NFL Power Rankings: 10 Quarterbacks Who Are Lucky to Be Starters
In an attempt to educate the masses, I created a list of the 10 quarterbacks who were lucky to start in the NFL last year according to depth charts at the time of this article.
Much to my chagrin and utter amazement, people bashed me.
Here's a link to last year's list, or you can take a quick look at last year's list below:
- Jake Delhomme: People actually defended this guy.
- Kyle Orton: I was wrong. I admit it. He played well.
- Trent Edwards: That was too easy.
- Jay Cutler: It was only a matter of time until his true colors shined in the NFC Championship. He nearly landed on the list again, but the other quarterbacks were just too bad.
- Matt Moore: Layup.
- Matt Cassel: I was off on this one, too.
- Jason Campbell: I had everyone upset about this selection. Fortunately there are others more deserving this year, but he is still lucky.
- Matt Hasselbeck: He's back again.
- Matt Leinart: His loyalists looked foolish
- Sam Bradford: I thought he should have started the season on the bench. As it turns out, he was ready and I was wrong.
Once again, the NFL has enough bad signal callers to easily make a list of 10. In fact, I could have stretched this one out to about 13.
Those who just missed out include: Tarvaris Jackson, Jason Campbell and Jay Cutler.
No. 10: Kevin Kolb
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Kevin Kolb could be the next Aaron Rodgers, or he could be the next Heath Shuler.
The only thing we know for sure is how lucky he got.
The Philadelphia Eagles went into the offseason knowing Michael Vick was their starter. They also knew he is prone to injury and will probably miss a game or two this year.
This made Kolb incredibly valuable to the Eagles as a backup and they were not willing to part with their backup unless a deal came along that was too good to pass up.
Such a deal came along when the Arizona Cardinals offered the Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick.
The deal allowed Kolb to get his shot at quarterback without having to look over his shoulder.
Most of the players on this list landed here because of how bad they are. In the case of Kolb he lands here purely because of how fortunate he was for a trade to go in his favor.
No. 9: Donovan McNabb
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Donovan McNabb can thank the rookie class of 2011 quarterbacks for a starting job.
There isn't one quarterback from this year's draft ready to start in the NFL and it opened up some jobs for players like McNabb.
I'm sure he still has something left in the tank and I agree with everyone when they say he got a raw deal in Washington. But if Minnesota drafted someone who could actually play with the 12th overall pick instead of taking Christian Ponder, McNabb would be wearing that earpiece to start the season.
Speaking of quarterbacks who benefit from a poor draft class...
No. 8: Matt Hasselbeck
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
I'm not sure why Tennessee brought in Matt Hasselbeck.
They can hide Jake Locker all they want. It's just a matter of time until he steps on the field and screws things up just like he did at the University of Washington.
In the meantime we can strike up Music City Miracle II when Hasselbeck completes a pass for more than 30 yards, avoids getting picked off twice in the same game and manages to walk off the field in one piece.
Hasselbeck wasn't good enough to start for the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks who decided to bring in Tarvaris Jackson as his replacement.
At that point there's nothing else you need to know.
Well, maybe I'll toss in his 34 picks over the last two years.
No. 7: Tim Tebow
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
What would Jesus do?
I'm pretty sure Christ would start Kyle Orton.
In Orton's last two years he threw for 7,455 yards and 41 touchdowns against 21 picks.
For whatever reason John Fox thinks it's a good idea to start Tim Tebow after the Broncos beat the Raiders and Chargers at the end of the year.
Why not let Tebow ride the pine, wave to the fans, give the media a couple great inspirational quotes and learn how to play the position before he ruins the season before September ends?
He panics, doesn't try to find someone other than his primary target and ultimately decides to tuck the ball and run.
If Orton is still on the Broncos' roster I say he's at least starting after the bye week in an attempt to salvage the season.
No. 6: Chad Henne
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
If Kyle Orton does get traded he's likely to replace Chad Henne.
Can someone tell me what Henne does well?
He managed to take a great talent like Brandon Marshall and break his string of three consecutive seasons of compiling at least 100 catches and 1,100 receiving yards.
His performance was so awful at times it caused Tony Sparano to give starts to Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen.
