B/R NFL 1000: Ranking the Top 50 Quarterbacks from 2014

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterJune 1, 2015

B/R NFL 1000: Ranking the Top 50 Quarterbacks from 2014

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Who is the best quarterback in the NFL? Not based on the last 10 years or one game, but over the last year, who was the best? Good luck answering that one without starting a fight, right?

    Well, that's what the NFL 1000 aims to do by scouting, grading and then ranking the best players at each position before putting them in order and breaking ties to come up with the top 1,000 players. No narratives, no fantasy football points, no "QBR"—this is cold-hard scouting.

    You can find rankings for all other positions on our B/R NFL 1000 main page.

    The B/R 1000 metric is based heavily on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance for a possible best score of 100.

    Potential is not taken into consideration. Nor are career accomplishments.

    Quarterbacks are judged on short accuracy (20 points), deep accuracy (20), arm strength (20), decision-making (20), mechanics (10), mobility (5) and their value as a starter or backup (5).

    In the case of ties, our team asked, "Which player would I rather have on my team?" and set the rankings accordingly.

    Subjective? Yes. But ties are no fun.

    Each player was scouted by me and a team of experienced evaluators (Dan Bazal, Cian Fahey, Dan Hope, Marshal Miller, Justis Mosqueda) with these key criteria in mind. The following scouting reports and grades are the work of months of film study from our team. 

    All statistics from Pro Football Focus. Players' heights, weights and seasons played from NFL.com.

50. Brandon Weeden, Dallas Cowboys

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    12/20

    Brandon Weeden (6'3", 228 lbs, three seasons) saw virtually all of his time in 2014 in one start with the Cowboys. In that one game, in a new system, he was a bit streaky, and he wasn't nearly as efficient as Tony Romo's season average. Missing some casual passes, the 31-year-old still has some cleaning up to do.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    Though a relatively small sample of throws to judge on, only 25 percent of his deep passes fell on target. Visiting the range fairly often, he was able to hit on two throws of over 40 yards in 2014. He does just enough to save face for his misses.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    One reason for Weeden going in the first round coming out of Oklahoma State was his gun. Able to send velocity shots anywhere on the field, it's still one of Weeden's strengths.

    Decision-Making

    10/20

    Coming from the Big 12, his transition to NFL coverages has been hard. He doesn't quite look the same facing a multitude of defenses, looking lost for drives at a time.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    His mechanics are solid, just a little slower than expected. There's little wasted motion, only time being the factor.

    Mobility

    2/5

    He's a passer who is limited to the pocket. He might be able to slide past edge-rushers, but he's not breaking the pocket for big gains.

    Starter

    2/5

    Weeden didn't work out in Cleveland as the starter, instead moving to Dallas to replace Kyle Orton in the backup slot behind Romo. Coming in for one start while Romo's health issues sprung up, he looked much like he did in his previous years for the Browns. His streaky accuracy catches him up, but his arm is good enough to run any book in the league without adjustment. He should have a backup role locked up for seasons to come, but expecting him to compete for a starting job seems out of the question at this point.

    Overall

    66/100

49. EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    12/20

    EJ Manuel (6'4", 237 lbs, two seasons) consistently overthrows receivers in all areas of the field. Maybe due to the tweaking of his mechanics, he hasn't been able to throw a consistently catchable ball.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    Despite throwing 131 passes, Manuel only completed one pass of 40 or more yards. Lacking control of his deep ball, he needs to work on his long placement.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    His arm is one reason why Buffalo took him in the first round. A tools player, he's essentially got everything you want an elite quarterback to have on paper.

    Decision-Making

    11/20

    When the Bills moved on from Manuel in-season, Kyle Orton, who had just joined the team after spending 2013 in Dallas, showed he functioned much better in the offense. Mentally, Manuel needs an overall tune-up, speeding up everything from his trigger to his eyes.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    Too often he throws off his plant foot, fading away from the pocket. With his size, Manuel should be able to step up, withstanding a hit or two throughout the way.

    Mobility

    4/5

    As a runner, he's not dissimilar to a Cam Newton. He's big, thick and fast, which only a handful of quarterbacks can say they are. An absolute mobile threat, Manuel on the run typically means good results.

    Starter

    3/5

    After having a first-round pick invested in him, Manuel hasn't quite lived up to the hype. He's still got potential and is young, but his inaccurate passing keeps him from being the top dog. Still worth the effort to fix up, he's got enough promise to stick with in his second year in the league. A project second-stringer, he needs to progress a couple of steps to keep his foot in the NFL for much longer.

    Overall

    66/100

48. Charlie Whitehurst, Tennessee Titans

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    14/20

    Over the five starts Charlie Whitehurst (6'5", 226 lbs, nine seasons) had with the Titans, you saw glimpses of Philip Rivers in the passer. Waiting and taking the easy, open shots is how he completed most of his passes. When the defense forced more difficult shots, his numbers began to drop.

    Deep Accuracy

    12/20

    Whitehurst isn't going to wow anyone with his ability to attack downfield. Only completing two deep balls over the season, he showed us why he's better coming off the bench than being a game-to-game starter.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    His arm strength is standard. It's not good, but it's not terrible either. He does enough within the first 20 or so yards to keep an offense going, but the farther he has to throw, the more air gets under the ball.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    For a game-manager type, his 56.8 completion percentage is pretty poor. He's too aggressive at times, needing to stay in that "take what the defense gives me" mode all game long.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    Whitehurst's feet are fine, but his throwing motion continues to be too long. Tightening up that motion can help him throw better-timed balls and avoid sacks.

    Mobility

    3/5

    On the move, he may break a tackle, but he's not running for 25 yards. In the pocket, he's fairly mobile, and he can do some damage on a rollout.

    Starter

    2/5

    A longtime backup in the league, Whitehurst continued to play that role for most of the season with the Tennessee Titans. Judging by his season's work, he should stay in that role due to multiple inconsistencies that led to a low completion percentage. As a second quarterback, he can hold his weight, but he should be an insurance policy, not a lead man.

    Overall

    67/100

47. Geno Smith, New York Jets

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    Geno Smith (6'3", 221 lbs, two seasons) does an OK job at taking what the defense gives him in the short range. Having played his college ball at West Virginia, he's had plenty of time running a system that needed good placement on those near throws. When the intermediate game comes along, that's when his touch can be off.

    Deep Accuracy

    12/20

    His deep throws seem to land anywhere and everywhere. A bit of a loose cannon, he only connected on seven throws of 40 or more yards, despite quarterbacking for most of the season.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    From the line of scrimmage to about 15 yards out, Smith does a good job of creating a high-velocity throw. After that, you see the rope arching more and more.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    Smith spends the second-most time in the pocket per pass in the league at 3.1 seconds. Staying calm is a good trait to have, but he looks unconscious for stretches, taking much too long to go from read to read and being way too content with taking a sack.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    Smith's footwork progressed as the season went on, but when going through his throwing motion, he's struggled a bit. Too often he fires off a pass unbalanced or off his back foot.

    Mobility

    4/5

    He can run but isn't a zone-read type. Smith has enough long speed to "get" a defense, but his build isn't one that can withstand hits on a game-to-game basis. He does a fairly solid job at moving within the pocket too.

    Starter

    3/5

    In his second season as a pro, Smith essentially repeated his rookie-season performance. He waits too long on reads, standing in the pocket with no urgency. That's a gift and a curse for some quarterbacks, but he tends to stick to first reads for too long, opening himself up for a sack. He may still compete for a starting gig in New York next season, as he ended the season on a high note, but he needs to speed up his entire process as a quarterback to stick around much longer.

    Overall

    69/100

46. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    13/20

    Christian Ponder (6'2", 229 lbs, four seasons) has been a scattershot passer since coming into the league in 2011. At times it's difficult for him to throw accurately on routine passes by NFL standards.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    Ponder threw no completions of over 20 yards in 2014. Overall, he's not the quarterback you want on a long down-and-distance due to his lack of touch.

    Arm Strength

    14/20

    His arm isn't one that stands out at this level. He can do enough to match up well with a solid run game, but if the game is on his shoulders, teams will win more often than not on 3rd-and-long.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    For some reason, Ponder is very aggressive with where he wants to go with the ball. In 2014, this reflected on the stat sheet. He only completed half of his passes, and nearly 5 percent of his throws went to defenders.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    From a mechanical standpoint, Ponder does a lot of things well. He has a smooth drop, and his footwork is solid.

    Mobility

    3/5

    His largest asset just might be his feet. Without that big arm or mental edge, taking off and running could be the biggest weapon in his arsenal. He's good enough to scamper for a first down every once in awhile.

    Starter

    3/5

    Ponder was the reason the Vikings moved on to Matt Cassel to start the season, eventually transitioning to Teddy Bridgewater, a first-round pick. After "busting" as the Vikings' top selection coming out of Florida State, Ponder's future role seems set. He's an athletic passer who is otherwise limited, making him a fit only in the West Coast offense. Without the top-shelf potential, it's hard to imagine he gets more than a solid two-deep spot.

    Overall

    69/100

45. Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    Throwing well into space, Colt McCoy (6'1", 215 lbs, five seasons) can stay calm and run underneath options if the defense dictates so. When forced to place the ball into smaller windows, though, his inaccuracy begins to show.

    Deep Accuracy

    11/20

    As a deep thrower, McCoy doesn't excite. He's been able to hit on some passes, four of over 40 yards and 12 of over 20, but his misses are wide misses.

    Arm Strength

    14/20

    No one is going to tell you McCoy has a strong arm. When throwing the deep ball, he vaults the ball up as high as can be and then watches the deep arc drop downfield. In the NFL, more "rope throws" need to be made than McCoy allows for.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    In 2014, he has the highest sack percentage of anyone registering more than 150 snaps. Despite throwing an average interception percentage, McCoy's mental flaws show up in his progression, where he stays too long waiting for options to open up.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    Everything about McCoy is quick. His feet chop in rhythm you'd like to see from a veteran passer. The one issue here is his slightly elongated throwing motion.

    Mobility

    3/5

    McCoy is a bounce-around type as a mobile threat. He can move around the pocket with the best of them, dodging potential sackers, but he's not a grass eater on the perimeter.

