As the NFL offseason wears on, fans start to get a barrage of ‘best players’ lists, most notably from the league’s own network. I don’t really put a lot of stock into the results, but it’s always fun to debate which players are better than others. One player who’s experienced a drop down a ‘best’ ranking, is New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Believe it or not, Pro Football Focus ranked him the 79th best player in 2012. 79!?
Look, I know the Saints had a bad season, and Brees has no doubt played better, but I’m not sure how he could be ranked that poorly. PFF had Brees ranked as the eighth best quarterback last season, behind Ben Roethlisberger. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Big Ben, but there’s no way I’d say he is, or was a better QB in 2012.
But it does beg the question – where does Brees rank with the top QBs in the league today?
There’s always a cluster at the top between Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Petyon Manning. Depending on who you ask, and on what day you ask them, those three players are usually at the top in some sort of order. I don’t think you can say that Brees is better than any of those guys right now, but what about guys like Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan or any of the three rookie quarterbacks from last year? That’s where I draw the line.
I slot Brees at No. 4 behind Rodgers, Manning, and Brady. I think we’ll see a similar ranking once the NFL’s best player list is fully revealed, but Brees will surely slip from his No. 2 ranking a year ago.
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