Experts rank Cassel near the bottom of projected NFL starting QBs


Questions and controversy are nothing new to the men who have played quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings over the last 10 seasons.

Outside of a short-stint from former Packer Brett Favre, whether it was Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, Brooks Bollinger, Tavaris Jackson, Joe Webb, Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel or a group of others, there has been very little stability at the position since Daunte Culpepper left following the 2005 season.

A new list ranking all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks from ESPN's Mike Sando shows how league officials, talent evaluators and coordinators view the Vikings current quarterback situation.

To arrive at the ranking, Sando had the evaluators rank the quarterbacks on a scale of 1-to-5 – one was reserved for the best, five was reserved for the worst.

One thing you might notice on the list, many of the NFL's best teams have quarterbacks at or near the top.

As for Cassel he was ranked in Tier 4, near the bottom of the list.

It wasn't a surprise the Vikings were looking for another quarterback early in the NFL draft, when they made Teddy Bridgewater the fourth quarterback the team has ever selected in the first round.

Sando's rankings look like this:

Tier 1

1. Tom Brady, New England (25)
2. Peyton Manning, Denver (25)
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (25)
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans (25)
5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (14)

Tier 2

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego (7, 18)
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (6, 18)
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta (0, 20)
9. Russell Wilson, Seattle (3, 14)
10. Eli Manning, New York Giants (2, 17)
11. Tony Romo, Dallas (1, 18)
12. Joe Flacco, Baltimore (2, 14)
13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit (o, 17)
14. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (0, 14)
15. Nick Foles, Philadelphia (1, 12)

Tier 3

16. Cam Newton, Carolina (12, 13)
17. Jay Cutler, Chicago (10, 16)
18. Alex Smith, Kansas City (4, 19)
19. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (3, 20)
20. Robert Griffen III Washington (5, 15)
21. Carson Palmer, Arizona (3, 17)
22. Sam Bradford, St. Louis (2, 20)
23. Ryan Tannehill, Miami (1, 15)
24. Josh McCown, Tampa Bay (0, 14)

Tier 4

25. Matt Schaub, Oakland
26. Chad Henne, Jacksonville
27. E.J. Manuel, Buffalo
28. Matt Cassel, Minnesota
29. Brian Hoyer, Cleveland
30. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston
31. Jake Locker, Tennessee
32. Geno Smith, New York Jets

1500 ESPN writer Andrew Krammer notes that voters placed Cassel behind Jacksonville's Chad Henne and Buffalo's E.J. Manuel.

Krammer notes that Cassel was 3-3 as a starter for the Vikings last season, and led the team to a Dec. 1 win over Chicago after replacing Ponder at halftime.

Cassel hasn't played more than nine games in a season since 2010 and will be challenged by rookie Teddy Bridgewater when the Vikings open training camp on July 24.

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