When it comes to ranking the quarterbacks in the NFL, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions is a player who is ranked all over the place, depending on who you ask.
Now, if you have paid attention to what I have written over the years, you are well aware of my admiration for Stafford. I truly believe he is an elite quarterback and had he spent his career on a competent franchise, he would have plenty of playoff wins and maybe even a Super Bowl title on his resume. But, he has played for a Lions franchise that has failed time and time again to hire the right general manager and coaching staff to build and lead a contender.
One person (there are plenty) who disagree with me is Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus (Shocker).
Palazzolo recently put together a piece in which he ranks the 32 starting NFL quarterbacks by putting them into four tiers, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4.
High-end quarterbacks who can carry a team. They have high percentages of positively graded plays and limit negatively graded throws, and they’re most likely to achieve high-end passing production no matter their supporting cast.
Quarterbacks who are more likely to elevate teammates and achieve top-end production, even with lesser supporting casts. Tier 2 QBs have a good chance to rank among the NFL’s top-eight quarterbacks — or even finish as the NFL’s top signal-caller — in any given year.
Volatile or conservative quarterbacks who will rely even more heavily on supporting cast and play-calling. Tier 3 quarterbacks can post top-10 production in any given year in the right situation.
Quarterbacks with more question marks, either due to a lack of experience/seeing them perform at a high level in the NFL or due to volatility when given extended opportunities to play.
According to Palazzolo, who may or may not have been sipping down on grandpa’s old cough medicine, while putting together these rankings, Matthew Stafford is a Tier 3 quarterback!
That’s right folks, Palazzolo (who is entitled to his opinion, even if it is comical) ranks Stafford among the likes of Cam Newton, Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff, and rookie QB Joe Burrow, who has yet to take his first NFL snap.
Personally, I would put Stafford as a Tier 2 quarterback, based on Palazzolo’s criteria for each tier and to put him down in Tier 3 makes me wonder if he watched Stafford when he was healthy in 2019. If he had, there is no way in hell that he would put him in the same Tier as Baker freaking Mayfield.
Sorry for the rant but these rankings that disrespect Stafford are getting very old.
Nation, where do you rank Stafford?