NFL Betting: Ranking Back-up Quarterbacks

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:50 AM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014 11:50 AM UTC

Just ask the Packers and Eagles how important having a good backup quarterback was last season. Here's a ranking of every projected No. 2 in the NFL for 2014 because some of them will have to play and it could affect a team's wins total on NFL odds.

Even people who have been making NFL picks for a long time don't know about a lot of these guys. Consider, too, that part of these rankings are the situation the quarterbacks will be in. Even novice sports bettors will understand that it's better to be a backup on a talented Denver roster than a not-talented Jaguars team if everything else is equal.


1. Michael Vick, Jets: Vick technically has a chance to beat out incumbent second-year QB Geno Smith for the Jets job, but Vick would have to be more than just a little better for Rex Ryan to dump his potential future QB for a 34-year-old on a one-year deal. For a game or two, Vick can beat anyone.


2. Kirk Cousins, Redskins: The Redskins offered Cousins around this offseason but reportedly wanted at least a second-round pick and couldn't find teams to bite. You don't think Cousins would be a starter this year in Houston? If RGIII gets hurt this year and Cousins plays well in his spot, the Skins could get a first-rounder next year for Cousins.


3. Mark Sanchez, Eagles: I know, I know, all I think of with Sanchez is "buttfumble." But those Jets teams he led to back-to-back AFC title games weren't all that good offensively around him so it's clear Sanchez has some talent. Of course, he also might not beat out fellow Trojan Matt Barkley for the No. 2 spot behind Nick Foles.


4. Matt Hasselbeck, Colts: Andrew Luck looks invincible right now, but the Colts have to feel comfortable with the 16-year veteran Hasselbeck behind him. Guy is 80-72 as a starter in his career.


5. Jason Campbell, Bengals: Here is a 10-year veteran who also has won plenty of games as a starter. He looked fairly decent at times last year in Cleveland. Just don't ask him to throw deep.


6. Matt Flynn, Packers: Flynn has looked terrible everywhere but Green Bay. He helped save the Packers' season last year when he led one-point wins over Atlanta and in Dallas in Weeks 14-15. He definitely impacts the NFL odds.


7. Thaddeus Lewis, Bills: Lewis was pretty much an unknown entering last season but went 2-3 in five starts for the Buffalo Bills in place of E.J. Manuel, completing 59.2 percent of his passes for 1,092 yards, four TDs and three picks. His rating was better than Manuel's.


8. Mike Glennon, Buccaneers: Maybe I am overvaluing Glennon's rookie season with the Bucs, but he was the best rookie QB in the NFL and it wasn't really close. Glennon completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards, 19 TDs and nine picks for a solid rating of 83.9. I'm not convinced he won't take over for Josh McCown at some point this season.


9. Shaun Hill, Rams: Hill seems a lock to play at some point considering Sam Bradford's health history. Hill had a pretty good 2010 season when Matthew Stafford was hurt but has barely seen the field the past three years.


10. Matt Moore, Dolphins: Obviously Moore probably isn't better than some younger guys lower on this list, but he has made 23 starts in the NFL and won 11 of them.


11. Chase Daniel, Chiefs: I'm basing this ranking pretty much on one game: in Week 17 last year, Daniel started against the Chargers because K.C. had nothing to play for. San Diego, meanwhile, had to win to make the playoffs. Daniel completed 21 of 30 for 200 yards, a TD, no picks, and rushed for 59 yards. Hmm.


12. Christian Ponder, Vikings: Remember, this guy was still the future of the Vikings entering last season after helping lead them to the playoffs in 2012. His confidence might be shot, however. Ponder also might be No. 3 behind Teddy Bridgewater.


13. Ryan Mallett, Patriots: Ranking Mallett is obviously only based on what he's done in the preseason and the fact he has a cannon for an arm. That Houston head coach Bill O'Brien nearly traded for him seems like a good endorsement.


14. Kellen Clemens, Chargers: Clemens, once considered the Jets' QB of the future, started nine games for the Rams in 2013 for the injured Bradford and won four of them, completing 58.7 percent with eight touchdowns and seven picks.


15. Brandon Weeden, Cowboys: Dallas would have been much higher up on this list if it hadn't gotten rid of Kyle Orton this week. Orton couldn't decide whether he was going to retire and the Cowboys apparently didn't want to wait. Weeden at least can throw the deep ball to Dez Bryant.


16. Drew Stanton, Cardinals: Before Arizona acquired Carson Palmer before last season, Stanton was the likely starter. Bruce Arians does wonders with QBs. Stanton last started in 2010, going 2-1 with the Lions. He would have some nice skill position talent with the Cards.


17. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks: Don't take this the wrong way, but Seattle might be able to afford to lose its starter, Russell Wilson, than any other top Super Bowl contender. I mean that only because of the system. Wilson is more asked to not make mistakes, complete short passes and give it to Marshawn Lynch. Jackson was 7-7 as a starter for Seattle in 2011.


18. Case Keenum, Texans: Yes, Keenum was 0-8 last season with Houston in place of Matt Schaub, but he wasn't awful in every game. He  nearly led upsets of the Colts and Cardinals, throwing for three TDs and no picks in both games.


19. Bruce Gradkowski, Steelers: Pittsburgh struggled to run last year but I'm presuming will get back to a smash and pound with Le'Veon Bell. Gradkowski has been around long enough to not blow a game.


20. Tyrod Taylor, Ravens: Taylor has thrown 35 passes in his three seasons in Baltimore, but the few times he has gotten in the game he has shown something with  his feet (23 carries for 139 yards and a TD).


21. TJ Yates, Falcons: Yates lost out for the potential backup job in Houston to Keenum, but he did go 2-3 for Houston late in the 2011 season and then beat the Bengals in a playoff game.


22. Brock Osweiler, Broncos: Osweiler got the most game action of his career in Week 17 in Oakland last year after Peyton Manning broke the NFL passing and TD records and was benched. Osweiler was 9-for-13 for 85 yards. The guy has size and the arm, and he has learned the past two years under perhaps the most cerebral QB in NFL history.


23. Blaine Gabbert, 49ers: Gabbert was a disaster in Jacksonville, but should Colin Kaepernick go down the Niners would just bludgeon teams with their running game. Jim Harbaugh and his staff did work wonders on Kaepernick and Alex Smith.


24. Luke McCown, Saints: Maybe Luke just needs a shot like his brother Josh got in 2013 with Chicago. It can't hurt to learn and watch Drew Brees and master offensive tactician Sean Payton.


25. Jordan Palmer, Bears: Who knows what Palmer can do as he's thrown 15 passes in  his life and not since 2010. He has decent genes and the Bears are awash in offensive talent. If Marc Trestman can do it with Josh McCown, maybe he can with Palmer, who still must beat out Jimmy Clausen. Poor Bears.


26. Charlie Whitehurst, Titans: Whitehurst figures to get his shot with Jake Locker's injury history and he couldn't be playing for many more QB-friendly head coaches than Ken Whisenhunt.


27. Curtis Painter, Giants: Painter was Manning's backup in 2009 with the Colts and then started eight games the next year when Manning was sidelined. The Colts were 0-8 but that team was bad. Painter didn't embarrass himself.


28. Kellen Moore, Lions: I am simply guessing that Moore beats out Dan Orlovsky. The Lions have a ton of weapons on offense and Moore knows how to win. Can he throw in the NFL? We don't know yet. Orlovsky last started five games with the 2011 Colts, going 2-3.


29. Derek Anderson, Panthers: Anderson is ahead of the three rookies below simply because he's in a better situation with Carolina. He can hand off to DeAngelo Williams and Co. and let the defense win.


30. Johnny Manziel, Browns: Johnny Football could well be the first backup on this list to start, although the Browns continue to say it's Brian Hoyer's job. We have no idea if Manziel's game will translate to the NFL and the Browns are ghastly at receiver without Josh Gordon.


31. Derek Carr, Raiders: Carr has reportedly looked so good in OTAs, etc., that some team observers think he will take Matt Schaub's job by October. Carr was awfully good at Fresno State. The Raiders have Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew for Carr to hand off to.


32. Blake Bortles, Jaguars: Have you seen Jacksonville's offensive talent? The Jags might skip Bortles over if Chad Henne gets hurt as they really want to sit their prized rookie this year.

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