Is Ben Roethlisberger still a top ten quarterback? CBS seems to think so. Though just barely. They released their list of the top ten QBs playing today with Roethlisberger grabbing that #10 spot. Here’s author Sean Wagner-McGough’s explanation for keeping him in that group.
“Assuming he makes it through the 2020 season unscathed, it’ll be his first full season in a while without Antonio Brown. Despite Brown’s absence, Big Ben is still well-equipped to be a top-10 quarterback again in 2020. JuJu Smith-Schuster, who even after his disappointing 2019 season with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, is averaging 965 yards and 5.7 touchdowns per season, is still there. So is Diontae Johnson, who broke out with 59 catches, 680 yards, and five touchdowns last year, and James Washington, who racked up a career-high 735 yards last season. Meanwhile, the team did well to add Eric Ebron in free agency. Even without Brown, Big Ben will still be throwing to a talented collection of pass catchers. Perhaps most importantly, he’ll be throwing behind a dependable offensive line.”
Fair statements across the board. Receivers will benefit from catching from Ben. That much is obvious. Having a healthy Smith-Schuster is important while Johnson is poised to build on a very impressive rookie year (even if the national media isn’t paying attention). Washington had an encouraging sophomore season despite shoddy QB play, especially on the deep ball.
Adding Eric Ebron and drafting Chase Claypool will add some serious juice to a red zone offense ranked dead last in 2019, which granted, was largely due to a lack of Roethlisberger.
Of course, the article points out some well-known concerns. 38 years old and coming off severe elbow surgery. That’s enough to give anyone pause, especially outsiders not following his recovery as closely as others. Roethlisberger will have to prove he’s pain free and still the same player as he was pre-injury. Those are valid problems, as much as we like to focus on the optimism of his rehab.
Roethlisberger comes in one spot behind Tom Brady. The top of the list are full of familiar names. Check out the entire list again at the link here to see who cracked the top five and in what order.