Every year, Mike Sando talks to various NFL coaches and executives to have them rank the non-rookie starting quarterbacks across the NFL and slot them into five tiers based on their skill.
A year ago, Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff came in at 19 (ESPN+ subscription required).
This year? He’s up to being tied at 12th (Athletic subscription required) and jumps from Tier 3 to Tier 2:
A Tier 2 quarterback can carry his team sometimes but not as consistently. He can handle pure passing situations in doses and/or possesses other dimensions that are special enough to elevate him above Tier 3. He has a hole or two in his game.
Los Angeles Rams
Tier 1 votes: 1 | Tier 2 votes: 38 | Tier 3 votes: 16
Goff moved up seven spots and a full tier in the rankings from one year ago. The most common analysis says Goff makes spectacular throws from a clean pocket, but he struggles amid chaos and depends more than most on his play-caller putting him in position to succeed based on what the defense is showing before the snap.
“I like him a lot,” an offensive coordinator said. “He didn’t play as well as you’d like in the Super Bowl, so people are overreacting, but you watch his season, he makes some unbelievably good throws. He is the perfect guy for them. Definitely a 2.”
Nearly a third of voters placed Goff in the third tier.
“The couple games he had to carry it, he could not do it,” a defensive coordinator who faced the Rams said.
This coordinator and others thought Goff was highly dependent on coach Sean McVay’s presnap acumen in combination with Todd Gurley’s rushing. It’s the age-old question: How best to handle division of credit in a sport with so many dependent parts?
“Houston used to run a similar offense with Matt Schaub, and in play-action he was tough, but when you could get a lead on him and take the play-action out of it, you could kick the s— out of him. He was just a different guy,” a GM said. “I wonder if Goff is going to be similar to that. He is a better passer, though, and it is not just the system, because other guys have played in it.”
Goff’s numbers through 38 career starts line up closely with the 38-start production for Carson Wentz — same number of touchdown passes, one fewer interception, passer rating in the low 90s. Goff has the higher yards per attempt and adjusted yards per attempt.
“His coach was feeding him a lot of stuff from the sideline, which probably hurt them down the stretch,” a head coach said. “He would be a 2.5 guy for me. Against 90 percent of the teams in the league, he is probably a 2 or a 1, but against the tougher teams, where he has to rely on his ability to read, he is not quite there. Tight man coverage is tough, the blitz game can be tough, but he does a lot of things well.”
Overall, I think being ranked in the top 13 is pretty fair for Goff especially in Tier 2.
What say you, Rams fans?