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Updated by John Huh on Nov 08, 2015
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Top Ten Mobile NFL Quarterbacks

The position of quarterback has never been as important as it is in today’s NFL. Rule changes, offensive trends and increasing athleticism and skill are making the NFL a high scoring passing league as it’s never been before. Despite the true definition of the quarterback being the player that delivers the ball while standing tall in the pocket, there’s been quite a few ‘mobile’ or scrambling quarterbacks that have enjoyed great careers in the NFL.

Let’s count them down starting with the honorable mentions on our list of Top Ten Mobile NFL Quarterbacks.

Honorable mention : Archie Manning, Otto Graham, Doug Flutie, Steve Grogan, Vince Young

1

Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger has won multiple championships and like Russell Wilson, did it on a team based on the running game and defense. But Big Ben’s stats don’t always show his true worth, as he’s one of the hardest quarterbacks to sack in the NFL. He’s lower on this list because he doesn’t truly scramble per se, but evades the rush and keeps the play alive better than almost anyone in the league.

With a subpar offensive line, he’s still been able to deliver championships and big plays to the city of Pittsburgh. Big Ben is less mobile in the scrambling ability, but is one of the most mobile and elusive pocket passers in the game.

2

Roger Staubach – Dallas Cowboys

Roger Staubach – Dallas Cowboys

Roger Staubach was one of the greatest quarterbacks of his time, and his run and gun style was truly cutting edge, if not bleeding edge for the era he played in.

When defense and the run game was the basis of winning football, Staubach built his career on bucking the trend and playing to his strengths. Staubach ran for 2,264 yards in his career, with 20 touchdowns to his name.

3

Fran Tarkenton – Minnesota Vikings

Fran Tarkenton – Minnesota Vikings

One of the original scrambling quarterbacks, Tarkenton would often run 30 yards east and west before heaving a ball to the intended receiver.

With legs that could carry him away from trouble and a gifted and accurate arm, Tarkenton racked up the stats with his playing style. Ranking fifth in all time passing yards and third in passing touchdowns, Tarkenton was more than a one trick pony.

4

Steve McNair – Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens

Steve McNair – Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens

The late great Air McNair was one of the toughest scrambling quarterbacks of all time, and could not only throw the ball with terrific velocity and accuracy, he could also scramble out of trouble and gain yards.

This ability to scramble was deadly given McNair’s arm strength and size, being as tough as he was certainly didn’t make it easier on his opponents. Built like a linebacker but with the arm of a quarterback, McNair checks in on the Top Ten Mobile NFL Quarterbacks list.

5

Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks

The diminutive quarterback from Seattle has won a championship with his unique ability to extend plays and make the defense pay. While he still has some while to build and grow as a passer, his legs give him the ability to elude the rush and deliver a strike to his receivers.

He’s won on the biggest stage, very early in his career and did it on a team built on defense and the running game.

6

John Elway – Denver Broncos

John Elway – Denver Broncos

John Elway enjoyed a long career that was riddled with playoff and championship disappointment until the twilight of his career when he took more of a backseat on offense. Powered by his running game, Elway’s quest for a championship didn’t stop at just one before he hung up the spikes and took a job in the Broncos front office.

One of his most famous runs came in Super Bowl XXXII, where he was hit and spun like a helicopter while trying to leap into the endzone.

7

Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

McNabb’s career is one of tremendous highs and soul crushing lows, despite being a top ten player in the league for a long period of time.

He’s never won a championship, which may be the only blemish on a career that finds him near the top of of all rushing categories.

He’s hasn’t been a huge scrambler in his career, rather using his legs to extend plays rather than gain yards on the ground. His highest rushing year was in 1999, where he set the bar at 629 yards on the ground, but he’s still one of the greatest statistical rushing quarterbacks to ever lace them up.

8

Michael Vick – Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets

Michael Vick – Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets

If raw talent were the primary factor of this list, it’s pretty obvious that Michael Vick should be near the top of the list, if not the most talented runner in the league during his time. He single handedly willed his team to victory many times and had many memorable plays and games, including winning a road game at Lambeau for the first time in the postseason, and taking down the 1998 Minnesota Vikings.

With sublime speed and terrific arm strength, Vick never fully realized his potential as his career was derailed by a two year stint in prison for dog fighting crimes.

9

Steve Young – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers

Steve Young – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers

One of the most rare rushing quarterbacks in NFL history, Young should be mentioned as one of the all time greats when you consider his career.

Able to tuck the ball and run for more yardage or extend the play as well as anyone, Steve Young was also a cold blooded assassin with the ball in his hands. Setting the all time completion percentage mark, and setting the bar for career quarterback rating, Young was a powerful dangerous quarterback on a powerful dangerous offense.

Even after wasting years with a failed upstart league, and a few years as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Young was able to set the record for career rushing TDs by a quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, with 43. He trails only Otto Graham, who had 44.

10

Randall Cunningham – Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

Randall Cunningham – Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

Randall Cunningham may not have been the quarterback first known for scrambing, but he’s definitely the one that popularized it. At his peak there was nobody that could tackle Randall Cunningham in the open field one on one, and Randall also possessed a cannon for an arm capable of delivering big plays downfield.

Cunningham holds career records with 4,928 rushing yards on 775 carries and could have truly redefined the position with more success.

That caps off the list of Top Ten Mobile Quarterbacks, what are your Top Ten quarterbcks? Who do you think I missed or misranked? Is there someone you feel should have been ranked differently?