ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski is once again ranking the quarterbacks in the league right before the start of training camps opening and on Tuesday, he profiled Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who he has ranked seventh overall this year on his big board.
“Roethlisberger is the most unconventional quarterback in the league,” said Jaworski about the quarterback he had ranked sixth overall last year. “His ability to play outside of structure with what always seems like a random and arbitrary feel, continually amazes me.”
Despite dropping him one spot down in his rankings this year, Jaworski still thinks Roethlisberger is elite.
“I still believe is an elite quarterback because he\’s equally capable of beating from the pocket,” he said. “Improvisation without pocket efficiency does not produce consistency in the NFL. That\’s just the way it is. I would best describe Roethlisberger as more of a finesse passer who can drive the ball when it\’s absolutely necessary, as opposed to having a gun. But make no mistake, Roethlisberger can make every single throw.”
Throughout his evaluations this year, Jaworski has said that he puts a premium on quarterbacks being able to play within the pocket. On Tuesday, he said that winning also figures into his rankings as well.
“I have always placed a premium on winning in my evaluation of quarterbacks,” said Jaworski. “Ben Roethlisberger has won 69 percent of his NFL starts including the playoffs. Few would argue that he was not the decisive player in a large majority of those wins.”
With Roethlisberger now ranked seventh that means Jaworski will have Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in his top six this year. Jaworski likes quarterbacks with strong arms and last July, he said Flacco has the strongest arm in the league.
While Flacco might indeed have the strongest arm in the league, his 59.7% completion ratio in 2012 ranked him 18th overall when stacked against quarterbacks who attempted 300 or more passes last season. Roethlisberger, on the other hand, ranked 9th overall in that category. In addition, Flacco also ranked behind Roethlisberger in not only yards per attempt, but adjustment net yards per attempt as well.
Yes, Flacco did win a championship last season, and he put up some great numbers during the playoffs, but I wonder if Jaworski would have still ranked him ahead of Roethlisberger had the Ravens lost in the Super Bowl or in the divisional round against the Denver Broncos.
Below are Jaworski\’s quarterback rankings so far this offseason.
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