The quarterback position is the most important in sports. Either you have a guy who you believe can get you to the Super Bowl or you’re looking for the next guy. We ranked the projected NFL starting quarterbacks 1-32 and next are the best of the best, the Top 8.
1. Aaron Rodgers
If you had to build the perfect quarterback, he would look a lot like Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is mobile in and out of the pocket, has a rocket arm and unbelievable accuracy. He routinely throws his receivers open and makes playing the toughest position in sports at times look relatively easy. There’s nothing not to like about Rodgers’ game and should continue to play at a Hall of Fame level in 2013.
2. Tom Brady
If you like pure passers, it doesn’t get much better than Tom Brady….ever. Brady makes everyone around him better and despite losing the weapons that accounted for 75 percent of his 2012 passing yards, Brady has the Pats as a sizeable favorite in the AFC East. Brady has made it to five different Super Bowls in three different offenses and should be accounted for when discussing the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
3. Drew Brees
Drew Brees is tracking the Hall of Fame as he is shattering passing records each and every year. Brees has an underrated arm, great anticipation and amazing accuracy as he’s set records despite playing with mediocre to good wide receivers. Although Brees may only be a legend in West Lafayette, Indiana and New Orleans, Louisiana, any team would be lucky to have this guy in their Rings of Honor. Brees should return to Pro Bowl form in 2013 with head coach Sean Payton back in the mix.
4. Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning had a tremendous season as he came back from a neck injury which forced him to miss all of 2011. Manning looked the part of a future Hall of Fame passer for most of last season as he led the Broncos to the #1 seed in the AFC. What separates Manning from the greatest quarterbacks in history is his 9-10 postseason record and he and the Broncos have a lot to prove after their playoff one-and-done last year.
5. Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan has all the tangibles and intangibles it takes to be a franchise quarterback. Ryan removed a large monkey from his back last season as he led the Falcons to an NFC title game appearance by simply distributing the football well. Ryan has an average arm but great anticipation skills, and he reads defenses as well as anyone in the game. Ryan will always be questioned due to the wealth of outside talent he plays with but make no mistake he is an elite signal caller.
6. Eli Manning
Eli Manning wins big games. He doesn’t always look great in small games but he normally wins big ones. Eli is football royalty and he has the “Manning-family arm strength.” Eli’s leadership has been questioned due to his quiet demeanor but after two Super Bowl MVP performances, the questions are few and far in-between. Eli should have a bounce-back season as Victor Cruz has a new contract and all his weapons are healthy.
7. Joe Flacco
Joe Cool justified himself as one of the top signal callers in the game with his amazing postseason performance en route to the Ravens Super Bowl victory. Flacco always had a huge arm and he showed he could back that up with just enough pocket mobility and great touch. Flacco hasn’t yet showed himself as the type of quarterback who can dominate week in and week out for an entire season but he has proven that he plays his best football in big spots.
8. Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck came into the NFL as the best quarterback prospect since John Elway and somehow managed to exceed expectations. Luck led a Colts team that won just two games in 2011 to 11 victories in his rookie year, all while captaining a very complicated offense. Luck should feel more comfortable in 2013 which should cut down on his turnovers and potentially lead Indianapolis to yet another playoff appearance.
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