    Starter

    3/5

    Bouncing around the league in recent years, McCoy can run a West Coast offense off the bench. His issue is keeping consistent play, but in a pinch, he's a solid No. 2 option. He probably shouldn't get a shot to compete for an opening but would be good depth behind a proven starter.

    Overall

    69/100

44. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns

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    Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    14/20

    Johnny Manziel (6'0", 210 lbs, one season) entered the season with a year's worth of speculation about how his NFL career would go under his belt. After only a few games, it seems like Browns fans may have already turned on the 22nd overall pick. His inconsistency in the short game, missing open targets, largely contributed to this.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    Though a small sample size, Manziel only threw the deep ball accurately on 25 percent of his passes, a substandard rate for a professional. If he's going to stick in the league, he needs to work on his touch.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Manziel can zip a pass off one foot when his receiver is near the line of scrimmage, and he can get the deep ball off fine, but he's far from a strong-armed passer. About league average, Manziel's positive mark in this area comes at wrist velocity, where he can flick a ball with the best of them.

    Decision-Making

    11/20

    In 2014, he took 38 dropbacks. On 21 occasions, he was either sacked, or the ball hit the turf. That cannot happen to an NFL quarterback. Manziel was a first-year player with only a small sample to work off of, but those 38 plays give him a road map on where he needs to improve.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    Manziel is too swayed by pressure. At any sign of a defender crossing his face, he'll take steps back to find space rather than step up in the pocket. His improv style of play also leads him to throw off his back foot, which contributed to his poor play.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Manziel is elusive, but he isn't large and doesn't have the long speed to rip off long runs at this level. He does more than average work when escaping, but he can't rely on his legs as much as he did in college.

    Starter

    4/5

    One of the most talked about college players of all time, Manziel came into the league as a bang of excitement but played with a whimper. Looking unready for the pro game at this point, his improv style of play didn't work in his limited time in 2014. He still has the same skill set and potential he left Texas A&M with, but he now needs to build on those attributes, becoming a more complete player.

    Overall

    69/100

43. Logan Thomas, Arizona Cardinals

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    11/20

    Logan Thomas (6'6", 250 lbs, one season) only played sparingly in 2014, even receiving a demotion from the starting role after being named the top passer the same week. On film, he showed the same issues he had in college: He's just not ready to go yet.

    Deep Accuracy

    16/20

    He only threw one deep ball in 2014, but based on that and his college film, there's some promise for him in a vertical offense. He has up-and-down touch, but the potential is clearly there.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    Thomas has an absolute cannon, throwing through a closed window on his one touchdown in 2014. If he can ever control that weapon, he'll prove well worth the fourth-rounder the Cardinals used on him.

    Decision-Making

    12/20

    He threw nine passes in 2014. Eight of them fell as incompletions, while another ill-advised throw was fired off into two closing defenders, but that pass went 81 yards for a score. Having that result on a poor throw, if he ever wises up with passes, can be dangerous.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    He faces a lot of the same issues most long quarterbacks face. He's got a skinny base when settled on long drops, and everything takes more time to get done. If he can shorten his motion and quicken up his feet, he'll do a lot of good for himself.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Based on his 40 time (4.54), you'd expect something similar to a Michael Vick, but Thomas is more of a Ben Roethlisberger type. On the move he's tough to bring down because of his size, and his game is survival, not creation, with his feet.

    Starter

    3/5

    Known to be a raw talent, Thomas looked as advertised in 2014. In limited snaps, Thomas showed off his strong arm and unlimited potential, but he also put his inconsistencies out to the world. He's not ready for live action right now, but in a few years, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he became a starting talent in the league. If he cleans up his game and works on the mental side more, he's on the right path.

    Overall

    70/100

42. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    14/20

    Taking Josh McCown (6'4", 213 lbs, 12 seasons) out of the Chicago Bears' system proved to be costly to the quarterback's public perception. He often missed receivers with scattershot accuracy in 2014, proving why the Bears moved on from the passer, instead choosing to lock up Jay Cutler.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    The area of McCown's game that didn't regress this past season was his deep throws. That being said, some of it might be attributed to Tampa Bay's tandem of long, speedy receivers. Still, his 28 completions of over 20 yards and six completions of 40 yards should be noted.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    His arm isn't great, but it's just over being worrisome. He can do enough to keep an offense moving, but he's not the passer you want on 3rd-and-long.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    McCown's decision-making split between the past two years is staggering. After only throwing one interception for the Bears, he threw three more interceptions than touchdowns with the Buccaneers. Parlaying that with a heavy increase in sacks and a 10 percent drop in completion percentage, it's safe to say he either regressed or was part of system inflation.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    McCown is a smooth passer for a majority of dropbacks. The one issue he has arises when he's given time in the pocket. Sitting and reading seems to make him jittery and uncomfortable, which might have to do with his offensive line's skill level.

    Mobility

    2/5

    He's a passer who can move around in the pocket, but he's not a running threat. His goal should be escaping a rush, not overcoming defenders in space.

    Starter

    3/5

    After McCown's efficient year with the Chicago Bears, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a shot on him in 2014. Spending most season in the starting lineup, he wasn't able to recreate the magic he displayed in Chicago, but he did enough to keep second-year quarterback Mike Glennon out of the game. McCown is probably best as a second option paired with a young, groomable talent.

    Overall

    70/100

41. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

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    Richard Lipski/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    Kirk Cousins (6'3", 202 lbs, three seasons) is efficient in the short game. He takes what the defense gives him most of the time but can't create passes that wow by any means.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    In the deep game, Cousins' biggest issue is overshooting intended targets. It only takes a handful of plays before a ball sails over someone's head.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    Cousins has the arm of someone who can limit an offense. Cousins can't fire off precise shots deep or in the intermediate level, but his arm can get it there eventually.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    One of his largest flaws is getting stuck on the first read. Slow to flip the switch to another read of his progression, if that first target isn't open, it could lead to a lot of trouble later on in a play.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Other than swaying from the pocket when facing pressure, he does a good job of executing how he was taught to throw a football.

    Mobility

    2/5

    His feet are on the fringe of limiting an offense. They're slow enough to keep him from being a run threat against any of the 31 other teams in the league, but they just pass the threshold to keep allowing him to throw on the move.

    Starter

    3/5

    Cousins was once talked about as a trade possibility for a team looking for a starter. At this point, that idea is a little out of reach, but he may still be in a position to work for his fair shot in an open competition. As a game manager, he takes a bit too many risks, putting his team in a predicament at times, but he's on the fringe of being young and talented enough to attempt to fix.

    Overall

    70/100

40. Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    14/20

    Chad Henne (6'3", 230 lbs, seven seasons) is just not consistent enough to hang your hat on for 16 games. Showing flashes of competency, he'll miss some inexcusable passes down the stretch of trust.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    The deep ball is one area Henne needs to get a handle on. He's got a gun, but if he doesn't aim it, it's not going to fire where he wants.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Henne's arm is slightly above average. He generates good zip on the ball in the short and intermediate ranges and has enough to spin it deep.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    Upstairs, Henne makes a lot of errors. On smash concepts, for example, he tends to consistently make the wrong read. After reps and reps of the same concept, he still takes the incorrect option.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    His feet positioning on his setup is fine, and his arm action is more than good. But when his feet are moving, they can get sloppy and cross. That's an area of the game that can be cleaned up and improve chemistry between his passing targets.

    Mobility

    2/5

    Henne's not going to outrun anyone. Not that tall statue type, Henne is still fairly limited to the pocket as a thrower. He might be able to shake a potential sacker, but that's as much positive action as you're getting out of him.

    Starter

    3/5

    Henne is a vertical passer who has a pretty wide range of game-to-game outcomes. At times, he looks manageable at quarterback, but when he misses clear reads, he doesn't look worth the effort of completely rebuilding. At his age (29), he's going to be a second-string quarterback who vertical offenses will seek.

    Overall

    70/100

39. Austin Davis, St. Louis Rams

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    14/20

    Austin Davis (6'2", 221 lbs, two seasons) is fairly efficient for a backup quarterback. At times, he shows the touch and anticipation needed to start in this league.

    Deep Accuracy

    12/20

    In eight starts (10 games), Davis only completed four deep balls in 2014. The statistics reflect the story here, as he struggles throwing downfield.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    Davis has an OK arm but not one that changes a game plan if he's coming off the bench. He can get it done in the intermediate and close range.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    When Austin is pressured, there's a significant split in his game. That's the sign of a young player but also one who wasn't ready for live bullets.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    At times he can look like a rookie, throwing off his back foot when he hears footsteps. Other than swaying from the pocket, he's generally fine.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Davis does more than enough with his legs. As a bit of a smaller passer, he's able to do more damage with his legs than one would expect. He's elusive to the point where he could be a factor for a defensive scheme.

    Starter

    3/5

    A surprising starter, Davis saw his first live reps in his career this past season. Still green, he showed some game-manager tendencies. At this point, he's more than likely a bench player but still a quality project for a quarterbacks coach to get his hands on.

    Overall

    70/100

38. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

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    James Kenney/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    12/20

    Jake Locker (6'3", 223 lbs, four seasons) is as inconsistent of a passer as they come. At times he'll find a way to fit a tight spiral into a small window, but in others he'll look like a high school quarterback against an all-star team. In 2014, unfortunately, there was more bad than good.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    Most of Locker's difficulties stem from his inability to test a defense in the back end. He only threw one completion of over 40 yards in 2014 and also threw more interceptions overall than touchdowns.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Locker's arm was thought to be elite when coming out of the University of Washington, but it's been just slightly above average. He obviously puts work into the weight room, but his arm doesn't quite get the zip deep as it does in the short and medium ranges.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    One of Locker's most obvious flaws is his tendency to pull and run at any sign of pressure. He probably pulls that trigger faster than anyone else in the league.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    Locker is fairly compact with his motion. One issue he has is folding over when throwing, which can happen with quarterbacks built at his size. He also can overemphasize how wide his base needs to be.

    Mobility

    4/5

    As a runner, he's a threat. Thick and agile, he'll drop a shoulder when needed. He doesn't have the discipline to throw much when he escapes the pocket, but he does more than enough for his game with his legs.

