Mike Roemer/Associated Press
Three Pro Bowl and one first-team All-Pro nominations in nine seasons. One-time AP NFL MVP. One Super Bowl championship in one appearance, one Super Bowl MVP award. 58-29 career record as starter, 6-4 in playoffs.
Completion rate of 65.8 percent, 6.4 percent touchdown rate, 1.8 percent interception rate, 7.59 net adjusted yards per attempt and 7.3 percent sack rate.
Averages 3.54 rushes per game, 4.7 average yards per carry and 0.19 average rushing touchdowns per game.
The Scouting Report
For a while, it looked as though Rodgers' career would be defined by his draft-day fall.
From being perceived as 1A in a weak quarterback class to Alex Smith's 1B, to Smith going No. 1 overall while Rodgers languished for 23 more picks, to waiting three years behind Brett Favre for his turn to play, to struggling to a 6-10 start in his first season as starter, it looked like the California kid was going to go down in history as yet another Jeff Tedford bust.
Then he won the Packers another Lombardi trophy, was named the most valuable player and first-team All-Pro quarterback by The Associated Press and has put up scary-good statistics ever since.
As a prospect, Rodgers fell victim to the same rationale that cost Minnesota Vikings rookie Teddy Bridgewater: He was at least "pretty good" in every way a quarterback could be measured, but he wasn't amazing at anything. Just like Bridgewater was surpassed by the bigger, more raw, more athletic Blake Bortles, Rodgers was surpassed by Smith.
Yet in three seasons on the bench, Rodgers developed into an incredibly gifted passer. Though he wasn't born with the natural cannon of a Jay Cutler or Matthew Stafford, he throws a football as well as anyone in the business—maybe better. He throws an incredibly tight spiral with very high RPMs, and he can zip any NFL throw into a crazy-tight window.
Much like Favre, Rodgers has made a succession of fringe receiver talents into Pro Bowlers and at his best is all but unbeatable. After dramatically coming back from injury in the last game of the 2013 season to clinch the division, in Chicago, the San Francisco 49ers came to Lambeau and proved that as good as Rodgers is, he's not quite good enough to beat the best teams in the NFL by himself.
The Case For
Go and look at the rate stats again and compare them to the rest of this group. Rodgers is more efficient, more effective, more aggressive and yet more error-free than any of his peers. He is a purified Favre: aggressive without being reckless, instinctive without being brain dead, a little less schoolyard but a lot more consistent.
His three years on the bench and injury-shortened 2013 mean his trophy cabinet isn't nearly as full as Brady's, but at a young-for-his-age 30 years old, he's got plenty of time to add notches to his gun. At this point in their careers he's nearly the passing equal of the No. 1 quarterback on this list but a much more gifted athlete overall.
The Case Against
As long as Rodgers is healthy, there's no case to be made that excludes him from the top five. In fact, were he to switch supporting casts with the top man on this list, there's every reason to believe he'd perform just as well.
The only doubt, at this point, is his seeming inability to out-duel San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the playoffs. Were we to grant Rodgers Kaepernick's defense and vice versa, though, there's little doubt as to how that would turn out.