Philadelphia Eagles logoPhiladelphia Eagles

NFL Rankings: Starting Quarterbacks in the Best Positions in the NFL

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2011

NFL Rankings: Starting Quarterbacks in the Best Positions in the NFL

1 of 33

    This is not a ranking of quarterbacks.

    This list was compiled by taking into account the quality of each team's running backs (including fullbacks), offensive linemen, tight ends and wide receivers.

    It's purpose is to find the offense that is most quarterback friendly. No. 32 on the list is the offense that a quarterback would last want to be running while No. 1 is the offense in which every quarterback wants to be under center.

    Here is a list of the most quarterback friendly offenses in the league.

     

    Serial tweeting about NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Soccer and Rugby    @Cianaf

    I also write for Irish Central and Fantasy Football Life.

32. Ryan Fitzpatrick-Buffalo Bills

2 of 33

    The Buffalo Bills have some strong runners, but every team in the league has talent at running back.

    The Bills drastically need offensive line help, especially at tackle but haven't done anything to improve in the area either in the draft or free agency.

    Fred Jackson may be a powerful runner and CJ Spiller could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson for all he likes, neither player will do much behind that line.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will need to use his mobility as the real weakness of the offensive line is at tackle.

    With Brad Smith, Lee Evans and Steve Johnson at receiver the Bills at least do have some threats on the outside but it's a matter of whether any quarterback could get them the ball from behind that line.

31. Andy Dalton-Cincinnati Bengals

3 of 33

    I have a suspicion Bruce Gradkowski could see some time as the starter in Cincinnati next year. Jay Gruden is running a West Coast offense however which suits Dalton.

    Cedric Benson is an okay running back that will be running behind a decent offensive line. Andrew Whitworth in particular is a star but they really need Andre Smith to live up to his billing...and contract!

    AJ Green looks like a star in the making but nonetheless remains a rookie. He and Jerome Simpson will be looking to make some big plays next year as Simpson showed some flashes towards the end of last season.

    Jordan Shipley will be looking to emerge as a slot receiver while Andre Caldwell rounds out the group.

    Jermaine Gresham could see a lot more passes coming his way next year and will need to prove that he can be a big player for the team.

    The Bengals have quite a bit of talent but the group as a whole has proven nothing to this point.

30. Matt Hasselbeck-Tennessee Titans

4 of 33

    The Titans offense is in a bit of trouble from what I can tell.

    Kenny Britt is a star, but who knows where his head is and how long until he gets suspended. Nate Washington is an okay deep threat while Justin Gage appears a shadow of his former self in recent times. Mar Mariani and Lavelle Hawkins haven't proven to be starting caliber receivers to this point.

    Chris Johnson is probably right to be holding out. Without him this offense is potentially the worst in the league for a quarterback. The offensive line in front of him isn't horrible but it's not good either. Jared Cook is being relied on to make plays from tight end as Bo Scaife has left through free agency.

    Even with Johnson this group won't be a great team to end Matt Hasselbeck's career, and definitely not to start Jake Locker's.

29. Jason Campbell-Oakland Raiders

5 of 33

    Darren McFadden had a great year last year but the loss of Robert Gallery and Tom Cable could have an adverse affect on his fortunes for this year.

    He is definitely a talented player with the potential to be a game changer but it seems like the Raiders will take a significant hit with losing Gallery that could subsequently affect him. Gallery wasn't a good tackle but he certainly was suited to being a guard.

    The team had reportedly signed Jared Gaither to play left tackle but instead appear to be stuck with Jared Veldheer manning the position. Veldheer was solid as a rookie but is still developing in his second year. Daniel Loper will replace Gallery, he also impressed last year but is essentially a rookie still and hasn't proven himself as a long-term starter (he hasn't had the chance at least).

    The Raiders signed Kevin Boss but that in my mind is a downgrade from Zach Miller. Boss may help the running game more but not significantly. He definitely isn't as good a receiver as Miller.

