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Brandon Weeden places 26th in our annual QB rankings, right between Andy Dalton and Ryan Tannehill

Feb 18, 2013 -- 6:00am


By Tony Grossi

The Morning Kickoff …

Ranking the QBs: As the Browns embark on acquiring a competitor to -- if not a replacement for -- Brandon Weeden, we decided to compile our quarterback rankings now rather than wait for the slow weeks before training camp.

Our rankings are divided into categories -- the Super Elite (best of the best, must have a championship ring), Franchise Elite (you wouldn’t trade them for anybody), Very Good, Not Great (self-explanatory), Journeymen (veterans who can start, but …), Jury Still Out (young and unproven) and No, thanks (self-explanatory).

These rankings take into account the player’s most recent season but also his career and potential moving forward.

Super Elite

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay: Strong and accurate arm, mobile, unflappable, respected leader, pressure player. What else is there?

2. Peyton Manning, Denver: His truly remarkable 2012 season secured his place among the sport’s all-time greats.

3. Tom Brady, New England: The Joe Montana of his generation.

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Probably the best indoor quarterback in NFL history.

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: The most physical quarterback ever.

6. Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants: Lacks consistency, but when on, the prettiest thrower around.

7. Joe Flacco, Baltimore: Strongest arm today, plus a pulse that hardly registers.

Franchise Elite

8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta: Most likely to graduate into Super Elite next year.

9. Cam Newton, Carolina: First among the new-wave, read option wonders because of his incredible physical skills.

10. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis: He’s capable of a Hall of Fame career as a classic dropback QB or in the read option.

11. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco: A Super Bowl appearance in his 10th career start? I remember when five years was the standard apprenticeship.

12. Russell Wilson, Seattle: Truly a unique talent with rare leadership skills.

13. Robert Griffin 3, Washington: His light physical frame will always be unnerving to a coach.

14. Tony Romo, Dallas: Needs a demanding coach to kick him in the butt.

Very Good, Not Great

15. Matt Schaub, Houston: Has a chance to ascend, but 2013 will be a make or break year for him.

16. Phillip Rivers, San Diego: Blessed with one of the best supporting casts, he hasn’t been able to lead.

17. Matthew Stafford, Detroit: Can throw a pretty ball, but that’s about it.

18. Jay Cutler, Chicago: Very good arm, very bad body language. Has he won anything at any level?

19. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay: He has all the physical attributes. Just needs a good coach to lead him to the next level.


20. Alex Smith, San Francisco: A nice guy who can win a game, but is not an exceptional leader or thrower.

21. Carson Palmer, Oakland: Living example of ‘be careful what you wish for because you might get it.’

22. Ryan FitzPatrick, Buffalo: You’ve got to believe he would be better with a dome- or southern-based team.

23. Michael Vick, Philadelphia: At this stage of his career, he may be the most over-rated player in the league – an aging athlete who can’t run or throw like his legend.

Jury Still Out

24. Sam Bradford, St. Louis: Has not been well-served in his career with changing offenses and minimal support at skill positions.

25. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati: Without A.J. Green, it’s doubtful anyone would know his name.

26. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland: Don’t pass judgment on him until his big arm gets one year in the Norv Turner offense.

27. Ryan Tannehill, Miami: Had the benefit of playing in same offense as in college, and his rookie year was underwhelming.

28. Jake Locker, Tennessee: His arm makes him worth a longer look.

29. Christian Ponder, Minnesota: Hand off to Adrian Peterson. Dink. Dunk. Hand off to Adrian Peterson.

30. Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets:  An organizational failure, it may be too late for him succeed in New York.

31. Kevin Kolb, Arizona: Has best chance of doing anything in a West Coast system.

32. Nick Foles, Philadelphia: Never looked as good as he did in preseason.

33. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville:Mike Mayock ranked him ahead of Cam Newton in the 2011 draft. Yep.

No, thanks.

34. Chad Henne, Jacksonville: Should settle into a career backup role.

35. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee: Strictly a West Coast offense QB who has trouble staying healthy, his value now is as a backup.

36. Matt Moore, Miami: His ceiling is the journeymen category.

37. Matt Cassel, Kansas City: Charlie Weis the only coach who got anything out of him.

38. Tavaris Jackson, Buffalo: Good legs, nothing else.

39. Brady Quinn, Kansas City: His one shining moment in the aftermath of a team tragedy may have made his career.

Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and

He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi


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