    Starter

    3/5

    After showing flashes of starting-caliber talent, the injury-prone Locker had one more chance to keep the starting job in Tennessee in 2014. When healthy, he was very up and down. Losing the job due to injury, it would appear Locker's days as a Titan are over. He's still young and toolsy enough to imagine in a head role, but his fit in the immediate future might be for a team that prefers legs in its second quarterback.

    Overall

    70/100

37. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles (6'5", 232 lbs, one season) third overall as a project quarterback, and that's what he looked like in 2014. He's shown flashes of great talent, but it's been masked in inconsistency.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    As in his short and intermediate game, Bortles is noted as an up-and-down thrower deep. He's put together nice stretches that make you want to believe, but when he misses, he misses big.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    Bortles was noted for slightly above average arm talent throughout the draft process, but when the bullets go flying, he tends to push the ball downfield, not spin it. Gripping the ball too tightly may cause this, which could be the case for Bortles' split.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    Running a spread system in college, it's not a surprise that the first-year player is struggling to come to grips in his rookie year. His extremely high interception ratio is a product of his aggressiveness.

    Mechanics

    5/10

    At times Bortles' lower body and upper body look disjointed. He will have his shoulders in the right spot, but his feet are parallel to the line of scrimmage. He plays with a slightly skinny base and has a longish motion. Overall, he needs to tighten up severely in this area.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Bortles has wheels and weight, which can cause defenders to struggle to bring him down in open space. His improv skills are solid too, making him a threat to throw on the run as well.

    Starter

    4/5

    The first quarterback off the board in the latest draft, Bortles wasn't ready to truly compete in 2014. Given snaps against live bullets, the theory is that Bortles will progress quicker. But at this point, he's a fringe starter at best, and that's due to his skill set, not polish.

    Overall

    71/100

36. Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    Derek Anderson (6'6", 230 lbs, 10 seasons) is solid on a down-to-down basis in the close range. His 67 percent overall completion percentage takes note of this, as he frequently went underneath on teams. The only aspect he lacks is the ability to time a ball to shield his receivers away from defenders, netting them extra yards after the catch.

    Deep Accuracy

    12/20

    Anderson completed only six passes of over 20 yards in 2014 and zero of over 40. As good as he is as a game manager, he's not a quarterback you can build around due to his lack of deep touch.

    Arm Strength

    19/20

    His arm is more than just decent. Replacing Cam Newton, who has a cannon, it didn't seem like the Panthers had to downgrade their playbook for Anderson's velocity. Continuing what Newton started, Anderson proved to be the perfect backup for the former first overall selection.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    He's good working through progressions and is generally fine working through first and second downs, but he can get on aggressive streaks. When on third down, he tends to force the ball past the first-down marker instead of tossing it underneath and giving his receiver a chance to make the first down himself.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    Most tall quarterbacks tend to have heavy feet connected to their long legs. Anderson is no different. If he's able to speed up his drop, the connection between him and his targets could bump up his deep throws.

    Mobility

    2/5

    Like his footwork, Anderson's mobility is fairly stereotypical of tall passers. He's a pocket guy and should be treated like so. Even as a big-bodied player, it's hard for him to slide sacks.

    Starter

    2/5

    When Newton entered the season recovering from an ankle injury, it was a possibility that Anderson would start at some point in 2014. Given the time, he looked more than capable of filling that starting role. Anderson has shown enough upside and efficiency to compete for another starting role down the line, like he had in Cleveland.

    Overall

    71/100

35. Matt Cassel, Buffalo Bills

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    Bill Haber/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    Matt Cassel (6'4", 228 lbs, 10 seasons) has proved over the years to have a feel for anticipating crossing patterns and holes in underneath zone defenses. At times, Cassel's placement is good enough to gain extra yards after the catch for his receivers.

    Deep Accuracy

    12/20

    As a deep thrower, Cassel still needs to get better. Too often he hangs passes, throwing a rainbow to a target down the sideline. Because of this, he only completed five passes of 20 or more yards in 2014 and none over 40.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    Cassel's arm is all right for a fringe starter. He's got enough "umph" to get a ball spinning into the intermediate range of the field, but the deep ball is where he struggles a bit.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    In 2014 he was a sub-60 percent passer who had more interceptions than touchdowns. Mental lapses in the medium- to long-range reads seemed to be the struggle, as he had more confidence in his ability than he should have.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Like the other USC quarterbacks in the NFL, he fares wells in mechanics. He's got a smooth drop, steps up in the pocket and doesn't let the pressure dictate where the ball goes. Speeding the process up a bit is the only thing one can knock him on.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Cassel has enough foot speed to shake a defender in the pocket but not enough to outrun him for a first down. He's good enough to buy time but not escape.

    Starter

    3/5

    Cassel is limited as a deep passer but can still get the ball moving on manageable down and distances. Not good enough to hold the starting job down from Teddy Bridgewater, it's not out of the question to consider the quarterback in another transition role, starting Cassel while the future of the franchise is groomed on the bench.

    Overall

    71/100

34. Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    Kyle Orton (6'4", 228 lbs, 10 seasons) isn't going to be mistaken for a franchise quarterback anytime soon, but he does enough to keep himself around as a fringe starter. Lacking anticipation at times, Orton can't connect on passes higher-level quarterbacks consider routine.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    His deep accuracy should be illustrated as a scatterplot measuring distance from a target. Lacking the right calibration, he missed over, under and laterally deep in 2014.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    Orton's arm is average. He pushes the ball downfield, lacking the zip you'd want in a true starter, but he has velocity on underneath throws.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    For all the years under Orton's belt, he should have a better feel for switching progressions quickly at this level. This leads to late decisions, which lead to late throws, which lead to defenders closing in on the ball or target, something all quarterbacks want to avoid.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Orton's feet are a little clunky, but he's otherwise well prepared from a mechanical standpoint. He does a solid job adjusting arm angles on the fly.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Orton is a limited athlete who doesn't limit an offense. Meaning, he can still run rollouts the book has designed, but he's never going to be looked at as an asset in that way.

    Starter

    3/5

    Retiring after the regular season, Orton won't be looking for a new job anytime soon, but if he were, he could still hold down a stopgap role for a while. Orton is good enough to keep an otherwise solid offense in a game, and you know what you're getting from him. If a team slows down reads for him, he generally will be able to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers.

    Overall

    72/100

33. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    One year after a Pro Bowl season under first-year head coach Chip Kelly, Nick Foles (6'6", 243 lbs, three seasons) missed eight games. Still putting out a solid sample size of a season, Foles continued to throw well into space, as designed by the offense. Passing balls in correct placement for receivers to run after the catch, he looked near the part of a potential Pro Bowler in the short- and mid-ranges.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    The deep ball was really a weakness for Foles in 2014. For someone who faces a lot of man-on-man coverage deep, his inability to pinpoint passes has to haunt the Eagles. Many projected a regression from Foles' 2013 statistics, but it's unlikely anyone saw his yards per attempt dropping by over two full yards.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    Foles has an OK arm, firing off throws in the near game but floating the ball the farther it gets downfield. For a player who played in an open system in college and a very open system in the pro level, he knows how to manage his limitations well.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    In his second year under Kelly, Eagles fans wanted Foles to take the next step, not statistically, but on film, to thrust himself into the sphere of elite quarterbacks. Instead, without DeSean Jackson, he looked a bit lost. Unable to keep up with his previous year's statistics, he also regressed in identifying open receivers.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Other than his improv arm ability, there's really nothing to complain about Foles. His upper and lower body seem a bit disjointed when on the move, but as a traditional passer, he looks fine.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Foles' legs aren't great, but they're enough to keep Kelly running with them. The former Arizona passer does more than enough on the move throwing and carrying the ball to not doubt his mobility.

    Starter

    3/5

    Though facing injury, Foles had an OK 2014. After a tremendous 2013 campaign, many expected a regression but not to this extent. Missing easy throws in an "always open" system, his prospects for the future begin to rise as a concern. At this point, Foles deserves a shot to battle for a starting role, but he shouldn't be handed one uncontested.

    Overall

    72/100

32. Michael Vick, New York Jets

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    12/20

    Michael Vick (6'0", 215 lbs, 14 seasons) plays the quarterback position very frantically. For that reason, utilizing him in a controlled, precise, patient scheme isn't his ideal fit. Missing many windows while on the move, Vick needs an offense worked around his skills, or it'll sputter.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    The best way to describe Vick's deep touch is "variance." He'll place some balls right on the money and then send the next ball 10 yards off his man.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    Vick came into the league with tremendous potential because he was essentially a cannon on a race car in college. His arm has dropped a bit over the past dozen or so years, but the zip can still be found in the short, intermediate and deep areas.

    Decision-Making

    15/20

    In 2014 Vick completed 52.9 percent of his passes, threw only one fewer interception than touchdowns and managed to get sacked 19 times on 140 dropbacks. With a quarterback rating of under 70 points, his level of poor decision-making reached new levels in 2014.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    He has a smooth drop, but once he hits that last step, it could go any way. He could fling the ball sidearmed off one foot, in the air or stumbling on the run. In a controlled environment, he does well, but given the opportunity to make the field his backyard, he'll take it every time.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Once by far the fastest quarterback in the league, Vick's speed has dropped after more than a decade in the NFL. Still a more than threatening function of his game, his ability to scramble off the bench proves his value as a backup.

    Starter

    3/5

    After exhausting his time in Philadelphia, Vick moved to New York in 2014. There isn't a throw he can't make, and armed with his legs, he's a true dual threat. That being said, his inconsistent play is what keeps him on the bench. Still a viable asset as a second quarterback due to his running ability, his starting days are now behind him.

    Overall

    73/100

31. Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    14/20

    Mike Glennon (6'6", 225 lbs, two seasons) has a slightly high release, which causes some missed balls. In the intermediate game, he misses some balls to the inside, while in the short game, he tends to overshoot to the boundary.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    Glennon's deep game isn't poor. Given time, he can get the ball to a position where the receiver can make the play. Keeping the ball away from a spot where a defensive back can make the play is the real struggle with him.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    One would probably think Glennon has a giant arm because of his height, but he's got just a slightly above average arm. There's nothing that's going to wow you about it, but it can make every throw in the book.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    Mentally, it would seem he regressed a bit in 2014. It could be the new system, but his interception percentage went up, and his completion percentage went down compared to last year's numbers. That isn't what you want to hear about a fringe starter in his second season.

