Clayton's QB Ranks: Vick, Eli, Romo

August, 31, 2011
8/31/11
2:40
PM ET
Oh yeah, 1,500 comments here we come ...

Hey, everybody! John Clayton's got his annual quarterback rankings out Wednesday. Thought you might enjoy seeing them.

At the top, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning ... about what you'd expect. But those guys aren't the reason you're coming to the NFC East blog. You want to know how the NFC East quarterbacks rank in the mind of the esteemed Mr. Clayton, so here it is:

8. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

9. Eli Manning, New York Giants

10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

31. John Beck-Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins

So there you have it. Regular readers of this blog already know that I have Romo ahead of Manning in what I consider to be an extremely close race. And frankly, I'd probably jump Vick up to No. 7 ahead of Matt Ryan. But that's splitting hairs.

John paired up the Redskins guys for a reason, and it's to be found in his explanation of their ranking:
In a quarterback-driven league, Mike Shanahan and his son, Kyle, believe scheme and coaching are everything. If this daily double gets the Redskins to the playoffs, Shanahan will be coach of the year. If not, the Redskins could be looking at Andrew Luck.

Yes, I agree that if the Redskins make the playoffs Shanahan will be Coach of the Year, because that award always goes to the coach of the team that was much, much better than everyone thought it would be before the season. But as regular readers of mine also know, I don't think the Redskins are going to be a top-draft-pick-level mess this year. Their schedule and improved defense will keep them above the dregs of the league, and I do not think they will be in a position to take Luck with the No. 1 overall pick next April.

I do agree that Beck or Grossman (whichever it is, though I think it's been Beck all along) deserves to be ranked this low on this list until we see proof that he shouldn't. Sure, you can quibble and say you'd put the Redskins starter ahead of Tarvaris Jackson (30), Kerry Collins (29), Alex Smith (28) or Chad Henne (26), but he's in that bottom group until he shows otherwise.

On the other three NFC East quarterbacks, John has the "arrow" pointing up on Vick and Romo and down on Manning, as he's clearly disturbed by those pesky 25 interceptions Manning threw in 2010. Again, very close here, but I'd put Vick ahead of both Romo and Manning because he can do things they can't. And I think Romo's got a better overall skill set and supporting cast than Manning does.

So (grimacing as he asks, fearing what's to come), what do you guys think?

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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