Ranking NFL Quarterbacks from Top to Bottom

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For all the talk about QB’s and who belongs where… I think it’s pretty clear who’s who in the NFL.  Some are elite.  Some are on their way.  Others are simply overrated.  If you had your choice, all things considered, who do you want to be the QB of your team?  The theory is simple.  If you can’t justify taking a guy ahead of one of the names in the Tier above him… he doesn’t belong. 

I’ve got my list of Tiered QB’s.Let’s see what you think:

*In no particluar order*

Tier 1

Tom Brady
Peyton Manning
Drew Brees
Ben Roethlisberger

The above mentioned are the elite QB’s of the NFL. They’ve proven to be winners in the regular season and post season, all rock the hardware and have earned respect across the NFL. Can you really argue with anyone on this list? You may want to sneak another name on it…but you simply can’t offer a name that, at this moment, has the pedigree to compare. Let’s see what Aaron Rodgers does in two weeks and we might need to adjust.

Tier 2

Aaron Rodgers
Philip Rivers
Mike Vick

These are the guys that everyone has their eyes on.  The guys that can put a game on their shoulders and virtually win it for their respective teams when called upon.  The only problem… championships.  Rivers hasn’t had much success in the post season, but few will argue that the guy is a hell of a QB.  Vick has transformed his game to a more complete package and if it isn’t a fluke, he has a real shot at a ring.  He’ll have an even better shot if he signs elsewhere!  Rodgers will quickly be vaulted to a Tier 1 with a win against the Steelers.

Tier 3

Matt Ryan
Eli Manning
Jay Cutler

This is a tough group to judge. I like Matt Ryan. He is a young, up and coming QB who could have some pretty nice years ahead of him. He typically makes the right decisions and puts in a solid effort week in and week out. I still don’t believe Manning is a great QB. He is good and it stops there. Yes, he has a super bowl ring, but so does Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Don’t see me putting those guys on any top QB lists. Regardless, for as many stinkers as Manning puts up, he has a few games where he looks like he should be considered one of the better QB’s in the league. Jay Cutler has something about him that makes him special…at times. There is no denying his talent, but sometimes he looks terrible. This past weekend will also hurt his credibility and he’ll have to fight through that.

Tier 4

Sam Bradford
Matt Cassell
Matt Stafford
Josh Freeman

These are the guys that are young, relatively inexperienced and may make the biggest impact down the road. Matt Cassell has the most experience of the group and this season he quietly put up a very impressive season. It helps when you have the best rushing attack as a compliment, but let’s not take anything away from Cassell. He is a very solid QB who can be special. Same goes for the other 3 on this list. All 3 are young and uber talented. Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford have already shown that they not only belong in this league, but they will be the stars of it in 3-4 years. Stafford’s only knock is whether or not he can stay healthy. When he’s on the field, Detroit can win. He has show the ability to lead the team down the field and there is something that say’s winner about him.

Honorable Mentions:

Joe Flacco
Tony Romo
Matt Schaub
Mark Sanchez

It’s hard for me to include these guys on the top tier of QBs. In all reality, look at the lists above. Would you take one of the honorable mentions over anyone I’ve listed? Personally, the only one I have in question is Eli Manning. I may take Sanchez over Manning, but I’m not sure if that is simply becaue of my pure dislike of Manning’s game. To me, Sanchez has “it”… whatever “it” is. He is another guy I simply see as a “winner” but not enough upside to put him in with Stafford, Bradford and Freeman.

Romo just doesn’t scream top QB to me. I know he has numbers and flash, but something doesn’t resonate with me when I compare him to the others. It’s really that simple to me.

Matt Schaub is a tough one, but again, I can’t put him ahead of anyone else on this list. Some games he looks like he can be a very legit QB and other games he disappears. If you can validate putting him ahead of the above listed, I’ll at least listen.

Finally, Joe Flacco. This one will probably recieve the most puzzled looks. Flacco has been a very good quarterback in Baltimore, but I have yet to see him do anything special. He lacks a certain quality that I think every elite, or at least, very good QB has. When I watch him play, I see solid, not special. So again, I can’t put him ahead of the proven, those on the cusp, the ones with star qualities or even those who simply show the potential to be great. Sorry Joe.


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