Ranking the top QBs in the NFL

Who are the best QBs in the NFL? I’m going rank them by tiers. You’re free to rank the QBs however you see fit.

TIER ONE: GREAT QUARTERBACKS. QBs who can carry a team even if it lacks a good defense or key offensive personnel.

1. Peyton Manning
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Tom Brady
4. Drew Brees

TIER TWO: GOOD QUARTERBACKS. QBs who lack one or two qualities the great ones have. QBs who cannot compensate when the talent level at other key positions is lacking.

1. Philip Rivers
2. Ben Roethlisberger
3. Eli Manning
4. Tony Romo
5. Alex Smith
6. Matt Ryan
7. Joe Flacco
8. Jay Cutler

TIER THREE: YOUNG GUNS WHO HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME GREAT. QBs who appear to have all the tangible qualities to become elite, but lack the portfolio to be grouped in that category.

1. Russell Wilson
2. Andrew Luck
3. Nick Foles
4. Cam Newton
5. Colin Kaepernick

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        1. Sometimes TK writes stuff that I find irritating. This one I think shows that despite his occaisionally self-assured patronizing tone, he’s savvy and has been around. But he’s not dogmatic; he watches/listens well; he notices details and understands adjusting on-the-fly.
          This is a good piece.

        1. Captain:

          A cynic would say, “If it doesn’t fit the predetermined narrative, then it’s not fit to print.”

    1. Me thinks Grant, with his cynical views that he inherited from ol’ cohn, will find a way to spin it and to not buy it. Take it for what you will. If you can’t take a man at face value and believe what he says, I think that speaks volume to you and not the person doing the talking.

  1. Tony Romo is ranked above Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Cam! I would take any of the above over Tony Romo any day.

    1. I’d take Romo over Ryan and Flacco and Cam but Luck and Wilson are still wild cards to me and I think Grant didn’t include them in the top lists because of such.

      You have to take into consideration the production of the QB and not the production of the team. This is why everyone claiming that CK is better than Cutler, Romo, Stafford, etc, are kind of missing the boat. The 49ers successes are not because of CK for the most part. True he plays a role but its a role that I think ~20-25 qbs in this league could do if they bought into the system. I think the success of the Bears, Cowboys and Lions (as much or as little of it there is) is more in part because of those 3 men than CK is to the 49ers.

      Lets not remember that the 49ers switched from Alex to Colin basically at the halfway point of 2012 and pretty much didn’t miss a beat…wins and loss wise. I will say that outside of the Chicago game those wins that CK got were in lots of ways in spite of him.

  2. I find it laughable that Foles is 3rd after one season in that offense. The rest of the league has film on them and it will be rough for him next year. Kind of like it was rough for Kap in yr 2. Once teams get film on you it exposes your weakness

        1. Tier 2 is the QBs that are good but not great. Tier 3 are the QBs with the capability of becoming great.

          1. MidWestDynasty

            OK, now look up the definition “context.” Next, look up the definition of “ordinal scale.”

  3. Grant you are the Marc Sanchez of blog writers. Downhill after year two.
    Ask yourself this, if all of these guys were free agents in which order would teams pick them.
    Btw look at your tier one guys. Kaep is 3-0 versus Rogers. 1-0 versus Brady in his house. And should be undefeated versus Brees had it not been for the ref that made the bad call.
    Grant you used to be so much better than this.

    1. What’s your reasoning Jack? I thought he took a step into the elite by performing like he did when Sean Peyton was suspended.

      1. 7-9 isn’t carrying anyone. The 2010 49ers had only 1 more loss and they didn’t have a head coach either.

        1. True, but I thought Brees did a great job keeping them relevant despite having the historically worst defense to support the offense.

  4. Tony Romo, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco on your list as good qbs above Wilson, Newton and Kaepernick? Sweet Christmas, man. Either you’re trolling or you’re just dumb.

      1. You don’t agree that Kaep fits under the category of “QBs who appear to have all the tangible qualities to become elite, but lack the portfolio to be grouped in that category”?

        Which category does he belong to then? Is he already elite (tier 1)? Or is he good but lacking the qualities the great ones have (tier 2)?

        You can argue the rankings within tier 3 if you want, but complaining about Kaep not being ahead of Smith, Romo and Cutler just shows you weren’t paying attention to the tiers.

        1. And since Grant just commented that he wasn’t ranking within the tiers there goes that whole argument as well.

          I find it hard to argue with this list knowing they aren’t ranked within the tiers.

        2. Scooter, I have no issue with ck being placed in the third tier I just do not like the structure of this post since it’s lazy without any detail analysis or stats to support it.

