Commentary

Top QB isn't necessarily the biggest name

Quarterback is the most important position in the AFL. So who has the best QB in the playoffs? Gary Horton breaks it down.

Originally Published: June 26, 2008
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.

Quarterback is the most important position in the AFL. So who has the best QB in the playoffs? Here's the breakdown:

1. Utah Blaze

Joe Germaine continues to be the most prolific QB in the AFL, despite losing his best weapon, WR Siaha Burley, in free agency. Germaine threw for 4,859 yards with 97 TDs, 13 interceptions and a sparkling 123.1 QB rating. On a team that doesn't get a lot of defensive help, Germaine is under tremendous pressure to put up big numbers every week.

2. Georgia Force

Despite losing some of his best receivers to free agency, Chris Greisen retooled his offense and put together another huge season. He threw 97 TDs, had a 121.6 QB rating and led the league with 4,946 passing yards. He is an excellent decision-maker and knows how to find the right matchup.

3. Philadelphia Soul

The Soul have been the AFL's most consistent team at QB and play almost mistake-free football. Matt D'Orazio has done a great job replacing Tony Graziani and leads the league with a 131.3 QB rating. He's thrown 72 TDs to just four INTs.

4. San Jose SaberCats

Mark Grieb threw an amazing 100 TD passes in the regular season, but also threw 18 interceptions, the most in the league. He is a confident veteran who is not afraid to take chances. The SaberCats have thrown the ball 608 times in 16 games.

5. Cleveland Gladiators

Veteran Raymond Philyaw is the heart and soul of a good Cleveland offense, and his efficiency and decision-making are excellent. He threw 83 touchdowns with 10 interceptions for a QB rating of 124.5, second best in the league. While he lacks a true franchise receiver, he spread the ball around well and his receivers continue to improve.

6. Chicago Rush

The Rush started the season with aging veteran Sherdrick Bonner, but when they shifted to Russ Michna their offense dramatically improved. Michna has thrown only seven interceptions in 349 pass attempts and his mobility allows him to avoid pressure and create better red-zone options.

7. Dallas Desperados

Clint Dolezel missed several games around midseason with a shoulder injury, but backup Chris Sanders played well in his place. Dolezel calls his own plays and is like a coach on the field. Nobody does a better job of setting up defenses and exploiting matchups.

8. New York Dragons

When healthy, Aaron Garcia is one of the best QBs in the AFL. But his durability has become a big factor for the Dragons and they are not the same team when he is not in the lineup. He has 78 TDs with only nine interceptions. When he gets hot, he can put up for big numbers in a hurry.

9. Orlando Predators

Shane Stafford has posted good numbers, but coach Jay Gruden has changed QBs several times and it doesn't always look like a stable position. Stafford has thrown 81 TDs, but his QB rating and efficiency is not as good as you would expect.

10. Colorado Crush

John Dutton is having his best season. His 681 pass attempts was tops in the league and he threw for 94 TDs, but he also has 17 interceptions for a so-so 109.1 QB rating. For all of his great statistics, Dutton doesn't play with great consistency, week in and week out.

11. Grand Rapids Rampage

James MacPherson became the starter during the season and has done a nice job of running an innovative offense. His 87 TDs are impressive, as well as is his 119.3 QB rating. He still makes an occasional bad read, but he is getting better each week with seeing the entire field.

12. Arizona Rattlers

The Rattlers played musical chairs at QB for most of the season, alternating Lang Campbell and Jeff Smoker before settling with Matt Sauk late in the season. He responded with 21 TD passes and only five interceptions for a 107.2 QB rating. His composure is good for an inexperienced guy, but he did struggle in the past couple of weeks.

Gary Horton, a pro scout for Scouts Inc., has been a football talent evaluator for more than 30 years. He spent 10 years in the NFL and 10 years at the college level before launching a private scouting firm called The War Room.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.

ALSO SEE