5 Most Overrated Starting Quarterbacks Currently in the NFL

Brandon CroceAnalyst IAugust 18, 2012

5 Most Overrated Starting Quarterbacks Currently in the NFL

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    The quarterback position is the most visible and scrutinized position in football and rightfully so. They have to lead the offense from calling the play in the huddle to the audibles at the line. Not to mention, they touch the ball nearly every play on offense either handing the ball off on a run play to finding the open receivers.

    So, it would make sense that they generally get the most attention on a team, by fans and media alike, both good and bad. The problem is that some quarterbacks get too much credit for their team's successes. These are the top five quarterbacks who are are the most overrated quarterbacks in the NFL.

5. Carson Palmer

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    Carson Palmer looked like he would be an elite quarterback in the NFL coming out of USC, and that is why the Cincinnati Bengals made him the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. Now while he is not a bust on the same level as say JaMarcus Russell, he didn't live up to expectations.

    In eight seasons with the Bengals, he only led them to the playoffs twice. Both times were one and done, although in fairness, in his first playoff game, he only threw one pass before going down with a serious knee injury thanks to Kimo von Oelhoffen.

    Palmer did put up some impressive numbers in terms of passing yards during the regular season, but also had 20 or more turnovers in four out of eight seasons. With all this said, the Bengals still somehow got a first- and second-round pick last season for the quarterback in a trade with the Raiders who was sitting out the whole season.

    Palmer went on to play in nine games for the Raiders, finishing 4-5 as the starting quarterback, and the Raiders just missed out on the playoffs.

4. Tony Romo

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    With all the talent around Tony Romo, how does he only have one playoff win? Terrell Owens, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray have all at one time or currently are a weapon at Romo's disposal.

    Romo has been pretty good in the regular season, throwing for over 4,000 yards three times and over 25 touchdowns four times since the 2006 season.

    However, he looks like a different quarterback in the playoffs and seems to lose his confidence. He is currently 1-3 in playoff games and has never thrown for over 250 yards in a playoff game and thrown more than one touchdown only once.

    For him to be legitimately one of the top quarterbacks in the game, he needs to get over this hump and have a great game or two in the playoffs.

3. Jay Cutler

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    When the Chicago Bears traded for Jay Cutler after the 2008 season, they traded away Kyle Orton and two first-round picks and a third-round pick, thinking they were getting an elite quarterback. The problem with Cutler and the reason he is very overrated is that he doesn't protect the ball well enough.

    In the four seasons that he has played 15 or more games, he has 20 or more turnovers each season. In 2009 alone, he threw 26 interceptions, his first season with the Bears. He has never had a quarterback rating higher than 90, in either Denver or Chicago, and seen his yardage drop over the past two seasons.

    Cutler's best season came in 2008 with Denver when he had Brandon Marshall as his No. 1 wide receiver. Marshall is back with Cutler, this time in Chicago, and Cutler will need to have a bounce-back year because the biggest excuse was that he didn't have a quality wide receiver to throw the ball to.

2. Mark Sanchez

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    How could I put a guy who is 4-2 in playoff games in his first two seasons in the league on this list? That is easy. It's because Sanchez didn't throw for over 200 yards in any of those wins and just had to manage the games. The New York Jets were built perfectly for the playoffs those seasons because they had a top defense and a top running game.

    Mark Sanchez was just along for the ride and was not asked to win games for them. Last year, the defense and running game were not at the same level as years past, and more pressure fell on Sanchez who could not rise to the challenge. He did throw 26 touchdowns which is pretty good but saw his turnovers jump to over 20 and the Jets miss the playoffs.

    For his career, he averages only 195.9 passing yards per game and has 55 touchdowns to 63 turnovers. Sanchez did sign an extension this offseason, but saw his team make a surprising trade for another overrated quarterback in Tim Tebow. This is the year that Sanchez needs to make the transition from game manager to game-changer.

1. Michael Vick

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    Michael Vick is one of the most athletic people to ever play the game of football. He is electrifying, and at any moment, could break off a 40-yard run before defenses knew what happened.

    However, in terms of being a quarterback, he is the most overrated player at the position currently in the NFL. Watching Vick play, I believe he still struggles reading defenses, after being in the league for nine seasons, and I can't remember a time when he audibled at the line to a play other than a QB draw.

    Before coming to the NFL, he was physically more gifted than the people he was playing against and could rely entirely on his athletic ability. It seemed like he didn't take the other key components of being a quarterback seriously, like studying opponent's defenses.

    In 2010, Vick started to show that ability of being a passing quarterback first and using his ability to run as a second option, but has regressed back to his old habits. The problem is that as he gets older, he has become more injury-prone.

    For Vick to get to that next level, which he can, he needs to rely more on his arm in 2012 and trust his weapons around him to make plays. Until that happens, he will still be a human highlight reel and exciting to watch, but grossly overrated.