In young QB market, Cutler hot, Eli Manning not
Among a group of 11 young quarterbacks, Denver's Jay Cutler is most likely to join Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the very elite class, Mike Sando writes.
- ESPN.com IllustrationGRAPHIC: From Anderson to Young, ESPN.com charts the progress of 11 young starting QBs.Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Dallas' Tony Romo impress with their ability to strike downfield after leaving the pocket.
Cincinnati's Carson Palmer dazzles with his arm strength and his ability to sniff out opposing defenses.Houston's Matt Schaub has a better feel for the pocket than most, while Jacksonville's David Garrard brings poise and a high football IQ to the quarterback position.
QB RATINGS Strong Buy: Analysts have a hard time seeing him failing. Reserved for those who possess the physical tools and intangibles to join the very elite. Buy: Should enjoy a long, productive career with Pro Bowls in his future. Minor limitations separate them from the highest rating. Hold: Has the potential to take the next step, but it's unclear how high his stock might rise. Underperform: The jury has returned its verdict, and the news isn't very good. Sell: Trade him now.
Jay Cutler, Broncos
Bullish: Exceptionally strong arm, good mobility and accuracy, calm under pressure. Showed toughness in returning quickly from painful leg injury.
Bearish: Like many hard throwers, trusts his arm strength too much at times.
2007 most yards per attempt Player YPA* Tom Brady 8.60 Tony Romo 8.58 Brett Favre 7.96 Jay Cutler 7.92 Peyton Manning 7.90 *minimum 100 attemptsGetty ImagesDallas QB Tony Romo, left, may not have the physical ability of Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, center, and Cincinnati's Carson Palmer, but his confidence makes him especially dangerous.
Tony Romo, Cowboys
Bullish: Accurate, mobile, able to strike downfield after leaving the pocket. Off-the-charts confidence and a strong supporting cast help him approach elite status.
Bearish: Lacks the raw physical attributes of other quarterbacks on this list, notably pure arm strength.
2007 TD passes 20 or more yards Player TDs Tony Romo 18 Tom Brady 14 Peyton Manning 12 Brett Favre 9 Derek Anderson 9
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Bullish: Size, arm strength and mobility make Roethlisberger extra dangerous when he leaves the pocket. Seems to be taking his craft more seriously following a career-threatening motorcycle accident.
Bearish: Struggles to read defenses at times. Takes too many sacks.
Most sacked since 2006 Player Sacked Jon Kitna 112 Ben Roethlisberger 84 Marc Bulger 78 J. P. Losman 61 Matt Hasselbeck 60
Carson Palmer, Bengals
Bullish: Accuracy, smarts and arm strength separate him from most others.
Bearish: Palmer wasn't particularly mobile before suffering a serious knee injury. He's no threat to run. Chronic organizational turmoil is a potential limiting factor.
2005 to present Year Comp. Pct. Sacks INT. 2007 65.2 17 17 2006 62.3 36 13 2005 67.8 19 12
David Garrard, Jaguars
Bullish: Possesses accuracy, arm strength and a strong feel for the position. Has the ability to scramble if needed, but has the mindset of a pocket passer.
Bearish: Lacks the weapons to maximize his potential.
Top passer rating in 2007 Player Rating Tom Brady 123.5 Tony Romo 107.7 David Garrard 103.3 Ben Roethlisberger 101.4
"As far as being able to make the throws, he can do all that," the NFC personnel director said. "And mentally, he is a quarterback; most people consider him to be a leader of men. He is a good runner, strong in the hips, but he thinks more like a conventional quarterback."
Matt Schaub, Texans
Bullish: Possesses a better feel for the pocket than most. Accurate, level-headed and mature.
Bearish: He's had trouble staying healthy despite limited starts. Schaub might be more of a "system" passer than other QBs in this story.
2007: Hot start, colder finish Sept. Since Sept.* W-L 2-2 2-5 Comp. pct. 74.0 60.8 Pass ypg 251.3 176.6 TD/INT 5-3 4-6 Rating 101.2 76.8 *Missed 2 games with injury
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Bullish: Seems to play his best under pressure. Good accuracy. Knows when to find his playmakers.
Bearish: Has thrown into coverage too frequently. Others have stronger arms.
2007 rankings Passer rating 78.9 18th INT 15 T-4th YPA 6.9 T-17th Comp. Pct. 59.6 29th
"He's an accurate guy, but I wasn't impressed with his arm strength," the secondary coach said. "I was more impressed with his leadership and the other things he does, more than being a pure quarterback.
"You watch him and he has a good feel for the game, he knows where to go with the ball and who needs to get the ball. Some guys don't get that. You see guys all the time, it's a critical situation and they throw to some guy who never had a catch. Part of being a good player and a good quarterback is getting the ball to right guys."
The Chargers acquired wide receiver Chris Chambers from Miami, but they could use more at the position.
"It seems like his lack of receivers has really caught up with him," the NFC scout said. "Teams are taking [Antonio] Gates away and they had [center] Nick Hardwick hurt for a while, so they couldn't run the ball as well."
Vince Young Titans
Bullish: Possesses rare playmaking ability. Has shown an ability to win in the clutch.
