The quarterback class of 2004 turns 10 years-old this season and to honor the anniversary, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt has decided to rank what is left of them, according to who he’d pick to lead an offense in 2014.
To nobody’s surprise, topping Brandt’s list is Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was the third overall quarterback taken in the 2004 NFL Draft and here are a few of the reasons as to why he chose him over Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.
Though it might have been a bit obscured by the Steelers’ disappointing season, Big Ben still produced in 2013, posting the second-highest totals in passing yards (4,261) and touchdown passes (28) of his career — ninth- and seventh-best in the NFL, respectively. Yes, he was sacked 42 times, but a whopping 15 of those sacks came during Pittsburgh’s 0-4 start, when the team was hampered by lackluster offensive line play.
He’s got great size and excellent athletic ability, and he can still make all the throws. Furthermore, it looked like he was speeding up his reads and making quicker decisions toward the end of last season, his second working with offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Brandt goes on to rank Manning second and is quick to point out that he lacks the arm strength and athleticism that Roethlisberger possesses.
Rivers is Brandt’s third choice followed by Matt Schaub and Luke McCown.
Brandt is spot on with his rankings although I could see where there could be some discussion between Manning and Rivers as to who is second behind Roethlisberger.
Who would you rank second behind Roethlisberger?