Top 15 QBs Before Training Camp: 2014 NFL Power Rankings

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2014 NFL Power Rankings: Top 15 QBs Before Training Camp

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback position is by far the most important position in the NFL. Without a good quarterback teams have no chance, but like any other position they cannot do everything by themselves. Sometimes a quarterback's surrounding cast can carry a team too -- that is something to keep in mind as I preview the top 15 quarterbacks in the NFL.

15. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
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15. Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Cutler has an elite skill set at the quarterback position. He has one of the strongest arms in the NFL and he has posted decent numbers over the course of his NFL career. The question remains whether he can be consistent over a 16-game season. If Cutler can put together a strong campaign this year he should move up in the quarterback rankings. Until then Bears fans are going to continue to be frustrated with the quarterback's erratic play.

14. Nick Foles

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

14. Nick Foles

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Foles had a breakthrough season last year, after coming on in relief of Michael Vick against the Giants. He managed to not only win the starting job but also win the division as well. Foles is a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense that features a lot of west coast passing concepts. He doesn’t turn the ball over and he also has a strong running game to protect him. He needs to have another strong season if he is going to crack the top ten.

13. Alex Smith

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
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13. Alex Smith

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith had a great season under new head coach Andy Reid. He was another quarterback that is a perfect fit for the west coast offense. Smith managed to show the world that he is not a product of Jim Harbaugh coaching. He has a very strong running game to protect him but that doesn’t mean he can’t play in a shootout type game if asked. It will be interesting to see what year two under the same offensive coordinator can do for Smith.

12. Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
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12. Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When the 49ers signed Kaepernick to an extension in the offseason they were signing him for what he is going to be down the road. Currently he is not a top ten quarterback, but he has the potential to be the best in the NFL. He struggles going through his progressions before taking off but his athletic ability allows him to get away with that. He is not a top ten quarterback yet but he is on his way.

11. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
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11. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson is the defending Super Bowl champion and that should be enough for most people to put him in the top ten. However, Wilson had one of the best defenses in NFL history and one of the strongest running games in the NFL. He isn’t asked to do too much with the offense and he excels at whatever the coaches ask him to do. Wilson has a bright future ahead of him but he is not quite ready to make the top ten.

10. Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

10. Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Last year Matt Ryan had a down year but that was due to losing his number one receiver in Julio Jones for the entire year and Roddy White for three games. Nevertheless Ryan managed to post great numbers to go along with a running game that went nowhere and a defense that played poorly. Ryan is still a top ten quarterback in the NFL and now with an improved offensive line and defense he’ll regain his status next year.

9. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

9. Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Roethlisberger last year had a very solid year -- he managed to throw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Those numbers both put him in the top ten statistically. Roethlisberger also had to deal with a lot of injuries last year. He lost his starting center to injury in Week 1 and his starting running back Le’Veon Bell didn’t play until week 4. He has underrated accuracy and can move to extend the play with ease.

8. Cam Newton

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
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8. Cam Newton

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last year Cam Newton took his game to the next level by leading the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs and the No. 2 seed in the conference. Newton played at an elite level last year and he also had a strong running game and defense to help him. He showed the ability to stand and throw from the pocket and lead his team. It will be an interesting year for Newton now that he lost his entire wide receiver core from last year.

7. Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

7. Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

There are not enough words to show how much Andrew Luck does for the Indianapolis Colts. Last year he did not have a strong running game or a strong defense and it seemed like everyone around him was falling to injury. Despite all of that he still managed to win a playoff game and hold the Patriots to a close game until the fourth quarter. Luck is on his way to become a superstar in the NFL -- expect big things from him this year.

6. Tony Romo

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

6. Tony Romo

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As much as Cowboys fans don't want to admit it, Tony Romo is a franchise quarterback in the NFL. Romo does not have a defense to fall back on if he makes mistakes and he has shown that he can play in shootouts. Both his numbers and his play suggest that he is a top ten quarterback in the NFL. The only question that remains is how much he has left after back surgery last year.

5. Phillip Rivers

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
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5. Phillip Rivers

Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Last year was a comeback year for Phillip Rivers; he lead the NFL in completion percentage and lead the Chargers to the second round of the playoffs. Rivers played like an elite quarterback in 2013 and the reason for that was Mike McCoy’s new offense. Rivers helped develop Keenan Allen into a stud wide receiver. Antonio Gates has lost a step, so he no longer has his security blanket but that didn’t seem like an issue for Rivers last year.

4. Tom Brady

Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Tom Brady

Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady appeared to struggle a bit last year with inaccurate throws but he still found a way to lead the Patriots to 12 wins and to the AFC Championship game. Brady had to fight through inexperienced wide receivers but his defense played well and gave him a shot every game. Not to mention he had a very underrated running game that kept defenses honest. Brady isn’t showing signs of decline and should remain a top five quarterback in the NFL.

3. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

3. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers last year was playing like a top three quarterback before he injured his collarbone against the Bears. Rodgers did not post his usual spectacular numbers because of that injury but that shouldn’t take away from his skill set. He is a smart runner with deadly accuracy and an absolute cannon for an arm. Rodgers should be back to playing a full season next year and will show why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

2. Drew Brees

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

2. Drew Brees

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees continues to play at a high level year after year. Last year he continued that trend when he threw for 5162 yards and 39 touchdowns while holding the second best completion percentage in the NFL at 68.6%. In most years that would be good enough to be considered the best quarterback in the NFL but he got beat out by a historical season. Look for Brees to maintain those numbers now that his offense has added Brandin Cooks.

1. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the NFL going into the 2014 season. Last year he did fail in accomplishing the ultimate team goal but that shouldn’t take away the best season a quarterback has ever had. This year don’t expect the same numbers as last year but the offense should remain the same. Barring injury, he is a lock for 4,000 yards, 30+ touchdowns and a shot at another MVP season.

Christopher Pimentel is a writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google.