NFC North Quarterbacks Are Great, but Are They the Best?

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIJuly 31, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after the NFL opening season game at Lambeau Field on September 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 42-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Earlier this morning, Bleacher Report's own NFL editor Michael Schottey posed this question:


NFC North clearly has the best group of QBs out of any division...Who is number two? Is it even close?

— Michael Schottey (@Schottey) July 31, 2012


While I'll agree that the NFC North has an incredible group of talented quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Christian Ponder, I disagree with Schottey's statement that they are the best group of divisional quarterbacks in the NFL.

Second best, sure, but absolute best? No, that honor goes to the NFC South.

For starters, let's look at the worst quarterback in each division. In the NFC North, that honor clearly goes to Christian Ponder. This is mostly due to his youth, but even looking at his overall abilities, he is far and away the worst quarterback in that division.

When you look at the NFC South, you don't have that distance between the top quarterback and the bottom quarterback. In fact, it would be hard to differentiate between the second best quarterback and the worst quarterback in the NFC South.

While Drew Brees is clearly the best, you could argue that Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman and Cam Newton are all worthy of being the second best quarterback in the division. Ryan is one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the league, Newton set the world on fire in his rookie season and is only going to get better, and while Freeman struggled last year, if he can revert back to his 2010 form, he'll easily be a top-15 quarterback in this league.

Does the NFC North contain the best quarterback in the world in Rodgers? Absolutely, but in all honesty, is he that much better than Brees for the rest of the quarterbacks to not matter?

I'd take Newton over Stafford any day of the week, and a proven winner and team player like Ryan has to be considered a better option than Jay Cutler. As for the worst quarterback in each division, anyone who'd take Ponder over Freeman would have to be clinically insane.

It's certainly a close race, but give me the overall talent from top to bottom in the NFC South any day of the week.