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Dilfer rates 49 NFL quarterbacks

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

ESPN's Trent Dilfer has ranked 49 NFL quarterbacks, placing them in 11 categories, including "elite," "superstar" and the diplomatic "gotta prove it."

Five from the AFC East made the list, with Miami Dolphins sophomore Chad Henne the only backup to make an appearance. So you won't find Kellen Clemens, Andrew Walter or Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Here they are in the order slotted:

  • New England Patriots leading man Tom Brady ranked No. 2 in the elite category behind Peyton Manning.

    Dilfer's analysis: Brady has "best pocket instincts in the league. ... unwaveringly disciplined in his approach and execution (film study, weight room, how he plays, etc.). ... uses tricks of trade very well to manipulate defenses (through snap counts, eye placement, pump fakes). ... on par with Manning in recognizing and accounting for last-second defensive adjustments."

  • Miami's Chad Pennington ranked No. 4 in the "glad their ours" category along with such experienced vets as Jake Delhomme, Kerry Collins and David Garrard.

    Dilfer's analysis: Pennington is a "proven winner who makes every team he's on better immediately. ... expert at dissecting and exposing weaknesses in the defense. ... limited physical skills."

  • Trent Edwards of the Buffalo Bills was No. 2 in "gotta prove it" behind Matt Schaub. Last year's Patriots starter, Matt Cassel, was ranked fifth.

    Dilfer's analysis: Edwards is "smart, athletic and a nice thrower of the football. ... still growing into his role. ... must show more consistent downfield velocity and accuracy."

  • New York Jets rookie Mark Sanchez is the top prospect in the "on deck circle." Henne was fourth.