Friday, September 3, 2010
Ranking the NFC South quarterbacks
By Pat Yasinskas ESPN.com
It’s time for the quarterbacks in our NFC South position rankings.
It was very easy to rank the starters in this group, but the backups were much more of a challenge. In other words, this position is very top heavy across the division. That’s what happens when you’ve got one of the game’s best and two more guys with enormous potential.
Drew Brees was an easy choice as the best quarterback in the NFC South.
Drew Brees, Saints. There’s no need to even try to explain. I’ll just say Brees belongs in any conversation about the best quarterbacks in the league, and might even top that list.
Matt Ryan, Falcons. With Michael Turner and Harry Douglas in good health, the Falcons finally should be able to do what they want on offense. Part of that plan includes opening things up a bit for Ryan, which should allow him to truly become a star.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers. Yes, he’s very much a work in progress. But the upside is tremendous. He can make plays with his arms and his legs, and the Bucs have been doing their best to surround him with weapons.
Matt Moore, Panthers. His play at the end of last season earned him a shot at the starting job. Moore’s got some intangibles and talent around him. He might turn out to be fine in a system that doesn’t require a superstar at quarterback.
Jimmy Clausen, Panthers. Carolina didn’t use a second-round pick on a guy they didn’t think could end up as the starter pretty quickly. Moore’s going to get his chance. But, if he stumbles at all, the Panthers won’t hesitate to turn things over to a rookie who spent his college career in a pro-style offense.
Patrick Ramsey, Saints. We don’t know yet if the Saints have settled on Ramsey as the No. 2 guy. But he’s good enough for No. 6 on this list. Ramsey’s a guy who didn’t get great coaching early in his career and has bounced around. But there still is talent here, and playing for Sean Payton is any quarterback’s dream.
Chase Daniel, Saints. Again, we’re waiting for Payton to make an announcement on who is No. 2, but Daniel certainly presented a strong case in the preseason. He’s short and doesn’t have the world’s biggest arm, but neither does Brees. A lot of people see Daniel as a young version of Brees.
Chris Redman, Falcons. If I had to choose one NFC South backup to get his team through one game, it would probably be Redman. He’s a veteran and can play well in small doses. But the Falcons would be in trouble if Redman had to play for an extended period.
Josh Johnson, Buccaneers. His preseason performance was good at times. There’s a lot of athleticism here. But I just don’t think Johnson’s a guy you want to see starting a game.