Ranking the NFL's Top 30 Quarterbacks, Starting With Mr. Brady

Danny DolphinAnalyst IDecember 27, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talks with head coach Bill Belichick before playing against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  The Patriots won the game 31-27.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

These rankings don’t take into account what could happen in the future. It’s more along the lines of, "you need to win one game, who are you picking as your quarterback?"

The Two Kings

1. Tom Brady, NE: The guy hasn’t thrown a pick since week six. He has won the big one three times, and looks poised to win another, or three.

2. Peyton Manning, IND: His efficiency has taken a dip this year due to a horrific running game. He’s on pace to break his career high for yards in a season. He’s still on the short list for quarterbacks you want in crunch time.


The Elite

3. Michael Vick, PHI: There isn’t a more dangerous player in football. He’s the only quarterback in the league who can routinely beat you for 300 through the air and 100 on the ground at an efficient rate.

4. Aaron Rodgers, GB: He’s probably the number one overall pick if you’re looking to build a team and can choose any quarterback in football. He’s 27 and has some young Favre in him from a playmaking aspect, hopefully minus the genitalia pictures. Green Bay fans better realize how lucky they are to have a franchise quarterback for what will end up being a consecutive 25-30 years.

5. Drew Brees, NO: The most accurate quarterback in football from a completion-percentage standpoint (68.5% in 2010).

6. Phillip Rivers, SD: A true gunslinger with a quarterback rating of 104.6 over the last three years (First in NFL).

7. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT: No question he’s as big a winner as anyone on this list (Two Super Bowls), but for whatever reason doesn’t have the same regular season efficiency.


On The Cusp

8. Matt Ryan, ATL: Steve Young calls him the “Tom Brady” of the next generation. Let’s see if he’s Brady-like in the playoffs as the NFC favorites.

9. Joe Flacco, BAL: He’s been great, but can he do it in crunch time in the playoffs?


Second Tier

10. Tony Romo, DAL: He’s taken a drop, naturally, after missing most of 2010.

11. Matt Cassell, KC: He’s fifth in quarterback rating (98.8). Let’s see him do it again next year.

12. Josh Freeman, TB: A future superstar. He has all the tools and smarts to become an elite passer.

13. Eli Manning, NYG: He’s obviously good enough to lead his team to a Super Bowl, but he’s never going to be an elite guy. He just doesn’t have it.

14. Matt Schaub, HOU: Similar to Eli in that he’s very good, but not spectacular in any way.


Third Tier

15. Jay Cutler, CHI: Has as much arm strength as anyone in football but will never have the mental side of an elite quarterback.

16. Vince Young, TEN: Maybe he needs to undergo the 'Vick Prison Experiment.'

17. Kyle Orton, DEN: Quietly had a very nice season (3,653 yards, 20 touchdowns, 9 interceptions in 13 starts).

18. David Garrard, JAC: He’s good, but so inconsistent.


Fourth Tier

19. Jon Kitna, DAL: Has played admirably in Romo’s absence. He’s good enough to win, but will likely be back to backup duty next year.

20. Carson Palmer, CIN: He was ridiculously overrated from the start.

21. Donovan McNabb: Can he revive his career with another change of scenery?

22. Sam Bradford, STL: A future star who should make monster strides next year.

23. Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF: Awfully impressive with the lack of talent around him. I love his fearlessness.

24. Matt Stafford, DET: Can he stay healthy enough to give the Lions’ a chance?

25. Brett Favre, MIN: Please leave.


The Bottom Five

26. Mark Sanchez, NYJ: Has shown ability but not at a consistent rate. I’d bet he comes through next season and makes substancial improvement.

27. Kerry Collins, TEN: His best days are in the rearview.

28. Matt Hasselback, SEA: Same as above.

29. Shaun Hill, DET: A very formidable backup with experience who will never be a legitimate starter.

30. Chad Henne, MIA: He might still have some upside left, but he’s proven time and time again he’s a disaster when it counts most. He’s likely going to be a backup next season.