    Mechanics

    7/10

    Sometimes Glennon's feet get jumbled, but his passing motion is surprisingly solid for someone his size. Other than the foot issue, he's a prototype.

    Mobility

    2/5

    Glennon is a stretched-out athlete, and he plays just like that. He's taken off for 15-plus yards on individual runs in his first two seasons but looks too long for his own good when moving. His best bet is to stay in the pocket.

    Starter

    3/5

    In 2013, Glennon looked like a potential quarterback of the future. In 2014, he was limited by the Buccaneers, giving the league a strong message about how the team felt about the passer. Somewhat of a poor man's Matt Ryan, Glennon still has a shot to make an impact on the NFL if he can only find an opportunity and capitalize.

    Overall

    73/100

30. Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    13/20

    Without a full offseason to prepare under Houston's playbook, it's hard to expect much out of Ryan Mallett (6'6", 245 lbs, four seasons). Still, he showed poor tendencies to throw uncatchable balls in close-range situations, which can't happen in the NFL.

    Deep Accuracy

    16/20

    Only 25 percent of his deep passes were labeled as accurate. That alone tells the story of his touch.

    Arm Strength

    19/20

    One reason many were so intrigued by Mallett as a prospect behind Tom Brady in New England was his arm. In his two starts with Houston, he showed the world he didn't lose one bit of it while in Massachusetts. If he ever learns to control his laser, he can be dangerous.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    For someone who was ripped off the bench after coming in right before the season, he did an OK job of meshing with the system. He had the lowest sack rate in the NFL with only 6.3 percent of his dropbacks resulting in grass stains. When it came down to making decisions of where to go with the ball, though, his 54.7 completion percentage reflects his struggles.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Mallett is a long quarterback, and his play reflects that. He's got heavy feet, which sometimes messed up his timing with receivers, but is solid otherwise. He's good about dropping, stepping up and shooting a pretty ball off his hand.

    Mobility

    1/5

    It wouldn't surprise me if Mallett is the current slowest quarterback in the NFL. He's got heavy, long legs that just don't want to move. When people talk about a statue in the pocket, Mallett could be a whole plaza.

    Starter

    3/5

    Mallett is a fairly inaccurate passer, but his potential comes in the deep portion of the field. With one of the best arms in the game, he still has an outside shot of being a franchise player, but at 26, the days of his youth have passed him by in New England. Now in Houston, the quarterback is in a healthy position to compete for a future starting role, but he must develop in the mental aspect quickly.

    Overall

    74/100

29. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans

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    Mike McCarn/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    Brian Hoyer (6'2", 215 lbs, six seasons) is OK but not great at peppering a defense. He has the touch to get nice passes off against zone coverage, but he lacks the anticipation at times to do so against man coverage.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    Without a great deep threat for a majority of the year, Hoyer, the homegrown Ohio quarterback, didn't get the most out of testing the back end of secondaries in 2015. The passer showed flashes of getting it done on his own but didn't have the consistency to build a team around it.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    Hoyer's arm can get a ball anywhere on a field, but the issue is how long it's going to stay in the air before it drops. His velocity is questionable downfield.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    Coming into the season, the apparent idea was to roll with Hoyer as the starting quarterback, but once the Browns were out of the playoff hunt, there was enough seen to make the move to Johnny Manziel. Hoyer's poor management at times, reflected on the stat sheet in interceptions, kept the team down in games.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    As a passer, he looks like someone who was groomed in New England's system. He's got prototypical drops, pocket movement and arm action.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Hoyer may get you on a three- or four-yard run every once in a while, but no defense in the NFL is going to spy this quarterback. He does enough with his legs to buy time against the pass rush.

    Starter

    3/5

    Hoyer entered the season as the starter, a stopgap thrower preceding the Manziel era. After playing through most of the year as the guy in Cleveland, the Browns pulled the plug on the streaky passer. Hoyer may still be valuable for a team in 2015 that wants to use him in the same role, a transitional quarterback to pass the baton to the future of the franchise.

    Overall

    74/100

28. Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans

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    James Kenney/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    Zach Mettenberger (6'5", 244 lbs, one season) is good enough at hitting crossing patterns, curls and intermediate throws to continue with as a starting quarterback. Given time in other aspects of his game, he might prove more valuable than most think.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    In college, Mettenberger could throw to Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., who both made names for themselves as rookies in 2014. Unfortunately for the LSU quarterback, taking him out of that background has mildly exposed his deep accuracy, which at times has to be measured with a yardstick.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    Coming out of school, it was clear his role was going to be in a vertical offense. Given a complete cannon for an arm, Mettenberger's strongest trait is threatening a defense downfield, even if he's a little inaccurate. The danger that can be caused by his arm is well worth the conservative coverage he faces.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    Mettenberger only threw one more touchdown than interception and completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes this past season. If not for dropped balls, that interception number could have eclipsed his touchdown mark. At times frantic, the rookie quarterback needs to settle down in his sophomore year and allow reads to come open rather than forcing the ball into tight coverage.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    His base has been worked on since college, when it was so wide his momentum folded the passer over when completing his motion. Now standing taller in the pocket throughout passes, he's cleaned up. His feet are still a bit slow, and his motion is a bit long, but he's functionally OK.

    Mobility

    2/5

    He's not the quarterback you want to even contemplate running the zone read. A gangly, slow runner, Mettenberger is lucky to make it past the line of scrimmage, let alone gain a first down. He's a pocket quarterback of true definition.

    Starter

    4/5

    In his rookie season, Mettenberger got the rare opportunity of going from a Day 3 selection to a full-time starter in his first league year. Still rough around the edges, if he continues to elevate his play, he could potentially be a Ben Roethlisberger type. With that type of promise, the Titans may be hesitant to move past the former LSU passer this offseason.

    Overall

    75/100

27. Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals

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    Tom Gannam/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    13/20

    Drew Stanton (6'3", 243 lbs, eight seasons) doesn't do enough for one to be satisfied with him in a West Coast offense. As a backup, he misses a lot of "defense throws, I take" plays that you'd like.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    Stanton misses touch on the deep ball but throws it with volume. He's an interesting thrower from that perspective. Overshooting receivers too often, he leaves more to be wanted.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    He absolutely has an NFL-caliber arm, which is why when Arizona had to replace Carson Palmer, it didn't have to stop going deep, a rarity for backup quarterback transitions. Stanton can throw through a closed window, a trait which always keeps you in a game.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    Despite years under his belt, Stanton still makes some throws that should have found other targets. With a lack of time playing against "live bullets," this makes sense. Still, he's going to be a high-variance player coming off the bench, as he has the tools to succeed but often misses some obvious reads.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    Stanton's motion and drop are fairly standard for a high-quality backup. His feet are a little slower than you'd ask for, but other than that, he's about as good as you can get.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Stanton has passable mobility. He doesn't limit offensive calls due to his feet, but he's surely not being called on to take the ball himself. He's about the definition of average regarding this attribute.

    Mobility

    3/5

    After years on the bench, Drew Stanton finally got another chance to prove his skill. As a backup, he showed promise as a vertical passer, keeping the Cardinals on pace without their starter. Still young at 31, Stanton may have a shot in the league as a head passer in an offense built around throwing downfield down the line.

    Overall

    75/100

26. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    Ryan Fitzpatrick (6'2", 223 lbs, 10 seasons) is decent at picking apart a defense from underneath. A spot "where he wins," this is what the Texans emphasize and with reason.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    His accuracy percentage says he's the second-best in the league with 52.6 in the deep area, but his misses are more referenced than completions. The stats don't quite tell the whole story here, as he's a bit of a liability when throwing contested passes far into a defense.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    Correlating with his deep ball is Fitzpatrick's arm. He doesn't have what it takes to truly scare a secondary with long velocity. At times it looks like he pushes the ball, and there are a limited but still prevalent number of "ducks."

    Decision-Making

    15/20

    For a Harvard graduate, he can hurt you from his mental side. He did a good job at limiting his interceptions this season, but he also left plays on the field, which a game manager can't do at this level.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    Fitzpatrick stands tall in the pocket, has nice balance and gets out a relatively quick and compact motion before releasing the ball. There's not much here to complain about other than asking him to be a bit quicker with his feet.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Fitzpatrick is functional when moving but the furthest thing from elusive or fluid. If a defense completely sells out in man coverage, he might be able to convert a first down every once in a while, but his feet are used more as an escape hatch than a weapon.

    Starter

    3/5

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is as close to the definition of average as one can get in the NFL. His ups and downs about even out, making him a fringe starter with some age under him (32). Noting those years, it's hard to imagine any team hitching on to him as its future, but he can dart the ball into underneath coverage enough to keep an offense from stalling.

    Overall

    75/100

25. Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    Mark Sanchez (6'2", 225 lbs, six seasons) works as an arm off the Chip Kelly offensive system. It dictates throws into space, so he does so often. On most of those reps, he throws clean, quick passes. Unfortunately, that's still not consistent enough to run the offense at a high-enough level to consider him a franchise quarterback.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    Sanchez's inability to throw deep is one reason why teams were able to stall the Philadelphia run defense in 2014. They were willing to give him throws, which he couldn't hit efficiently, in exchange for extra defenders in the box.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    His arm is good enough to kick around in the league for several years but not great enough to have someone attempt to salvage him as the centerpiece of a team. He does more than enough in short velocity, but his arm dwindles with distance.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    At times, Sanchez can limit an offense with decision-making. Even set in an offense in which he virtually throws to space, he's not as efficient as one would like. Mentally, he has lapses, which could explain why he threw for more interceptions than touchdowns before heading to Philadelphia in 2014.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Sanchez's mechanics are solid, both functionally and aesthetically. Coached at USC, one of the country's "quarterback factories," this aspect of quarterbacking must have been pounded in his head since his teens, and it shows.

    Mobility

    3/5

    He can do a little bit with his feet. Playing in a zone-read system doesn't totally make sense for Sanchez, but he doesn't truly limit it like some other quarterbacks would. On the move, he's a fairly decent passer, and he's someone you'd encourage to roll out with variance.

