I was asked a few times during Super Bowl week to rank Eli Manning’s place in the current quarterback hierarchy.
For 2011 alone, I put him in a tie for fourth with Ben Roethlisberger behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. Before 2011, Manning would have been closer to No. 10 than No. 5.
NFL players didn’t see him as a top-10 guy a year ago. They didn’t even see him as a top-100 guy among all players in NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2011 list unveiled last offseason. (To Florio’s credit, he argued on-air that Manning deserved to make the list last year.)
Some quarterbacks that made the list over Eli: Donovan McNabb, Josh Freeman, and Joe Flacco.
Some other notable names that ranked ahead of Manning: Terrell Owens, Andre Gurode, Jeff Saturday, Antrel Rolle, Mike Williams (TB), and Chad Clifton.
Players will have a chance to change their mind. NFL Network is running the “Top 100” players series again, starting at 8 PM on April 28th — after the third day of the draft.
Here’s a prediction: Eli Manning ranks ahead of Donovan McNabb this year.