Carolina Panthers fans aren’t going to like this. In a new Insider article, ESPN’s Mike Sando asked 26 “league insiders” (Eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches, two position coaches, and a top executive) to give each quarterback in the NFL a rating of 1-5, with 1 being the top level and 5 being the worst. The results were somewhat surprising.
-Just five quarterbacks were placed in the “first tier”: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Andrew Luck
-Ten quarterbacks made up the “second tier”: Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles
-Cam Newton and Jay Cutler both ended up in the “third tier”
So the league consensus is that Cam Newton is, at best, the 16th best starting quarterback out of 32. That’s exactly average. Meanwhile, the guy that spurned Carolina by returning for his senior year, Andrew Luck, is considered one of the five elite quarterbacks and Colin Kaepernick, who was taken in the second round of the draft Newton was taken number one in, is considered a tier better. That’s not where you want to be if you’re a former number one overall pick.