    Starter

    4/5

    Entering Chip Kelly's offense due to an injury to starter Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez did enough to spark intrigue in his potential to once again compete for a starting gig. His mental errors still held the offense back, but he's a streaky passer who can perform like a quality starter when hot.

    Overall

    76/100

24. Shaun Hill, Minnesota Vikings

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    Scott Eklund/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    15/20

    Shaun Hill (6'3", 220 lbs, 13 seasons) has had a pretty up-and-down career, bouncing around the NFL as a backup and spending some time in NFL Europe. That's a pretty good metaphor for his accuracy in the intermediate game, which comes and goes in stretches at a time. At some points, he'll look like an NFL starter, and at others, he looks like a 35-year-old backup. Hill is a rhythm passer, though, and when he gets hot he can be lights out.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    Hill did just enough to keep the St. Louis Rams offense moving when stretching defenses deep. His touch needs a lot of work. Hill can drop the ball in over the top and shows nice arc on deep routes. He gets an average but not failing grade.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    His arm is one reason why he's not able to totally be the vertical threat one could want in a dome passer. He's got velocity in the short game, but when that ball is asked to be thrown over 20 yards, it can get a bit tough on Hill.

    Decision-Making

    15/20

    Hill's discipline comes up when watching him under pressure. Too often, Hill is quick to bounce the progression when the hint of a rush appears. Outside of that, he fares well, but it's a noticeable and targeted flaw. If he's kept clean in the pocket, Hill can pick apart a defense and is a high-accuracy, low-turnover passer.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    Hill has a smooth drop, nice footwork, a decent base and no real issue with arm motion. Again, the only issue arises when he's pressured, as his footwork comes apart.

    Mobility

    3/5

    He's not a statue, but he's not a quarterback who will force defenses to spend any extra time on him as a run threat either. He's good enough to work outside of the pocket, giving teams another element to their offense.

    Starter

    3/5

    After being forced into the lineup due to injuries, Shaun Hill did the most he could with his opportunities. His years proved valuable, as the aging veteran proved serviceable enough to take over the starting role for a year. Hill may not be a team's quarterback of the future, but he's done enough to warrant faith if pressed into duty. And in Minnesota he'll be an invaluable mentor to Teddy Bridgewater.

    Overall

    76/100

23. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    13/20

    The 2014 season wasn't a great campaign for Colin Kaepernick (6'4", 230 lbs, four seasons). With some passers nearing the 70 percent completion percentage range, Kaepernick's 60.5 mark doesn't bode well in the advanced league. Even slight misplacements of the ball seemed to result in the ball hitting the ground in 2014, as his supporting cast didn't help him much.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    On a relative scale of Kaepernick's passes, his deep game isn't bad. He still lofts the ball over the heads of his targets, and there are some bad decisions. But he's not missing guys who are wide open.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    Kaepernick looks to have the arm MLB squads projected him to possess out of high school. He can throw absolute darts at receivers, sending a ball spinning 50 yards in the air. He doesn't have that wrist action as a quick-strike thrower, but when he has time, he can get the ball anywhere.

    Decision-Making

    13/20

    There are too many plays in which he drops his head and decides to bail on the passing game much too quickly. He's a gifted runner, but he doesn't stick in the pocket like you'd want him to. At times he looks lost reading the backfield, fixating on the position of a safety rather than his target.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    He has a fairly evident elongated motion that makes him appear to throw the football like a javelin. His feet become too narrow on deep drops when he waits in the pocket for a read, but then he shoots his base too wide when sending the ball deep. Overall, he still has a lot to tighten up.

    Mobility

    5/5

    Kaepernick is an absolute nightmare on the ground. Sprinting around with long legs, he might be able to eat grass better than any other quarterback in the league. He's a bit of a clunky thrower on the run, but having his body moving still is a disadvantage to the defense, which is in trouble if it doesn't have a spy on him if it's in man coverage.

    Starter

    4/5

    Once thought of as the future of the NFL, only two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, Colin Kaepernick has seemingly declined. With a laser and wheels, the 49ers needed the quarterback to step up several times during the season. Instead the former Nevada passer had an up-and-down year.

    Overall

    76/100

22. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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    Richard Lipski/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    Over the past few seasons, all eyes have been on Robert Griffin III (6'2", 222 lbs, three seasons) in Washington. With so many viewers glued to him, he routinely pecks away at the underneath coverage of defenses at a slightly above-average rate for a starter in this league.

    Deep Accuracy

    12/20

    For a quarterback who was molded in college in an Air Raid system, it's interesting to note his lack of control on the deep ball. Sometimes forced, Griffin can't quite impress when trying to stretch the defense in the back end.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    A natural thrower, Griffin still has the arm everyone loved coming out of Baylor. Able to zip the ball into tight windows in the short range, he also can boom a pass as deep as safeties can cover.

    Decision-Making

    14/20

    In 2014 many mentioned that Griffin still hadn't learned the definition of "NFL open," and when studying his film, the same issue showed itself on the screen. He'll pass over open receivers, who he apparently doesn't believe are open enough. This got better down the stretch of the season, but he still isn't where you'd like a quarterback to be in his third year.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Outside of hesitation against the pass rush, Griffin fares pretty well mechanically. This issue likely arises from his injury history, as he's potentially trying to save himself from yet another season-ender.

    Mobility

    4/5

    At one point, many thought Griffin could have been an Olympian. That's just how gifted he is outside of being a passer. He's by far one of the best runners in the league, darting to secondaries when plays break down against man coverage. With his legs, he's great for a system utilizing play-action rollouts.

    Starter

    3/5

    Shuffling in and out of the starting lineup, it's hard for any quarterback to thrive under so much change, much less Robert Griffin III, who has endured multiple injuries in his college and professional careers. He still has all the tools that had Washington dishing out future first-rounders, but his lack of advancement doesn't look good, especially with an expiring contract coming up.

    Overall

    77/100

21. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    Playing in a system which is very well designed, Jay Cutler (6'3", 220 lbs, nine seasons) made way too many poor passes. A few passes a game he'd wing a throw that'd make everyone in the stadium boo or scratch his or her head.

    Deep Accuracy

    16/20

    Only a year from the Bears offense being called one of the most explosive deep games in the league, the regression of 2014 might fall on his head. His touch just isn't consistent enough for the team to capitalize.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    Cutler's saving grace is his arm strength. He's a throwback playing in a new time. The gunslinger types may have worked in the past, but his career isn't going as great as the Broncos had hoped when selecting him 11th overall in 2006. Able to fire a ball to anywhere on the field, his velocity might be why he hasn't felt the need to progress throughout his time in the NFL.

    Decision-Making

    11/20

    If you're to believe the casual fan who speculates on the quarterback's body language, he often seems disinterested after mistakes. From a mental standpoint, he makes too many poor decisions with the football for someone who's spent as many years as he has as the top passer for a team.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    Cutler makes a good case for having the worst mechanics for a professional starter. He is content with sidearming throws, and he's got even worse feet, which at times are parallel to the line of scrimmage when throwing. In a time when "quarterback guru" is thrown out often, it's questionable how he's gone so long without improving in this area.

    Mobility

    4/5

    In high school, Cutler was an option quarterback, and on the field, he shows glimpses of that athleticism at times. Not often does he decide to actually tuck it and run, but when he does, he can do a slight amount of damage on the ground.

    Starter

    4/5

    Jay Cutler came off the bench to end 2014 after Jimmy Clausen displaced him a week earlier, so it's fairly safe to assume the Bears regret giving him a new deal last year. His high-variance play cost him once more. He's got an absolute cannon, but his inconsistencies tend to make more of an impact.

    Overall

    77/100

20. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    16/20

    After giving the Red Rifle a new deal this offseason, the Bengals may regret building around Andy Dalton (6'2", 220 lbs, four seasons). Limited as a player, his go-to attribute should be hitting perfect placement on short throws, but his tape simply shows inconsistency.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    With A.J. Green's injury in 2014, Dalton was hard-pressed to find a consistent deep target on the roster. That being said, he didn't help his receivers out either. Exposed is a strong word, but watching Dalton without a top-10 receiver really opened some eyes this past season.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    Too often Dalton's arm just simply wasn't enough to get the job done. His throws in the middle of the field had too much air under them. Passes to the perimeter hung in the air. Overall, his arm barely passes the threshold for what you can function with in a starter.

    Decision-Making

    15/20

    The former TCU passer can make some of his worst passes in inexcusable moments. His interceptions (17 in 2014) came via poor decisions, either by discounting the situation or the importance of making a safe, manageable throw.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    On the bright side, Dalton typically looks nice when making passes. He slides into a solid base, is comfortable stepping up in the pocket and doesn't have an odd motion with his arm, allowing balls to come off his hand correctly.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Dalton is a bit underrated as a runner. No one describes him as a running quarterback, but in Cincinnati's new system, he holds his own when running the read-option. Creating time when escaping the pocket might be his largest tool in the passing game.

    Starter

    5/5

    After agreeing to a big contract, the Cincinnati Bengals expected Andy Dalton to improve from his rookie-contract self. Unfortunately, it appears he's tapped out as a passer. On the fringe of being good enough to lead a team in the playoffs, he needs to improve upstairs if he's going to get by on limited tools.

    Overall

    77/100

19. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Tom Puskar/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    Alex Smith's (6'4", 217 lbs, 10 seasons) bread and butter is the short area of the field. Known mostly as a game manager, he's nailed down his efficiency in the area and plays to his strengths.

    Deep Accuracy

    13/20

    Smith is a pretty poor passer when it comes to deep throwing. There's a reason why no receiver caught a touchdown for the Chiefs in 2014. Consistently misfiring downfield, this will always be a difficulty for the quarterback.

    Arm Strength

    15/20

    His arm is very poor for a starting quarterback in the league. It would be graded something like a D because it's much less than one would ask for, but it just squeaks by.

    Decision Making

    16/20

    Mentally, Smith isn't aggressive enough to be considered anything other than a game manager. As a game manager, he at times misses pre-snap reads, leaving an open man out of his progression. Because of this, he's stuck in this purgatory of identity.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    Smith can move smoothly through his drop, has a nice base and doesn't waste motion. He's fairly prototypical from this standpoint.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Lacking much of an arm, Smith's largest asset is his legs. An underrated runner, he extends plays and can sprint for first downs when the defense sells itself downfield.

