ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski has been a harsh critic of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. In return, some Lions fans have taken issue with Jaworski consistently ranking Stafford as a middle of the pack starter. Jaws may be in for some more heat from Lions fans.
Jaworski has released his initial set of quarterback rankings for the 2014 season and Stafford checks in at number 16. Jaws explains:
Stafford has top-10 arm talent and is capable of making throws that few quarterbacks can make. Frankly, on talent alone he should be in the top 10 of this ranking, but I have to put him down at No. 16 because he missed too many throws. He has great confidence in his skill set and consistently shows the ability to make stick throws, but he’s erratic with his accuracy and ability to read coverage. I have no problem with a quarterback shifting arm slot when there is chaos in the pocket, but Stafford needs to have a consistent release point when he has a clean pocket.
That’s a fall of three spots from where Stafford finished the 2013 season. However, it should be noted that Jaworski’s final rankings were done in early December – prior to Stafford’s disastrous finish and the Lions’ collapse.
In fact, 16 is exactly where Stafford started in Jaworski’s QB rankings last year. By October he was at 12 and topped out at 11 in the November update before finishing at 13 in December. If Stafford plays well, he’ll move up the list again and if he can do it with consistency, he may even crack the top ten.