If you end up with the 5th-9th pick in your draft, you’re probably considering drafting a quarterback in the first round. While you may try to hold out and draft a QB later, opting instead for a stud workhorse running back which seem to be becoming more and more of a novelty in today’s NFL, grabbing one of the top QBs could be even more important. Unless you’re some diehard Drew Brees fan, the two quarterbacks you’d be choosing between are Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. Here’s the case for and against both:
The Case For Peyton Manning:
The reigning MVP and passing touchdowns record breaker shows absolutely zero signs of slowing down. Manning seems to only be getting better with age. He’s replaced Eric Decker with Emmanuel Sanders, and still has Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Julius Thomas. A child could have success with targets like that, and this is Peyton Manning we’re talking about.
The Case Against Peyton Manning:
Montee Ball is the new starting running back and he’s simply not as good a run blocker as last year’s starter, Knowshon Moreno was. With all the play action Manning runs, pass protection from the running back position is integral to his success. Because of this, Manning might face more pressure in his face this season. What’s more, Denver’s defence was greatly improved in the offseason, which might actually work against Manning’s fantasy production. Good defenses allow you to hold leads which generally means you’ll pass less and run the ball more in an effort to drain the clock.
The Case For Aaron Rodgers:
Before he went down with a broken collar bone last season, Rodgers was holding his own in the MVP race along with Manning. He’s a more accurate passer than Manning and will have less interceptions. He’s also far better with his feet. Rodgers will get you points through the air as well as on the ground. The emergence of Eddie Lacy has been used as a pro and a con against Rodgers value, but I’m going with pro. Lacy forces opposing defenses to respect Green Bay’s running game and not completely load up on the pass. Rodgers will have more open space in defenses’ backfield to pick them apart this year.
The Case Against Aaron Rodgers:
His receiving corp is no where near as talented as Manning’s. Don’t get me wrong, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are plenty good to throw to, and most teams would love to have a duo like that, but Manning has four top-flight pass catchers, compared to just two for Rodgers. Green Bay’s offense also doesn’t play as fast as Denver’s which means Rodgers will have less pass attempts, less yards, and less touchdowns. One big thing Rodgers is lacking is a big, redzone target. Manning has that in Julius Thomas which helps him get short yardage touchdowns. Not having that big body will lead to more redzone attempts staying on the ground with Lacy pounding the ball in.
I’m going with Manning. Denver is going to throw a lot no matter what because they have the weapons to absolutely shred defenses with the passing game. I also don’t believe Ball will be that much worse than Moreno was at pass protection. With a whole offseason as the starting running back, Manning will have him up to snuff. There’s really just no signs to indicate he’s slowing down, and what he did last season was absolutely insane. Rodgers could easily put up another MVP season, but Manning isn’t just putting up best-of-the-season numbers right now, he’s putting up best-of-all-time numbers.
*Photo Credit – Econo Auto Sales via Flickr.