Commentary

Page 2's Backup Quarterback Rankings!

Originally Published: November 18, 2010
By Thomas Neumann | Page 2

Backup QB RankingsESPN.com Illustration

Other weeks' rankings:
Sept. 15 | Sept. 22 | Sept. 29 | Oct. 6 | BYE | Oct. 22 | Oct. 28 | Nov. 4 | INACTIVE | Nov. 18


It's that time of year when the days get shorter and the NFL injury report gets longer.

Teams without a viable insurance option at the quarterback position are risking the entire season if their starter goes down.

So we don't have to tell you how important it is for every team to have a consummate professional handling clipboard duties. Plus, it's always good to have a guy on the roster who can engage and dazzle us with compelling prose.

Without further ado, we present this week's edition of Page 2's Backup Quarterback Rankings.


1. Tim Tebow

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
10
0
2:2
10
22

Tim Tebow

And on the seventh day … he rushed for one touchdown and threw for another, later rejoicing in the knowledge that he had ascended to the top of Page 2's Backup Quarterback Rankings and that the Broncos are only two games back in the AFC West!


2. Antwaan Randle El

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
8
-3
8
7
20

Antwaan Randle El

Randle El is actually a wide receiver, of course, but he played QB in college at Indiana. He's also 21-for-26 with 320 passing yards and five TDs (157.5 rating) as a pro. Granted, those are surprise plays, but he still easily ranks above the other names on this list.


3. Alex Smith

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
5
-1
7
8
19

Alex Smith

Smith graduated from Utah with an economics degree in three years and scored 40 on the Wonderlic exam before the 2005 draft. Surely it didn't take long for him to figure out why Troy Smith (2-0 as starter) is now under center instead of him (1-6).


4. Drew Stanton

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
8
-4
8
6
18

Drew Stanton

Lions fans have to respect that Stanton has openly stated he wants to remain in Detroit, despite the struggles of the city and team. We respect Stanton for saying his hero is his father -- even if it's because his parents didn't name him Gaylord Stanton IV.


5. Brian Brohm

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
5
0
5
5
15

Brian Brohm

Brohm holds the Big East record for career passing yards, ranking ahead of legendary performers such as Miami's Ken Dorsey and Mike Teel of Rutgers. Ah, the carefree days of college … when potential mattered so much more to everyone than results.


6. Akili Smith

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
2
-3
7
7
13

Akili Smith

Smith compiled a woeful 52.8 passer rating during four years of "hell" in Cincinnati. Tim Couch wasn't much better during his five seasons in Cleveland. In retrospect, the Browns probably should have drafted the dude in the dog mask back in 1999.


7. Chase Daniel

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
7
-5
4
6
12

Chase Daniel

Daniel was 30-11 as a starter at Missouri and threw for 3,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Perhaps more impressive -- considering all the disruptions in the library -- he graduated on time. However, he becomes starstruck far too easily.


8. Jordan Palmer

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
5
-4
4
5
10

Jordan Palmer

Palmer is involved in a business venture that develops iPhone applications. He probably has an app for the Bengals playbook. Does he even need to carry a clipboard? But, as older brother Carson can attest, there's never going to be an app for this.


9. Chris Redman

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
2
-4
6
5
9

Chris Redman

Matt Ryan stepped up from the college ranks in 2008 to stabilize what was a disastrous starting QB situation in Atlanta. But don't overlook Redman's arrival in 2007 from the ranks of insurance sales. He paved the way for Ryan by ably handling the clipboard.


10. Patrick Ramsey

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
2
-6
7
5
8

Patrick Ramsey

Ramsey moves around a lot -- he's made eight NFL stops in nine seasons. He also is a former associate of one of the top disguise experts in the country. It sounds a little bit like the witness protection program to us. Just sayin'.


Promoted to starter from last rankings: Donovan McNabb, Redskins (in two-minute drill situations, assuming, of course, that the Redskins are still within 30 points of opponent); Chad Pennington, Dolphins (d'oh!).

Dropped out of rankings: Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings; Heath Shuler, two teams; Case McCoy, Longhorns; Stephen McGee, Cowboys; Marc Bulger, Ravens; Billy Volek, Chargers; Max Hall, Cardinals.


Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2.


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