Jan 12, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warms up before the NFC divisional round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking the Quarterbacks In the NFC West


The NFC West is a high-speed and hard-hitting division, undoubtedly one of the best divisions in football.

Aside from the strong running backs and great all-around defense, the division has some pretty good quarterbacks — four of them.

How do they rank?

4. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford is one of the best up and coming QBs in the game today. His team had their beat season in years with a record of 7-8-1, mostly due to Bradford’s best season of his career, with 3,702 passing yards, 21 touchdowns (24 in previous two years), and a passer rating of 82.6.

Bradford will someday be atop this list, but the addition of Carson Palmer to the division has him at number four.

3. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

The recently acquired Palmer makes the Cardinals a million times more dangerous, not to mention an extremely strong draft.

Palmer is the only proven quarterback in this division, but had no success as an Oakland Raider. He did throw for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns, but was stopped in the redzone numerous times. He should throw for more in Arizona because of the newly revamped defense getting more stops.

2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson is the definition of “overcoming your problems.”

Critics said he was too short and that he wouldn’t succeed in the NFL. He sure proved them wrong.

Wilson, coming out of the University of Wisconsin, has taken over the league by storm. He will be the future of this division, the NFL, of football.

His defense gave him so many extra possessions last season, which immensely boosted his stats. Wilson earned 3,118 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and a passer rating 100.0, all in his rookie season.

1. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick is the epitome of a dual-threat quarterback. He is young, fast, big, and most importantly, he can throw.

If he is able to produce the kind of stats he had for half a season, the Niners will be in great shape to contend for a championship.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams

  • hawkman54

    Most HOMER article I think I have ever seen! According to many Bradford is ready for a break out year. To put CK at the top after his short stint is as ridiculous as calling RW the best in the whole league!

    • loverpoint

      They are going to depend on Bradford more than ever. The loss of Steven Jackson really hurt the Rams Offense. Plus the loss of Amendola does not help.

      • hawkman54

        I see below you think Wilson will have a slump or ?- As much as he studies, works and prepares I don’t see anyway he has a slump, and the size thing just doesn’t matter unless your 6’3″ or taller.
        Kaep has skills but he is a an idiot , proven by his comments to his own fans in regards to the hat deal! By the end of this year I say RW will be #1 followed closely by Bradford with CK and Palmer fighting it out for last place.

  • loverpoint

    Hudson I agree with your rankings. I am not sold on Wilson, I think this year his size will be a factor. Although he was the leader of the offense, Marshawn Lynch is still the backbone of Seattle’s offense. It will be curious to see how Palmer does in the NFC West, lets not forget he is coming from the worst division in the AFC to arguably the best division in all of football.

    I agree for now that Palmer is ahead of Bradford at this point but that will change this year primarily because Bradford is familiar with this division and because he is on a better team.

    • Ben Peterson

      One thing that people don’t realize about short QBs is that it’s not usually the height that does them in, it’s the hand size, and Wilson had the largest hands in the 2012 draft.

    • skeletony

      Seattle added Harvin and at least one stand out rookie (possibly two but I would not bet on both making the cut) WR as well as Luke Willson who looks to be the next great TE. Lynch may be the backbone but I fail to see how that translates into RW declining at all with this offense, especially given Carroll’s plans of doing a LOT more throwing this year.

  • jimpassi

    kappernick second year slump is comming up
    hes do for one dont think he can do it again
    looks like a 7-9 win year to me still not bad

    • skeletony

      Kaepernick is going into his third year kiddo. And the word is “due” (as in “he’s due for one”. Not “hes do for one…”). Also, AGAIN…we have punctuation for a reason. Periods, question marks, exclamation points etc. tell us when one thought/sentence ends and therefore when another idea or sentence is coming.

      • Wyatt Converse

        I’m with skeketor on this one! C’mon people! Go Seahawks, Wilson for President!!!

