Feb 11, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
Would you rather have Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and highest-rated passer in the NFL Nick Foles under center, or Seattle Seahawks signal-caller and world champion Russell Wilson?
There’s been an ongoing debate in Philadelphia as to how good Foles really is, whether mobile quarterbacks are better than pocket passers and, specifically in our comment section, where Foles ranks compared to today’s field generals such as Wilson. Thanks to The Sideline View, now we have a former NFL executive’s opinion on the matter.
Jerry Angelo spent over 30 years as a scout and executive at the pro level, including 11 years as general manager of the Chicago Bears from 2001-11. He rated every quarterback based on their performance in 2013 and broke them up into eight tiers.
The “upper class” or elite quarterbacks consist mostly of household names—Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck. No real arguments there.
Foles landed on tier two. The players in this grouping fell under the following description:
Played at a high level. Was one of the reasons – but not the reason – for his team’s success… not elite.
Ben Roethlisberger, Wilson, Colin Kapernick and Alex Smith(?!) were all just ahead of Foles. Here’s what Angelo had to say specifically about the Birds’ QB:
Put up top numbers and achieved the best QB rating in football. Once they made the change to him, they won. He knows how to protect the ball and get them in the end zone. Oakland got a dose of how good he is doing it.
Again, Angelo’s rankings appear to be based specifically on 2013. Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford were listed on the next tier down summarized as “Talented… but had a subpar year,” indicating those players could move up. Two tiers lower finds Robert Griffin III with “strong traits but hasn’t done it,” with a career trajectory that could go either way.
For what it’s worth, Michael Vick falls on the second-to-last tier, “temporary relief, but not a long term solution.” Matt Barkley did not play enough to be graded.
It’s a much more clinical look than just your conventional list. Putting the passers in defined tiers makes more sense, as you can get a better feel for whom the elites are, and who has room to grow and move up.
I don’t agree with every rating 100 percent. In my mind, Alex Smith is more of a tier-four quarterback—“solid traits but limited.” I’d also bump Joe Flacco out of that fourth group and move him up to “talented… but had a subpar year.”
Overall, it’s a strong list from a scouting perspective and good fodder for our debates. Foles appears to be pretty much right where he belongs based on his 2013. Where he goes from there will be determined by his much-anticipated follow-up campaign.
>> Jerry Angelo rates every QB from the 2013 NFL season [Sideline View]
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