  5. Here’s the way the tiers should really be, and I ranked each tier.
    1.) Elites
    Tom Brady
    Aaron Rogers
    Peyton Manning
    Drew Brees

    2.) Verge of Elite
    Phillip Rivers (grew tired of Norv and started to decline, but gritty competitor)
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Eli Manning
    Matt Ryan
    Andrew Luck
    Colin Kaepernick
    Cam Newton
    Russell Wilson

    3.) Decent Qbs
    Nick Foles * (Foles keeps playing like he did in 2013 and I’d move him up)
    Joe Flacco (Worst emotional post Super Bowl win qb deal ever)
    Alex Smith (Better than both Cutler and Romo because he doesn’t turn the ball over)
    Jay Cutler
    Tony Romo

      1. 40 Whiners, that has more to do with RW having a better defense and a better running game than it has to do with him being a better QB. People forget that RW lost 2 of 3 down the stretch and had passing yardage of 103 and 108 down the stretch as well. Those are pathetic numbers for someone that we want to give the elite label to.

  6. This is usually the time when I mull over draft pick trade scenarios, combine stats and college highlights. But this off-season all the yackity about discord between Harbaugh and Baalke (and players too) was harshing my mellow.

    Today things changed. Boldin signed. He said he was unaware of players having bad feelings toward Harbaugh. Later Harbaugh spoke up, saying he has no intention of leaving, speaks with Baalke regularly (even had a meeting with him before the interview) and is satisfied with his pay (though he did lobby for Fangio to get a raise).

    So its back to the toy store!

    1. With you there Brodie,here is an early rough”draft” list for me:(1) Jimmy Ward-S not the fastest but smart and extremely capable;(2) Kyle Fuller- CB love his speed ;(2)Donte Moncrief WR -yes he goes this high and rightly so ;(3)Travis Swanson C- yes Kilgore is there but this guy is just to good to pass on and could surpass him within a year;(3)E J Gaines CB keep an eye on him ;(3) S.Skov ILB- Stanford standout;(4)M.Huff- FS;(5) David Fales QB;(6)Jeff Janis WR big fast good hands small school sleeper(7) Trey Millard FB/TE ;(7) Spencer Long OG red shirt monster:(7)A Colvin CB draft and stash red shirt standout!

      1. Moncrief and Janis have great combinations of size and speed… and Moncrief is only 20. Still a growing young man. Could have stayed in school another year and cashed in next year. Surprised that I don’t hear more about Skov around the league. Fales is a smooth operator.

          1. Are those the WRs you like Jack?

            I’m a fan of Matthews. I was starting to believe the reports about him only being an average athlete but he showed at the combine he’s plenty fine as an athlete too. I think he’s the sort of guy that will carve out a nice, long career. May never be one of the top WRs in the game, but a good, solid starting WR for a long time.

          2. Scooter,

            Yeah, I also like Adams and Cooks but I think they’ll be off the board by the time the 49ers go WR.

            Really looking forward to about a month from now because things should start to become a bit more clear regarding what the team thinks.

      2. Hightop…..I do’nt think Janis will last untill the 6th rd. I think he may go in the early 4th rd. You just do’nt see the combination of speed, size, hands with a basketball backround very often. I believe someone will take a chance on him earlier in the draft than most think he will go. His talent and athleticism remind me alot of T. Owens

  7. TIER 1
    Peyton Manning
    Tom Brady
    Drew Brees
    Aaron Rodgers

    TIER 2
    Russell Wilson
    Philip Rivers
    Andrew Luck
    Colin Kaepernick
    Matt Ryan
    Matthew Stafford
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Tony Romo
    Cam Newton
    Jay Cutler

    TIER 3
    Robert Griffin III
    Eli Manning
    Ryan Tannehill
    Alex Smith
    Nick Foles
    Joe Flacco
    Andy Dalton
    Matt Schaub

    TIER 4
    Carson Palmer
    Sam Bradford
    Jake Locker
    Christian Ponder

    TIER 5
    Brandon Weeden
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Mike Glennon
    E.J. Manuel
    Geno Smith
    Terrelle Pryor
    Chad Henne

  8. Have to agree E, I cone here 90% to read the comments, Grants predominantly negative spin in his articles seems pointless and unobjective.

  9. Bold in already said it. He said he believes the team to have a open door policy and he know of no one having any rift. And he also said he is happy to be returning with the coaching staff and team.

