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Schein: NFC North has best collection of quarterbacks in NFL

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And Kirk Cousins put them “over the top”

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

When it comes to quarterbacks, the NFC North has the best collection of starters in the National Football League.

So sayeth Adam Schein of NFL.com, who ranked the quarterbacks in each of the NFL’s eight divisions, and has the most important division in football right at the top of the list. Here’s how he came to that conclusion:

This is a significant jump up from last year’s rankings, but I am very comfortable with it. Rodgers is the most talented quarterback in NFL history. I love Green Bay bringing in Jimmy Graham to help in the red zone. Stafford has been fantastic the last few seasons, a true maestro in the clutch. And Detroit improved the offensive line and run game this offseason -- that will provide the 30-year-old quarterback with some needed protection and balance. I think Trubisky will be this year’s Jared Goff, taking a major leap forward in Year 2 with a new head coach and more talent around him. Lastly, Cousins swings the pendulum in favor of this division. He’s the answer to the franchise-quarterback question for the Vikings.

In his rankings from last year which are linked above, Schein had the NFC North at #4. That was with Sam Bradford being listed as Minnesota’s starter and the Bears not being sure whether they were going with Mitchell Trubisky or Mike Glennon. In those rankings from before the 2017 season, Schein spoke highly of Cousins, so this isn’t a recent thing for him.

. . .And Cousins has become a big-time, reliable starter in Washington. I’ve argued for years that the former fourth-round pick deserves a new contract and should be treated like a franchise quarterback.

Well, he certainly has been treated like a franchise quarterback by the Vikings, that’s for sure.

As things stand right now, Cousins is almost certainly the #3 quarterback in the NFC North hierarchy when everyone is healthy, but that just means there’s plenty of opportunity for him to move up. With the weapons that he’ll have at his disposal, the odds of that happening are pretty good.

The Vikings will play against the divisions that Schein has ranked at #2 (the NFC West) and #6 (the AFC East) this season. In fact, Schein’s top three all come from the NFC, with only the AFC West at #4 preventing it from being an NFC clean sweep.

With the NFC North rising to the top of the league as far as quarterback play is concerned, it’s a good thing that the Minnesota secondary is very good. That could be the difference between them having a good season and having a great one.