Bearish: Poor mechanics could affect his development as a pocket passer. Hasn't protected the ball well enough. Could use better receivers.
More INTs than TDs in 2007 Player INTs TDs Vince Young 16 7 Damon Huard 13 9 Brian Griese 12 10 Trent Dilfer 12 7
Jason Campbell, Redskins
Bullish: Appears to have a strong command of the huddle. Good physical skills.
Bearish: Still learning the offense.
Year-to-year 2006 2007 Comp. pct. 53.1 60.0 Rating 76.5 77.6 TD/INT 10-6 12-11 W-L 2-5 6-7
Derek Anderson, Browns
Bullish: Uncommon height helps him see the field well. Benefits from very good pass protection and solid options at the skill positions.
Bearish: Not particularly mobile.
Vs. Peyton Manning in 2007 Player TDs INTs Pass YDs Sacked D. Anderson 26 14 3247 11 P. Manning 27 13 3358 17
Eli Manning, Giants
ELI MANNING WATCH
Bullish: Strong arm, good size.
Bearish: Not particularly accurate. Not a natural leader.
Manning vs. other NFL QBs Year Passer rating NFL avg. 2004 55.5 82.8 2005 75.9 80.1 2006 77.0 80.4 2007 75.2 82.9 Credit: Elias Sports Bureau
Mike Sando covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
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HOT READ: QB WATCH
Where do Jay Cutler, left, and Eli Manning rank among the NFL's best young quarterbacks? In a special two-part Hot Read, ESPN.com examines the league's most important position.
Part 2• Sando: Cutler hot, Eli not in young QB market
• Graphic: QB growth stocks
• Hall of Famer Steve Young is bullish on...
• Keyshawn Johnson: I like Tony Romo!
Part 1• Scouts Inc.'s ranks quarterbacks 1-64
• ZOOM Gallery: Best 10 QBs in 2008 draft
• SportsNation: Rank NFL's starting QBs
QB field of 64
Now that Scouts Inc. has ranked the 64 top quarterbacks in the NFL, let's imagine if this were, say, an NCAA Tournament bracket (we'll skip the play-in game and office pools). How would each round shake out? Here are the "game by game" results, with the "higher seeds" advancing (pick your own upsets!).
First roundTom Brady (1) def. Jamie Martin (64)
Peyton Manning (2) def. David Carr (63)
Brett Favre (3) def. Patrick Ramsey (62)
Tony Romo (4) def. Anthony Wright (61)
Ben Roethlisberger (5) def. Ryan Fitzpatrick (60)
Carson Palmer (6) def. Dan Orlovsky (59)
Matt Hasselbeck (7) def. Matt Cassel (58)
Drew Brees (8) def. Cleo Lemon (57)
Donovan McNabb (9) def. Luke McCown (56)
David Garrard (10) def. John Beck (55)
Jay Cutler (11) def. Jim Sorgi (54)
Derek Anderson (12) def. Quinn Gray (53)
Marc Bulger (13) def. Seneca Wallace (52)
Jeff Garcia (14) def. Brad Johnson (51)
Vince Young (15) def. Kelly Holcomb (50)
Philip Rivers (16) def. Damon Huard (49)
Eli Manning (17) def. Todd Collins (48)
Jason Campbell (18) def. Brodie Croyle (47)
Jon Kitna (19) def. Charlie Batch (46)
Jake Delhomme (20) def. Trent Dilfer (45)
Kurt Warner (21) def. Gus Frerotte (44)
Matt Leinart (22) def. Sage Rosenfels (43)
Matt Schaub (23) def. A.J. Feeley (42)
Chad Pennington (24) def. Kerry Collins (41)
Rex Grossman (25) def. Byron Leftwich (40)
Tarvaris Jackson (26) def. Billy Volek (39)
Kellen Clemens (27) def. Joey Harrington (38)
Trent Edwards (28) def. Brady Quinn (37)
Alex Smith (29) def. JaMarcus Russell (36)
Aaron Rodgers (30) def. Brian Griese (35)
Steve McNair (31) def. J.P. Losman (34)
Daunte Culpepper (32) def. Kyle Boller (33)
Second roundBrady def. Culpepper
P. Manning def. McNair
Favre def. Rodgers
Romo def. Smith
Roethlisberger def. Edwards
Palmer def. Clemens
Hasselbeck def. Jackson
Brees def. Grossman
McNabb def. Pennington
Garrard def. Schaub
Cutler def. Leinart
Anderson def. Warner
Bulger def. Delhomme
Garcia def. Kitna
Young def. Campbell
Rivers def. E. Manning
Third roundBrady def. Rivers
P. Manning def. Young
Favre def. Garcia
Romo def. Bulger
Roethlisberger def. Anderson
Palmer def. Cutler
Hasselbeck def. Garrard Brees def. McNabb
QuarterfinalsBrady def. Brees
P. Manning def. Hasselbeck
Favre def. Palmer
Romo def. Roethlisberger
SemifinalsBrady def. Romo
P. Manning def. Favre
FinalBrady def. P. Manning
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