The offseason is a time for rankings and debate, and we’ve looked at several lists ranking the best quarterbacks in the NFL. On most of these, analysts still consider Andrew Luck to be a top ten quarterback, but CBS's Jason La Canfora isn't one of them.
Last week, La Canfora released his quarterback rankings broken down into tiers. There were five guys included in Tier 1 (“Bona fide franchise quarterbacks”) and six in Tier 2 (“Top pros, proven winners”). Surprisingly, Luck wasn’t among those eleven players in the top two tiers. Instead, he was included in Tier 3, “The rising stars,” a tier for players who have played three years or less but who could jump into one of the top two tiers in a year or two.
OK, so he's started more than three seasons, but I'm putting him here after spending most of last season watching football from the sidelines while dealing with injuries. That time away from the field will serve him well for years to come. He needs to slow things down, get away from bad habits with the football and learn to better protect himself from injury. The kid has everything going for him and will bounce back nicely I believe.
Luck was included in this tier alongside Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Derek Carr, all three of whom certainly deserve to be included there. Luck doesn't belong in the same tier as them, however, as there’s one thing that separates Luck: he’s much more proven in the NFL than the other three (not to mention he didn’t even fit the criteria). In fact, he should be included in the “proven pros” section. One of the players included in Tier 2 was Joe Flacco, who La Canfora deems to be a more proven pro than Andrew Luck for whatever reason. In eight seasons, Flacco doesn't have a single 4,000 yard passing season. Andrew Luck has two in four years. Flacco only has two seasons in which he threw 23 or more touchdown passes, the same number as Andrew Luck. And in case you want to attribute it all to turnovers, Luck has averaged just one more interception per season than Flacco has. If Joe Flacco is included in Tier 2, Andrew Luck should be as well.
All this shows is that we won't ever have a consensus opinion when it comes to quarterbacks. Most people still consider Luck a top ten player at the position, but Jason La Canfora thinks he’s more of a rising star than a proven pro. Perhaps, however, Luck is both.