Once again, ESPN's Mike Sando gathered a group of "league insiders" to create rankings of every starting quarterback in the NFL. The panel consisted of 35 total insiders including personnel directors, head coaches, coordinators, general managers, and more. These insiders assigned each QB a grade from 1 (best) to 5 (worst). The rankings were compiled into an average and the quarterbacks were divided into tiers.
"T-23) Bradford fell a bit in the rankings based on his inability to stay healthy in recent seasons, making just seven of 32 potential starts since 2013.
"I thought he was a 2 coming out because I did not see the big arm," a head coach said. "No one could tell from his pro day because [agent] Tom Condon wouldn't let him throw any deep comebacks. He has the intangibles, but you have to give him a 3 or 4 just because he is always hurt. Frankly, you probably want him to be your backup, just for his availability."
A defensive coordinator said he thought Bradford could flourish playing in Philadelphia because the Eagles' play-action game could buy him time he did not have in St. Louis. This coordinator added that Bradford would be an upgrade from Foles and Sanchez in terms of accuracy, but with the injury concerns, he placed Bradford only in the third tier.
"There is no quarterback I loved more than him coming out," a different head coach said. "I am pulling for him. If he can stay healthy, he can be so accurate. Keep him as a 3 but only because of the injury factor.""
This analysis isn't surprising. NFL insiders recognize Bradford's talent but penalize him for his durability issues, which is only fair. The once-promising Bradford clearly has a lot to prove in Philadelphia. Staying healthy is only the first challenge. From there, he needs to play well enough to prove he belongs as the Eagles' long-term option at quarterback.
Bradford is tied for 23rd with Teddy Bridgewater in this list. He's also one spot below Nick Foles, who checks in at No. 22. Foles was ranked No. 15 overall last offseason. The reviews for Foles were not as kind this year, which is understandable considering he led the NFL in turnovers prior to suffering a season-ending injury.
"22) Voters gave Foles the benefit of the doubt heading into 2014, but not after a down season. His average ranking fell 25 percent from 2.56 to 3.2, the fourth-largest percentage dip among the 27 returning starters. Some evaluators are interested to see how he fares away from Chip Kelly's offense.
"Truthfully, I think Foles is a 4," a personnel director said. "I think in that Chip Kelly system, once he figured it out, he operated it and did a great job early on. But I do not think he is talented [enough] where he will be that way year in and year out, or week in and week out. He is a little stiff in the pocket. I don't think he has great arm strength. He has pretty good accuracy. I don't know that he sees everything."
One coach lauded Foles for his toughness, good passing ability and functional mobility, but when he studied Foles against Jacksonville last season, he saw a quarterback who had trouble seeing wide-open receivers down the field.
"You wish he was your backup because he could go win some games for you, but I wouldn't want him to be my starter," a head coach said.
A personnel director called Foles a "solid 3" who should upgrade the situation in St. Louis."
Back to Bradford. The Eagles quarterback ranked third the NFC East. He was behind Tony Romo (9) and Eli Manning (T-12) but above Washington's Robert Griffin III (28).
What do you think of how Bradford was ranked?