The NFL’s break between minicamp and training camp is the season of rankings, because that’s one of the best and easiest ways to generate content and discussion when there is no real football news to discuss.
The fun ranking to start off this week is from Pro Football Focus, who have been ranking positional contracts for the past few weeks. Today, however, PFF looked at the quarterback “situations” for each team across the NFL, examining the quality of teams’ starters and primary backups. The tandem claiming PFF’s top spot should come as no surprise to Green Bay Packers fans: it’s Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley.
Here is their explanation for giving the Packers duo the top spot:
Things did not go well for Aaron Rodgers in 2015, but he is still the top quarterback in the league at his best, and pretty much everybody at PFF expects him to bounce back in the season to come now that he has his top target back in action (Jordy Nelson), and he can regain the trust he lost in his receivers over the year. In 2014, he was comfortably the best-graded passer in the league and there isn’t any reason he can’t get back to that kind of level. Behind him is Brett Hundley, a talented athlete that many are high on, but a player that did not “wow” in grading terms in his final college season.
Clearly, the PFF team puts a massive emphasis on the starter instead over the backup, as they should. In an ideal world, Hundley spends his time this regular season holding a clipboard and occasionally handing the football off and kneeling in the fourth quarter of some blowout wins. It’s interesting that there was no mention of Hundley’s preseason grades a year ago, when he was one of the league’s top passers.
Some are not very high on Hundley, however. Sporting News’ ranking of confidence in NFL teams’ backup quarterback depth charts, for example, puts Hundley in just 17th place. Then again, this list also has players like Matt Schaub, the Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch tandem, and Landry Jones ahead of him, as well as ranking Scott Tolzien an inexplicable 31st. So with that in mind, it’s probably best to just ignore this list.
A few things are certain here: the Packers still have one of the league’s truly elite quarterbacks throwing the football, and they have a smart, athletic, young player with solid potential behind him as a backup. That’s pretty damn good, and it’s hard to imagine a much better setup for success.
Editor’s note: this article initially said that Tolzien was ranked 29th in the Sporting News article, which was incorrect. The error has been fixed.