By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on May 27, 2014
The NFC North features some of the league's best quarterback play. How do the division's signal callers stack up against one another? Check out these rankings.
Unless the light bulb suddenly comes on for Christian Ponder during summer training and the exhibition season, the former first-round pick will likely be relegated to a backup role in Minnesota or elsewhere. He just doesn't do anything particularly well and is most impeded by average arm strength. He'll have a chance to win the starting job, but Matt Cassell and Teddy Bridgewater will be tough outs.
Matt Cassel would appear to be the more reliable short-term solution at quarterback at this juncture if Teddy Bridgewater's learning curve proves to be steep. Though inconsistent, Cassel is capable of keeping the Vikings competitive if called upon. Inaccuracy issues have been his biggest detriment as of late.
Possessing one of the strongest arms in the NFL, Jay Cutler is capable of dissecting any secondary with velocity reminiscent of a laser beam. Unlike many strong arms, Cutler is also adept at putting touch on passes when need be. His mechanics, however, often break down, and he's had a difficult time staying healthy recently. With better health and footwork, Cutler should be able to lead Chicago over the hump and back into the playoffs.
Statistically, Matthew Stafford is one of the NFL's most prolific quarterbacks. Since 2011, only Drew Brees has tallied more passing yards than Stafford. Playing in Detroit's pass-happy offense and throwing to the game's most imposing receiver, Calvin Johnson, has inflated Stafford's production, though. His mechanics and accuracy are sloppy at times, which is preventing him from truly asserting himself into the elite category.
With Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees all nearing the tail end of their respective careers, Aaron Rodgers appears primed to take over the reigns as the NFL's top quarterback. With elite velocity and accuracy, Rodgers has all the tools to become one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Staying healthy will be key in 2014.
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