The ESPN Insider crew, led by Senior Writer Mike Sando, has compiled their annual list of NFL quarterbacks ranked in tiers. The rankings go from the best of the best (tier 1), down to the bottom of the barrel (tier 5).
ESPN didn’t just compile this list based on a whim, Sando talked with fifty league insiders, which included, “nine general managers, six pro personnel directors, five other executives, five head coaches, seven offensive coordinators, six defensive coordinators, five defensive assistants, three analytics directors, two quarterbacks coaches and two national scouts.”
According to Sando, “the higher the tier, the less help the quarterback needs to be effective, especially when circumstances inevitably call for him to flourish in pure passing situations.”
There were five QBs that cracked the top tier, with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers being the only unanimous selections. One other thing, the insiders did not rank any rookies, for obvious reasons.
The Chicago Bears’ Mike Glennon landed in the fourth tier (27th overall), with a 3.86 average rankling. This was the first time in the four year history of the list that he made the cut. He received one second tier vote, eight third tier, thirty-eight in the fourth, and three in the fifth tier.
Here’s what they had to say about Glennon.
Glennon tossed 28 touchdown passes with 15 interceptions as a starter for dysfunctional Buccaneers teams in 2013-14. He had a 5-13 record in those starts and has attempted only 11 regular-season passes during the past two seasons, completing 10 of them for 75 yards and a touchdown.
"I like Glennon," a GM said. "I've never seen him do it. I've seen him play good games in isolation, so I'm going to put him in the 3 category and I think that might be a little generous, but we will see. I do like what his potential is. He is 28 years old and I think he has developed and he never really got a full, full chance, in my opinion."
So far, Glennon is getting his chance with the Bears, but he’s not taking full advantage of that opportunity. He hasn’t had the best of camps, and he’s looked like a journeyman back up through twp preseason games.
Some thought Glennon's lack of mobility would be a limiting factor in the absence of notable passing skills. One offensive coordinator thought Glennon was a quick decision-maker with good accuracy. A head coach said he thought Glennon had a good feel for the passing game. A coach who was with Glennon in Tampa said Glennon showed good leadership, toughness and poise.
We have heard good things about his intangibles with his teammates, but who knows how much of that is just spin doctoring.
"Seeing his preseason tape, he is a manager," a personnel director said. "His preseason tape is average. It was like he was resurrected and talked up to a multimillion-dollar deal. If he is the guy you envision him to be, you wouldn't trade up to get another guy [Mitchell Trubisky]."
This is why I’m subscribing to the notion that the entire acquisition was a big con to the other NFL general managers. Bears’ GM Ryan Pace had to sell the league that he had no intention of taking a quarterback with their first round pick. Dumping a boatload of cash on the top free agent quarterback was the first part of that plan.
If Glennon panned out enough to lock down the job while Trubisky learned, then that’s gravy. If he played well enough to warrant an eventual trade, then that’s a bonus.
There were a couple other ex-Bears on ESPNs QB list, with Miami’s Jay Cutler in the third tier (24th overall), the 49ers’ Brian Hoyer at 31st overall (4th tier), and Josh McCown also in the fourth tier (34th overall).