    Pass catchers in Oakland are difficult to judge because the group blatantly has a lot of talent and just hasn't put it together to this point. Jacoby Ford exploded last year on special teams but despite some big plays on offense he is essentially unproven. Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey have to have breakout seasons this year or they'll likely never live up to their promise.

28. Kyle Orton-Denver Broncos

6 of 33

    The Broncos quarterback may not even be Orton but at this point it looks like it is.

    Willis McGahee arrived in the off-season to try to beef up the running game but I doubt he is the answer. McGahee was good last season in Baltimore but the offenses are very different. He will not do well out of the shotgun.

    The starter—Knowshon Moreno—is one of those guys I reluctantly have to be down on. He's obviously got a lot of talent but whether it be injuries or simply inconsistency he hasn't lived up to expectations.

    A lot of the Broncos' problems running the ball could be reflective of their offensive line also. Ryan Clady is a star but Ryan Harris has left for Philadelphia and the interior of the line isn't impressive running the ball.

    The Broncos have a lot of talent at receiver and were happy enough to trade Jabarr Gaffney to Washington. For the most part those receivers are unproven though and Demaryius Thomas—last year's first round pick—is trying to come back from two serious injuries.

    Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal will be looked to a lot next year but unless the others—Eric Deker also—step up then not even Tim Tebow will save them. Being that these guys are Josh McDaniels draft choices, the signs aren't promising.

27. Kevin Kolb-Arizona Cardinals

7 of 33

    Larry Fitzgerald is the first thing you think of when you think of the Arizona Cardinals. Truth be told that's because there's not a huge amount else left in Arizona.

    Early Doucet and Andre Roberts have replaced Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston playing next to Fitzgerald while Todd Heap has arrived to presumably see out his career in the sunshine of the desert.

    While I do like Heap still, I do not like him when he's the second best receiver on the team. He should be a complementary guy but will likely see a lot of passes going his way.

    With the inexperienced Kevin Kolb and two high draft choices at running back—Chris Wells and Ryan Williams—you can expect to see a lot of running in Arizona next year. Williams is a rookie while Wells hasn't done anything to win anyone over during his short career marred by injuries.

    The expected change to a run first offense is probably a good thing considering the state of the offensive line in front of Kolb.

    Kolb will need to be an elite quarterback if he has any chance with this franchise. Larry Fitzgerald may have to carry this team in the way Calvin Johnson did for a few years in Detroit.

26. David Garrard-Jacksonville Jaguars

8 of 33

    The Jaguars will always be a run first team with Maurice Jones-Drew in the team.

    Jones-Drew runs behind an incredibly good run blocking group of linemen. In what is a passing generation, Ebben Britton and Eugene Monroe are very young underrated tackles as they specialize in mauling the opposition.

    Rashad Jennings is a very good back who's only problem is the fact that Jones-Drew plays ahead of him. The duo allow the Jaguars to run the ball as much as possible.

    That's a good thing too...

    They need to also as Kasim Osgood and Mike Thomas are the only proven receivers on the roster. Osgood is more of a special teams player while Thomas doesn't have the physical size to be a No 1 corner. Rookie Cecil Shorts will be asked to play a lot early.

    The Jaguars best receiver is tight end Marcedes Lewis who is unbelievably talented and dangerous as a redzone threat but still remains a tight end.

     Without an outside threat this offense will remain one dimensional.

25. Josh Freeman-Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9 of 33

    Josh Freeman looks like a potential MVP candidate in 2011 however his offense is not elite just yet.

    Donald Penn is a stud at left tackle and the return of Jeremy Trueblood and Davin Joseph gives them a strong group to blow out potential tacklers and protect their passer.

    LeGarrete Blount broke out in his rookie season but the loss of Carnell Williams to the backfield could be felt next year.

    Kellen Winslow is a veteran tight end but remains a good option for Freeman but the team really needs another wide receiver to step up.