    Starter

    4/5

    A fairly conservative player, Alex Smith is the true meaning of a game manager at the NFL level. He limits his offense a bit with his deep range and velocity, but if surrounded by enough talent to keep him out of 3rd-and-long situations, he can run an effective offense.

    Overall

    79/100

18. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    17/20

    He had a bit of an up-and-down rookie season, but Oakland's Derek Carr (6'3", 214 lbs, one season) proved to be at least functional in running an offense underneath. With a high number of throws coming in the short game, this area of his play may get much better as his career goes along.

    Deep Accuracy

    14/20

    Noted for throwing fade routes to Davante Adams in college, Carr hasn't exactly been the best at throwing deep at the next level. His 23.9 percent accuracy percentage is the lowest of any quarterback on this list.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    His arm is something special. Carr not only was raised an NFL quarterback, but apparently trained like one too. Only one season into his career, his velocity and range are up there with some of the best in the league.

    Decision-Making

    15/20

    While some give Carr credit for checking down often and taking short completions, that's a sign of a rookie. Going on autopilot isn't an advanced trait. He looks like a first-year player, but transitioning from Fresno State's spread to an NFL offense was always going to take some time.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    Carr has loose feet at times, but his arm can throw from multiple levels, making any throw possible. His biggest issue at this point in his career is his flaw of fading away in the pocket against pressure. Injured in college and earlier in 2014, it may be a mental issue regarding his health.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Clocked at the combine at 4.69, Carr is more than fast enough to be considered a threat on the ground. With a similar build and tools as Aaron Rodgers, he's the type of raw athlete some are looking at as the future of the NFL.

    Starter

    4/5

    Going in the second round as the fourth quarterback off the board, Derek Carr eased the minds of Raiders fans in 2014. The rookie had up-and-down stretches but has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. Essentially bred to be an NFL passer, there's no reason why he can't get there in a couple of years.

    Overall

    80/100

17. Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    Eli Manning (6'4", 218 lbs, 11 seasons) is fairly efficient in the areas nearer to the line of scrimmage, but balls do seem to get away from him. High, low or behind, he just has a tendency to pass a couple of wonky balls every couple of drives.

    Deep Accuracy

    16/20

    With Odell Beckham Jr. replacing the injured Victor Cruz as his top target in 2014, Manning was able to complete some nice deep balls, but rarely are they short-window, tight-spiral, pinpoint passes. He's more of a passer who can loft up a throw against broken coverage than a thrower who rifles a shot between two safeties.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    His arm has never been the best in the NFL—one can even make the case his arm wasn't the best in his draft class, despite being picked first overall—but it's still as strong as it's ever been. He can get high-velocity shots going in the short and intermediate game, but the deeper the ball has to go, the more air is found underneath it.

    Decision-Making

    15/20

    Historically, Manning has had troubles with interceptions. Some of it has to do with his receivers running an incorrect route after reading the defense, but his 27 picks in 2013 are inexcusable. Thankfully, under Ben McAdoo, he's been able to clean up some of the errors on his part. Still, he often takes brutal sacks and can't consistently put the ball in a place where a defensive back can't make a play.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    For the brutal sacks he's taken, there is a silver lining: He's fairly unwavering under pressure. Even with a man running at his face or breathing down his neck, he keeps consistent mechanics.

    Mobility

    2/5

    Eli's not as slow as his brother, but he's not much faster than anyone else in the league. Truly a pocket quarterback, when Manning is in space, someone blew an assignment offensively.

    Starter

    5/5

    Cleaning up his interception ratio in 2014, Eli Manning took strides back to his Super Bowl-caliber past. If he takes steps in 2015 under the same system, Manning could once again rank with the best in the league as a passer. At this point, he's an average starter with potential to shine in big moments.

    Overall

    83/100

16. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    Ryan Tannehill (6'4", 220 lbs, three seasons) is a solid rhythm slicer in the short range. With precision, he's able to cut up a defense in the intermediate range too. More often than not, he functions with his offense.

    Deep Accuracy

    16/20

    Noted for not being able to get Mike Wallace—who is signed on a fairly large contract—the deep ball, this area isn't Tannehill's favorite spot to throw the ball. He too often over- or underthrows a streaking receiver downfield. He hasn't quite calibrated the right touch in the deep game.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    He doesn't have a bad arm, but you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who'll say the Texas A&M thrower has above-average velocity, especially when passing over 20 yards.

    Decision Making

    16/20

    Under a new offensive coordinator in a "new age" scheme, Tannehill's fared better, especially down the stretch of the 2014 season. He threw five fewer interceptions than in 2013, and he's taken about 60 fewer sack yards. He continues to show development the longer he stays in the league, but he's far from being perfect from the mental aspect.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Typically, Tannehill is a clean passer, which is great for the system he functions in. At times, he's taught to fire off a pass nearly as soon as he touches the pigskin. With no looping, elongated arm or terrible feet, he's able to get the job done. The longer a play goes, the more it seems to break down as he looks out of his comfort zone. But in his current offense, that occurrence doesn't happen often.

    Mobility

    4/5

    He's a great athlete, and I'm sure you know it. It's been hard to watch a Miami game in the past three years without someone mentioning he was a high-level receiver at Texas A&M before converting back to quarterback in his time as an Aggie. He'll gash a defense when needed, and his zone-read ability seemed to give the Dolphins a bit of an edge this year.

    Starter

    5/5

    In 2014, Ryan Tannehill starting his coming-out party. Showing to be an efficient passer, he's still limited in the deep game, but he's proved to be a weapon when given time to work in the pocket as well as on the ground. In a spread-option system, he's a perfect fit for his spot.

    Overall

    84/100

15. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    One of Philip Rivers' (6'5", 228 lbs, 11 seasons) best attributes is his patience. If given the opportunity, as was present against the Seattle Seahawks this season, he'll absolutely just sit back and dart throws underneath, picking apart any hope for a defense to sustain a win through conservative coverage.

    Deep Accuracy

    17/20

    He misses deep often, at times due to arm strength. But he doesn't have a truly threatening experienced deep threat on the squad, so it's tougher to evaluate him now than, say, when he had Vincent Jackson to throw to. He's still more than OK in his region.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Coming out of North Carolina State, he never had a cannon. He's gifted with the standard NFL arm, which, with his skill set, is more than enough. At his age (33), his velocity simply not dipping is a positive.

    Decision-Making

    18/20

    Rivers is a very smart quarterback, willing to gash a defense based on its specific weakness. At his age, his largest threat is his mind, which is clearly sharper than those of most starters.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    At times he can have a sidearm delivery, and he's got a bit of an elongated motion. His feet, drops and releases are clean, though, putting any real technical questions to the side.

    Mobility

    2/5

    If Rivers played professionally in any other sport, athletically he'd be limited to a pitcher's mound or the seat of a race car. A fairly poor athlete, Rivers isn't designed to leave the pocket often, which is purposeful.

    Starter

    5/5

    Though he's ranked 15th, Philip Rivers is still in the tier of the quarterbacks listed above him. Once listed as a potential MVP candidate in 2014, he's a pick-you-apart type of thrower who makes a tremendous number of good decisions, a product of his many years in the league.

    Overall

    85/100

14. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    17/20

    A sporadic passer, Cam Newton (6'5", 245 lbs, four seasons) is still looking to take the next step in the NFL. Missing some throws, at times coming late, the former Auburn Tiger needs to tighten up his handle in the short and intermediate game.

    Deep Accuracy

    16/20

    While not having a lot of help, Newton doesn't wow with his deep-ball potential. He seems to hang a high number of balls, losing sight of the anticipation needed to throw to targets in stride.

    Arm Strength

    19/20

    When you look at Newton's tools, he's got everything you could ask for. He's got a good frame and amazing wheels, but his arm might be his largest asset.

    Decision-Making

    16/20

    He has a tendency to make bonehead plays every once in a while. More than anything, Newton needs to learn to pick his spots better. Too often he's overly aggressive, and that gets him into trouble.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Newton's mechanics are fine but not perfect. He gets a bit bouncy, but he's still more often than not able to do well enough to send a ball popping off his hand.

    Mobility

    5/5

    As far as a height-weight-speed combination, he's probably the best in the league. He's the prototypical hummer-hybrid new-age gurus want to get their hands on. Elusive at his size, it's tough for anyone to get an open-field tackle on the Carolina passer.

    Starter

    5/5

    Limited by injury at times, Cam Newton didn't look like the Superman-type athlete he has in the past. Assuming he recovers well, he should be well worth a large contract from the Panthers, but he also needs to refine his game, working on not forcing the ball into closed windows.

    Overall

    86/100

13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    19/20

    Matthew Stafford (6'3", 234 lbs, six seasons) peppers defenses with rifled shots in the short area. When someone has the velocity he has, quick-strike possibilities are high.

    Deep Accuracy

    17/20

    Stafford has a pair of receivers in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate who make his deep game better than advertised. That being said, his ability to vault passes to them in stride is a trait not everyone in the league possesses.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    The best trait Stafford has is his rocket arm. The former first overall selection came into the league as one of the elite passers in this area. Able to fire off tight throws, he rarely has to push the ball downfield.

    Decision-Making

    16/20

    At times Stafford will make decisions that'll have you scratching your head. Not necessarily throws—he'll take dramatic, long sacks with an open man crossing his face. Mentally, he needs to work through progressions and identify "open" quicker.

    Mechanics

    6/10

    Stafford is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league when it comes to mechanics. If he's not throwing sidearmed, his feet are all jumbled, forcing him to take extra time to get off the pigskin.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Stafford is a fairly standard example of what you'd call an OK athlete at quarterback. More than willing and able to roll out, he can play some backyard football.

    Starter

    5/5

    Matthew Stafford essentially played in 2014 how he had a majority of his career. He has all of the potential in the world to be the best in the game, but between poor decisions and bad mechanics, he still has to take steps Monday through Saturday to help him advance on Sundays.

    Overall

    86/100

12. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    Already looking like a veteran, Teddy Bridgewater (6'2", 210 lbs, one season) had a great start to his career. In the short and intermediate range, he's proved himself as one of the top 10 passers in the league.

