- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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We’ll be coming to the quarterbacks soon in our series of NFC South position rankings. But colleague John Clayton weighed in today with his rankings on quarterbacks around the league.
I don’t think I’m giving away too much when I admit my rankings of the four NFC South quarterbacks will be in the same order Clayton has them. I don’t really see how it could be any other way.
Clayton has Drew Brees and Matt Ryan both listed as elite quarterbacks. He has Brees at No. 3, behind Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Clayton also admits he came close to putting Brees ahead of Brady, but stayed with the New England quarterback because of his multiple Super Bowl rings.
Ryan is No. 13, almost at the bottom of Clayton’s elite level. Clayton said Ryan’s on the rise and I agree. I think he’ll be a top-10 quarterback this season.
After Brees and Ryan, there is a big drop-off in the rankings, which is no surprise. Although Clayton ranks Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman No. 29, he praises the young quarterback. I really believe that Freeman’s going to be a good quarterback. Not sure he’ll get there right away, but I think the Bucs are going to be a lot more interesting than they were a year ago.
Clayton has Carolina’s Matt Moore at No. 32. That’s precisely one spot ahead of Jake Delhomme, the guy Moore is replacing. Can’t really argue that Moore deserves to be much higher after what we’ve seen from him in the preseason.