    Mike Williams was a stud during his rookie year and the team will be hoping Arrelious Benn can produce in his second year and establish himself across from him. Sammie Stroughter made little impact last year and both player caught less passes than Carnell Williams last year.

    Josh Freeman specializes in winning football games, with a lesser quarterback at the helm the Buccaneers wouldn't be winning that many.

24. John Beck-Washington Redskins

10 of 33

    The Redskins made a lot of good offseason moves on both sides of the football.

    Tim Hightower and Ryan Torrain should see plenty of work this year. Both players are more than serviceable and could put up big numbers in Mike Shanahan's offense.

    Pass protection shouldn't be a major worry as Trent Williams now has a season under his belt and Jammal Brown is returning.

    The Redskins don't have one standout receiver this year after relying so heavily on Santana Moss last year. Moss is very good but not a top tier player, his supporting cast should relieve a lot of the pressure on him to perform however.

    Leonard Hankerson was drafted while Anthony Armstrong was already with the team. The additions of Dante' Stallworth and Jabarr Gaffney round out a good but not great group.

    With Chris Cooley also available to catch passes, John Beck—or Rex Grossman—will at least have a chance to perform next year even if most of us have written him off.

23. Jay Cutler-Chicago Bears

11 of 33

    A Mike Martz run offense generally means all bets are off.

    The offensive line is in desperate need of an upgrade and Gabe Carimi is not going to solve all of their problems.

    Greg Olsen was severely underused so won't really be missed after heading to Carolina but the team really missed out on landing that top tier receiver that they desperately needed.

    Roy Williams was signed to the roster from the Cowboys but he isn't consistent enough or simply good enough to really allow the other talented receivers to prosper. Johnny Knox is an above average second receiver while Devin Hester can be dangerous in the right situations and Earl Bennet is a reliable but not spectacular option.

    Matt Forte had a big year last season as he is a dynamic back who can both run hard and catch a lot of passes. Forte is a huge piece of the offense and he has a lot of talent but without a better offensive line he will never truly prosper.

    The lack of an elite receiver and better offensive line really holds this team back.

    For all the abuse Jay Cutler got at the end of last season, very few other quarterbacks would have survived the regular season with that offensive line in front of him.

22. Donovan McNabb-Minnesota Vikings

12 of 33

    I still have a lot of faith in McNabb, but I feel like he's moved from the worst offense in the league to only a slightly better one this season.

    Yes Adrian Peterson is a stud running back—best in the league when he holds onto the football like last season—but the offensive line is weak and Percy Harvin will face double teams on every single play next year.

    McNabb will look to Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph a lot but with the projected starters of Charlie Johnson—who nearly got Peyton Manning killed last year—and Phil Loadholt, he probably won't even have time to throw a five yard curl.

21. Colt McCoy-Cleveland Browns

13 of 33

    The Browns offense will be interesting next season as they transition to a WCO with Colt McCoy.

    The right side of the offensive line is definitely a question mark but the rest is stellar led by Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.

    Peyton Hillis caught everyone's attention last year while Montario Hardesty will provide a boost returning from injury. Rookie Owen Marecic should be intriguing as he is considered the perfect back for a shotgun offense. Being a rookie he cannot be considered as much but he could be a huge player in Cleveland.

    While the Browns have a great offensive line and strong running game, there is little to get excited for if you're Colt McCoy.

    Ben Watson is the team's best tight end which is saying something. He's not a bad player but hes better suited as being a very good second option.

    Mohammed Massquoi was the only consistent receiver in Cleveland last year and it's maybe a stretch to call him that. Much like their division rivals Bengals and Ravens, the Browns are hoping for youngsters to step up on the outside. Brian Robiskie and rookie Greg Little in particular.

    They can't keep running the wildcat with Josh Cribbs forever.