  10. I know that this is unrelated to this thread…but from his own mouth. This sounds more like the Jim Harbaugh that came in a few years ago, so I’m inclined to trust this more. Everything else is simple media folks playing their typical “schoolgirl-drama” routine by spreading rumors. Even the link’s text is misleading lol! Where else could Harbaugh go from the 49ers but down? He’s reached the pinnacle of his career (short of a super bowl). The competitiveness in him says to be the best coach in history of the NFL (slightly steep hill to climb), but that doesn’t mean he wants to leave SF. All the talk about moving around because “he doesn’t stay in one place long, it’s not in his DNA…” is a load of dung! He moved around so frequently like any man on a journey…so he could get to where he was going sooner than later. Now he’s where he wanted/wants to be…coaching a talented team at the highest level of football, the NFL. The rest is “TMZesque” lies trying to rouse the fans because there’s nothing else to talk about right now other than players (and ex-players) going to jail.


  11. Here’s a list of prospects from the Combine that the Niners might be targeting due to Baalke’s love for long limbs (arms that is). An asterisk next to the ones with injury concerns and an exclamation point next to the ones with character concerns. Thanks to nfl.com/combine and nfldraftscout.com for the below information.

    Logan Thomas 34 ¼” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Teddy Bridgewater 33” (value in the first round)
    Dustin Vaughan 33” (value undrafted)
    Blake Bortles 32 7/8” (value in the 1st round)
    Stephen Morris 32 ¾” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Tom Savage 32 5/8” (value in the 6th or 7th round) !
    Zach Mettenberger 32 3/8” (value in the 3rd or 4th round)
    Jeff Matthews 32 1/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    David Fales 31 ¾” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    A.J. McCarron 31 ½” (value in the 3rd round)
    Derek Carr 31 ½” (value in the 1st or 2nd round)

    Andre Williams 33 ½” (value in the 4th round) *
    David Fluellen 33 3/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted) *
    George Atkinson III 33 ¼” (value in the 7th round or undrafted) !
    Jeremy Hill 32 5/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round) !
    Alfred Blue 32 3/8” (value undrafted) !
    James Wilder Jr. 32” (value in the 4th or 5th round) *!
    Lorenzo Taliaferro 32” (value in the 7th or undrafted)
    Carlos Hyde 32” (value in the 2nd round) *!
    Storm Johnson 32” (value in the 6th or 7th round)
    Marion Grice 32” (value in the 5th round)

    Mike Evans 35 1/8” (value in the 1st round) !
    Kelvin Benjamin 34 7/8” (value in the 1st round)
    Brandon Coleman 34” (value in the 4th or 5th round) !
    Marcus Lucas 33 5/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Devin Street 33 3/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round) *
    L’Damian Washington 33 3/8” (value in the 6th or 7th round)
    Jordan Matthews 33 ¼” (value in the 2nd round)
    Cody Hoffman 33 ¼” (value in the 6th or 7th round)
    Willie Snead 33” (value undrafted)
    Odell Beckham Jr. 32 ¾” (value in the 1st or 2nd round)
    Mike Davis 32 ¾” (value in the 3rd or 4th round) !
    Cody Lattimer 32 5/8” (value in the 5th round) !
    Paul Richardson 32 5/8” (value in the 2nd round)
    Davante Adams 32 5/8” (value in the 2nd round)
    Chris Boyd 32 5/8” (value undrafted)
    Martavis Bryant 32 5/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Quincy Enunwa 32 5/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Donte Moncrief 32 3/8” (value in the 3rd or 4th round)
    Kevin Norwood 32 1/8” (value in the 6th round)
    Jeff Janis 32 ¼” (value in the 5th or 6th round)

    Marcel Jensen 34 7/8” (value in the 5th round)
    Nic Jacobs 34 1/8” (value undrafted) !
    Troy Niklas 34 1/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Jace Amaro 34” (value in the 1st or 2nd round)
    Rob Blanchflower 33 ¾” (value in the 6th round)
    Crockett Gillmore 33 ¾” (value in the 4th or 5th round) *
    Austin Seferian Jenkins 33 ¾” (value in the 2nd round) !
    Xavier Grimble 33 5/8” (value in the 7th round) *
    D.J. Tialavea 33 5/8” (value undrafted)
    Anthony Denham 33 3/8” (value undrafted)

    Cyrus Kouandjio 35 5/8” (value in the 1st round)
    Morgan Moses 35 3/8” (value in the 1st or 2nd round) !
    Greg Robinson 35” (value in the 1st round)
    Antonio Richardson 35” (value in the 2nd round)
    Ja’Wuan James 35” (value in the 3rd or 4th round)
    Seantrel Henderson 34 5/8” (value in the 5th or 6th round) *!
    Charles Leno Jr. 34 3/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    Jack Mewhort 34” (value in the 2nd round) !
    Billy Turner 34” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Michael Schofield 34” (value in the 5th round)
    Cameron Fleming 34” (value in the 6th round)

