NFL Football: Ranking the 5 Best Active NFL QBs from California

Eli Nachmany@EliNachmanyCorrespondent IIIDecember 25, 2011

NFL Football: Ranking the 5 Best Active NFL QBs from California

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    California is a hotbed for talent in any sport, feeding the pipeline of future baseball all-stars, basketball champions and football Hall of Famers.

    The quarterback position is one that California has down to a science, with high schools like Mission Viejo and Mater Dei, as well as colleges like USC, Cal and Stanford.

    This list pays ode to the top five quarterbacks in the NFL that are from California (e.g. if Andrew Luck was in the NFL right now, he still couldn't make the list because he was born in Texas, even though he went to college in Cali).

    Anyway, here are the five best quarterbacks from California, possibly the best quarterback state.

Honorable Mention: Matt Cassel

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    We like, but don't love Matt Cassel.

    He's played in one playoff game and was clearly overmatched, while also not being able to win games without feature back Jamaal Charles this year.

    Now injured, Cassel's stock is pretty low and he misses this list, but I felt the need to at least give him some credence on it.

5. Mark Sanchez

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    He may not put up great numbers or make great decisions with the football, but he's a gamer and a winner, so he finds a spot on this list.

    Sanchez has moxie and a will to succeed, an important trait for an NFL quarterback on a playoff team.

    This New York Jet was a top player at USC and is now a signal-caller in the Big Apple. He's also made two playoff appearances in his first two years, which is extraordinary.

4. Carson Palmer

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    Just when everyone thought that it was over for Carson Palmer, he found a gig back home in California with the Oakland Raiders.

    Palmer has always been a top-flight quarterback, but he's never posted fantastic numbers or led his team deep in the playoffs, two considerations for this list, so he takes a hit.

    The No. 1 overall pick a few years ago, Palmer went to aforementioned Mission Viejo High School and starred at USC for a time.

3. Tony Romo

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    Bear with me here, but Tony Romo is technically a 'California-born quarterback.'

    When his father was on assignment in the US Naval base in San Diego, California, Tony Romo was born. Though the family moved back to Wisconsin, Romo's birthplace will forever be California.

    From playing at a Division I-AA college, Romo has become the starting quarterback of a perennial playoff contender, the Dallas Cowboys. He's set records and become No. 3 all-time in passing efficieny and No. 4 in yards-per-attempt.

2. Aaron Rodgers

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    Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback, and since growing up in Chico, Calfornia, this signal-caller has worked as hard as anyone to become an NFL Super Bowl champion field general.

    Rodgers went to a junior college until he could finally play Division I football at Cal, showing his dedication and patience.

    Now, No. 12 is the quarterback of the reigning Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, and he is the probable MVP for the 2011 season.

1. Tom Brady

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    If you've never watched 'The Brady Six', I recommend you go to YouTube and look it up after you finish this slide.

    Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo, California, and wanted to be just like his favorite player, Joe Montana.

    He wanted nothing more than to be drafted by the 49ers, but they passed on him and what a mistake it was. He has three Super Bowl trophies, countless playoff appearances and the single-season touchdown record.