NFL Position Power Rankings: Who Is the Best Quarterback in the NFL?

Jason Clary@IamJClaryCorrespondent IApril 4, 2011

NFL Position Power Rankings: Who Is the Best Quarterback in the NFL?

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    One of the hardest things to accurately measure is the skill of one player over another. Based on wins, stats, championship success and other categories, many players can be heralded for many different things.

    One thing that separates a good quarterback from a great quarterback is the ability to truly impact a game, or even in some cases, a season.

    While many quarterbacks in the NFL have had success, there are few that will be remembered for generations to come. There are two quarterbacks in the NFL that will likely be in the Hall of Fame after their illustrious careers are over. Those two players are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

    This list of 10 quarterbacks will rate players of their successes and skills at this point in time. This list doesn't count potential, nor does it heavily hold on to the past.

    Right now, who is the best quarterback in the NFL?

Honorable Mention

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    Before we start off with the 10th best quarterback in the NFL, lets look at some other quarterbacks that barely missed the list.

    The following quarterbacks have either been very solid starters in the NFL, or they are just starting their career.

    The best of the rest (in no particular order) are Tony Romo (Dallas), Joe Flacco (Baltimore), David Garrard (Jacksonville), Eli Manning (New York), Jay Cutler (Chicago), Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay) and Sam Bradford (St. Louis).

    All of these guys give their team a better chance to win. Some may even argue that several of the above players should crack the top 10. While I don't disagree that some of these players deserve to be in the top 10, it is hard to make a case against any of the players on the following list.

10. Matt Cassel: Kansas City Chiefs

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    Matt Cassel was lights out during the 2010 season with Kansas City. I would even go so far as to say that Cassel is Tom Brady's little clone.

    Not only did Cassel play under Brady in New England, he got a chance to study and mimic the game of one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL (whose exact ranking will be seen later in this list).

    Working with an intelligent coaching staff during his time in New England, Cassel also worked with Charlie Weis, who has worked with many coaches on the New England Patriots roster.

    Cassel's 27 touchdowns to just seven interceptions helped Kansas City reach the playoffs this year, making the future look bright for an up-and-coming young team.

    If Cassel can keep up with his 2010 season, he will be moving up this list.

9. Matt Schaub: Houston Texans

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    At No. 9, Matt Schaub sits as a quarterback who has proven that he can beat you with his arm, but his team still hasn't become a playoff contender.

    Houston has been inconsistent in one way or the other during the period of time that Schaub has been behind center. About the only consistent part of the Houston Texans is the passing attack.

    It is hard to say who has helped the other more, Matt Schaub or Andre Johnson. Johnson has proven to be the reliable, go-to receiver, while Schaub has been the guy that consistently feeds him the ball.

    If anything, they are the perfect complement.

    If Schaub was on a team that had a consistent defense matched with a high-powered offense, there is no doubt that he would propel that team to great heights.

    Schaub's quarterback rating of 92 was ninth in the NFL, while his touchdown total of 24 was twelfth.

8. Matt Ryan: Atlanta Falcons

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    One of the scariest things about Matt Ryan isn't his immense skill-set, but the fact that he just keeps getting better.

    Unfortunately for Matt, Atlanta's 13-3 record didn't guarantee them success in the playoffs. After earning the top seed for the NFC during the playoffs, Atlanta was pummeled by Green Bay during the second round of the playoffs.

    2010 was Matt Ryan's best season all around, as he had career numbers in almost every stat category, including wins, touchdown passes, completions, attempts, yards, quarterback rating and completion percentage.

    After seeing those types of numbers out of Matt Ryan, it isn't unreasonable to set the bar extremely high for him in 2011.

7. Michael Vick: Philadelphia Eagles

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    Michael Vick's 2010 season was one of the most heralded feel-good stories in years. After the fiasco with his criminal record and prison sentence, nobody expected Vick to be anywhere close to the player he was before his time off.

    Vick played sparingly in 2009, just to hear people question whether he still had it. Rather than make a fuss about it in the media, Vick put a chip on his shoulder and quietly sharpened his tools, finally showcasing those tools during 2010.