    Kadeem Edwards 35 ½” (value in the 6th or 7th round)
    Brandon Thomas 34 ¾” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    Cyril Richardson 34 5/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round) !
    Brandon Linder 34 ½” (value in the 5th or 6th round)
    David Yankey 34” (value in the 1st or 2nd round)
    Dakota Dozier 33 7/8” (value in the 3rd round)
    Gabe Jackson 33 ¾” (value in the 2nd round)
    Jon Halapio 33 5/8” (value in the 5th round)
    Xavier Su’a-Filo 33 3/8” (value in the 1st or 2nd round)
    Ryan Groy 33 ¼” (value in the 7th round)

    Marcus Martin 34” (value in the 3rd round) !
    Weston Richburg 33 3/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Travis Swanson 33 1/8” (value in the 2nd round)
    Gabe Ikard 33 1/8” value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Matt Armstrong 33” (value in the 7th round or undrafted) *
    Bryan Stork 32 1/4” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    Corey Linsley 32” (value in the 6th or 7th round)
    Tyler Larsen 31 ½” (value in the 5th or 6th round)

    Kareem Martin 35” (value in the 3rd round)
    Will Clarke 34 5/8” (value in the 4th round)
    Jadeveon Clowney 34 ½” (value in the 1st round) *!
    Kony Ealy 34 ¼” (value in the 1st round)
    Brent Urban 34 ¼” (value in the 5th or 6th round)
    Chris Smith 34 1/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Marcus Smith 34” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Aaron Lynch 34” (value in the 6th round) !
    Trent Murphy 33 7/8” (value in the 2nd round) *
    Jackson Jeffcoat 33 7/8” (value in the 2nd round) !

    Daniel McCullers 36 5/8” (value in the 3rd or 4th round) !
    Stephon Tuitt 34 3/4” (value in the 1st or 2nd round) !
    DeAndre Coleman 34 3/8” (valu in the 6th round)
    Ra’Shede Hageman 34 ¼” (value in the 1st or 2nd round) !
    Will Sutton 34 1/4” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round) !
    DaQuan Jones 33 ½” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round) !
    Kerry Hyder 33 ½” (value in the 6th or 7th round) !
    Jason Bromley 33 ½” (value in the 6th or 7th round) !
    Kelcy Quarles 33 ¼” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    George Uko 33 ¼” (value in the 5th round) !

    Adrian Hubbard 34 ½” (value in the 4th round)
    Khairi Fortt 33 5/8” (value in the 6th round) *!
    Anthony Barr 33 ½” (value in the 1st round)
    Devon Kennard 33 3/8” (value in the 5th or 6th round)
    Khalil Mack 33 ¼” (value in the 1st round)
    Prince Shembo 33 1/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    Jeremiah Attaochu 33” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Jonathan Brown 33” (value in the 7th or undrafted)
    Telvin Smith 32 ½” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Ronald Powell 32 ½” (value in the 5th round) *!
    Tyler Starr 32 ½” (value in the 5th or 6th round)
    Anthony Hitchens 32 ½” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)

    Christian Jones 33 ½” (value in the 4th round)
    Preston Brown 33 ½” (value in the 5th or 6th round) !
    C.J. Mosley 33 3/8” (value in the 1st round) *
    Lamin Barrow 33 3/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    Avery Williamson 32 ¾” (value in the 6th round)
    Andrew Jackson 32 ½” (value in the 7th round)
    Jeremiah George 31 7/8” (value in the 7th round)
    Yavin Smallwood 31 ¾” (value in the 3rd round)
    Devin Unga 31 3/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Max Bullough 31” (value in the 6th or 7th round)

    Keith McGill 33 ¼” (value in the 3rd round)
    Justin Gilbert 33 1/8” (value in the 1st round) !
    Pierre Desir 33” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Kyle Fuller 32 7/8” (value in the 1st or 2nd round)
    Loucheiz Purifoy 32 ¾” (value in the 3rd round)
    Brandon Dixon 32 ½” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Stanley Jean-Baptiste 32 3/8” (value in the 3rd round)
    Lavelle Westbrooks 32 3/8” (value in the 7th round)
    Phillip Gaines 31 7/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round) *!
    Travis Carrie 31 7/8” (value undrafted) *
    Bashaud Breeland 31 ¾” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round) *
    Demetri Goodson 31 ¾” (value undrafted) *
    Rashaad Reynolds 31 5/8” (value in the 3rd or 4th round)
    Antone Exum 31 5/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round) *!
    Jabari Price 31 5/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted) !
    Bradley Roby 31 ½” (value in the 1st or 2nd round) !
    Lamarcus Joyner 31 ½” (value in the 2nd round)
    Nevin Lawson 31 ½” (value in the 4th round)
    Deion Belue 31 ½” (value in the 4th or 5th round) *
    Bennett Jackson 31 3/8” (value in the 5th or 6th round)

