up last year. I've never seen a Whisenhunt-trained QB that inspired me.

7. Derek Anderson - Just plain terrible last year and every other season in the NFL save for that bizarre pro-bowl year with the Browns. Where did that come from and what happened to D.A.?
Number 6? That's SO Raven.
6. Charlie Whitehurst - We're basing this on what we've seen, right? Well, Whitehurst hasn't ever shown a lot of anything. I do still like him more than, well, just about anyone else does, but I've still seen nothing to convince me he can succeed in this league. The remaining candidates have all shown something, minute though it may be, to suggest future success is attainable. [read more]

5. Alex Smith - When you watch Smith you can tell he's a very talented player. People don't particularly like to admit it -- and certainly Smith was not deserving of the #1 overall pick that he received -- but when he's on, he can really take a game over. He's mobile, has an alright arm, and has dealt about as well as anyone could have in the myriad offenses he's been forced to learn. Institutional stability is key to QB development, and that's why Alex Smith has failed.

4. John Skelton - Yes, I like the young Fordham QB. I don't have a lot of hope that he'll end up succeeding in this league, but that's more because I think Whisenhunt doesn't know what he's doing with quarterbacks. I liked Skelton coming out of college, but I think he's a 3-year project. I was disheartened to see him starting last year, but if they allow him to actually develop (or trade him away), I could see Skelton starting effectively in a few years.

3. Colin Kaepernick - I did mention during draft time that if there was one QB I'd like to see the Seahawks draft it would be Colin Kaepernick. Naturally, he went to our rivals instead. No big deal. I think Kaepernick has huge upside and will be ready sooner than people expect -- probably leading the 49ers beginning in the 2012 season. The fact that I have him below John Skelton should tell you just about all you need to know about what I think his ultimate upside is, though.

2. Matt Hasselbeck - Yeah, he's number two. I've made no secret about the fact that I don't trust Hasselbeck with my team moving forward, but this rating is really more about the dreadful state of the NFC West quarterbacks than it is about Matt himself. Now, before you accuse me of hating: I love Matt. I would love for him to be his 2007-self for the next decade in Seattle. But he's not that quarterback anymore, and I haven't seen anything suggesting he will be. Still, even with his poor level of play lately, he's better than the majority of QBs in the division.

1. Sam Bradford - Based on what we saw last year, Sam Bradford is the best quarterback in the division. He was remarkable last year given what he was playing with: a broken down, aging running back; a barely-there WR corps; and mediocre tight ends. Not to bust any bubbles of Seahawks euphoria, but I have trouble believing the Rams don't make the playoffs last year if they had a healthy Mark Clayton for 16 games. The most important thing to remember here, though, is that if this was 1994, we'd all be saying this about Rick Mirer. #wellmaybenotbetterthanElwaybutstill


  1. I don't think that Kaepernick can be in my top 3 before he has even taken part in an OTA. I agree that he could be among the best QB's in the NFC West by the end of the year, but because we don't have any clue how the league will treat him I would take Skelton and Smith above him.
    Jack Roberts
    @jrobbs12 on twitter

  2. Given the insane rushing stats that Nevada posted as well as Kapernick's passing, can we be sure that his o-line was not making it extra easy for him?