This year Henne should feel safe staying on the field considering Matt Moore, Pat Devlin and Tom Brandstater will be pushing him.
Yes, that is Moore who stunk up the joint in Carolina; Pat Devline, the undrafted rookie free agent who transferred from Penn State to Delaware; and I don't know who Brandstater is.
Please don't tell me, either, because I don't want to know.
No. 5: David Garrard
Al Bello/Getty Images
People think David Garrard is a solid quarterback because he doesn't turn the ball over.
I'm here to tell you he's a coward.
When was the last time Garrard threw a ball downfield? The guy dinks and dunks the ball all day long, which cuts down on his interceptions, but also prevents him from leading his team to wins down the stretch.
Spare me the comments about Garrard's Hail Mary last year, but if you need to hang your hat on a lucky play I guess that's what you have to do.
Garrard showed his inability to take shots down the field and it showed by averaging 195 passing yards per game.
He will have a couple 300-plus passing yard games with two or three touchdowns followed by a game when he throws a couple picks and passes for less than 50 yards.
I'm sure Garrard isn't measured by stats because he just wins. Well, his stellar 39-37 record also suggests he loses.
What comes first: a home sellout for the Jaguars or Garrard throwing for at least 300 yards?
No. 4: Alex Smith
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Jim Harbaugh is going to make plenty of decisions causing fans to wonder if he was hit too many times during his 14-year NFL career.
The first one came when he didn't threaten someone after Alex Smith signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the 49ers.
Not only did the 49ers bring back a proven bust, but they overpaid for him.
It's hard to imagine another franchise giving Smith a chance to start in 2010 after racking up a 19-31 record in San Francisco. The most telling for teams around the league came when his hometown fans began to boo Smith and chant for David Carr to take his place.
The most telling stat connected to Smith is his 10-11 record against division rivals.
In case you are completely oblivious, Smith plays in the worst division in the NFL.
I think it can be left at that.
No. 3: Andy Dalton
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
Oh, hey, it's the next Joker in the Batman movies.
If you didn't know any better, you would think this guy was a model for JCPenny showing off a custom double-zero jersey for the Bengals.
Sadly, this is Andy Dalton.
Oh, you aren't familiar? How about TCU? Does that ring a bell?
Well, he's the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Now that you know who he is, you're going to love to hear how it came about.
Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown is hated so much by Carson Palmer that he decided it would be better to retire than ever play again for his franchise. That tells you how bad things are in the Queen City.
You would think Dalton's picture would go Mona Lisa on us and appear to no longer be smiling.
I guess when you back into a starting job, you show off those pearly whites until Bruce Gradkowski comes in to right the ship.
No. 2: Cam Newton
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Let's go over the chain of events that led Cam Newton to Carolina and to the top of its depth chart.
Andrew Luck was projected to go off the draft board as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 NFL draft. For a reason no one can completely understand, Luck decided to return to Stanford for his redshirt junior season.
Over in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers butchered their quarterback situation so bad they had no choice but to take a quarterback with the first pick.
I don't know how the Panthers did it, but they managed to fill their quarterback depth chart with unproven or underachieving stiffs. Most teams would have a journeyman veteran on the roster who could play a couple games and mentor a young quarterback.
They went through the season with Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Brian St. Pierre, Tony Pike, Armanti Edwards and Brandon LaFell.
The only veteran quarterback who has any experience is Derek Anderson. Yes, it's that bad.
The new rookie contract limitations established in the new collective bargaining agreement prevented Carolina from spending a boat load on Newton and will bring about an interesting dilemma when Newton is a bust: Should they draft Luck?
No. 1: John Beck
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Mike Shanahan has two Super Bowls.
I've never been to a Super Bowl.
Mike Shanahan has 152 career wins in the NFL.
I can't win a game of Madden.
Mike Shanahan thinks it's a good idea to start John Beck.
I guess that whole argument when people say, "I played the game at the highest level, what do you know?" goes right out the door because I know he blows.
While Shanahan studied hours of game film with his assistants I casually watched Beck take a couple snaps in my boxers. Shanahan concluded it would be a good idea for him to start. I realized he's the luckiest quarterback to be a starter in the NFL.