There can be a lot of debate whenever we rank players. That will not be the point of this practice. I don’t necessarily care who you think is better between Rodgers and Brady or Romo and Cutler.
The point will be to attempt to provide a general consensus on where a quarterback’s place is in the NFL. How we classify their position as it compares to their peers. This is an attempt to take the “talk” and the “media” out of the conversation and be real about where they stand. There is a pecking order, and you want to avoid being a team with a quarterback in the last category.
These are the guys that have been there, and done that. Not a whole lot to debate as far as their legacies are concerned. They might have bad games, but they’ve established themselves by winning Super Bowls, MVP’s, etc.
Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers
CLEARLY TALENTED, BUT NOT ESTABLISHED
These are the QB’s that we all can see them getting better, putting up numbers, and winning games, but aren’t in the MVP conversation yet. They haven’t won enough playoff games or a Super Bowl yet, and need to take that next step to be considered for the next group. Maybe most importantly, they haven’t been around quite long enough for us to downgrade them to the next group.
Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Joe Flacco
PRETTY GOOD, BUT FRUSTRATING
These are the guys we spend most of our time talking about in the media. We’ve seen them win games. We’ve seen them put up huge numbers. We can see they are talented, but as soon as we get sucked in believing they will join the elite, they’ve failed us. You think you can win with them, but you haven’t yet, and it’s been awhile.
Tony Romo, Mike Vick, Jay Cutler
PRETTY GOOD, BUT OUT OF THE LIME-LIGHT
These guys are like the guys above, except they don’t get nearly the attention, positive or negative. They’ve been around awhile, and haven’t stepped up to an elite level although you still think it is possible to win a Super Bowl with them
Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith
TOO EARLY TO TELL, BUT THERE IS HYPE
Pretty large number of young quarterbacks in the NFL these days so I have to divide them, knowing how and what we think of them could change pretty rapidly. These are the top picks that fan bases are excited about getting to an elite level one day and winning a Super Bowl.
Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill
TOO EARLY TO TELL, BUT THERE IS HOPE
Similar to group above, but lower expectations. A lot more questions than answers in this group, but we aren’t giving up on them yet.
Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Russell Wilson, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Weeden
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
This is where we have passed judgement already. We’ve seen enough to realize you’ll never be elite, and may never even be good. You might be able to win some games, perhaps even playoff games, but it seems highly doubtful these guys will ever win a Super Bowl or make multiple Pro Bowls. Some of the young guys get tossed in here too quickly, and some of the veterans that haven’t won big can quickly be transitioned to this group, especially if they play for bad teams.
Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kevin Kolb