1. JaMarcus Russell – The guy is a freaking first overall pick, but he has shown precious little that makes us think that he deserves it. Sure, there are excuses there – his team is run by morons and lacks talent, and so on. Even when you take that into consideration, though, you have real questions. He showed signs of a little bit of progress at the end of last year, but up to that point he was making the same boneheaded mistakes well into season two that he was making in season one. He’s freakishly athletic and he’s massive, but nothing about his game seems to be instinctive or natural, and it certainly isn’t pretty to watch. What is most lacking in watching him, though, is the killer instinct that makes the great quarterbacks great. You can overcome a huge deficiency in natural ability if you want it more than anyone else, and Russell has done nothing to convince me that he wants it at all.
2. Luke McCown – This is mostly a protest vote. The Bucs decided that they would rather go with QB by committee led by McCown instead of sticking with Jeff Garcia. Garcia is a much better quarterback than anyone on their roster now, he has proven himself time and again, and he deserved better. McCown has done nothing to deserve this starting job (even if he only has it as a placeholder while the youngsters develop), and Garcia would have done much more for this team this year.
3. Marc Bulger – I don’t blame Bulger for the mess in St. Louis, but his production has unquestionably suffered. He has been a far worse quarterback the last two years than he was before that. He looks tentative and lost far too often now. More significantly, I’m not convinced that he can turn it around in time to save his job. The guy has the talent to be much better than he is now, and that means he finds himself in this unenviable spot.
4. Brady Quinn – Quinn lands here for a couple of big reasons – I mostly hate guys who are crowned as the chosen one, and I hate everything about Notre Dame. I expect Quinn to win the battle for the starting job in Cleveland, but I also expect him to be frustrating and disappointing. His action has admittedly been limited, but he hasn’t shown a natural flair or a lot of comfort in the NFL. I never believed that his college skills were all they were cracked up to be, and I don’t believe that he has what it takes to command the respect of the team around him and get the very most out of them. It doesn’t help, either, that he is saddled with a total moron as a head coach.
5. Kellen Clemens – Do you really believe that Kellen Clemens is a legitimate NFL starter? If you do, then what are you smoking? The guy is just holding a spot for Mark Sanchez, and I don’t have much faith that he’ll do a good job of that. I question his skills, I question his natural talent, and I question his football intelligence. In short, I’m not a believer.