20. Eli Manning-New York Giants

14 of 33

    At the start of the offseason this was projected as one of the best offenses in the league, but have suffered key loss after key loss since then. Their receiving corp was one of the best before losing Steve Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Hakeem Nicks looks set to become an elite receiver this year while Mario Manningham is very difficult to match up to.

    The Giants didn't have a huge amount of cap room and the loss of Shaun O'Hara will hurt. David Bass will need to anchor the offensive line that at least returned Ahmad Bradshaw to a familiar role

    Unfortunately things don't get much better from here as Ahmad Bradshaw is an overrated back that can't hold onto the football while the team has no proven tight end.

    Eli Manning did not have as bad a year as the statistics say last year as many of his interceptions were throws he had to make as well as tipped balls. Next year, doesn't look too promising right now.

19. Alex Smith-San Francisco 49ers

15 of 33

    The 49ers have only been missing strong quarterback play from dominating the NFC West over the past few years.

    The group of receivers are difficult to judge because they haven't been getting quality service but Josh Morgan and Michael Crabtree definitely have talent while Braylon Edwards is a proven commodity.

    Frank Gore not holding out is huge as he is one of the more punishing runners in the league. He runs behind a very good offensive line also that features strength both on the outside and the interior despite David Bass leaving.

    The 49ers finish off with a physically intimidating and endlessly talented tight end in Vernon Davis. Davis had seven touchdowns and led the team in receptions last year. His potential will only be reached with an improvement in the passer whether that be Smith or Kaepernick.

    Delanie Walker is also relevant at tight end. He is somewhat of a Brad Smith type for the 49ers as he does a myriad of things and does most well.

    All this potential will remain untapped however until a proper quarterback takes over so they can only be ranked so high.

18. Joe Flacco-Baltimore Ravens

16 of 33

    The Baltimore Ravens receiving corp has a total of one player with an NFL reception. Anquan Boldin is the only relevant player with any sort of experience at this level.

    Torrey Smith will be under pressure to perform instantly while Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta will be asked to step up in their second seasons to replace Todd Heap.

    Flacco lost both of his favorite targets throughout his career in Heap and Derrick Mason. He will really need to step up if this team's passing game can be good enough to complement it's greatest talent—running back Ray Rice.

    Rice received a big boost with the addition of Vonta Leach and the re-signing of Marshal Yanda. Ricky Williams should provide good cover and play the Willis McGahee role but the Ravens will be hoping for Jah Reid to step up as a rookie to improve their offensive line.

    Rice needs a huge year for this offense to go anywhere. I'm not totally sure how much of an improvement Vonta Leach is over the departed LeRon McClain as both are all-pro talents.

17. Philip Rivers-San Diego Chargers

17 of 33

    This is the slide I've been looking forward to the most. Philip Rivers could take guys off the street and make them NFL players.

    Vincent Jackson's return to the Chargers will be huge. Malcolm Floyd's will be also even if not to as great an extent. The problem with the Chargers is, Darren Sproles had the most receptions on the team last year.

    The receiving corp is good but without Rivers under center, it'd probably be pretty average. Patrick Crayton is a reliable player and a few of the younger players could emerge but until they do, this receiving corp is simply not that good.

    The pair of tight ends that get on the field for San Diego are outstanding however. Randy McMichael may mostly be a blocker these days but Antonio Gates more than makes up for that. In this article I said Jason Witten is best or second best in the league, depending on your opinion on him, this is the other guy.

    Even if the Chargers had the best receiving corp in the league, Gates would still be the best receiver on the team. He is rightfully a lock for the Hall of Fame and still playing to that level.

    I was a huge Ryan Mathews fan coming out of college...not so much anymore. He didn't look right physically and he didn't show enough flashes last year to encourage me. Mike Tolbert is their best runner in my mind at the moment and he's reliable but Jerome Harrison—who is the most recent back signed in free agency—probably offers more to the Lions than Tolbert does to the Chargers.

