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Tiering Up – Quarterbacks

Tier One

Brady, P. Manning, Romo

Brady is coming off an NFL record 50 touchdown passes, breaking Manning’s record of 49 set back in 2004.

   Romo threw for 36 scores and could be even better in his second season with mastermind offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s system. Manning will miss most of the preseason and while his timing may be a little off when he returns, he’s too good to let it hinder his production for long. Given their offensive situations, any of these guys could throw for 40 touchdowns this year and are the most likely to pass for at least 30 scores.

 

 

 

Tier Two

Brees, Palmer, Roethlisberger, Hasselbeck

Drew Brees is the leader of an exciting pass-first offense in

New Orleans that features two dynamic players in Reggie Bush and Marques Colston. Carson Palmer is a fine QB with excellent receivers who will likely be playing from behind this year given the

Bengals’ rough schedule. Big Ben had a career year last season and early indications are the offense will continue to feature more passing than Steeler fans are used to. Matt Hasselbeck will continue to be called upon to provide the offense at least until the Seahawks can figure out their running game minus Shaun Alexander. He is also coming off a career year after tossing 28 TD’s. These guys will all likely finish with 25-30 touchdowns, not including any rushing scores.

 

 

 

Tier Three

Anderson, Cutler,

McNabb, Bulger, Favre

This tier features quarterbacks with the potential to perform very well this season. Of these guys, McNabb and Bulger are two who could easily outperform this tier if they stay healthy. Cutler will miss

Marshall for a few games which will negatively impact his numbers. Favre can sling it with the best of them but his situation is still up in the air as of this writing. I say he gets traded and then it remains to be seen how he adapts to a new system.

Anderson is the most intriguing guy here because he has great weapons in

Cleveland. His offense won’t be sneaking up on any team this year though and there’s always former first-round pick Brady Quinn waiting in the wings if the Browns happen to get off to a slow start. These quarterbacks are a lock for at least 20 touchdowns with the potential to approach 30 scores.

 

Tier Four

E. Manning,

Garrard, Rivers,

Delhomme, Schaub,

Warner, Kitna, Young, Rodgers

The signal callers in this tier are the hardest to get a handle on because they either haven’t performed at a consistent level, have unproven receivers or are coming off injuries. Manning is the most obvious choice to build on last season’s success if he can become more consistent. I like Delhomme to stay healthy and re-establish the dangerous passing offense that was largely absent in

Carolina last year. Garrard performed masterfully as the Jaguars starting QB last year but most of his receivers are nursing injuries in training camp. Matt Schaub is only getting better but he’ll need an effective running game to relieve some of the defensive pressure. Warner is in this tier because if Leinart stumbles (and that jury’s still out), he’s got enough experience to exploit one of the best receiving tandems in the league. Don’t expect any of these quarterbacks to throw for more than 25 touchdowns with the possible exception of the highlighted names.

 

Tier Five

Campbell,

Garcia, Leinart, Edwards, Jackson, Smith, Russell, Croyle,

Clemens/Pennington, Boller

The quarterbacks in Tier Five have sleeper potential…at least a couple of these guys could have outstanding seasons. The two that stand out are Jason Campbell,

who will have plenty of opportunities in new head coach Jim Zorn’s west coast offense and the eventual Jets starter, be it Kellen Clemens or Chad Pennington.

   That quarterback will have the luxury of utilizing a fine receiving corps made up of Coles, Cotchery, Keller/Franks and Leon Washington. Tarvaris Jackson could be a nice sleeper (depending what happens with Favre) because with ADP toting the rock, there will be plenty of opportunities for big plays in the passing game.

  The quarterbacks in this tier will be challenged to throw for more than 20 touchdowns.

 

No disrespect to the Chicago Bears’ tandem of Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton.

 

Draft Strategy

– Everyone would like to grab one of the Tier One quarterbacks but at what price? They will likely cost a 1st or 2nd round pick and, depending on the scoring system, greater value may be had later. Any passer from the first three tiers is a weekly starter. Quarterbacks starting in Tier Four are less reliable starters either due to their offensive system, lack of consistency or opportunity. Ideally, those field generals should be taken as backups.

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