Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Dolezel takes over the top spot in QB rankings
By Gary Horton
So who has the best QB in the AFL? Gary Horton goes team-by-team and ranks them all.
1. Dallas' Clint Dolezel
He is back playing at a high level and was excellent in a solid win over a very good New Orleans defense. He was 25 for 41 with 278 yards and seven touchdowns. He found good matchups all day and played a very clean game.
2. Philadelphia's Matt D'Orazio
He continues to fill in for Tony Graziani (who could return on Monday) and is playing solid football. He was 26 for 47 with five touchdowns and two interceptions in a last-second win over San Jose on the road. He spread the ball around nicely despite a lot of defensive pressure.
3. Utah's Joe Germaine
He continues to put up huge numbers, but can't do it all by himself. In a blowout loss to Los Angeles, Germaine completed 28-of-40 passes for nine touchdowns despite constant pressure from an aggressive Avengers defense. Still, for as well as he plays, his defense just doesn't make any stops.
4. San Jose's Mark Grieb
He played a solid game with six touchdown passes and his accuracy was excellent versus a good Philadelphia pass defense despite coming up short in a heartbreaking 58-57 last-second loss to the Soul.
5. New York's Aaron Garcia
When healthy and getting good pass protection, Garcia is as good as any QB in the AFL. He exploited a Columbus defense for 298 yards and eight touchdowns in a near-perfect performance.
6. Colorado's John Dutton
He becomes more consistent each week and although he threw two interceptions in a tough 69-66 win at Cleveland, Dutton completed 33 of 48 passes for 314 yards, eight TD passes and ran another one in for a score. He did an excellent job of getting the ball to his trio of receivers.
7. Columbus' Matt Nagy
He continues to put up solid numbers, but his defense did not give him a lot of help. Nagy threw for 273 yards and five touchdowns, but was sacked twice, had four passes broken up and was under pressure all game.
8. Los Angeles' Tom Hicks
He played a very solid game in his second start, putting up good numbers versus a Utah defense that doesn't make many big plays. Hicks was 18 for 29 for 284 yards and eight touchdown passes. His ability to create plays on the move is very impressive.
9. Tampa Bay's Brett Dietz
He played a solid game, statistically, but his defense couldn't stop an improved Arizona offense -- especially in the fourth quarter. Dietz was 24 for 32 with 367 yards, six touchdown passes and did a nice job of spreading the ball around to his receivers.
10. Georgia's Chris Greisen
After a bye week, he now faces division-rival Orlando. He is running an offense that is really starting to improve and gel and he's getting the ball to all of his targets. He's doing a nice job of bringing along a new group of receivers.
11. New Orleans' Danny Wimprine
He put up respectable numbers in a tough loss to Dallas, but the Desperados defense pressured him and he just didn't make a lot of explosive plays. Wimprine was 20 for 30 with 241 yards and four touchdown passes, but threw an interception and was sacked twice. Wimprine didn't look like the same QB we have seen in recent weeks.
12. Orlando's Shane Stafford
He played well early in a blowout 75-56 win at Grand Rapids before giving way to back up QB Jake Eaton. Stafford was a hot 14 for 16 for 203 yards and four touchdowns and showed pinpoint accuracy, made good decisions and got the ball to his playmaker T.T. Toliver.
13. Arizona's Lang Campbell
He finally got improved pass protection with a quicker, short-passing scheme and his offense was able to move the ball at will versus a usually good Storm defense. Campbell was 24 for 39 with eight touchdown passes. what was really impressive was the fact that Campbell wasn't sacked and didn't throw an interception.
14. Chicago's Russ Michna
With starter Sherdrick Bonner out with a knee injury, Michna made his second start and played a solid game versus a decent Kansas City defense in a 49-42 road win. He managed the clock well, made good decisions and completed 20 of 28 passes for 213 yards and four TDs.
15. Cleveland's Raymond Philyaw
He put up good numbers in a thrilling 69-66 loss to Colorado, but two key interceptions to Crush DB Rashad Floyd really hurt the Cleveland momentum. Philyaw was a very respectable 26 for 37 passing and seven TD passes. He had good ball distribution, but would love to have those two picks back.
16. Grand Rapids' James MacPherson
He played a respectable game in a loss to Orlando, with six touchdown passes, but the Predators defense made big plays when they had to. MacPherson was under constant pressure and his defense did nothing to help him.
17. Kansas City's D. Bryant
He seems to get a little better each week and even though the Brigade lost to Chicago 49-42, Bryant made good reads and good throws versus a very good and aggressive defense. He completed 22 of 37 passes for 211 yards and four TDs, but he was intercepted twice.
Gary Horton, a pro scout for Scouts Inc., has been a football talent evaluator for more than 30 years. He spent 10 years in the NFL and 10 years at the college level before launching a private scouting firm called The War Room.