Ranking the NFL's Top 10 Quarterbacks

by Zach Gilliland

The position of quarterback is the most important on the field. They are the leaders and the ultimate playmakers that can either will their team to victory, or send them right down the drain. I have put together my list of the top ten quarterbacks in the league and why I think so.

Keep in mind, I left Kaepernick out because I don't really consider half a season as a good measure of a quarterback compared to someone who has been in the league for at least a full season. I have three rookies on this list that beat out guys such as Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, and Tony Romo because I really feel that these guys are on the brink of success while Cutler and Romo have not took any significant steps to making themselves elite. Stafford is a good quarterback but with his high interception total, these young guns are really setting the bar high with how they performed this past season.

Note: All stats including in the article came from espn.com

Let's get to the countdown:

10. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson is coming off a phenomenal rookie campaign in which he led the Seahawks to the NFC Championship game. His elusiveness in the pocket and ability to make plays happen is a big reason why he finds himself in this top 10. Even with his small size, he showed this past season that he isn't just a scrambler; he can step up and make big throws down the field.

9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Luck is another rookie that shows glimpses of stardom this past season. While he did have 18 interceptions, we can't forget Peyton Manning's 28 he threw his rookie season. Luck took a Colts team that really looked doomed two years ago to winning

8. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

While I think Andrew Luck has more upside and will become the better quarterback down the road, RG3 was unstoppable last year until he went down with his knee injury. He took care of the ball better than I have ever seen out of a rookie quarterback, throwing only 5 interceptions. Griffin is a natural athlete and reminds me of Michael Vick with his scrambling ability. Griffin makes it ahead of Luck at #8 because of the way he took care of the football last season.

7. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Before the Super Bowl victory, many wouldn't have Flacco in their top 10 or maybe not even the top 15. With that being said, he rose to the occasion when it counted this past postseason and was silky smooth with his passes. Flacco gets the advantage over Romo and Cutler here because he took a team deep in the playoffs and won, something neither of them have yet been able to accomplish.

6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league since his arrival and has two Super Bowl rings to prove that point. While the Steelers are due for another playoff run, it's hard to ever count out this big-bodied quarterback. Roethlisberger possesses the leadership and determination it takes to lead a Super Bowl team, and for this he makes the board at #6.

5. Eli Manning, New York Giants

Eli Manning has struggled at times, but when he is on his game he is near unstoppable. Sports fans witnessed how clutch he is in big situations in both of his Super Bowl victories. Despite his troubles at the end of last season when the Giants failed to make the playoffs, I expect Eli to keep progressing into an elite top 5 quarterback in the league.

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

When you get to the top 4, it is really tough to put them in order and there is virtually no wrong answer. Brees has been a dominant quarterback every year with the Saints and puts up astonishing passing numbers every year. Just this past year he threw for 43 touchdowns and 5,177 yards, but he also threw 19 interceptions, which is the reason I have him at #4.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers is one of the most exciting players to watch because with him there is always the threat of a big play. Ever since taking over for Brett Favre, Rodgers has been an elite quarterback and put up some incredible numbers as well. Rodgers is at #3 on my list because of completion percentage at 67.2% and a quarterback rating of 108, which is tops in the league. Rodgers will continue to be a dominant player for years to come and will probably hold up a couple more Lombardi trophies as a result.

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

When it gets down to the final two, it really is just which quarterback you prefer. Both Brady and Manning have been two of the better quarterbacks of all-time and have dominated the NFL for the past 10 seasons or so. Brady is such a good quarterback because he just has that swagger about him. He steps on the field and knows exactly how he is going to attack the defense. The Patriots have loaded him with some of the best offensive weapons in the game, including Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker (who is no longer with the team), and Brandon Lloyd. Brady is a winner and a competitor and will finish out his Hall of Fame career on a good note these next few seasons.

1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

And now we get to the #1 quarterback in the league: Peyton Manning. Coming off his neck surgeries many questioned his ability to be an efficient quarterback in the league. Peyton Manning laughed at the word efficient and went out and had one of the best seasons he has ever had. Denver's offense looked in-sync every time they took the field last year, and Peyton was the reason for it. He makes those around him better, with Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas as prime examples of that. If Peyton were to win one or two Super Bowls in Denver, there is a great possibility that he goes down as the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL. He deserves it, and I have him at #1 because he will build off last season's heartbreak and put together another career year.

Quarterback is always going to be the most important position on the field and playmakers like these will be needed to continue to play at the high level that helped them make the top 10 list. While veterans such as Brees, Manning, and Brady continue to pad Hall of Fame career stats, newcomers such as Luck, Griffin, Wilson, and even Kaepernick hope to launch their careers into high gear with another breakout season.

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