Ron Jaworski: Tom Brady is NFL's No. 3 quarterback


We expressed some outrage over Tom Brady's ranking at No. 4 on NFL Network's "Top 100: Players of 2012," but the players who voted weren't the only ones who view the New England Patriots star lower than you might expect.

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, nearing the end of his countdown of each starting NFL quarterback, lists Brady at No. 3 behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. (The No. 1 ranking has yet to be announced.)

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Of course, a No. 3 ranking is hardly criticism. Jaws has effusive praise for Brady, singling out his unmatched pocket presence.

"I don't think I've ever seen a more comfortable pocket quarterback than Brady," Jaworski said, via ESPN's AFC East blog. "There have been times over the years he's literally been a statue in the pocket -- static, stationary, motionless. I can tell you from experience that's a rare trait. Everything is happening very fast. The ability to slow down your body like that, that's remarkable."

Brady's résumé speaks for itself. He's been to five Super Bowls, winning three of them. He's the only player to throw 50 touchdowns in a season (2007) and he's won the league MVP twice ('07, 2010).

I think the Pats continually falling short in recent years -- including two memorable Super Bowl losses -- has removed the air of invincibility that once blanketed Brady in the mid-aughts. It's hardly his fault the Patriots have been unable to seal the deal since the 2004 season, but Rodgers and Brees have both won in more recent times.

The image of a quarterback hoisting a Lombardi Trophy as confetti rains down might be how people best identify a great quarterback. Can't argue with the logic there.