The Top 10 Backup Quarterbacks in the NFL

Sean O'Neil@snoneilSenior Analyst ISeptember 4, 2011

The Top 10 Backup Quarterbacks in the NFL

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    Football fans always seem to be talking about who are the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

    But what happens when a team's play caller goes down with an injury? The Matt Cassel answer for the New England Patriots in 2008 is not common among all NFL teams.

    This is my list of the NFL's top 10 backup quarterbacks. The guys who need to step into the biggest role on the field at a second's notice.

Honorable Mentions

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    All six of the guys that I have listed here have the potential to be great quarterbacks someday.

    But for now they are all too young to tell if they are going to be great starting or backup quarterbacks, so they land on the honorable mention list.

    Tyrod Taylor - Baltimore Ravens

    Jake Locker - Tennessee Titans

    Blaine Gabbert - Jacksonville Jaguars

    Christian Ponder - Minnesota Vikings

    Ryan Mallett - New England Patriots

    Dennis Dixon - Pittsburgh Steelers 

10.) Brett Favre*

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    Brett Favre is not currently on a NFL team, but by no means does that mean that we will not be seeing him on the field this year.

    I could definitely see a team like the Washington Redskins or the Buffalo Bills employing his services for 2011.

9.) Brian Hoyer

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    Brian Hoyer showed this preseason that he is a very capable backup quarterback.

    After seeing what the Patriots did with Matt Cassel, and how they groomed him into a starting NFL quarterback, I think New England has done the same with Hoyer.

    He would be able to take on Tom Brady's role if necessary and he could definitely be potential trade bait in the future. 

8.) David Carr

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    David Carr was just named as the official backup for the New York Giants.

    If Eli Manning were to ever go down, the Giants would be in trouble, but it is nice to know that a veteran QB such as Carr is waiting to get into the pocket if necessary.

7.) Tim Tebow

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    Tim Tebow may have lost the starting job for the Denver Broncos to Kyle Orton, but last season Tebow proved that he is perfectly capable of running the team's offense.

    His ability to run and throw the ball has made him a valuable asset and should Orton falter or get injured, it will be Tebow's show.

6.) Tyler Thigpen

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    It would not surprise me if Tyler Thigpen gets the starting job for the Buffalo Bills at some point this season. 

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is the current starter but Thigpen is easily just as worthy of the job. In 2008 with the Kansas City Chiefs, Thigpen threw for 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while rushing for an additional three touchdowns.

    Thigpen is definitely a reliable backup.

5.) Matt Flynn

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    When Aaron Rodgers went down due to injury during the 2010 season, it was Matt Flynn who came in as the Green Bay Packers' replacement at QB.

    Rodgers is without a doubt the star of the Packers and they desperately need him, but if I was a Green Bay fan I would definitely feel comfortable with Flynn distributing the football if he is needed.

4.) Vince Young

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    Vince Young has been given another chance with the Philadelphia Eagles as the backup to Michael Vick.

    Everyone has their doubts about Young, but last season when he played in nine games the quarterback had 10 touchdowns against only three interceptions for a QB rating of 98.6.

    Vince Young can still play football, and if Vick gets hurt this season I bet that Young will surprise a lot of people with his play as the backup.

3.) Derek Anderson

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    The Carolina Panthers have both Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen, but Derek Anderson in the most experienced quarterback of the three.

    Both Newton and Clausen are young and inexperienced, and Anderson could get some quality snaps this year if either of them aren't ready to run an offense in 2011.

2.) Jon Kitna

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    Jon Kitna is no stranger to the backup quarterback role.

    Kitna filled in for Tony Romo last year for the Dallas Cowboys when Romo went down with an injury and performed admirably. Kitna's experience will be valuable to the Cowboys if Romo were to get injured again.

1.) Kerry Collins

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    Kerry Collins has been manning the offense for Tennessee the last few seasons while Vince Young tried to sort out his personal issues.

    He may be old, but he has proven that he can still throw the ball. Unfortunately for the Colts, he may have to start week one of the season in place of the injured Peyton Manning

    No Colts fan wants to hear this, but if there was one guy that the Colts could have replaced Manning with, Kerry Collins was the guy they needed.


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