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Quick Slants: CFL Quarterback Tiers

Published: Friday, Jul 13th 2018, 1:07pm

by: Greg McCulloch (@GregOnSports)

Quick Slants looks at some of the weekly stories in the CFL and beyond.

Tiering the QBs

On Episode 83 of Piffles Podcast, we talked heavily about the Roughriders current Quarterback situation and frankly how it sucks thanks to the rotation. But we branched out into the other teams and where we would place certain QBs.

I took it a step further since the CFL is a 9-team league I broke it down into 3 tiers of 3 and am only going to use the current starting QBs. For instance, Ricky Ray would be an automatic tier 1 guy, but with him out James Franklin doesn’t immediately get his spot.

Tier 1: The Now

Mike Reilly – Edmonton Eskimos

Bo Levi Mitchell – Calgary Stampeders

Matt Nichols – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Like I mentioned above if it wasn’t for Ricky Ray’s injury he would have been a no-doubter in this tier. But it is hard to argue these 3 as the current cream of the crop of the CFL QBs.

Reilly and Mitchell were 1 and 2 in the TSN Top 50 players. Mitchell is coming off back to back Grey Cup appearances (both losses… yes, I had to say that) while Reilly is the reigning Most Outstanding Player and was the preseason favourite to do it again.

Nichols is a quiet star on this list. He was brought in to Winnipeg to be a veteran back up to Drew Willy in 2015 and through solid play and work ethic, he took the starting job.  An injury earlier this season showed the team could survive without him, but as well as the team played under Chris Streveler, Winnipeg plays much better with Nichols under centre.

Tier 2: The Future

Trevor Harris – Ottawa Redblacks

Jeremiah Masoli – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

James Franklin – Toronto Argonauts

This list has me the most excited. There is some great young talent here that are going to be bigger stars in the CFL.

Trevor Harris was handpicked by Ottawa to be Henry Burris’ successor when Burris was still around. They brought in Harris with a weighted contract as a back up that essentially showed Burris the door in year 2. Fortunately, for the Redblacks Burris won the Grey Cup and decided to go out on top and there wasn’t much of a QB controversy to speak of.

Jeremiah Masoli has done nothing the past 2 seasons but earned everything he has received. But he still started the season with a short leash, thanks to the signing of Johnny Manziel. Masoli claimed the starting job from Zach Collaros due to injury and poor play. Masoli set the record last season for most completions in a single game with 23 and is currently tied for most consecutive 300-yard games and could get his 10th vs Saskatchewan next week.

James Franklin was anointed the “Next One” 3 seasons ago in Edmonton and many believe he is the second coming of Doug Flutie.  He has all the skills and talent to be a superstar in this league. With Argos Head Coach Marc Trestman and QB Coach Anthony Calvillo there is no better tandem of coaches a young QB could learn from.

Tier 3: *Fart Noise*

QB Roulette – Saskatchewan Roughriders

Drew Willy – Montreal Alouettes

Jonathon Jennings – BC Lions

Not a lot to say here there is potential to get better, but really, they cant really go down either.

Not going to talk about the Riders QB Roulette, we dove deep into it on Episode 83, and if it keeps going so will we.

Drew Willy wasn’t supposed to be the guy this season. The guy was supposed to be Josh Freeman or even Manziel via trade. Willy was supposed to be the vet in camp to push the younger guys. Right now, he is the best option until Vernon Adams can get up to speed.

Jonathon Jennings looked like a can’t miss star in 2015 and 2016 but last year he just couldn’t seem to get it together and Travis Lulay had to do all the heavy lifting for the Lions. This season isn’t any better with 3 games played and less than 500 yards to show for it. I don’t think it is going to be long before Lulay is back behind centre once he is healthy.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter.


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