    Jordan Todman should be involved also but in comparison to other backfields across the league there isn't much going on in San Diego.

16. Mark Sanchez-New York Jets

18 of 33

    Last season the Jets would have been very close to the top of this list. However this year they have dropped off.

    Re-signing Santonio Holmes was crucial but Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards haven't been sufficiently replaced while Brad Smith hasn't been at all.

    Cotchery is a better player than Derrick Mason at this stage in his career while Plaxico Burress could take a year to get back to his old form which—if you check the numbers—was never close to being elite.

    With another year on LaDainian Tomlinson's tires, Shonn Greene will need to have a big season for the Jets running game to impress once again.

    While Dustin Keller is a fantastic tight end, he will not provide big plays down the field. This means that Santonio Holmes is the only major threat to opposing defenses deep.

    The offensive line remains reliable but is no longer the outstanding group it once was as Wayne Hunter will need to prove himself on the outside.

15. Cam Newton-Carolina Panthers

19 of 33

    Very few rookies land in good spots when they are a quarterback and the first overall pick.

    Cam Newton however will have a legitimate shot at putting up big numbers this coming year. There are two things a young quarterback loves.

    A strong tight end is one of them. The Panthers have two in Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen.

    The other is a running game to rely on. The Panthers re-signed DeAngelo Williams which means they now have three running backs that could be starting on other teams full time. Jonathan Stewart's only problem is staying healthy while Mike Goodson proved last season he could carry the load.

    Those three abrasive runners behind an offensive line that has at least three stars on it in Ryan Kalil, Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah is a fantastic unit by anyone's standards. The Panthers have a perfect play action offense with their two tight ends who will make their two tight end set very difficult to matchup to.

    That perfect play action offense is rounded off by the fact they kept Steve Smith. Smith can still go deep and come up with huge plays. What is holding this offense back is the need for one of their younger receivers to step up. Whether it be David Gettis, the newly acquired Legudu Nannee, Armanti Edwards or Brandon LaFell. Somebody has to become a legitimate threat across from Smith.

14. Matt Ryan-Atlanta Falcons

20 of 33

    There is a lot of hype surrounding the Falcons offense.

    Julio Jones came at a big cost but that doesn't guarantee that he will put this offense over the top. I doubt that it will as Jones' best comparison in the NFL is Roddy White. This normally wouldn't be a problem but neither player can repeatedly stretch the field and threaten deep—multiple scouts have said Jones doesn't play to his forty time at the combine.

    Defenses will be able to play a smaller field against the Falcons and tighten the throwing windows. This is essentially what happened to the Bengals last season.

    Tony Gonzalez at this point in his career is not the hall of famer he once was.

    Michael Turner may be an abrasive runner but he is very limited as a dynamic player coming out of the backfield. Jason Snelling could see more snaps than he did last year which wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

    The offensive line should be consistent with last season despite the loss of Harvey Dahl.

13. Matthew Stafford-Detroit Lions

21 of 33

    There is a lot of talk about protecting Matthew Stafford in Detroit. Most of that blame falls on left tackle Jeff Backus but Backus is actually a pretty good pass protector.

    The Lions recently lost Mikel Leshoure but brought in Mike Bell and Jerome Harrison to pound the ball. Harrison is a good player that was harshly benched in Cleveland before not getting many chances in Philadelphia. He could be a major fantasy sleeper as Jahvid Best isn't built to carry the load.

    Brandon Pettigrew had a good second season last year and should continue to improve next year. He and Tony Scheffler are very reliable receivers and give the team good depth at the position.

    Calvin Johnson is undoubtedly an elite receiver and Nate Burleson should do better this year than he did in his first in Detroit.  Bringing in Titus Young from Boise State in the draft has made an offense that once relied totally on Calvin Johnson into a dynamic and versatile group.

    The loss of Leshoure will undoubtedly hurt but this is a good group overall.