    Jonathan Dowling 33 1/8” (value in the 7th round or undrafted) *!
    Hasean Clinton-Dix 32 3/8” (value in the 1st round)
    Dion Bailey 32” (value in the 4th round) *
    Dontae Johnson 31 ½” (value in the 5th or 6th round)
    Kenny Ladler 31 5/8” (value in the 4th or 5th round)
    Calvin Pryor 31 3/8” (value in the 1st or 2nd round) !
    Marqueston Huff 31 3/8” (value in the 6th round)
    Tre Boston 31 3/8” (value in the 6th or 7th round) !
    Terrence Brooks 31” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round) *
    Ed Reynolds 30 ¾” (value in the 3rd or 4th round)

    Maurice Alexander 32 5/8” (value undrafted)
    Deone Bucannon 32 3/8” (value in the 2nd or 3rd round)
    Isaiah Lewis 31 ½” (value in the 5th round)
    Ahmad Dixon 32 ¼” (value in the 4th or 5th round) !
    Jimmie Ward 31” (value in the 2nd round) !
    Daniel Sorensen 31” (value in the 7th round or undrafted)
    Craig Loston 30 ¾” (value in the 4th round) *
    Nat Berhe 30 5/8” (value in the 5th or 6th round)
    Dezmond Southward (value in the 7th round) !
    Vinnie Sunseri 30” (value in the 6th round)

    1. A few things to keep in mind:
      I had no control on how the measurement turned out, which is why some measurements are big and others are small.
      I tried to round the total number of Combine prospects as close to 10 as possible (except for the WR and CB classes) but there was some overlap due to measurements being the same.
      The WR and CB lists are bigger (up to 20) because they are the two areas I believe that the team will focus on throughout the draft.
      Some notable names have been left off because of their short arm length.
      Dezmond Southward’s arm length is 30 5/8″.
      This was not an easy list to put together.

      1. Nice job MidWest, that would have taken some time. Thanks for compiling the list.

        You know my thoughts on arm length at positions other than OL, DL and LB so I won’t rehash them. Out of curiosity though, do you believe Baalke will rule out players at other positions based on arm length?

    2. My call of the draft is that they will draft Daniel McCullers with his 36 5/8” arms. Wow. Balke his dreaming of this guy.

  12. Alex Smith, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Cutler over Kaepernick and Wilson?
    Grant, please!

    I give you credit for one thing. You’re creating a nice niche as becoming the sh!! disturber around here (lol).

    1. The former are described as good QBs while the latter is being described as QBs that can become great, so I don’t think that good QBs are being classified as better AES.

    1. Baalke should consider bringing in Britt on a cheap deal before the draft, and then look for one of those WR’s in the draft. Mr. Crabs, Boldin, Britt, Patton, Rookie would be solid if a starter were to go down for any significant time….

      1. That guy is a whole lotta trouble and could definitely rub some people the wrong way. We have a close group of guys I wouldn’t want anyone to effect that in a negative way.

  13. A couple of toughts on the comments from Harbaugh and Boldin yesterday:

    - If I don’t buy everything that comes out of Harbaugh’s mouth during the regular season, and I don’t, why would I buy everything that he said in that interview. As Kawakami stated, Harbaugh is brilliant at setting himself up for all options. Don’t forget there was a coach in Miami once who said he wasn’t leaving too.

    - If I am Anquan Boldin what good does it do to air even an ounce of negativity to the media? If I have a problem with a manager or coworker in my current job I am very careful not to say anything to others that can cause problems. It does me no good.

    1. All true Jack, and its funny how quick people forget or choose to forget.

      Though I will take what he said with a grain a salt, its nice to hear at least some confirmation that all is well with in the staff and FO. I think for the most part this will blow over after the draft. And we can all move on, but it could pick back up come next off-season.

      1. Agreed, and yeah it will fade away a bit once the season starts ramping up but will be in the shadows until either a deal is done or he leaves.

    2. One thing you can take to the bank. In Harbaugh We Trust currency is worth more than Sabons’ ever was. I never trusted one word that came out of his mouth.

      The only player that airs out dirty laundry to the press anonymously is a coward.

    3. Jack:

      Two responses to your two thoughts.

      1. I don’t think Harbaugh is as cynical as you and Grant try to paint him. He may pull a Sun Tzu and say things to give his team a competitive advantage (e.g., his comments prior to the 2013 season opener) and he is fiercely protective of his players, but, other than that, I tend to take what he says at face value.

      2. There’s a big difference between refraining from airing anything negative and saying the positive things Boldin said. His statements undermine Ann Killion’s report in a significant way.

      1. Claude,

        You’ve been consistent with your takes on Harbaugh, and I can appreciate that.

        For me, this is Harbaugh trying to put pressure on the front office to give him what he wants, whatever that is.

