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Ranking all 32 QBs

Evaluating every NFL team at the most crucial position

Posted: Monday June 18, 2007 9:02AM; Updated: Monday June 18, 2007 12:24PM
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Peyton Manning's ability to win big games has caught up with his statistical brilliance.
Peyton Manning's ability to win big games has caught up with his statistical brilliance.
G. Newman Lowrance/WireImage.com
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It's been a little boring around the NFL over the last month or so. Lots of off-the-field crappola going on, but not much to sink your football teeth into. Here's my attempt to stir things up. It's the first MMQB Quarterback Ratings.

What I've done: ranked the 2007 starting quarterbacks in the league from 1 to 32, from Manning (Peyton) to Croyle (Brodie). The rankings are in the order of who will have the best seasons in 2007 and 2007 only.

The highlights:

• Manning's No. 1 (Surprise!): A year ago, I would have picked Tom Brady over Manning. But fair is fair. Manning beat Brady twice in 2006, won the Super Bowl and put all the can't-win-the-big-one stuff behind him. Now Peyton has the ultimate reward: being picked over Brady in the inaugural MMQB Ratings.

• I'd take Drew Brees over Carson Palmer if I were starting a team right now. Sacrilege! With fewer weapons and a similar comeback from serious injury, Brees has narrowly outplayed Palmer over the past two years, and I think it's a good bet he will again in '07.

• Want my upset specials in the top 10? Try Vince Young and Jon Kitna. Young's the most feared young player in football right now. More feared than Reggie Bush. He ran for nearly as many touchdowns last season (seven) as Mike Vick has rushed for in the last two (eight). And I put Kitna at No. 9 because, quite simply, he is the right trigger man for the Lions' offense. I believe he'll throw for 4,300 yards again.

• It's not that I don't like Donovan McNabb. I do. I just don't trust him to stay healthy. I rank the Eagles' QB 12th because I have no confidence that McNabb, at 30 and having missed a combined 13 games over the last two years, will be upright in December.

Ben Roethlisberger 17th? What gives? From Year 1 to Year 2 of his career, his completion percentage dropped 3.7 points; from year two to three it fell 3.0 points. His TD-to-interception ratio, plus-eight in 2005, dropped to minus-five last season. He is profoundly inconsistent. I say he's a C-plus player until I see six or eight straight weeks of the same guy.

Mike Vick's understudy will be better this year than Mike Vick. I've got Matt Schaub 19th and Vick 21st. Schaub's gobbling up Gary Kubiak's system this spring and I think he'll be an efficient, low-error player. I have no idea what Vick will be, or if the feds will let him finish what he starts with the dog-fighting probe progressing to a possible indictment this summer in his home state of Virginia. Vick is still far too inconsistent when throwing the ball ... stunningly so for a man with his talent.

Eli Manning, who could playing for two jobs this year (his own and Tom Coughlin's), enters the pop charts at number 23. He'll need to be feistier and significantly more accurate, neither of which I am confident will happen, to save his career in the Meadowlands.

Rex Grossman's got some improving to do. I hadn't seen such a low-performance passer in the Super Bowl since Trent Dilfer with the Ravens seven years ago. Quite frankly, I'm surprised the Bears didn't get some insurance at the position by drafting a youngster. I have Grossman 27th, fairly ridiculous for a first-round pick who started in the Super Bowl.

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