Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Filling out QB Power Rankings ballot

By Pat Yasinskas

The quarterbacks are up next in our Power Rankings series and I get to write the analysis of our voting, which will appear Tuesday.

Aside from John Fox, everyone else on the planet will tell you quarterback is the most important position in football, so this edition should spark lots of conversation. I’m about to fill out my ballot.

I’ll share this much with you. I’m putting three NFC South quarterbacks on the ballot and Jimmy Clausen, Tony Pike and Cam Newton are not among them. Yeah, it’s pretty obvious what I’m saying.

Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman will be on my ballot. I’m sure the rest of the voters will have Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the top two slots. But I’m going to break from convention and put one of the NFC South guys in one of those two spots. Again, it’s pretty obvious I’m talking about Brees.

Where will Ryan and Freeman fall? Well, they’ll each be in the bottom five of my top 10. We got a question in last week's chat that asked me if Ryan or Freeman is the better quarterback. I don’t think that’s a very fair question -- or at least an easy one to answer -- at this point. I think Freeman’s upside is tremendous and there’s not a thing about him I don’t like. But he’s only had one full season as a starter, so I’m not ready to flat-out say he’s better than Ryan. He could be, but we need to see a little more evidence.