12. Tarvaris Jackson-Seattle Seahawks

22 of 33

    The Seattle Seahawks offense is very good but will obviously only go as far as Jackson can take them.

    With Russell Okung protecting his blindside, new blood along the offensive line and the addition of Sidney Rice and Zach Miller, Jackson will have every chance to succeed next year.

    With Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett looking to provide a strong running game also, this offense could explode with even a solid showing from the former Vikings.

    The unit may not have a huge amount of depth at receiver past Rice but his arrival should aid Golden Tate's development to be a better possession receiver. Having two quality tight ends will allow them to overcome any receiver problems as well as run a potentially great play action set.

11. Sam Bradford-St. Louis Rams

23 of 33

    Things have gotten a lot better for Sam Bradford this year. Josh McDaniels may have been a terrible head coach but back in his role as an offensive coordinator—as he did for that 2007 Patriots offense—should restore his pride.

    McDaniels will put Danny Amendola in the best possible position to become the next Wes Welker while the addition of Mike Sims-Walker and return of Donnie Avery gives the team a very strong receiving corp. Which is a major difference to a position that was a weakness last year.

    The Rams lack a star tight end but drafted Lance Kendricks to play a role that will likely be reduced by the depth at receiver created by rookies Greg Salas and Austin Pettis.

    The Rams will repeatedly spread the field but have the offensive line to do so as Jason Brown and Harvey Dahl man the interior with Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold holding down the outside.

    Of course Bradford's best friend remains Stephen Jackson. Jackson used to be the team's only weapon, now he's not so much an afterthought as the punishing back that will probably benefit from being in a balanced offense as well as the depth provided by Carnell Williams and Jerious Norwood.

10. Tony Romo-Dallas Cowboys

24 of 33

    Tyron Smith was drafted this past year to help solve the offenses fatal flaw from last year. Smith won't be entrenched as the team's starter on the blindside just yet though as Doug Free has returned.

    DeMarco Murray has replaced Marion Barber as part of the three-headed monster rotating at running back. The problem is that monster isn't exactly scary. There is no doubt the three players have talent but they simply haven't shown it off enough in the NFL.

    Jason Witten is probably the team's best player overall as he is definitely in the top two tight ends in the whole league and arguably the best.

    Martellus Bennet is an above average second choice tight end while John Philips was impressing in preseason last year before a serious injury.

    Dez Byrant has all the talent to be the best receiver in the game, it's just a matter of him doing so after his injury at the end of last season. Miles Austin is still a very good possession receiver that will benefit from the return of Romo.

    Kevin Ogletree could actually be an improvement over Roy Williams as the third choice receiver.

9. Chad Henne-Miami Dolphins

25 of 33

    The Dolphins have a really good team, except maybe at the quarterback position.

    Jake Long is entrenched as arguably the best left tackle in the league and Mike Pouncey as well as Marc Columbo have been added to fortify the right hand side.

    Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush complement each other well as Thomas can punish the defense running behind that line before Bush comes in as a change of pace back.

    Bush could also see time at receiver but the Dolphins have plenty of those also. Brandon Marshall is worthy of being the highest paid receiver in the league even if there are one or two better while Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and rookie Edmund Gates give the team a good group at the position.

    Anthony Fasano may not be as much in demand this year but he remains a reliable target for Henne.

8. Tom Brady-New England Patriots

26 of 33

    The Pats have a strong offense but without Tom Brady it wouldn't be anywhere near to being the best in the league.

    The offensive line is strong in pass protection led by the play of Matt Light and Logan Mankins.

    There is a flurry of running backs including rookies Shane Vereen and Stephen Ridley to go along with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. None of those players are stars but they all play important roles with the team.

    The Patriots' receivers were made better by Chad Ochocinco but he isn't the star that the team needed. Ochocinco no longer has the speed to stretch the defense or take off big chunks of yardage with his feet but he does still run expert routes and will fit the Patriots offense perfectly. Wes Welker is a good receiver but wasn't the star last season as he had been in 2007.

