Eli's placement in QB pecking order generates debate

Eli Manning recently said he considers himself in the same quarterback class as Tom Brady. Many laughed it off, as the top four are pretty unanimously Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, in some order. That begs the question: Where exactly does Eli Manning rank in the quarterback pecking order? Who are some of the other quarterbacks in contention for the spots after the top four?

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  • Elliot Harrison NFL.com
  • Not even in top 10

Eli Manning doesn't even crack the top 10 in my book. Off the cuff, I would rank them as follows (based off more than just 2010): 1. Tom Brady, 2. Peyton Manning, 3. Drew Brees, 4. Ben Roethlisberger, t-5. Aaron Rodgers, t-5. Philip Rivers, 7. Michael Vick, 8. Matt Schaub, t-9. Matt Ryan, t-9 Tony Romo. Each solicits an argument, of course. Eli Manning probably would be No. 11. He's a good player with a Super Bowl ring while Schaub, Ryan and Romo haven't won anything. But watch them play. Would you really put Manning over those three? That's tough for me.

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  • Pat Kirwan NFL.com
  • Don't be so quick to criticize

Eli Manning was sticking up for himself and that is to be admired. As for where he ranks among NFL quarterbacks, let me first challenge the "unanimous" top four rankings. To me, there are a few Sundays when Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman and others can play like that group of quarterbacks. Eli Manning is a player in the top 10 at his position who can perform like a top-four quarterback. Let's not forget: He did win a Super Bowl and was the game's MVP.

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  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • Somewhere in the second tier

I'd put Eli Manning, at best, somewhere in the second tier of quarterbacks. He's not with Tom Brady, his brother, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisberger, to name a few.

I'm taking all of those guys ahead of Eli Manning, but he's in that next group. He passes for 4,000 yards a season with regularity and makes big plays. He won a Super Bowl. If he threw fewer picks I would consider elevating him, but I view him in the next tier with guys like Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco.

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  • Steve Wyche NFL.com
  • Young quarterbacks closing gap

Eli Manning might be in the top 10, with his Super Bowl win earning him extra credibility. After those top four, I've got to throw Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger ahead of him with Matt Ryan, Donovan McNabb (not factoring too much of last season) and Matt Schaub also prompting serious consideration.

I might put Eli Manning ahead of Ryan and Schaub because he's got some playoff wins. I also rank him ahead of Joe Flacco, Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez -- but they're gaining ground.

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  • Adam Rank NFL.com
  • Eli Manning = Brad Johnson?

Wait, are we sure those are the unanimous top four quarterbacks in the game? Did we forget Michael Vick's amazing season? Philip Rivers' MVP numbers? Or that Ben Roethlisberger led his team to a Super Bowl for the third time?

It illustrates that there are at least seven quarterbacks who enter the conversation before we even begin to think about Eli Manning, who might be hard pressed to make the top 10. Consider Tony Romo, Matt Schaub and a growing list of young guns -- Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco -- who have either passed Eli Manning, or will in the next year or two.

I don't want to say that Eli Manning is the Trent Dilfer of his generation, but more like Brad Johnson ... if Johnson had a famous NFL-playing father.

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