Just because one is recognized as an “expert” on football doesn’t mean that title is actually official. Take NFL Analyst Gregg Rosenthal, for instance.
He recently put together his list of who he considers to be the top 35 quarterbacks in the National Football league. And as expected, some obvious names round out the top three in Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson.
However, it was the eye-opening ranking of Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, coming in at number ten. Behind him at number 11? Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford.
That’s a joke, right?
Apparently not. Here’s what he had to say about Stafford:
“A top-10 finisher in my year-end QB Index in two of his last three completed seasons, Stafford was playing perhaps the best football of his career last fall before a injuring his back. Considering he hadn’t missed a game since 2010, he gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to durability. Under team control for three more years at an average cap hit of $26.8 million, he’s still a major asset.”
And the reasoning behind putting Mayfield at 10, while even considering him inside the top six:
“Perhaps the toughest quarterback to evaluate on this list. I debated Baker going as high as No. 6 and as low as No. 15. Settling in here came down to one factor above all: The skill set he possessed as a rookie hasn’t crumbled into dust. Expectations, disastrous coaching, indecision and regrettable ad campaigns left the impression that Mayfield’s second season was a disaster, but the numbers and tape don’t agree. He snuck into the top 20 in Pro Football Focus’ grading, as well as QBR. He made way more impressive throws than you remember. His lack of on-field clarity was jarring, but Browns fans should still be encouraged to have a young quarterback this productive and this accurate on a rookie contract.”
Mayfield’s early career struggles are well known, and while he still has plenty of time to put it together, there’s no way he should be listed ahead of an established veteran like Stafford – especially when the latter was playing MVP level football.
– – Quotes via Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com Link – –