*NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2018" concluded Monday after revealing players ranked No. 1 to 10. Four quarterbacks were revealed in the final episode: Tom Brady (No. 1), Carson Wentz (3), Drew Brees (8) and Aaron Rodgers (10). As we head toward the 2018 campaign, NFL Network analyst and former NFL quarterback David Carr lists his own ranking of the league's top 10 quarterbacks. *
Until Brady shows me he's losing a step, I have to keep him here. He was the league MVP at 40 years old. There's not much more to say that hasn't been said.
Rodgers proved his value in 2017 by simply not being out on the field. The Packers went 3-6 without him, as the offense majorly stalled. Rodgers does a lot beyond the X's and O's, and I love his improvisational ability. By being able to move and buy time, along with his feel in the pocket, Rodgers puts his offense in position to score on every drive.
Brees' numbers dipped from past easons, but it's understandable when considering the players in the Saints' historic backfield ( Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram). Still, in my opinion, 2017 was one of his better seasons because he showed up in crunch time. That's hard to do when you're not throwing the ball as much, not getting a steady rhythm going. He's one of the most accurate intermediate passers in NFL history, throwing the ball in places where other quarterbacks can't at 5 yards.
After all the hype of the offseason, the 2017 Raiders had a down year. Now with a new coaching staff, I believe the Raiders and Derek will get back to 2016 form. I've seen Derek and Jon Gruden interact, and Derek's game is going to benefit tremendously from that move. And after watching several practices during OTAs, the offensive skill players really fit Derek's style. Martavis Bryant is perfect for Derek, and Jordy Nelson will be a matchup nightmare as a slot receiver against CB2s and CB3s.
Derek had some back issues last year and I think he returned too quickly. Now healthy and able to go through an entire offseason, his mobility is back. Given that, along with Derek's arm talent and ability to buy time behind a solid O-line, and I'm not sure how defenses will cover this dynamic offense.
Wilson and Cam Newton are about the only two signal callers who can carry their teams without a lot of talent around them. Wilson is an accurate passer and a dangerous runner who picks up a lot of hidden yards. He scampers a few times and the next thing you know, he has 80 yards on the ground. That's eight first downs. He's the reason Seattle is still competitive with the roster it has.
Stafford can do more with his arm than almost anyone on this list. He's a natural thrower who keeps the Lions competitive more often than not. Stafford has guided the Lions to three winning seasons in the past four years, with two playoff appearances. He's the constant the offense needs and he'll benefit immensely if the ground game can get going.
Rivers has been an underestimated quarterback for a long time. He has such great field vision and accuracy on deep throws. Rivers has the ability to get rid of the ball early and his anticipation is as good as anyone's. The most admirable thing about him is he's always involved, even when the defense is on the field. When I look at all the guys on this list, Rivers is the most invested in his team's success.
If you want to build a prototypical dropback quarterback, Matt Ryan is it. His mechanics are almost perfect, and he's the clear leader of the Falcons' offense. He's elevated the play of those around him and should put the Falcons right back in contention to win the division in 2018, especially with the addition of Calvin Ridley to the receiving corps.
He's the LeBron James of the NFL. If you need him to run 20 times in a game, he can. If you need him to throw for 400 yards, he can do that, too. He's so hard to tackle and makes defenses account for him, which gives the Panthers favorable matchups downfield. In his 2015 MVP season, Cam was throwing as well as anybody. If he can get back to that level consistently, there's no reason he can't be in the top three.
The careers of Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Osweiler, both with small sample sizes of game play before signing massive contracts, couldn't be more different. After helping the Broncos go 5-2 during his time as the team's starter during its run to Super Bowl 50, Osweiler was average -- at best -- in Houston. He's jumped around since his short stint with the Texans and is currently a backup in Miami. Jimmy, on the other hand, has flourished with his new team, recording a 5-0 record last year as a starter under Kyle Shanahan. Garoppolo instantly changed the feel of the season for a 49ers team that didn't get its first win until Week 10. This is a prove-it season for him. Can he continue to win?
Why is Ben Roethlisberger off my list? Yes, he's a future Hall of Famer and there's no doubt he can still help the Steelers. But, he has the most talented skill players in the league on his unit, and that pair -- Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell -- makes him look great 14 seasons in. I don't think Big Ben could win a ton of games without them at this stage in his career.