    Deep Accuracy

    15/20

    The biggest flaw of his game is the deep ball. Still unable to calibrate it completely correctly, some balls will get away from him. This area of his game may advance in the future, but currently it's subpar.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Bridgewater's arm is more than functional, but he doesn't get the velocity on long balls that you'd want from an elite quarterback. This may limit his ceiling, but quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were able to improve their arm strength throughout their careers.

    Decision-Making

    20/20

    Bridgewater looked like the furthest thing from a rookie when studying his pre- and post-snap reads. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner has his handprints all over the quarterback, who looks like the right man to run his system.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Noted for a poor pro day, resulting in his apparent drop to pick No. 32 in last year's draft, Bridgewater has cleaned up a bit. At times he looks bunched up, but that could correlate to his slightly gangly limbs. At this point, it's nothing to cry about.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Once recruited as a wide receiver, Bridgewater isn't a "running quarterback," as others have been tabbed, but he's elusive enough to jet for a long run when given space in front. His above-average athleticism also allows him to survive a crumbling pocket.

    Starter

    4/5

    Expected by many to go first overall when he declared for the draft, Teddy Bridgewater showed that level of talent with the Vikings in his rookie year. Further ahead of the game mentally than the other rookies, he's shown flashes of All-Pro talent at times. If he can clean up his mechanics and progress on his deep ball, the former Louisville passer could inevitably find himself on Pro Bowl lists for years.

    Overall

    88/100

11. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    17/20

    In the underneath range, Carson Palmer (6'5", 235 lbs, 12 seasons) is still spotty at times, but generally he does more than enough to keep Arizona's train moving. Every once in a while, he'll miss an easy window, but he makes up for it with advanced touch in the intermediate range.

    Deep Accuracy

    18/20

    Palmer's deep passes can float a bit, leaving a receiver to hang and wait under a throw. In those instances, not throwing the deep ball in stride for his target makes it difficult for those receivers to come down with the ball.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    Before Palmer's injury in Cincinnati, he was thought of as one of the best up-and-coming quarterbacks in the league. A reason for this is his arm, which in large part got him drafted first overall in the first place.

    Decision-Making

    16/20

    For a veteran to the degree Palmer is, there's a question why he mentally hasn't progressed to the standard you'd like to see from him. He can hesitate to unleash the ball. His eyes still can get lost. You'd just like to see more from someone with the years he has under him.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    For someone who has suffered a major injury to his lower body, he doesn't hesitate from pressure. Not only does he have prototypical mechanics—not a surprise coming from USC, one of the country's largest quarterback factories—but they never waver.

    Mobility

    2/5

    Palmer is the cliche tall statue quarterback everyone assumes 6'5"-and-taller passers are. He's not immobile to the point that you couldn't run a rollout with him, but he's a guy who seems to get sacked more when outside of the pocket than running for extra yardage.

    Starter

    5/5

    Despite missing the end of the season due to injury, Carson Palmer proved his worth to the Arizona Cardinals, even earning a contract extension. Palmer once more recreated the talent level he first displayed in Cincinnati, giving Arizona the NFL lead in team record at one point. If he can bounce back from injury in 2015, the Cardinals likely have their franchise quarterback.

    Overall

    88/100

10. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    17/20

    In a new offensive system, Joe Flacco (6'6", 245 lbs, seven seasons) seems to be finally getting it. Throwing it at a higher volume in the short range than previously, he's become much more efficient, increasing his passer rating by 18 points.

    Deep Accuracy

    19/20

    His deep accuracy has improved despite visiting the deeper range less in 2014. Though his completions of 40 yards or more have been cut in half, he threw 10 fewer interceptions and eight more touchdowns. His game is still very much built around his ability to chuck it downfield.

    Arm Strength

    19/20

    Flacco's arm is absolutely giant. Though he's been noted previously as a high-variance quarterback, that variance is significant, as his ceiling is as high as anyone's. There's not one throw anyone in the league can make, at least from the pocket, that he can't.

    Decision-Making

    18/20

    Flacco was much safer with the ball in 2014, which his interception percentage reflects. He's never going to be a 70 percent completion type, but outside of a few games, he's rarely been poor. Mentally, you can call him spotty but not bad.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    His motion is a bit elongated, but it's not hindering by any means. It's not a functional issue; it's just not what coaches will show to kids as an example of good mechanics. Other than fading away a bit against the rush, there's nothing to complain about, a rarity for someone his size.

    Mobility

    2/5

    Most will think of Flacco as a statue, and on a majority of plays, they'd be right. But he's a slightly better athlete than given credit for. In high school, he also played safety, and that speed does come back from time to time.

    Starter

    5/5

    A bit of a high-variance passer, Joe Flacco can throw with the best in the league when he's on. Very much a vertical thrower above anything else, his cannon both can connect on amazing deep throws and keep safeties high, opening lanes for Baltimore's run game.

    Overall

    88/100

9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    Matt Ryan (6'4", 217 lbs, seven seasons) has displayed a high level of accuracy since entering the league in 2008. In his past three years, he's had a completion percentage higher than 66, a feat he didn't reach in his first four years in the NFL. In the short range, he's able to fit the ball in small windows with precise timing.

    Deep Accuracy

    18/20

    In the deep range, Ryan's accuracy percentage was at a 56.5 percent rate in 2014. That's the best mark for someone with more than three attempts on the year. Subtly developing from year to year, Ryan's able to now attack all corners of the field.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    Able to make every throw on the field. Ryan's arm is more than passable. Flashing it usually when hitting receiver Julio Jones deep, he's able to rip a pass on a rope for a huge gain if defenses get too relaxed.

    Decision-Making

    17/20

    His decision-making is solid but not perfect. One aspect he's been better about later in his career is getting the ball out to avoid sacks. Mentally progressing through reads quicker seems to have helped.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    At a tall height, one would think Ryan's mechanics might be a little elongated or wide, but he's more than fine in this area. The one issue he seems to hold in this aspect is the speed of everything. He's just a little slower than you'd like.

    Mobility

    3/5

    He's never going to get you on the ground, but he has the potential to convert a long third down against a Cover 1 defense. He runs a bit high-cut, which might keep his speed down and could be in part due to the fact he's 6'4".

    Starter

    5/5

    In a transition year, Matt Ryan did enough to keep the Atlanta Falcons in the playoff hunt late in the season. Ryan's a savvy passer, and the Falcons build their offense around him for good reason. One of the most talented young passers in the NFL, Ryan should stay in the top 10 for the foreseeable future.

    Overall

    89/100

8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    Returning from a back issue, Tony Romo (6'2", 230 lbs, 12 seasons) is still one of the premier passers in the NFL. His efficiency has been noted, as he earned the top spot in passer rating of 2014, one point ahead of Aaron Rodgers.

    Deep Accuracy

    18/20

    In passes of 40 or more yards, Romo completed the sixth most in 2014. Loose with his touch, the passes aren't always pinpoint, but he gets the ball to a manageable position for Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams more times than not.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Throughout the years, Romo's arm has taken gradual steps to a lower level, but it's still at a more than functional space. He can't throw a 60-yard pass on a rope, but he can send a short strike with velocity.

    Decision-Making

    18/20

    Earlier in his career, Romo was a bit of an interception machine. With age and wisdom, he's since scaled back wild balls. In 2014, 2.1 percent of his passes went to defenders. In two of the three previous years, fewer than 2 percent of his throws ended in interceptions. As far as the narrative that he's a gunslinger goes, it's safe to say that's in his past.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    Romo is relatively quick and compact with his throwing motion. His feet can clunk around a little bit, but the 35-year-old is light on his toes when needed. When his eyes move from sideline to sideline on reads, his feet generally follow, allowing him to make instant passes.

    Mobility

    3/5

    A bit of a scrambler, the Eastern Illinois graduate can move around for some yardage. He's not limited by mobility, but he's not ever splitting safeties with his speed.

    Starter

    5/5

    After health concerns at the end of 2013 put his future at risk, Tony Romo quieted the doubters in 2014. The Cowboys led the league in passer rating, almost all on the back of Romo, who looked rejuvenated, moving around and flinging the ball downfield using only his wrist. Jerry Jones may have wanted Johnny Football, but he already had a more advanced version.

    Overall

    89/100

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    18/20

    A bit sporadic with placement in the short game, Ben Roethlisberger (6'5", 241 lbs, 11 seasons) is still more than functional as a passer. Usually due a contorted body, he can miss some throws.

    Deep Accuracy

    19/20

    One of the best pure throwers in the sport, Roethlisberger can make tough passes deep down the field to both the center of the gridiron and to the sidelines. With a big frame and large hands, he's able to rip the ball at will.

    Arm Strength

    19/20

    Since coming into the league over a decade ago, the Miami-Ohio product has been mentioned as one of the top arms in the league. He has the tendency to push the ball at times instead of getting a nice tight rotation on the ball, but even those passes sail deep downfield.

    Decision-Making

    17/20

    With over 130 interceptions in his career, it's hard to say he hasn't made a mistake or two in his time in the NFL. He's fairly good about getting the ball to a receiver who can make a play on the pigskin—he completed a career-high 67.1 percent of his passes in 2014—but too often he doesn't look off a defender or just forces the ball in a spot where a defender can get a hand on it too.

    Mechanics

    8/10

    Roethlisberger is fairly good with his initial mechanics; he gets clean drops and stands straight in the pocket. Issues with him arise after contact or when he's forced to improvise. When bending, twisting and folding as he does at times, it's tough to get a pretty, accurate ball to a target.

    Mobility

    4/5

    The longtime comparison for tall, thick, mobile quarterbacks, the Steeler is underrated as a mobile threat. He's not an elusive being, but he's large. And when that much momentum gets going, it's hard to stop.

    Starter

    5/5

    After more than a decade in the league, Ben Roethlisberger still has "it." He's got an arm that can slice a defense, and his large frame can withstand a pass rush. Though the Steelers haven't made a deep playoff run since their Super Bowl loss to the Green Bay Packers, Roethlisberger is more than capable of winning a championship, pending his surrounding talent.

    Overall

    90/100

6. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Brian Blanco/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    Though having an overall down year, Drew Brees (6'0", 209 lbs, 14 seasons) still displayed the ability to unleash passes into tight coverage in the short and intermediate levels. The savvy veteran leads receivers to space, earning extra yards through yards-after-catch potential between the numbers.