  • RoleyAnderson

    I agree with most, but I think Wilson will be ahead of Kaep this year. Kaep is losing Crabtree while Wilson is gaining Harvin. Kaep only played for half a year while Wilson played for the full season and only got better as time went on. Saying that, both Kaep and Wilson are unproven – to prove my point, how many QBs have come into the league in the last 10 years, put up great numbers early on, and bottomed out? I can name a few right off the bat and two of them are on our list: Palmer and Bradford. Sanchez is another. Newton could be considered one. The list goes on. After putting up two of the most exeptional years in his career, Palmer went downhill with the Bengals. Bradford put up exeptional numbers his first year and then bottomed out over the next 2. Sanchez is another one, but he’s never been as good as the others. Someone should do an article on this! QBs who started off good and tanked.

    The point of which being is: a lot of people are praising Wilson and Kaep and hailing them as future HoFers or something, but Wilson’s only played one season and Kaep has only played, what, 7 games? Another point is: only Palmer is an established quarterback in this league who’s consistently put up 4000+ yard seasons in his career. Another point is: do we know how the option offense will play out??? No. The conclusion is: we have no clue who’s going to be the best this season. If you look at the stats from last season alone, Wilson probably had the best, Kaep’s aren’t even conclusive (even to NFL analysts) because he only started 7 games, Palmer is a solid veteran with exeptional career stats, Bradford is “iffy” after 3 seasons. That’s a lot of uncertainty if you ask me.

    My personal opinion is this:

    If you look at potential: Kaep <- Wilson <- Bradford <- Palmer (simply because of age, there's more they can potentially do!)

    If you look at their career stats: Palmer <- Bradford <- Wilson <- Kaep

    If you look at intangibles (brains): Palmer <- Wilson (IMO) <- Bradford <- Kaep

    If you look at last season (IMO): Wilson <- Palmer <- Bradford <- Kaep (yes, I know he went to the Superbowl, but he played 7 games and was on arguably the most stacked team in the NFL)

    If you look at TDs: Wilson <- Palmer <- Bradford <- Kaep

    If you look at passer rating: Wilson <- Kaep <- Palmer <- Bradford

    If you look at W/L record last season: Kaep (9ers) <- Wilson (Seahawks) <- Bradford (Rams) <- Palmer (Raiders) (I put the teams in parenthesis because the team as a whole wins and loses games, and that order is about the order I'd put them in last year from best to worst)

    If you look at passing yards: Palmer <- Bradford <- Wilson <- Kaep

    If you look at everything as a whole: NOBODY HAS ANY CLUE WHO THE BEST QUARTERBACK IS!!! Kaep, Wilson, and Bradford are all young with bright futures, and Palmer is a veteran with better stats than Eli Manning who's been stuck on crappy teams his entire career. No matter how you look at it, it's going to be a shoot out this year!

    • loverpoint

      Palmer put up big passing yardage in mop up playing time.

      Bradford will be going into his 4th season with St. Louis
      Kaepernick his 3rd year
      Wilson his 2nd year
      Palmer will be in his 1st season with Arizona.

      Kaepernick is the Biggest, strongest, and fastest of these 4 QB’s.

      You can throw the old Sophomore Slump Myth out the window. Not to say it cannot happen.

      • Limestein

        Saying you can throw it out the window is saying that it cannot happen. Have an opinion man.

        By the way, Bradford is better than people think and so are the Rams.

    • skeletony

      Hawkfan here but your response to this article is well thought out and a major incline over the article itself. I don’t really care about alleged ‘homerism’, but to just list the order you think the four QBs belong in without providing anything substantial (so we can check and follow the author’s reasoning)…how is that an article?! Everybody wants to be a writer but no one wants to go to school or put in the work to learn the trade.
      In my mind I have Russel Wilson over Kaepernick only because of Wilson’s maturity, decision making and the greater offensive weapons around him. Kaep’ is stuck with an elderly Frank Gore, an elderly Anquain Boldin, some elderly o-line and D-line guys and the dreaded season-following-a-Super Bowl loss. I have Bradford ahead of Palmer because it is pretty difficult finding a more overrated QB than Carson Palmer who seems to pad his stats in garbage time but has otherwise sucked since his 2nd season.