The conversation of “elite” quarterbacks comes up often when talking about the NFL. Obviously there are those quarterbacks at the tail end of their careers, such as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. The question is, which quarterbacks out of the entire NFL would you want to pick if you were building your franchise around them? Obviously, things like age need to be factored in, but you also need to factor in pure skill, as well as what you already know about them.
For example, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota may both be elite quarterbacks, but at this point, can you really rank them in the top three? Neither quarterback has played a snap in the NFL, making them major risks if you had your pick of every quarterback in the league. Let’s take a look at the top three quarterbacks who you could build a franchise around starting today.
1. Andrew Luck
Not much of a question here. Andrew Luck should absolutely be on this list, but I believe he’s the top choice. He’s probably one of the best quarterbacks in the entire NFL and he’s only 25 currently. Luck threw an incredible 40 touchdowns last season with 4,761 yards. As he grows, he’ll continue to get better and better, making him the elite quarterback who you’d want leading your franchise for 10+ more years.
2. Russell Wilson
Wilson is only 26 and obviously has a Super Bowl already under his belt. While I absolutely love what Wilson brings to the table, I’m still placing him behind Luck. He hasn’t been asked to do as much as Luck, but has shown the ability to make big plays with both his arm and his legs. During 2014, Wilson threw for 3,475 yards and 20 scores, while rushing for 849 yards and six more touchdowns. The main difference between Wilson and Luck is that Luck simply doesn’t have the defense behind him that Wilson does. Either way, I’d be happy to have either of these guys as my quarterback.
3. Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill made a big leap last season. While he didn’t get the Miami Dolphins back to the postseason, he still increased his touchdown production, while decreasing his interceptions. Tannehill threw for 4,045 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2014, and best of all, he’s only 26 years old. A strong case could be made for Teddy Bridgwater here, but I’ll happily take Tannehill, who should still have a solid 10 or more seasons left in him. Tannehill hasn’t always had the best receiving options around him, but he’s still got the job done, which you simply have to appreciate.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @JSM8ith.