          1. No because the local media is incapable of asking professional questions. Please just look back at the recent press meetings, it’s all about attacking rather than exploring.

          2. Asking questions is attacking? Interesting take.

            Harbaugh has a history with Rosenberg. He hand picked him to help get out what he wants to say. Harbaugh is a master at controlling things, and this is just another example.

          3. Harbaugh wants to control the narrative.

            And that’s a problem because … ?

            Is it your position that Rosenberg was somehow under Harbaugh’s control? That he was incapable of incapable of taking the interview in a direction Harbaugh didn’t want to go? That Harbaugh prevented him from asking tough questions? That he couldn’t ferret out Harbaugh’s lies, half-truths, distortions and other forms of deceit?

          4. Correct, Harbaugh is trying to control the narrative.
            No different than when Jed and his suit & boot crew did by whispering to the media about how difficult Jimbo is to work with, or his demands.

          5. Claude,

            Did I say there was a problem?

            Most head coaches have a guy away from the beat guys they feel comfortable with.

            Goes for agents too. For example, David Dunn also handles Chris Mortensen.

          6. I’d guess the reason Harbaugh picked him is he has a trust that this writer will not slant the narrative of the interview and quote him accurately. I believe there were no questions left unanswered and he clearly stated his position without leaving much Gray area. If people still believe there is an ulterior motive, that’s there prerogative, but I think Harbaugh was quite clear with his responses.

          7. skeptic,

            Correct, Harbaugh is trying to control the narrative.
            No different than when Jed and his suit & boot crew did by whispering to the media about how difficult Jimbo is to work with, or his demands.

            So you were there to see who the source was? Do you think Jed or someone close to him leaked the story that they were on the verge of trading Harbaugh but Jed had a coming to God moment and contradicted the leak personally? Does it also make sense for someone in the front office to suggest there are players tired of Harbaugh’s act knowing they have him under contract for two more years and something like this could fracture the locker room and kill any chance at a SB?

            I’m as cynical as anybody at times when I see obvious attempts at misdirection, but Harbaugh didn’t ignore all the crap going around and provided answers to all the questions people have about this story/non story. What else do you want from the guy?

          8. rocket,

            Please stop telling me what I am implying.

            I don’t think there is anything wrong with Harbaugh trying to control the narrative.

          9. Rocket,
            You said “So you were there to see who the source was? Do you think Jed or someone close to him leaked the story that they were on the verge of trading Harbaugh but Jed had a coming to God moment and contradicted the leak personally? ”
            —–No, my point is someone in the 49ers FO, started the “Jimbo is hard to work with” back in Dec, see Tim Kawakami’s blogs for that.
            Surely, Jimbo/someone in his camp was not the one to start that stuff. Why would they?

            As far as the locker room issue, IMO, possibly a past employee…..but, would you agree that it certainly was not beneficial for Harbaugh for that rumor to be floated?

            So Harbaugh, and perhaps his agent, do the smart thing, provide specific answers to matters that have been raised by the media.

          10. Jack,

            In the past few days a few people including myself, have questioned your intent in different posts. That is because you often imply something or give conflicting points of view, and then when called on it respond with “did I say that?”

            Claude responded that way to your statement because that is what you implied. I’m not going to tell you what you said, but I will tell you what interpretation I get from reading it.

          11. skeptic,

            My response was to your reference to Jed and his suit and boot crew. I don’t see how or why Jed would spread info like that because it does nothing to help him or his football team.

            A former employee or unhappy one makes a lot more sense, and if that’s the case then you have to question the validity of the source.

            Drama sells, and imo that is what most of this story is: media created drama, with snippets of truth scattered around.

          12. Show me how “He’s trying to control the narrative.” means that I think it’s a problem.

            You are inferring that on your own.

          13. Rocket,
            The media has certainly done its share to supersize whatever friction that exists at 49ers HQ…. but friction between a GM & HC is hardly news.

            However, back in Dec when this thing started, Jed went on record, and to paraphrase said that he had discussed with Harbaugh in the past about a contract extension, and hoped that when it comes to discuss it again, it would be with Harbaugh having the maximum leverage i.e. by winning a SB.

            IMO, that is Jed & company trying to control the narrative….along the lines of, yeah, you want a bigger contract,then win a SB.
            Something you do not do to a hyper competitive guy like Harbaugh, and in public, on the record.

          14. You’ve been consistent with your takes on Harbaugh, and I can appreciate that.

            For me, this is Harbaugh trying to put pressure on the front office to give him what he wants, whatever that is.

            Harbaugh has a history with Rosenberg. He hand picked him to help get out what he wants to say. Harbaugh is a master at controlling things, and this is just another example.

