OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders calls out a play count against the Kansas City Chiefs in the third quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won 28-0. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Remember in 2005-2006 when NFL analysts everywhere pinned Carson Palmer as the third-best quarterback in the league behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady? Apparently, Ron Jaworski of ESPN doesn't. Recently, "Jaws" has been releasing a list of the NFL's top 32 quarterbacks, giving them rankings based on intensive film study. Jaworski, along with fellow NFL analyst Greg Cosell, are film nuts and are often looked to as the preeminent gurus in that area.
The first third of the list (Nos. 32-20) have been released and Palmer, the once-Bengals quarterback now with the Oakland Raiders, has fallen quite a bit from the No.3 ranking he held a half decade ago. According to Jaworski (via James Arcellana of SB Nation's Bay Bridge Banter blog), Palmer ranks as his No.21 quarterback in the league.
On the positive side, Jaworski notes Palmer's arm strength and accuracy. Jaws pointed at numerous clips of Palmer squeezing the ball into tight areas--a very familiar sight for Bengals fans. Palmer, once known as "The Human 'Jugs' Machine" because of his accuracy, still flashes that even after numerous injuries and poor seasons. Jaworski also notes Palmer's guts, if you will, to throw a ball that most quarterbacks in the league wouldn't dare to.
Unfortunately for Palmer and Raiders fans, that's Jaworski's main criticism as well. He points to numerous throws that Palmer made that resulted in interceptions. Simply put, they were throws that shouldn't have been made. It's Palmer's overconfidence in his arm that gets him into trouble and makes him a turnover and "pick-six" machine--another familiar sight to Bengals fans. According to Jaworski, he also sees Palmer frequently lock on to his primary receiver and try to a fit a ball into an area in a scenario that he should look at a secondary option.
Still, Palmer ranks ahead of Tim Tebow (No.30), Mark Sanchez (No.23), Blaine Gabbert (No.29), and former Bengal, Ryan Fitzpatrick (No.24). In case you were wondering, the ranking for current Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton, hasn't been released by Jaworski yet. That places Dalton ahead of Palmer and inside of the top-20 in the league--in the eyes of Jaworski, at least.