    Deep Accuracy

    19/20

    In the deep game, Brees is no slouch. In 2014, he ranked third in the league with a 51.6 percent accuracy percentage. In a spread offense for a dome team, his ability to attack the deeper portions of the field is needed.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    Coming out of college, Brees didn't have the best arm in the world, which is why he settled in the second round. Since then, he's been able to improve his arm strength. But as of recently, it's topped off, and some might even say it's dipping.

    Decision-Making

    19/20

    For years, Brees has been pecking away at NFL defenses. He still nearly completed 70 percent of his passes in 2014, but the throws defenders have put a hand on have increased. He threw 17 intercepted balls in 2014 and plenty more that could have gone the other way.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    When looking at undersized throwers, Brees is the model for teaching. He's able to stay balanced, scooting his feet toward throwing lanes. He can throw from multiple platforms. He even has a fairly noticeable eye-angle change. Knowing his limitations is clearly a key for the Purdue product.

    Mobility

    3/5

    Brees isn't a player who consistently rips off runs that gash a team, but it's rare for him to finish the season with negative yardage in the run game. In his career, he's totaled 690 yards on the ground and opened up plenty of opportunities to extend plays.

    Starter

    5/5

    Drew Brees and the Saints had a rough 2014, but he's more than good enough to continue with as the starter. This past season could have been the start of a career decline, but the current version of Brees is a quarterback nearly every team in the league would love to have.

    Overall

    91/100

5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    19/20

    Despite his small frame, Russell Wilson (5'11", 206 lbs, three seasons) is able to find passing lanes quickly to get out fast one-read throws in underneath coverage. With nice ball placement and velocity, it's not out of the question that the pro-style quarterback could run a quick-hitting spread offense.

    Deep Accuracy

    17/20

    In the Seahawks' misdirection system, they don't often throw the deep ball, but when they do, Wilson is usually aided a bit with some action in the backfield. In one-on-one situations, no defensive back is safe against the former Wisconsin and North Carolina State passer.

    Arm Strength

    19/20

    Running a true pro-style offense in 2015 is more of the exception than the rule at this point. Wilson came into the league in 2012 an undersized third-round pick and ran with his opportunity. Under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, he's typically reading keys on multiple levels of the defense, at times on the move, and delivering at a high rate.

    Decision-Making

    18/20

    In 2014, Wilson had a career low of seven interceptions, even though he threw 45 more passes than he ever had in a previous year. The rollout quarterback isn't pressured when he reaches the sideline without a great opportunity to get the ball downfield. Rather than forcing a pass, Wilson is much more willing to toss the ball aside and live for another down.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    Wilson can get a three-, five- or seven-step drop pass cleanly out in a compact motion. When outside of the pocket, he's proficient at keeping balance in both his upper and lower body to release a ball in stride with his momentum.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Built like a running back, Seattle's quarterback can run like one too. Not just an "escape the rush and run up the sideline" type, Wilson will put his foot in the dirt and eat yardage in the center of the field if a defense is willing to give him it.

    Starter

    5/5

    After winning a Super Bowl, it's safe to say Seattle's Day 2 selection of Russell Wilson has paid off. The former Wisconsin and North Carolina State passer is playing in a misdirection system which keeps him on the move—a great fit. He's got the tools to test a team but the patience to pick a defense apart, making him tough to scheme against.

    Overall

    92/100

4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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    Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    The young star of the league, Andrew Luck (6'4", 240 lbs, three seasons) is a cerebral type who was born to be a quarterback. He's able to slip passes in tight windows with anticipation, making the short passing game a breeze for him. His vision, arm talent and patience make him deadly underneath.

    Deep Accuracy

    18/20

    Matching up with wideout T.Y. Hilton often, he's not a poor thrower of the deep ball; he simply lacks precise touch at times. If there's blown coverage, he'll be sure to exploit it, but there's still development to be had in this aspect of his game.

    Arm Strength

    17/20

    Luck possesses a well-above-average arm, which creates nice natural velocity on the pass instead of pushing the ball downfield. He clearly has trust in his arm, which can make all of the throws. A body thrower, Luck can dial up a fastball and rip it when needed.

    Decision-Making

    19/20

    A true student of the game, Luck is extremely efficient at finding his open man, no matter the defense, for a 25-year-old heading into his fourth season. The Stanford graduate looks better each season and is quickly on a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady career path.

    Mechanics

    9/10

    Despite a slightly wide base and a slightly elongated motion, two aspects of his game which are more aesthetically displeasing than functionally incorrect, Luck checks out from a mechanical standpoint. Fluidly going from dropping back to stepping up to letting the ball sail, he's got nothing to worry about in that department.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Noted for having a similar 40-yard dash time as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton at a relatively close size, Luck is no old-school passer. At Stanford and at the professional level, he's proved he can run an option-style offense at times. In his three pro years, he's netted 905 yards on the ground.

    Starter

    5/5

    The promising future star of the league, Andrew Luck was everyone's favorite quarterback coming out of the 2012 draft class, and he hasn't disappointed. With laser accuracy and mobility for days, he can progress into somewhat of an athletic Peyton Manning if he continues to take the right steps.

    Overall

    92/100

3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    When discussing quarterbacks who can just absolutely, systematically outwill a defense, Tom Brady (6'4", 225 lbs, 15 seasons) has to come up. Brady, who will hit a team with on-the-money shots in the shallow range, is one of the reasons slot receivers became as large of a factor as they are in today's game.

    Deep Accuracy

    17/20

    It might be partially on the receivers around him, but Brady just can't hit the deep ball like he used to. His ability to stretch the defense vertically may have left New England when the team traded Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings.

    Arm Strength

    18/20

    Brady can still fire off some high-velocity balls. He's by no means throwing ducks consistently on Sundays, but he doesn't have a laser either. He's able to get his entire body into throws that need velocity, but Brady is an elite touch passer at this stage of his career.

    Decision-Making

    20/20

    Brady will pick you apart. Great with pre-snap looks, he's going to get you no matter what look you give him. Not much of a risk-taker, he's safe and efficient with the ball.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    From a mechanical standpoint, he's one of the best of the generation. He has little to no wasted motion, settling in the pocket only when looking for deep passes and then stepping up in a fluid force. Brady moves his feet in the pocket as well as any quarterback in football.

    Mobility

    3/5

    A former Montreal Expos draft pick, Brady isn't a poor athlete, just not a premier specimen by today's standards. If given grass, he can still eat a short game on the ground or bail the pocket to find himself some time. He’s also the best quarterback-sneak runner in the game.

    Starter

    5/5

    Tom Brady is still as fiery as ever and competes with the best of them. Other than his deep game, he's still the same quarterback who led the Patriots to that 18-0 record. Some speculate he may have to leave New England after his recently reworked contract, but he's got some quality years in him.

    Overall

    93/100

2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    Peyton Manning (6'5", 230 lbs, 17 seasons) goes at the short passing game like no one else in this generation. For decades, he'll be the athlete coaches will point to as the "take what the defense gives you" quarterback. Manning's anticipation and vision are rare, and he's able to find passing lanes most quarterbacks can't on underneath routes.

    Deep Accuracy

    20/20

    Manning's deep ball is still efficient, despite his arm dwindling in his career's twilight. Approaching two decades of professional play, there's no question why the calibration of his game is tightened up. Late in the year, Manning's downfield accuracy suffered as leg injuries limited his velocity and touch on drive passes.

    Arm Strength

    16/20

    At this point in his career, arm strength is the fatal flaw. Year to year, it would appear the aging process is showing up in this part of his game. This is where Manning's mind makes up for his arm in some ways. We saw late in the season a struggle to push the ball with two injured legs, which really brought out his lack of arm strength.

    Decision Making

    20/20

    At 2.24 seconds per throw, Manning has the quickest snap-to-throw time in the NFL. Born and bred to be a quarterback, his mental capacity is unquestioned pre- and post-snap.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    While looking a bit robotic, Manning's mechanics are damn near perfect. He has a developed drop and has been noted for having the premier elbow angle of any passer.

    Mobility

    2/5

    With all the recent rub on running quarterbacks, Manning wouldn't look like the new-age quarterback some are looking for. For as quick as his head and arm are, his feet are slow.

    Starter

    5/5

    Still the smartest quarterback in the league, Peyton Manning will run his offense at the line of scrimmage, finding your weakness, and there's really nothing one can do about it. Despite declining tools, his mind keeps him in games late in his career.

    Overall

    93/100

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Short Accuracy

    20/20

    Aaron Rodgers (6'2", 225 lbs, 10 seasons) attacks underneath coverage with rhythm and precision. A surgeon, he's one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the game. Rodgers continues to display great awareness, anticipation and vision. Unlike other quarterbacks, he's rarely fooled by underneath coverage.

    Deep Accuracy

    20/20

    Statistically great at the deep ball, Rodgers has a 50.9 accuracy percentage on balls thrown 20 yards or farther down the field. With great arm strength and excellent touch, Rodgers is able to rip balls for chunk plays if given time.

    Arm Strength

    20/20

    He doesn't simply have a gun. He has a short fuse on a big cannon. With a flick of the wrist, Rodgers is able to send out a ball with more velocity than most quarterbacks could with a perfect setup. It's no hyperbole to put Rodgers atop the list of strongest arms in the NFL.

    Decision-Making

    19/20

    Rodgers has an advanced mind for the game of football, but he's not flawless. While great at managing reads, he's still willing to throw some balls he shouldn't. With talent like his, he takes gambles. And while most pay off, his decision-making does waver at times.

    Mechanics

    10/10

    He's a quick, compact thrower who can let a ball off any platform. His mechanics aren't what you'd call prototypical because he does so much while moving, but he's never in a position where a ball can't functionally come out.

    Mobility

    4/5

    Not a dual-threat type or a quarterback who's built to withstand the zone read, Rodgers still makes plays with his feet. It doesn't even have to be by scampering through open space, but just finding more time to throw a developing route.

    Starter

    5/5

    Currently looking like the best player at the most important position in the sport, Aaron Rodgers gives the Packers everything they want in a quarterback. His quick trigger and strong arm make any ball possible, and his improvisational skills help receivers get open if their initial route doesn't produce separation.

    Overall

    98/100