    With Brandon Tate and Deion Branch rounding out the receivers, the Patriots are lucky to have their amazing group of tight ends.

    Aaron Hernandez is basically a wide receiver with incredible hands and the ability to make big plays while Rob Gronkowski is a two-way player that makes the defense very difficult to match up to.

7. Matt Cassel-Kansas City Chiefs

27 of 33

    The Kansas City Chiefs have made some very astute moves this offseason.

    Steve Breaston should give the team the perfect complement to deep threat Dwayne Bowe while Jonathan Baldwin gives them depth that they were severely lacking on the outside last year.

    With an improvement in Tony Moeaki Matt Cassel will have no excuses not to put up big numbers next year.

    The addition of LeRon McClain to the Chiefs' backfield is the definition of the rich getting richer. With Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles already destroying defenses as a duo, McClain can make them better and contribute with the football as well.

    This three headed monster has more talent than any other running back teammates in the whole league.

    The offensive line's performances shouldn't vary too much from last season despite the release of Brian Waters.

6. Ben Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh Steelers

28 of 33

    The Steelers biggest flaw has been their offensive line for quite sometime which is hindering the abundance of talent that the offense has on it.

    The line is not as bad as many make out as Roethlisberger's play style can overstate their ineptitude. With a more stereotypical passer, the team would have much less sacks.

    The offensive line is a good run blocking group however and tailback Rashard Mendenhall took advantage of that last season. Despite playing with no passing game at the start of the year Mendenhall still managed more than 1,000 yards even as defenses keyed in on him.

    He is one of the few feature backs left in the league today as he can run the ball so effectively and catch the ball out of the backfield.

    What really puts the Steelers this high up on the list is their receiving corp.

    Hines Ward's play hasn't deteriorated despite the numbers falling. The numbers fell last season as the talent around him grew. Mike Wallace has claimed the No. 1 spot because of his play not because of a decline in Ward's. Wallace is the second best deep threat in the league and his route running is underrated.

    Emmanuel Sanders is a matchup nightmare and crucial to the team's offense already which was evidenced before he got injured in the Super Bowl. Antonio Brown as the team's fourth choice is very elusive and looks like one of those player that can hit a home run from any position on the field.

    Heath Miller may be the most underrated tight end in the league as he is probably second only to Jason Witten as far as being balanced between a blocker and pass catcher.

5. Peyton Manning-Indianapolis Colts

29 of 33

    The Colts had two problems offensively last season. One was injuries which is something they can't realistically control. The other was the offensive line.

    They are looking to fix that problem with two rookies—Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana. As of today Castonzo is not listed as the starting left tackle but I'd be surprised if Jeff Linkenbach will really start ahead of him on opening day.

    No matter the growing pains the Colts' offensive line can't be much worse than it was last year. Even without a good offensive line this team still has an abundance of talent around Peyton Manning.

    With Reggie Wayne being such a technician his age should not be a factor for another few seasons while a healthy Austin Collie is one of the better possession receivers in the league. With Pierre Garcon being inconsistent but still making plays and potentially Anthony Gonzalez lasting longer than two games per season, the Colts receiving corps could be one of the best groups in the league.

    Even so the Colts know that Dallas Clark won't be slowing down anytime soon. While he is listed as a tight end, it's rare to see him blocking. Clark is Manning's favorite target for good reason and he tends to suck the ball into his grasp if it is thrown anywhere near his vicinity. Last season they proved they had depth at the position after he went down also.

    The running backs may not be abrasive violent runners but they are very good receivers and serve their roles within the offense. Joseph Addai and Donald Brown were both first round picks and could show off that talent with an improvement in front of them.

4. Matt Schaub-Houston Texans

30 of 33

    The Texans offense is only a step up at receiver away from being elite.

