Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sanchez, Henne, Fitz buried in QB rankings
By Tim Graham
A week before the season began, ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton ranked the NFL quarterbacks from No. 1 through 33.
He broke them down into three divisions: Elite, the Chad Penningtons (strong with a supporting cast, but not great) and Hit-or-Miss.
Clayton seemed a bit harsh on the AFC East quarterbacks at the time, but his rankings bore out.
He came back Tuesday with his year-end evaluations, slotting 35 of them.
In parentheses, I've included Clayton's summer ranking for each AFC East starting quarterback.
1 (2). Tom Brady, Patriots: Clayton in the summer rated Peyton Manning first. They flip-flopped. Manning was hurt by tight end Dallas Clark's absence, while Brady enjoyed an MVP season.
20 (23). Mark Sanchez, Jets: He was near the bottom of the Pennington Division. Clayton noted Sanchez didn't experience a sophomore slump, but didn't make a jump either. Clayton gives him a 50 percent chance of graduating to the Elite Division.
24 (NR). Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills: He was ranked right below Matthew Stafford in the Hit-or-Miss Division. Clayton gives Fitzpatrick a five percent chance of becoming Elite.
30 (25). Chad Henne, Dolphins: The only remaining AFC East quarterback to drop on Clayton's chart regressed even with Brandon Marshall to throw to. Clayton pegs Henne's chances of joining the Elite Division at 25 percent.
NR (31). Trent Edwards, former Bills starter: He didn't make Clayton's list now that he is David Garrard's backup for the Jacksonville Jaguars.