    Vick's skills weren't necessarily shocking, just the brilliance at which he played the quarterback position.

    Although the Eagles were knocked out early in the playoffs, Vick's season garnered him some much deserved praise.

    Vick is a perfect example of a rejuvenated person making the most of a second chance. He is also a perfect example of a duel-threat playmaker. 

6. Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Ben Roethlisberger started the 2010 season on a four-game suspension. During that stretch, Pittsburgh managed to hang on and win three of those four games.

    Not only did Roethlisberger put up a quarterback rating of 97, he helped lead the Steelers to a third Super Bowl since his entrance into the NFL in 2004.

    Though Roethlisberger didn't end up winning against the Green Bay Packers, he has the second most Super Bowl appearances among active players, behind only Tom Brady.

    When Roethlisberger was suspended for his alleged rape (which the charges were later dropped), many criticized the quarterback for putting himself before the team. Even in light of those accusations and criticisms, he still managed to propel his team to another Super Bowl appearance. 

5. Drew Brees: New Orleans Saints

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    Drew Brees didn't see as much success in 2010 as he did in 2009. Not only was his team knocked out of the playoffs by the Seattle Seahawks, his interceptions doubled from 11 in '09 to 22 in '10.

    Even with over 20 interceptions, Brees still managed to throw for over 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns. Brees did regress in 2010, but that is also partly because the Saints were fighting to keep running backs on the field.

    Both Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush missed time during 2010, so the Saints only weapon was their passing offense.

    Even as a one-dimensional unit, the Saints proved that they could still have a high-powered offense behind Drew Brees and a whole slew of reliable receivers.

    Had Brees led the Saints to another Super Bowl, he would be higher up on this list. 

4. Philip Rivers: San Diego Chargers

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    Philip Rivers is probably the best pure passer in the NFL. He is accurate, consistent and he will always put his team in a position to win.

    The only problem about Rivers putting his team in a position to win is that they have a tendency to not come through for him.

    For example, Rivers had the 2nd best passer rating in 2010, along with the most passing yards with 4,710 and the fifth most touchdowns with 30. His completion percentage of 66 percent was also third in the NFL.

    Even with those excellent statistics, the Chargers were not a playoff team in 2010.

    If Rivers had a consistent team, the Chargers would be a force to be reckoned with.

3. Aaron Rogers: Green Bay Packers

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    Aaron Rogers propelled his stock up this season after winning his first Super Bowl.

    After taking over for Brett Favre in 2008, Rogers has thrown 86 touchdown passes to just 31 interceptions. He has undoubtedly been the reason for his team's good fortunes.

    Besides the obvious top two of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, Rogers is the obvious pick for No. 3.

    Not only does he put up great stats among the rest of the quarterbacks in the NFL, he now has done something that many quarterbacks can only dream of—winning a Super Bowl.

2. Peyton Manning: Indianapolis Colts

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    First of all, yes, Peyton Manning is the second best quarterback in the NFL, which also confirms that Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL.

    Peyton Manning is possibly the most intelligent quarterback in the NFL, and even one of the most intelligent of all time.

    Peyton Manning also has a Super Bowl victory under his belt, which gives him even more hardware as his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame is almost inevitable in the future.

    What is even more incredible than Peyton's skill as a quarterback is that there is somebody in the NFL that is just as good, if not better than he is.

    It is hard to argue against either Manning or Brady.

1. Tom Brady: New England Patriots

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    It is hard to say that Peyton Manning isn't the best quarterback in the NFL, but Tom Brady has something that he doesn't.

    Brady has multiple Super Bowl titles. Given that fact alone, Brady is one of the best to ever play.

    Brady had his best passing season in 2010 since he threw for an NFL record 50 touchdown passes in 2007.

    His 36 touchdowns to just four interceptions was his best touchdown to interception ratio of his career.

    There aren't any quarterbacks in the NFL that are better at winning than Tom Brady, which is why Brady gets the nod ahead of Manning. Manning has better career stats, but Brady is better at winning, especially in the playoffs.