Alex Smith is a middle of the road starting quarterback in the NFL, according to Ron Jaworski’s rankings. Smith ranks ahead of players such as Jay Cutler, Robert Griffin III, and Sam Bradford.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 17, 2014
Arguments could certainly be made Smith should have ranked a little bit higher on Jaworski’s list when considering some of the quarterbacks who will be ranked ahead of him going into the top 16. There’s a strong argument to be made the difference in on-field performance between Nick Foles, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger isn’t much.
The problem with this ranking is it is hard to tell if Jaws is evaluating tools or performance and how he is weighting past, present, and future production. Certainly the tools of Kaepernick are intriguing but his performance last season was actually less than what Smith turned in. Ryan and Flacco have big arms, and Flacco even has a Super Bowl ring, but we would all agree there is more to playing quarterback than just throwing the ball 80 yards down field.
And lets also keep in mind Jaws had Kaepernick as his number one quarterback in the NFL in last year’s rankings.
If there is anything to be taken here it is Smith resides in a realm of quarterbacks that have made playoff appearances, won playoff games, and even won Super Bowls. No, he is not Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, but we should all keep in mind Brady hasn’t won a Super Bowl in a decade and Rodgers only has one ring on his finger despite his superior talent. There’s more that goes into championships than just the quarterback.
And we should also know the drop off from “playoff caliber quarterback” to “non-playoff caliber quarterback” is a steep and scary one. Look no further than number 32 on Jaws list if you need to be reminded.