When Quarterback Rankings Go Wrong: Jason Smith Of NFL.com

A recent ranking of NFL quarterbacks by Jason Smith of NFL.com has TOJ scratching his head

Jason Smith is a fantasy football writer for NFL.com. However, he recently ranked the top 32 quarterbacks in the league not based on their fantasy projections but just on where each quarterback in the NFL currently ranks heading into 2012 overall as a player. The list was a head scratcher to say the least, particularly with his classification of Mark Sanchez who continues to receive zero respect from any mainstream media analysts.

Sanchez is number 23 on this list. Behind Andrew Luck, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Robert Griffin III, and Jake Locker. Let’s ignore the fact that Sanchez has more playoff wins (4) than all of these players combined (0) and then just compare stats.

In 2011, Sanchez threw for 3,747 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions with a 56.7 completion percentage. He also ran for 6 touchdowns, en route to leading his team to 8 wins. One other note, Sanchez has missed 1 start in 3 years of being a NFL starter.

Sam Bradford missed 6 starts last season. When he was on the field, he threw 6 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and had a 53.7 completion percentage. After a strong rookie year, he regressed. Sanchez has improved every single year since coming into the league.

Josh Freeman did have a higher completion percentage than Sanchez last year, at 62.8. He also threw for less yards at 3,592 and threw 22 interceptions to 16 touchdowns on a team that won 4 games. He regressed substantially in his third year, while Sanchez…at least statistically, did not.

Carson Palmer went 4-6 as a starter last year for Oakland, while throwing 13 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. He was also outplayed by Sanchez head to head in a playoff game in 2009, when the Jets beat Cincinnati in their building.

As a rookie, Jack Locker played meaningful snaps in three games. All three were losses. He threw a total of 66 passes last year. In Sanchez’s rookie year he won two road playoff games and started 15 regular season games.

Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck haven’t played a NFL snap yet. They could be Akili Smith and Ryan Leaf for all we know.

Other crazy parts of this list include Matt Ryan being listed ahead of Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. Ryan Fitzpatrick being ranked higher than Alex Smith and Tim Tebow not being included while Colt McCoy and Chad Henne are.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • Hi Joe…glad I found your site. I remembered reading your posts from a previous site. With respect to Sanchez, the MSM seems to have a real dislike for Mark. I suspect this is due to in no particular order a) the media hype of him in his first 2 years b) the hype of the Jets during the Rex era – i.e. Hard Knocks etc and 3) his ethnicity. I’m sure they will deny number 3 till the cows come home, but very few ever admit to any semblance of racism. All that said, he threw 26 TDs last season playing behind an inconsistent line and an inept offensive coordinator. I have no idea if Sparano is the answer, but you give this kid any decent coordinator and a decent line and he will be just fine. Like any growing QB, he has more to learn, but the vitriol he has faced is purposefully over-the-top.

  • Dan

    This article is a perfect example of why this is my favorite JETS site. Smart analysis and well written. Keep up the great work.

  • Betty

    So, it’s not just me! I thought that something was wrong with Sanchez being marked so low, and Tebow not even making the list! That made all the stated opinion questionable to me. I thought it was something I just didn’t understand about the ranking system. But, now I think I can just disregard the whole thing.

    You have a pleasant site. Keep up the good work.

  • Ray

    The funny part of this article is that Jason Smith openly professes his love for the Jets all the time, so maybe he is trying to show he is being unbiased by being more critical of Sanchez. However, having listened to Jason for five (long and mostly dreadful) years on ESPN overnite, I think it proves what I always thought. Jason Smith is a clueless boob who proves that just because you are allowed to be on the public airways, it doesn’t mean you should or you belong there. He is without a doubt the weakest link in the ESPN chain.

  • lm

    who cares about sanchez? the guy isn’t that good and shouldn’t even be in the nfl. Much better people then him.

  • lm

    jets suck anyway. take your 8-8 record and go away

  • Joe Caporoso

    LM…thank you for not caring about Sanchez and hating the Jets but still liking me enough to read the site.