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michael89156

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: May 18, 2013, 12:00:15 AM


Ranking the NFL quarterbacks

 By Marc Sessler

Around the League Writer    NFL.com

Published:  May 17, 2013 at 02:35 p.m.



Last week, my Around The League colleague Dan Hanzus unveiled his list of the NFL's top running backs.

That Herculean effort was met with a swirl of wonder, agitation and pressing questions, so, naturally, we're back for more.

This week, I humbly offer you my compilation of the NFL's top quarterbacks.

The ground rules are simple: Taking rookies out of the mix, I ranked signal-callers from top to bottom based on how I believe they'll perform in 2013.

I am prepared to be pistol-whipped by readers, coworkers, friends and family.

Off we travel:

 

Three kings

 1. Aaron Rodgers
 2. Peyton Manning
 3. Tom Brady


Age to age, these men deliver. What Rodgers has accomplished since his Super Bowl-winning season of 2010 is even more impressive when you factor in the lack of a potent ground game and often subpar protection. I was among those who thought a neck-surgery-addled Manning wouldn't be the same guy. Instead, he was better, and he'll do it again in 2013. As for Brady, I won't be surprised when documents unearthed in 2077 reveal that Tom was, in fact, a robot patched together by a team of frustrated Foxborough-area scientists. His mission: To wreak havoc forever on the AFC East and merge with a dangerously attractive female humanoid.
 

Franchise gold

 4. Drew Brees
 5. Ben Roethlisberger
 6. Matt Ryan
 7. Eli Manning


Roethlisberger, in my eyes, is the toughest quarterback in all of football. Eli comes off a down year, but I'm done doubting him. Brees is a flat-out executioner. With five Lombardis between them, these three have proven they can go the distance. Ryan hasn't, but he's coming off a monster season and sits out there as legitimate MVP material. It's no coincidence that the coaches teamed with these passers -- Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, Mike Smith and Tom Coughlin -- are in zero danger of losing their jobs.
 

The future, Part I

 8. Andrew Luck
 9. Robert Griffin III


Luck took a beating last season behind Indy's patchwork line, but he kept getting back up. In that sense, he reminds me of Roethlisberger. He might ultimately be the finest of the 2012 class. In Washington, I'm assuming RG3's knee regains full strength and allows him to spin his magic all over again. It's easy to get lost in Griffin's abilities on the ground, but his pocket presence, decision-making and crisp mechanics make him a top-10 passer.
 

The future, Part II

 10. Colin Kaepernick
 11. Russell Wilson
 12. Cam Newton


Gregg Rosenthal informs me that I've given too much love to the newbies. I disagree. Last year's rookies -- and the schemes they operated -- altered the game. Wilson is a thing of beauty: technically clean, a fiery leader, never cowed by the moment. Kaepernick won me over during that chaotic first half of the NFC title game. He never panicked. Nothing about either player tells me they'll regress. Newton -- entering a huge year three -- sits at No. 12 because his physical tools are insane. So much pure ability. Cam can chart his fate, for better or worse.
 

Solid dudes

 13. Joe Flacco
 14. Tony Romo
 15. Matthew Stafford
 16. Jay Cutler


Citizens of Baltimore: Hear me out. Admittedly, Flacco's place on this list haunts me. His work in the playoffs was otherworldly. I might eat raven on this one, but I can't wait to see where Flacco goes in 2013. I also struggled placing Romo this low, but how much higher should he be? I don't blame Romo for the mess in Dallas, but he isn't saving the day, either. Stafford is still too inconsistent. And quick: List five truly memorable performances by Cutler. A tough group to grade.


Critical seasons ahead

 17. Philip Rivers
 18. Alex Smith
 19. Ryan Tannehill


Rivers is an aging but tough-as-nails quarterback. Still, I'm not certain he's even on the Chargers in 2014 if he doesn't rebound from back-to-back down seasons. Smith's work in San Francisco was underrated. His handling of the situation was even more impressive. Tannehill, in his second season, will shoot up this list if he clicks with Miami's new toys.
 

Trick or treat

 20. Matt Schaub
 21. Sam Bradford
 22. Andy Dalton


There's hope for this group, because this tier is where Flacco lived a year ago. Still, Schaub and Dalton -- playoff quarterbacks both -- leave me wanting. Dameshek has a growing man-crush on the Glowing Ginger Man, but I don't see it. Schaub concerns me, too. In summary: two big bowls of vanilla ice cream. Down in St. Louis, the Rams have paid Bradford $50 million guaranteed, and it's still unclear if he's the right guy. All three quarterbacks are surrounded by talent. Time to make it happen.


Stopgaps

 23. Michael Vick
 24. Carson Palmer


In theory, Vick gives coach Chip Kelly a quarterback who can run his up-tempo offense. In reality, does anyone trust Vick to stay on two feet past September? People talk about Palmer's big numbers in Oakland, but the Raiders eternally played from 20 points down during his run. Carson's not the future for the Cardinals -- or any team.
 

How can I trust you?


