Jay Cutler: The Next Great NFL Quarterback

Ruru RurururulandContributor IJune 17, 2008

There won't be any cheesy lines about sugar (diabetes) or body building (see YouTube). 

I'm here to tell you that Jay Cutler is going to be the next great quarterback. But don't just take my word for it.

ESPN did a piece about six months ago where they contacted some of the league's directors of personnel, general managers, and scouts. Cutler was the only player considered special in the up-coming crop of quarterbacks.

Mike Martz is on record of saying Jay Cutler has a chance to be better than Peyton Manning

So, why doesn't he get the hype? Well, let's face it; Denver is not a major market. You could certainly counter and say that neither are Phoenix or Tennessee. But we both know the kind of college careers Leinart and Young had, which obviously casts a large shadow on the little-known accomplishments of Cutler at Vanderbilt.  

Now, I may not have been following football since the times of Baugh, Unitas, Starr, or Tarkenton, but I do claim a substantial amount of knowledge about the game and its history, and I offer this in its context: Since Steve Young, there has not been a more complete, young quarterback in a better situation.  

Go down the list of all the great quarterbacks and you'll find their innate flaws.  Marino had limited mobility. Montana was not the best physical specimen in comparison to the greats. Elway had a tendency to hold and scramble rather than make plays from pocket. Brady has his physical limitations, and Manning is wild under pressure and not the best athlete outside of the pocket.

Cutler is not hindered by any noticeable flaws. His decision-making ability for his age is well above average, which is evidenced by his low interception percentage.  Cutler has elite arm strength. He is particularly impressive on the run, throwing across his body and the field. 

He has outstanding touch up to 30 and 40 yards downfield. He is a very good athlete. His 4.7 forty does not represent his game-speed. He has ran ahead of Selvin Young to make blocks, and he can still occasionally run the option at this level. 

He is not "Big" Ben Roethlisberger, but he is very difficult to bring down with his size and strength. He is very tough, takes hits, and talks smack. This is where you get the Favre comparisons.

He has an Elway-like swagger and confidence. He is a student of the game by all accounts. He's very studious and learns quickly on the field. He has been exceptionally clutch, only failing twice to not score in a game-tying or game winning-situation in the final half of the fourth quarter.

He already has eight fourth-quarter, game-tying or game-winning drives, and he would have had two more if not for dropped fourth-down passes. By all measures, he took the leadership role in his second year. 

He is immersed in a QB-friendly offense, with one the league's most explosive up-and-coming receivers. 

I dare to say that by the end of 2008, Cutler will be considered a top-five player at his position.