NFL Insider Mike Sando offers a great read taking on an ambitious project. Sando asked specific personnel people and coaches in the NFL to rate every starting quarterback on a 1-5 scale, with 1 for the best and 5 for the worst.
Sando then divided the quarterbacks into "tiers" based on how league people view them. Sando received completed surveys from 15 personnel people (eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators and a top executive) and 11 coaches (seven coordinators, two head coaches and two position groups) grading all 32 projected starting quarterbacks. Using those numbers, Sando averaged the results for each quarterback in the league, ranking them within the various tiers.
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was the top-rated quarterback among a group of 10 quarterbacks in the second tier. Rivers received seven Tier 1 votes, 18 Tier 2 votes and one Tier 3 vote for an average of 1.77.
You could quibble with Luck being rated ahead of Rivers based on past performance, but overall I believe Rivers is where he should be at No. 6.
Here is what Sando has to say on Rivers:
Quite a few analysts said they would ideally put Rivers and Roethlisberger in the 1.5 range -- better than the typical Tier 2 player, but not as dynamic as the Tier 1 quarterbacks. Eighteen of the 26 voters placed Rivers in the second tier. The same was true for Roethlisberger.
"Rivers can't run, but he can throw and he's smart," a defensive coordinator said. "He is definitely a two to me -- a real good quarterback."
Another defensive coordinator put Rivers in his first tier with Brees, Brady, Rodgers and Peyton Manning. He also described what separated the top-tier QBs from the rest in his mind. "A one to me is a guy that -- he is going to get 300 on you every game and you kind of know it," that coordinator said. "He's a guy you are going to have to manage, you're going to have to try to disguise and do different things against because he has seen everything. Those guys see everything. The twos are guys you can get. Like Eli, you can get him on some things and can disguise some things on him. But [the twos] still run their offense, they have control of it."