            Does this not strike you at all as implying Harbaugh has ulterior motives Jack? You clearly stated that you don’t see why you should believe everything he said in that interview and proceeded to lay out Harbaugh’s plan to control everything. To me that implies that you think Harbaugh is not being completely truthful and is handpicking somebody so that he can control what is said in attempt to get what he wants from the Front office. To me that implies a problem; sorry if you don’t see it that way.

          15. skeptic,

            I agree that friction between HC and GM is nothing new which is why I question the response to it. It’s created a firestorm and it’s really based on nothing but rumored quotes from unknown sources.

            Kawakami’s article referenced the friction but didn’t go to the extremes that the stories over the past week have. To me it’s a clear example of a non story with a shred of truth being blown out of proportion due to a lack of news.

            As to Jed, there’s little doubt in my mind that they have discussed an extension at times, but we don’t know who instigated the talks or the actual amount that was throw around. That is what I mean about small truths being manipulated into sensationalized stories.

          16. Again, your inferring. Although I don’t believe everything Harbaugh tells the media and think he tries to control things I don’t see it as a problem.

            If I thought they were I would type it.

          17. Jack, I think the reason people are assuming you were implying controlling the narrative was a negative thing is because you started this thread with:

            - You don’t believe everything Jim says
            - Harbaugh is brilliant at setting himself up for all options
            - Harbaugh is trying to put pressure on the front office to get what he wants

            None of those statements in and of themselves are negative, particularly if you think those are good traits for a head coach to have. You’ve not stated either way how you feel on the matter in this thread, so hard to know. But the reality is in most people’s minds all of those traits are seen as selfish, deceitful and insincere – and none of those traits are typically considered as “good”.

            As a result, when you then say he is trying to control the narrative, the implication that comes to mind is you think this is a negative. It is only natural based on the way you’ve set the topic up to display what in most people’s minds are negative qualities of Jim Harbaugh.

            I believe this is where the confusion comes from.

          18. Scooter,

            Ok, but in my 11:10 comment in this thread I stated that I don’t, yet one commenter in particular continues to not pay attention to that and push the issue.

          19. All good Jack, just trying to point out why sometimes people can assume you are inferring something you aren’t intending to.

          20. Jack:

            I see now that I misinterpreted your “control the narrative” comment. Your comment was in response to Grant’s Harbaugh-ducked-tough-questions-by-talking-to-a-single-interviewer comment. Because your comment immediately following my 10:23 comment, which also was in response to Grant’s comment, I thought you were responding to me.

            I’d say “my bad,” but instead I will blame Grant’s IT staff for placing an arbitrary limit on the number of reply levels.

          21. So what? That you weren’t invited? You’re backsliding Shrub; you were really getting it until the past few weeks. Need to work on your footwork again and get better vision about what you are writing. These recent articles are first read and out, i.e., snark, snark, snark…

          22. Why in the world would he do that? You don’t hold press conferences to talk about rumors, you hold press conferences to talk about important matters (contract signings, coaching hires, etc.).

  14. Grant –

    I like how you made sure Kap was last on that list and did not state with in the article that they are not ranked with in tiers….very subtle shot at Kap

    Other than that I like the list….Its also funny how you threw Alex Smith in there (not so subtle shot at Kap). Alex Smith could never put up the numbers that the rest of those QBs do….yea he’s had some stellar playoff performances but he could never do that consistently. He needs to be in a tier of his own called “the Ultimate Game Manager”. That guy can manage a game like nobody’s business.

    Those other QBs are able to produce even with an extreme lack of talent around them (please do not confuse producing with winning). Alex needs a good WR corp, a great o-line, a great RB, a great coach, and a great defense and/or weak schedule, to manage a game. He doesn’t seem fit your qualification in your description IMO at least.

  15. Passer rating in 2013 (all games) w/o play action, courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

    1. McCown: 109.4
    2. Foles: 109
    3. P.Manning: 107.7
    4. Rodgers: 103.7
    4. Brees: 103.7
    6. Rivers: 102.1
    7. Wilson: 95.1
    8. Romo: 94.5
    9. Roethlisberger: 93.9
    10. Cutler: 91.6
    11. Locker: 90.6
    12. A. Smith: 88
    13. Ryan: 87.4
    14. Cassel : 87.2
    15. Bradford: 85.9
    16. Dalton: 85.8
    17. Luck: 85.5
    18. Lewis: 85.0
    19. Griffin: 84.7
    20. Brady: 83.3
    21. Kaepernick: 81.6

    1. Looking at these stats i have to come to the conclusion that Tom Brady is sooooooo over rated w\o the threat of a run he may be the 2nd worst QB in football

      1. Brady’s numbers were low because he had no one to throw to.

        In 2012, Brady’s passer rating w/o play action was 96.4.