    With Arian Foster breaking out last season and the continued success of the Texans' passing attack, it was once again a strong year. Matt Schaub is very good but the pieces around him are also.

    Andre Johnson is unquestionably the best receiver in football while Owen Daniels was a star in the making before his knee injuries. The team has a lot of faith that he is healthy now after giving him a big deal this offseason.

    Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones are good but not great receivers. They are definitely respectable as second and third choice options.

    With the strength in the backfield still viable this should be one of the most balanced offenses in the league. The loss of Vonta Leach was softened with the addition of Lawrence Vickers while the offensive line is one of the best in the league.

    Ben Tate should improve the running game even further while Derrick Ward returns to give them another option. Steve Slaton may not see the field much but it says something when he is the fourth best option on the team.

    There's a reason there were very few changes made to this offense this year.

3. Aaron Rodgers-Green Bay Packers

31 of 33

    The Packers will receive a big boost in the return of Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley.

    Grant should bring more balance to the offense and Finley gives Aaron Rodgers a huge target both literally and talent wise.

    Outside of Josh Sitton, the Packers offensive line isn't stellar which was reflected by the fact their last two first round draft choices were offensive tackles.

    The return of James Jones and the addition of Randall Cobb should help the Packers cover if Donald Driver finally drops his level of play. If he doesn't the Packers go five deep without even including Finley.

    Greg Jennings is a star, there are very few better receivers than he is and Jordy Nelson brings a level of consistency as he proved last year he was capable of being a starter in the league.

    If Grant returns to his pre-injury form this offense will be scary. However the Packers' offensive line has many of it's flaws covered by Rodgers' elusiveness and athletic ability. Should Peyton Manning or Tom Brady be in the pocket in Green Bay this offense may not be as effective.

2. Drew Brees-New Orleans Saints

32 of 33

    Brees is lauded for his attitude in never forcing the ball to one receiver. He is able to do this because he is part of one of the most talented offenses in the league.

    The receiving corp has been the best in the league in recent times and the return of Lance Moore should keep them close to that.

    Moore, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem are all very good and all offer different qualities without many flaws.

    The Saints group of running backs is second only to the Kansas City Chiefs group in my mind but they do have the added advantage of having four players who can contribute.

    Pierre Thomas should be the starter but Mark Ingram will give them explosion as well as a violent runner to punish defenses with. Chris Ivory proved last season that he can be a starter in this league while Darren Sproles gives them a strong third down option.

    Jimmy Graham stepping into a starting role should be an improvement over the cut Jeremy Shockey. Graham is more athletic and a better receiver than Shockey at this stage in his career. He showed that in his short time as a starter last year.

    The Saints added Olin Kreutz who should prosper between Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans.

    Drew Brees has all that talent as well as an offensive expert calling and designing his plays in Sean Payton.

1. Michael Vick-Philadelphia Eagles

33 of 33

    I was so and so on whether the Eagles would top this poll until halfway through writing the article, they signed Steve Smith.

    While most hear the name Steve Smith and think Panthers, this Steve Smith is the one from the Giants and is a better fit. Smith is essentially a better version of Jason Avant and will fit with the team's other receivers perfectly once he returns from injury.

    With the best deep threat in the league—DeSean Jackson—and one of the best technicians at the position in the league in Jeremy Maclin. They now have a mixture of stars and depth at the position.

    With Brent Celek providing a reliable safety net for Michael Vick and a much improved offensive line after the additions of Danny Watkins and Ryan Harris on the right hand side.

    LeSean McCoy looks like emerging as one of the best backs in the league, the only threat to that being if he gets lost among the others on offense. McCoy has Ronnie Brown backing him up who could easily start elsewhere as well as Dion Lewis.

    This is the most talented offense in the league, it's simply scary to think that they also get to have one of the most talented quarterbacks running it.

     

    Serial tweeting about NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Soccer and Rugby    @Cianaf

    I also write for Irish Central and Fantasy Football Life.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices