Now that NFL training camp is in full swing, we’ve decided to give you our annual divisional player rankings. First, we ranked the AFC East quarterbacks. Now we are taking a sneak peek at the AFC North. The quarterback position is the most important position in football. However, they need high caliber players surrounding them as much as anybody in the league.
Geno Smith plans to be a top five quarterback in the NFL.
Depending on the way you look at it, Johnny Manziel is the biggest quarterback name in the AFC North, if not the whole NFL. Entering his rookie season, Manziel should be in back alley brawl with Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback position. Although Hoyer doesn’t have a ton of NFL playing experience, we’ve seen flashes of brilliance in his limited role.
San Francisco 49ers in desperate need of running back depth after injuries.
In case you missed it, there are two other Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in the AFC North. Joe Flacco won the championship in 2013, while Ben Roethlisberger has been to the mountaintop twice in his career. Still, it looks like both quarterbacks will fly under the radar until week one of the NFL season.
If Johnny Manziel has a lot to prove, Andy Dalton must be on the hot seat with the Cincinnati Bengals. You’ll see why as the season progresses.
Overall, this is a great group of quarterbacks and most of them have playoff experience.
Here’s our AFC North quarterback rankings.
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5. Johnny Manziel- Cleveland Browns
Johnny Manziel or Johnny Football has been doing his thing since being drafted late in the first round. Soon he’ll get to make his mark on the football field. First, it will be preseason, then we’ll see if he earned the job as a starting quarterback. This should be one of the best QB battles to watch in a long while.
4. Brian Hoyer- Cleveland Browns
Brian Hoyer started three games for the Cleveland Browns last season and he won all three games. During his short stint, Hoyer completed 59% of his passes, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. However, Brian Hoyer has to battle expectations as well as Johnny Manziel for the starting spot. Will he be on the field by October?
3. Andy Dalton- Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton has been splendid during the regular season for the Cincinnati Bengals. In three seasons, he’s made the playoffs every year, but that’s where the success stops for Dalton. He’s started all 48 games and has a 30-18 record in his tenure. Andy Dalton completes 60.9% of his passes and has an 80-49 touchdown to interception ratio. Any prolonged playoff success, and Andy Dalton will become one of the upper echelon quarterbacks in the NFL.
2. Joe Flacco- Baltimore Ravens
One season after winning the Super Bowl, Joe Flacco led his revamped team to an (8-8) record. He did not fare well in the passing department either. Joe Flacco threw 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. It was by far his most interceptions in his six year career. Now entering his seventh season, Flacco is ready to get back to the playoffs with the Ravens. Even with the Super Bowl mixed in, the Ravens have been trending downward in the win column for three years. Joe Flacco was paid the big bucks and he must come through in 2014.
1. Ben Roethlisberger- Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 4261 yards in 2013. After a slow start, Big Ben connected on 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He almost led the Steelers to a playoff spot, but missed out on the final Sunday as well. If Pittsburgh is to make another Super Bowl run, Ben Roethlisberger will have to be at an MVP caliber for 16 games.