 25. Josh Freeman
 26. Christian Ponder
 27. Jake Locker
 28. Nick Foles
 29. Kevin Kolb
 30. Matt Hasselbeck


Ponder has been wonderful as an 'Adrian Peterson Handoff Machine 1.0,' but we need to see him take over games. Kolb can't go a fortnight without breaking a body part, and we're still waiting for Locker to exit the starting gate. Foles showed promise last season, but he's mired in a jam-packed quarterback room. In Indy, that song you hear? It's the closing credits on Hasselbeck's proud career. Of the group, it's Freeman who intrigues me most. He caught fire last season, before falling to pieces. As it stands, he's a candidate to lose his job in 2013.


JAG

 31. Matt Cassel
 32. Ryan Fitzpatrick
 33. Brandon Weeden
 34. Blaine Gabbert
 35. Mark Sanchez


We're back with this Hanzus-inspired category: JAG, as in, just another guy. These are gentlemen on the fringe of a promising career at CVS. Apologies, Jets fans, but I don't have a problem ranking Sanchez this low. He's been a statistical train wreck ever since Gang Green abandoned the ground and pound. ESPN's Chris Mortensen this week spoke with league sources who insist Sanchez "is not throwing the ball as well as he was as a rookie." I'd argue that if Sanchez and Blaine Gabbert were both available, just as many clubs would take a chance on Gabbert, thinking they could fix him. Sanchez needs a full reboot. Weeden might fight his way out of this group if he takes off under Rob Chudzinski. If he doesn't, he'll be looking for work.




Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

Lord Jenkins

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#1 : May 18, 2013, 12:25:39 AM

Anyone can be a writer these days.


chace1986

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#2 : May 18, 2013, 12:40:03 AM

17-22 range would be more appropriate.


ingey1968

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#3 : May 18, 2013, 12:43:06 AM

20-22 range

Hate

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#4 : May 18, 2013, 12:53:39 AM

I trust Brees WAAAAY more than i do Manning. Anyone that watched him last year knows that arm is not the same.

Quote
Of the group, it's Freeman who intrigues me most. He caught fire last season, before falling to pieces. As it stands, he's a candidate to lose his job in 2013.

I'm wondering how come so many here are having difficulty coming to grips with that?
: May 18, 2013, 12:56:27 AM Hate

-------------------------------------------------------
   

 I thought Lovie said he wanted quickness & speed, even at the QB position?

XFactor

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#5 : May 18, 2013, 01:13:51 AM

I put Freeman at 15..


RogerGoodellSucks

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#6 : May 18, 2013, 01:25:15 AM

Gotta love that Matt Stafford is considered a 'solid dude', but Freeman can't be trusted. Stafford has been dog**CENSORED** or injured his entire career besides in 2011.


The Anti-Java

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#7 : May 18, 2013, 01:29:56 AM

Dude is obviously not a Freeman fan.  I would put him somewhere around the late teens.

Cam Newton is WAY too high on that list.



The Anti-Java

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#8 : May 18, 2013, 02:00:13 AM

Gotta love that Matt Stafford is considered a 'solid dude', but Freeman can't be trusted. Stafford has been dog**CENSORED** or injured his entire career besides in 2011.

yeah, the guy has thrown for 10,000 yards the past two seasons and also gotten his team to the playoffs. How many playoff games has Freeman gotten this team?





Stafford is a good QB.  I don't get the love for Cam.  Dude is a headcase. Shula is trying to get in his head about not checking out of the game mentally, when the team is behind by 7-10 points.



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#9 : May 18, 2013, 02:01:56 AM

I dont get the Cam love either. I remember that Rosenthal dude saying last year that Newton was a top 5 qb.

The Anti-Java

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#10 : May 18, 2013, 02:07:10 AM

Gotta love that Matt Stafford is considered a 'solid dude', but Freeman can't be trusted. Stafford has been dog**CENSORED** or injured his entire career besides in 2011.


The Lions throw the ball more than anyone in the league if IIRC.  If not the most, close to the top of the list.



RogerGoodellSucks

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#11 : May 18, 2013, 02:52:23 AM

Stafford has thrown for 10,000 yards the past 2 seasons because the Lions pass the ball more than any other team in the NFL and he has the best WR in the game who is an amazing deep threat. Stafford is overrated as **CENSORED**. His mechanics suck, he's injury prone and he's not accurate at all. He's an average QB, who gets overrated by most people because he was the first pick in the draft. Him and Freeman are probably at the same level and are middle of the pack QB's, with potential to be top 10 QB's.


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#12 : May 18, 2013, 03:18:56 AM

Revisit this thread at the end of next season. Freeman will easily be in the top ten. Other than interceptions he was last season, and that was in what most consider to be a bad year. 2010 was no fluke. With better coaching, improved personnel, and a second year in the same system, Freeman will be just fine.

JC5100

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#13 : May 18, 2013, 06:35:48 AM

Let's put things in perspective

Matt Ryan throws 1 TD and 8 INTs in two games and the Falcons go 2-0

Kaepernick takes over a team that had a 7 point lead in the 4th qtr of the NFC championship.

Wilson puts up 160 total yards, 1 TD and 1 INT and the Seahawks win by 58 points.


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#14 : May 18, 2013, 06:37:20 AM

How can I trust you?

 25. Josh Freeman
 26. Christian Ponder
 27. Jake Locker
 28. Nick Foles
 29. Kevin Kolb


No way is Freeman better than Ponder or Locker.

Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame QB said. \\\"Ive watched Freeman a lot. He just plays God-awful. Thats who you are. Its just a player being able to play or not play. Josh Freeman has proven to me that he cant play.\\\"
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