Mike Sando over at ESPN put together and interesting project recently. He wanted to go about ranking the NFL's 32 projected starting quarterbacks this season based not on his own opinion but those in the league circles. After all, if it were simply his opinion, everyone could just call him biased. Here is how he described his study:
I asked 26 league insiders to grade every projected starting quarterback on a 1-5 scale, with "one" reserved for the best and "five" for the worst. Eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches, two position coaches and a top executive participated, attacking the project with gusto almost across the board.
Then he took those results, gave an average rating, and ranked players in order, separating them by tiers. The results seem to pretty accurately depict where each quarterback stands in the league.
Schaub was placed in tier four, though it was at the top of the tier group. Those below him are Chad Henne, E.J. Manuel, Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Locker, and Geno Smith.
Here is what was said of Schaub:
25. Matt Schaub, Oakland Raiders (3.58 average rating)
Questions persist about whether Schaub can right his career after a brutal 2013 season. He is seen as a system QB. Ten of the voters put him in the third tier, but 15 had him lower than that.
"That will be interesting confidencewise coming off last year," a defensive coordinator said. "He is accurate, but I put him in that three category because the passes were underneath, boot type and then, here and there, they took shots."
Ranked just ahead of Schaub is Josh McCown who played masterfully in Marc Trestman's offense last season while spending most of his career before that as a journeyman backup. Also ahead of Schaub is Sam Bradford who, by most measurements, actually had a worse 2013 campaign than Schaub. As it so happens, he was tied with Carson Palmer.
As for the other AFC West quarterbacks, Peyton Manning was tied for the top spot with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees, Philip Rivers was led off tier 2 quarterbacks, and Alex Smith was in tier 3 at the 18th overall spot.