QB Power Rankings: Is Joe Flacco elite?

April, 26, 2011
4/26/11
1:00
PM ET
ESPN.com revealed its most high-profile and perhaps controversial Power Rankings to date on Tuesday. This week we ranked the glamour position of quarterback, which always makes for a heated debate.

[+] EnlargeJoe Flacco
Brett Davis/US PresswireBaltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw 25 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions last season.
Two AFC North quarterbacks made the top 10. Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers was a no-brainer. He's played in three Super Bowls, winning two. Roethlisberger finished No. 5 in the rankings behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. I voted Roethlisberger fourth and Rodgers fifth, but you can make a strong case for both quarterbacks, who are at the top of their game.

But what is debatable is whether Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco deserves to be on this list.

Is Flacco a top-10 quarterback? He was tied for the final spot with Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys to make the cut. I've watched more Flacco games in person than anyone on the panel and he didn't make my top 10. I had Flacco rated No. 12 on my ballot behind Romo (No. 10) and Matt Schaub (No. 11) of the Houston Texans.

In three seasons, Flacco has yet to beat the Steelers when Roethlisberger is at quarterback and needs to perform better in the postseason. Therefore, I cannot consider him elite. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome recently echoed these sentiments.

But I've liked Flacco's skills from Day 1, and I believe he's ready for a breakthrough season in his fourth year. He has a lot of natural ability, and once he combines that with more consistency and big-game performances, he will be dangerous.

Flacco also is showing more edge and leadership in the past year, which I think is needed for any starting quarterback. Flacco has the tools. He just needs to put it all together in 2011.

ESPN.com's Quarterback Power Rankings

1. Tom Brady, Patriots

2. Peyton Manning, Colts

3. Drew Brees, Saints

4. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

6. Philip Rivers, Chargers

7 (tie). Michael Vick, Eagles

7 (tie). Matt Ryan, Falcons

9. Eli Manning, Giants

10. (tie) Joe Flacco, Ravens

10. (tie) Tony Romo, Cowboys

Walker's Quarterback Power Rankings

1. Tom Brady, Patriots

2. Peyton Manning, Colts

3. Drew Brees, Saints

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

6. Philip Rivers, Chargers

7. Michael Vick, Eagles

8. Eli Manning, Giants

9. Matt Ryan, Falcons

10. Tony Romo, Cowboys

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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