NFL Nation: Dilfer on QBs
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
ESPN's Trent Dilfer has ranked 49 NFL quarterbacks, placing them in 11 categories, including "elite," "superstar" and the diplomatic "gotta prove it."
Five from the AFC East made the list, with Miami Dolphins sophomore Chad Henne the only backup to make an appearance. So you won't find Kellen Clemens, Andrew Walter or Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Here they are in the order slotted:
- New England Patriots leading man Tom Brady ranked No. 2 in the elite category behind Peyton Manning.
Dilfer's analysis: Brady has "best pocket instincts in the league. ... unwaveringly disciplined in his approach and execution (film study, weight room, how he plays, etc.). ... uses tricks of trade very well to manipulate defenses (through snap counts, eye placement, pump fakes). ... on par with Manning in recognizing and accounting for last-second defensive adjustments."
- Miami's Chad Pennington ranked No. 4 in the "glad their ours" category along with such experienced vets as Jake Delhomme, Kerry Collins and David Garrard.
Dilfer's analysis: Pennington is a "proven winner who makes every team he's on better immediately. ... expert at dissecting and exposing weaknesses in the defense. ... limited physical skills."
- Trent Edwards of the Buffalo Bills was No. 2 in "gotta prove it" behind Matt Schaub. Last year's Patriots starter, Matt Cassel, was ranked fifth.
Dilfer's analysis: Edwards is "smart, athletic and a nice thrower of the football. ... still growing into his role. ... must show more consistent downfield velocity and accuracy."
- New York Jets rookie Mark Sanchez is the top prospect in the "on deck circle." Henne was fourth.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson
ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer has a fascinating look at several NFL quarterbacks.
He ranked the players in several categories: The Elite, superstars, stars, knocking at the door, GTO’S (Glad Their Ours), GPI’S (Gotta Prove It), in the on-deck circle, just win baby, not enough evidence, rehab projects and do not write them off.
Here is a look at the AFC West starting quarterbacks Dilfer analysis and what I feel about it.
Team: San Diego
Dilfer’s category: Superstar
Right call: Yes.
Ceiling category: Elite
How he’d get there: By winning a Super Bowl.
Dilfer’s category: GPI
Right call: No. Should be a just win baby
Ceiling category: GPI
How he’d get there: I don’t see Orton making the next step
Team: Kansas City
Dilfer’s category: GPI
Right call: Yes.
Ceiling category: Star.
How he’d get there: He’ll need a lot of help from his offense, but Cassel can potentially be a star.
Dilfer’s category: Not enough evidence
Right call: Yes.
Ceiling category: GTO
How he’d get there: Russell has potential, but there are major questions just how far he can stake his career.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
ESPN’s Trent Dilfer has an extensive analysis of the league’s quarterbacks and includes some interesting stuff on the guys from the NFC South.
Dilfer has Drew Brees rated just behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and says the New Orleans quarterback is only a championship ring away from being in the category of elite quarterbacks. He’s not far off on this one. A Super Bowl win by the Saints undoubtedly would put Brees into another stratosphere, but I think he’s already very close to that. I think a winning season and a playoff win or two would at least put Brees into the argument with Manning and Brady.
After Brees, Dilfer sees a pretty big drop off in the NFC South quarterbacks. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan is next on his list and he falls into the category "Knocking at the Door." Dilfer said the only negative on Ryan is he hasn’t played enough. That will change soon. When Ryan starts his second season, I think he’ll break down the door and boost himself in the eyes of everyone.
Dilfer puts Carolina’s Jake Delhomme in a category called "Glad They’re Ours." I’m sure a few Panthers fans aren’t so happy they have Delhomme. But Dilfer is a voice of reason as he calls Delhomme’s playoff disaster against the Cardinals an "aberration." I tend to agree. Delhomme’s last game was horrible, but his body of work in Carolina has been solid.
Dilfer puts Tampa Bay rookie Josh Freeman “In the on-deck circle’’ and says it’s way too early to form an opinion. Can’t argue that. We’ll find out about Freeman when he gets on the field.
When Freeman gets on the field depends largely on how Byron Leftwich fares as the starter and Dilfer puts him in the “Just Win, Baby’’ category. That’s a very accurate description of the situation for Leftwich. Freeman is going to be the quarterback at some point. The only way Leftwich stays on the field is if he wins some games.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kurt Warner and Matt Hasselbeck earned high marks in Trent Dilfer's recently published appreciation separating current NFL quarterbacks into categories. Warner and Hasselbeck were among five players in the "star" category reserved for "quarterbacks who have overcome small holes in their games to produce in a big way and enjoy big-game success." As Dilfer put it, "These are consistent prime-time performers, with very little separating them from superstar status."
I had a chance to speak with Dilfer about the project. More than anything, he wanted this to be an appreciation, not a critique. He thinks quarterback who play in the NFL could be as good as ever based on how much teams are demanding from the position. "Anyone can criticize," Dilfer wrote. "I've set out to appreciate the position through a level of analysis that simply isn't available without a full understanding for what these players experience and how the game has changed."
Dilfer also categorized Marc Bulger, Matt Leinart, Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. Seahawks backup Seneca Wallace, Dilfer's former teammate and a player he admires, didn't fit nicely into any of the categories (it's unclear if he'll get a chance to start full time in the future).