Ranking the five most likely quarterbacks to jump to “elite” status in the NFL.
Elite. It’s a word thrown around much too easily nowadays. It’s our favorite term to use for upper-echelon quarterbacks, especially. Even the best analysts are not immune. But this is not a mush fest on par with Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football or his now annual Quarterback Camp.
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Gruden would have you believe any quarterback who makes an NFL roster is the most amazing thing since sliced bread. In fairness to Gruden, as a coach, he’s not wrong. Playing the position at the NFL level is difficult, and thus anyone who makes an NFL roster is pretty darn good.
But the “elite” tag should be reserved for the truly special players at the preeminent position in all of modern sport. It should be exclusive to the creme de la creme.
By definition it cannot, rather it must not be tossed to and fro for every guy who takes a snap under center for a NFL team in 2015 or any other year.
A few weeks back, we anked the top-10 quarterbacks from 2014. It seems fair in this era to say that 10 are “elite”. If one wanted to be liberal with the term, they could probably expand the list to 12, maybe 13 and include Joe Flacco and perhaps Matthew Stafford, as well as one player on this list.
But 10 seems like a fair number.
It is a nice, round fat number which necessarily gives some space for a variety of definitions, while also maintaining the important exclusivity of the term. But it will not be long when at least three of those men: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, are swallowed up by mother nature’s unforgiving killer–age. And in their place will arise new names to the list of “elite” quarterbacks.
Here are the most likely candidates to replace them on future top-10 lists, in combined order of most likely to reach the plain and time it will probably take for them to get there, from most probable and soon to least probable and/or soon (though two and three could easily be flip-flopped, and I’d probably agree).
Next: So close to there, he can see the promised land