If you were building an NFL franchise, where would you start? I’ve assembled my personal top 5 franchise quarterbacks in the NFL, and why they could make any team successful. Take into consideration that these aren’t the best NFL quarterbacks, but the players I think will be the best long term, and are the best to build a franchise around.
Starting at number five may be a shocking pick to many -Sam Bradford (STL QB). Although looked down upon due to injury and lack of performance from his lofty expectations, Bradford is a well-rounded quarterback with a great arm and good confidence. If you don’t agree, look at it this way – Bradford was drafted number one overall in the 2010 NFL draft. He brought St. Louis from 1-15 to 8-8 in just one year, and he had a lack of offensive weapons on his side. The 2011 season wasn’t the best for Bradford, but having a vital ankle injury in the middle of the season didn’t help his play. But imagine Bradford with a well-built offense around him – with some offensive weapons, a great system and an experienced defense. You would have another, younger Tom Brady.
At number four, I will go with Andrew Luck (ROOKIE QB). Although he hasn’t played a single down of NFL football, I think Luck has the potential to be the next big thing in the NFL. Not only is Luck getting more publicity than any other player right now in the draft, but every single team has been watching him since his junior year in college. He is probably the best prepared college quarterback to come to the NFL since Peyton Manning, who he will likely be replacing. Just look at his last two years at Stanford – he completed 71 percent of his passes for 6,855 yards with 69 TDs and just 18 INTs. If he is a bust, which is highly unlikely, then that would be a shock to everyone. He is prepared to make great things happen in the NFL, and should be truly exciting to see.
Coming in at number three on my list is another former first overall pick, Mathew Stafford (DET QB). After being considered a bust his first couple of years due to injuries, Stafford finally stayed healthy and redeemed himself by bringing the Detroit Lions to a playoff berth last year. Along the way, he stacked up numbers that most quarterbacks only dream about, becoming only the fourth quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 5,000 yards in a season. And it doesn’t hurt to have Megatron (Calvin Johnson Jr.) at his side to throw bombs to.
The number two pick on the list is offensive rookie, and rookie of the year Cam Newton (CAR QB). Not only does this guy have an arm that defenses dread but he has athleticism, too. It’s not easy for defenses to stop Newton. You can’t just put the occasional QB spy on him either; teams have to go out of their way to develop a game plan to stop him. He’s the size of a linebacker, he has the speed of a halfback and he has the arm of a Manning. He threw for over 4,000 yards as a rookie and ran for another 700 yards, scoring 21 TDs through the air and 14 on the ground. He’s the perfect combination to make number two on my list.
Drum roll please….. In at number one, it’s really a no brainer. You can’t talk about quarterbacks and not mention this guy’s name. Mr. Aaron Rodgers (GB QB) tops my list of franchise quarterbacks, and the reason why? Well why not! He’s a complete package. He has probably the most accurate arm in the NFL. He has great deep accuracy and is the type of quarterback that will take any and every team to the playoffs. This guy is a freak of nature. If you look at his stats in the past three or four years, he is the most consistent quarterback in the league. This past year, he broke Peyton Manning’s record for the best single season QB rating (122.5), and he has the highest career passer rating of any quarterback in NFL history.
To evaluate things, I will give honorable mentions to Andy Dalton (CIN QB) Matt Ryan (ATL QB) Joe Flacco (BAL QB) Drew Brees (NO QB).
All these guys have what it takes to be great quarterbacks and I can’t wait to see how they perform in the 2012 season. As we see highs and lows of their careers, they all have the potential to be on their way to Canton someday.
This was a fun list to do, and I hope all of you leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments! Tell me who you think your top 5 franchise quarterbacks are in the comments and compare them to mine! Don’t forget follow me on Twitter @Blake_PPI
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