How good is Matt Moore right now and how good could he potentially be? I think this is the major question heading into the Dolphins' offseason. How the Ireland and the new Dolphins' coaching staff answers this question will determine both their free agency and draft personnel moves.
Here is how I rank QB's:
League MVP: These are guys that have the ability to win a league MVP (or multiple MVP's) and will be HOF candidates when they retire.
Franchise: Best player on their team, can take over any game at any time and lead their team to victory.
Winning: With a good team around them, this guy will lead a team to a winning record and the playoffs. Will win some games on his own despite how the team is playing.
Placeholder: Has some skills, but to win consistently needs a really good team around them, including a good defense.
Replaceable: Has a negative affect more often than not on the overall team and cannot win consistently.
Back-up: Can succeed in certain situations by managing team to avoiding errors. Possible starters if they were on a different team.
At any one time, it is an interesting challenge to place the top 40 QB's in the league into the above categories. Instead of ranking the QB's individually you can just put them into each category based on the 32 teams. 4 MVP QB's, 4 Franchise QB's, 8 Winning QB's, 8 Placeholder QB's, 8 Replaceable QB's, and 8 top Back-ups. Here is how I would stack them into these categories (in no particular order, and making the assumption injured starters will be fully healed for 2012).
As you can see, I've left Matt Moore out for now. Based on this year, I think he is right at the borderline between being a winning QB and a Placeholding QB. You could make the case that either Smith, Hasselbeck, or Dalton could be moved up into the Winning category, but for each you could make the case against them as well. Hasselbeck is past his prime and is fading, Dalton had a good not great first year on a surprise team, and Smith has had a career full of bad years with this year having everything finally come together for him.
For now, let's put Alex Smith into the Winning category and Moore into the Placeholder category. But like most of the QB's on the above list, there is some slide up and down as they gain more experience or their skills start fading. It's no wonder that 6 of the 8 bottom QB's on the list only have a year or two of experience under their belts. As players like Hasselbeck and Palmer continue to fade you will most likely see a few of the younger QB's move up in status.
In the best case scenario, you want a top 8 QB, either an MVP type or a Franchise type. You see potential in a few QB's such as Cam Newton, Matt Stafford, and Matt Ryan to move up into that level. Vick has already been there, as has Palmer. Over time maybe some of the younger QB's can improve and move their way up the rankings. Andrew Luck and RGIII could get there, but most likely if they do it will be 3-4 years down the road.
For Matt Moore, I think his skill set at best will place him on the border between being a Winning and Placeholder QB. I'm not sure if he has the ability to take over multiple games during the year and be the reason why his team wins. But like Alex Smith this year and Mark Sanchez the last couple of years, he can steer a team into the playoffs and win in the right circumstances. I'd like to think he can be a consistent Winning level QB, but when you compare his physical tools with every other QB in the top 16 he comes out at or near the bottom. A player can be a GOOD QB through smarts and athleticism and experience, but to be a consistently GREAT QB you need the physical talent as well, and Moore just doesn't have that from what I've seen.