Top 25 QBs in AFL History: No. 6-15April 19, 2012 - Arena Football League (AFL)
The Committee, which consists of longtime League executives, coaches, media members and former players, was asked to weigh in on which quarterbacks best displayed excellence on the field, showcased the highest level of talent and meant the most to their teams.
6. Kurt Warner
Everyone knows Kurt Warner's story. The 2011 AFL Hall of Fame inductee went undrafted in the 1994 NFL Draft. He was invited to try out for the Green Bay Packers, but was cut before the 1994 season started. To make ends meet, Warner stocked shelves at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls, IA for $5.50 an hour while trying to make his football dreams come true. He was approached by the Milwaukee Mustangs to try Arena Football, but decided against it. A few months later, the Iowa Barnstormers called and Warner decided the time was right. In 1995, Warner debuted in the AFL. The next two seasons, he was named First-Team All-Arena, leading the 'Stormers to two consecutive ArenaBowl appearances. His 51 pass attempts and 31 completions in ArenaBowl XI remain AFL records. Warner also holds the Barnstormers' franchise record for passing yards in a season with 4,149, set in 1997.
7. Mike Pawlawski
A six-year vet of the League, the "Polish Rifle" spent five years with the Albany Firebirds, helping Eddie Brown earn the nickname "Touchdown." Pawlawski earned First-Team All-Arena honors in 1999 after passing for a League-high 3,864 passing yards and 79 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. That year, Pawlawski and the Firebirds captured the ArenaBowl XIII title, defeating the Orlando Predators 59-48. Pawlawski passed for 347 yards and seven scores in the game.
8. Ben Bennett
Bennett began his Arena Football career in 1988 with the Chicago Bruisers, but went on to quarterback five AFL teams, taking three different squads to the ArenaBowl. For his career, he finished with 14,169 yards and 267 touchdowns, with a total of five ArenaBowl appearances. He was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2000.
9. Mike Perez
Perez spent six seasons in the League and made an immediate impact. He was named Second-Team All-Arena in each of the first three years of his career as the quarterback of the Albany Firebirds. In 1997, Perez joined the New York CityHawks, where he started for two years before retiring in 1999 as a member of the New England Sea Wolves.
10. Art Schlichter
For two years, Schlicter was as good as any quarterback in the game. In 1990, Schlicter was named AFL MVP and led the Detroit Drive to their third consecutive ArenaBowl championship. Tragically, personal demons derailed Schlichter's potential and his playing career was over by 1992.
11. Andy Kelly
The former Tennessee Volunteer spent 14 seasons in the AFL and finished his career ranking in the top three in nearly every passing category. His best year may have come in 2005 as a member of the New Orleans VooDoo. Kelly's 4,657 passing yards and 96 touchdowns remain VooDoo records today. He is one of only five quarterbacks in League history to have thrown at least 800 touchdowns in a career.
12. John Dutton
The cover athlete for EA Sports first AFL video game, Dutton began his career as Mark Grieb's backup in San Jose. When Grieb went down with an injury in 2002, Dutton stepped in and led the SaberCats to a 52-14 victory over the Arizona Rattlers in ArenaBowl XVI, earning Offensive Player of the Game honors for his efforts. The performance caught the attention of the Colorado Crush, who made Dutton the team's starting quarterback the next year. In 2005, Dutton provided the Crush an adequate return on their investment, leading the team to an ArenaBowl XIX title. In 2010, Dutton joined the Cleveland Gladiators and quickly set franchise records for passing yards in a season (5,104) and passing touchdowns in a season (100).
13. Matt D'Orazio
D'Orazio got his start in Arena Football in 2000 with the Milwaukee Mustangs. After spending time in the af2, as well as Buffalo and Columbus, the Chicago Rush made D'Orazio their starting quarterback in 2006. That year, he led the Rush to their first ArenaBowl championship. D'Orazio was named Offensive Player of the Game in ArenaBowl XX after passing for 250 yards and six touchdowns, as well as rushing for two scores. In 2008, D'Orazio signed with the Philadelphia Soul to be a backup for Tony Graziani. When Graziani suffered a season-ending injury, D'Orazio became the starter and went on to earn League MVP and ArenaBowl XXII Offensive Player of the Game honors.
14. Chris Greisen
Greisen got his Arena Football start in 2004 with the Green Bay Blizzard of the af2. The following season, Greisen was offered a job as a backup quarterback for the Dallas Desperados. After playing second-string to Clint Stoerner and Clint Dolezel in Dallas for two seasons, Greisen took over as the starting quarterback for the Georgia Force in 2007. That year, he set the AFL single-season record for touchdown passes with 117, a mark that has been tied once, but never surpassed. In 2010, Greisen returned to Wisconsin to quarterback the Milwaukee Iron. He set the League's single-season passing yardage record that year with 5,146. He was selected All-Arena and League Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 and 2010 and his 126.7 career passer rating remains the best in AFL history.
15. Tony Graziani
Graziani came to the AFL in 2001 and by 2002 had become the established starter for the Los Angeles Avengers. In 2004, he was named First-Team All-Arena after passing for 4,265 yards and a career-high 99 touchdown passes with just five interceptions. The following year, the Philadelphia Soul made him their prized free agent acquisition. His 4,262 passing yards and 90 touchdown passes that season remain Philadelphia single-season franchise records. Graziani finished his career in 2008 with more than 23,000 passing yards and just less than 500 touchdown passes.
Arena Football League Stories from April 19, 2012
- Charlie Hunt Activated from IR - Jacksonville Sharks
- Gladiators QB John Dutton Named One of 25 Greatest Quarterbacks in AFL History - Cleveland Gladiators
- Talons' Quiroga Voted Week 6 National Guard MVP - AFL
- 'Leaping Legend' to Join the Command - WR Keith Eloi Headed to KC - Kansas City Command
- Top 25 QBs in AFL History: No. 6-15 - AFL
- Top 25 Players in AFL History: #19 Darryl Hammond - AFL
- Milwaukee Mustangs and Principal Financial Platform - Milwaukee Mustangs
- Philadelphia Soul Ready to Weather the Storm - Philadelphia Soul
- VooDoo Return to the Graveyard on Friday Night, Welcome Pittsburgh Power - New Orleans VooDoo
- Orlando Predators Acquire DL Shawn Lemon - Orlando Predators
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