        1. Neither did Kap in a few games when teams focused on Boldin and Davis because they were all he had. Just another open ended stat that doesn’t take the context of the game into account posted here because it doesn’t portray Kap in a positive light..

          1. Boldin and Davis is a lot. Brady had Julian Edelman and that’s about it. Alex Smith had an 88 passer rating w/o play action throwing to Bowe and Charles.

          2. Brady also had Amendola. Gronk was active for 7 games. The difference was they ran the ball more, much like the Niners do which makes your Play action a bigger part of the offense.

          3. You also need to keep in mind how volatile Passer rating is. One more pick without play action will affect the rating very much. That’s why I prefer QBR as it is more inclusive of all the factors QB’s bring to the table rather than just TD to Int ratio.

          4. I wasn’t doing a comparison Grant. You said he had nobody to throw too and he did. He’s also Tom freaking Brady who won a SB with Deion Branch as his number one receiver. Passer rating is easily manipulated and this is a clear case of it.

    2. Grant just a few questions for you:

      what % of passing attemps by team/QB was a play action pass? Also, wouldnt the offensive system have an impact on the % of action pass attempts? for example a team with a power running attack might use play action more often than a spread offense! What i am simply stating you must consider all the factors when you look at stats to make a judgement on the performance of a player. Also what was the overall Passer rating by QB and should we take a look at ratio of pass vs run and the direct impact of higher attempts on the Passer Rating.

  16. my 2 cents: Brady is in a higher class than Manning…Manning is/was great, but Brady’s 3 SBs and extremely high level of play with a largely rotating cast of good but not great WRs and RBs puts him in the same group as Joe, Bradshaw, Unitas etc – legendary winners who stood tallest within their era.

    Flacco, Roethlisberger, and Eli belong at the tail end of the top category imho, largely because they played well or great in SB winning seasons, multiple in the case of the latter two.

    I’d take anyone on the “young” list over anyone in the 2nd category, except perhaps Flacco who’s still in the middle of his career at age 29.

    i wouldn’t take Jay Cutler if he offered to pay us to play…

    1. He’s just taking a look at each talent that could be available to the team and fit current and/or future needs.

    2. interesting….what rounds is that guy projected….i’ve seen some big boards where he’s the 5th best QB so I’m assuming 3rd-4th…wouldn’t be a bad pick from what I’ve read.

          1. Better field vision?? How do you back up that take?

            I’ll give you that Garoppolo has a stronger arm and a quicker release. But Fales is more accurate and has better touch. I’ll take accuracy and touch over velocity.

            1. He throws a pretty deep ball and he nails the post route.

              Also, he moves well in the pocket and throws while taking the hit. Garoppolo doesn’t do that.

          2. Grant its a giant misconception that Montana did’nt have a strong arm. He did’nt possess the kind of arm Elway or Marino had but he had the arm strength to sucessfully complete every route an NFL QB has to throw. Moore and Dorsey could’nt make all the throws and as much as i like Fales accuracy and touch i have my doubts that he can make the deep sideline pass along with a couple of other routes at the with the velocity needed to complete those routes in the NFL

          3. Fales looks good when he is sitting the pocket with all kinds of time. Pretty much like every QB would. Problem is that doesn’t happen in the NFL and the players are a lot better than Division II. That applies to Garoppolo too with the difference being Garoppolo looks much more athletic and capable of making all the throws.

          4. Rocket,

            Fales did not play for a Division II team. San Jose State is a Division 1A football program. Sure, the Mountain West is not as high a level of competition as the Pac-12, but it is much closer to the Pac-12 than to Division II. Division II is two orders of magnitude below Division 1A. The NCAA divisions for football are Division 1A, Division I-AA, Division II, Division III.

            I am not as impressed as Grant is with Fales, but I think he would be a nice middle rounds pickup for the number 3 or even number 2 QB for the 49ers.

          5. JPN,

            My hyperbole was intended to suggest he didn’t play a high level of competition very often. You are right and I shouldn’t have said Division II.

            I don’t see Fales as anything more than a career backup or 3rd stringer. He’s very average athletically and in arm strength, and most of his highlights feature a clean pocket with a lot of time to make a throw.

    3. I believe that if the 9ers do’nt have CK tied up by draft day they will draft a QB in rd 1 or 2 and Garropolo may just be the guy.

      1. If they get a compensatory pick at the end of the 3rd round I could see them taking a QB there. Might be the best value on the board.

        1. Coach,

          The only QB they have under contract other than Kaepernick is Bethel-Thompson. I’m pretty sure they will be drafting a QB at some point this year.

          1. I agree. I think that the lack of a quality backup in 2013 directly impacted the offensive play calling and Kaepernick’s performance in the first half of the season.

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