Former No. 1 overall draft pick David Carr believes that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlsberger is currently being carried by star skill position players like running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Carr offered his ranking of the top ten quarterback in the NFL heading into the 2018 season and did not include Roethlisberger on his list. He had Roethlisberger, Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz just outside the top ten.
“Yes, he’s a future Hall of Famer and there’s no doubt he can still help the Steelers,” Carr wrote of his rationale for the exclusion of Roethlisberger. “But he has the most talented skill players in the league on his unit, and that pair — Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell — makes him look great 14 seasons in. I don’t think Big Ben could win a ton of games without them at this stage in his career.”
Roethlisberger is 36 years old and is preparing for his 15th year with the Steelers. He surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the fifth time in his career last season, throwing for 4,251 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also completed 64.2 percent of his passes, which is consistent with his career averages.
There is no question that Roethlisberger benefits from the presence of Bell and Brown on Pittsburgh’s roster. Trying to quantify how much of an impact they have on Roethlisberger continuing to be able to produce at such a high level is far more difficult.
Carr’s top ten list featured Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Jimmy Garoppolo. The inclusion of Garoppolo at this stage could be somewhat questionable given his limited sample size of games played, but it’s Carr’s opinion to give.
David Carr was selected by the Houston Texans with the first pick of the 2002 NFL Draft.