Who are the best five quarterbacks in the NFL, right now?

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With Derek Carr getting paid, the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL are set. Based on the disputed (but widely recognized) “new money” analysis, they are: (1) Carr; (2) Andrew Luck; (3) Drew Brees; (4) Kirk Cousins; and (5) Joe Flacco.

That doesn’t necessarily (or actually) make them the five best quarterbacks. Identifying the five best quarterbacks in the NFL will be the focal point of Friday’s PFT Live question of the day.

We’re not looking for five quarterbacks you’d start a team with. We want your five quarterbacks based on guys you would take right now to help you win a game.

Former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn will join the show, which will be the last radio/TV show featuring yours truly until July 24. (The TV show is preempted for most of the next month due to that Tour de France thing.) I’ll explain over the weekend the plan for fresh video and audio content during my supposed vacation, since I never actually take a vacation because my job isn’t really a job.

Join us at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio. The show then shifts to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET.

66 responses to “Who are the best five quarterbacks in the NFL, right now?

  1. For me, personally, I think I’d go as followed:

    1. Brady
    2. Rodgers
    3. Brees
    4. Ryan
    5. Luck

    Will be interesting to see how Ryan fares next year without Shanahan, and directly following an MVP season. If history is any indication, many have a down year afterwards.

  2. Aaron is a fraud. Even the t.v. broadcast cameras add at least a foot of height on this clown.

    1. Brady
    2. Big Ben
    3. Rivers
    4. Breed
    5. Ryan

  3. Why does Luck get some much love? It seems his reputation far exceeds his actual results. Putting him in the top 5 makes no sense. What has he done? Heck, I think Stafford is WAY overrated but I would put him ahead of Luck.

  4. All of the above, for the most part, are all fine answers.
    However, I think the more interesting and difficult question is, who are the top five backup QBs in the league right now?

  5. If overall not just based on last year
    1. Brady
    2. A-rod
    3. Brees
    4. Big Ben
    5. Ryan
    7. Wilson
    8. Stafford
    9. Luck
    10. Newton

    If based just off last year Prescott would go above rivers and Ryan would be second.

  6. Bias saints fan here but give me Brees if the saints could even get say a 25th ranked defense they would contend every year his play is darn near flawless and it has to be to even have a shot at winning. Take Brees away the saints are a 1-15 team at best.

  7. Until someone stops him, Brady remains the best QB.


  8. #1 Tom Brady – The GOAT. Only Tom Brady deserves to be recognized as elite.

    #2 Drew Brees – Up and down, but damn good.

    #3 Aaron Rodgers – Hard to judge him based on the fact that GB are allowed to cheat/do whatever they want. He’s good, but not as good as every claims he is.

    #4 Mathew Stafford – Won’t get the recognition he deserves because he plays for Detroit. The guy just shatters records. No QB in the league has his rare talent.

    #5 Matt Ryan – Just a solid, dependable, great QB.

    Andrew Luck – Has potential, but he needs to bounce back and show it.

    Big Ben – A consistent good QB.

    Russell Wilson – Good QB, but massively overrated.

    Philip Rivers – No.

    Cam Newton – Don’t make me laugh.

  9. Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Ben, yeah I see that, fine. Ryan, meh. Wilson, Presott, Luck??? Seriously, those guys are pretty replaceable

  10. Rogers

    Anyone who has Wilson in their top 10 let alone their top five needs to get their heads checked. Not even his own team thinks he’s good. Try putting more thought into it and pick players who actually contribute to their team instead of holding them back.

  11. All of those guys ranked ahead of Carr are on the wrong side of 30. You’d take one of them for a season or 2 but if you had to choose a QB to lead your team for the next 10 years, it would be:
    1) Carr
    2) Mariota
    3) Luck
    4) Winston
    5) Stafford or Wilson

  12. Good thing they didn’t stipulate “best LIKED” Poor little Erin would be dead last. It is amazing he hasn’t gotten the Kap treatment for as many of his teammates he has thrown under the bus.. Or perhaps that little mid season slide in 2015 was his players way of making sure he got the message.

  13. How does Luck make it into these “top” poles? He hasn’t done squat! Compared to Russell Wilson… at least he has the ring and 2 appearances in the Big Game to back up his claims. I’d take Carr over Luck right now, too.

    The rest is obvious — Brady / Big Ben / Rodgers / Ryan

  14. Brady

    Can’t be Ryan; inconsistent. Can’t be Luck; unproven. Carr has the potential. Rivers puts up numbers not wins. If I want to win a game, it’s those 5.

  15. Wow, Matt Ryan has a good year in a system that made RGIII look like superman, and now he’s a top 5 quarterback?

  16. What has Rodgers done? You can’t be the best QB in the league with 1 SB and a rotten post season record.

    How anyone could dispute Brady as far and away the #1 in the league (and heck, of all time) is beyond me.

  17. I have a problem with Brees’ 15 interceptions. If you are going to give him credit for playing in that pass crazy offense, you also need to take away for those picks. Also, he HAS to throw more because he’s playing from behind.

    1. Brady
    2. Rodgers
    3. Ryan
    4. Roethlisberger
    5. Brees
    6. Carr
    7. Wilson
    8. Rivers
    9. Mariota
    10. Winston
    11. Flacco
    12. Luck
    13. Prescott
    14. Dalton

  18. What has Rodgers done? You can’t be the best QB in the league with 1 SB and a rotten post season record.
    Rodgers doesn’t play defense. What he’s done are two mvp awards, consistently been at the top of the league in TD’s while having single digit int’s, and 8 seasons in a row of playoff appearances.

  19. How come there is no love for Tyrod Taylor (-:

    At the top of my list is Tom Brady as he wins Super Bowls and no one can name 3 wide receivers he’s had over the past decade. It does not seem to matter who is on his team, he simply wins.

    Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are either numbers 2 or 3. Matt Ryan and Big Ben are also in my top five list.

  20. I am a huge Rivers fan, but I don’t get why so many people have him listed top 5? Top 10 all day long, but I have a hard time putting in the top 5. I also think it is too soon to anoint Prescott. He had a great rookie year, but so did Vince Young. Let’s see how year 2 goes and then we can make a better judgement.

    1.) Rodgers
    2.) Brady
    3.) Ryan
    4.) Brees
    5.) Carr
    6.) Roethlisberger
    7.) Rivers
    10.) Luck

  21. Anyone who excludes Wilson from the top 7 really needs to do a little research on the 7 you would put before him.

    If I want to win the super bowl TODAY my list would look like this:

    1. Brady – Hard to rate anyone above him considering his record, consistency and commitment.

    2. Rodgers – Year in and year out Green Bay continues to be a top contender with limited elite resources around him.

    3. Brees – Here’s where it becomes tough but you gotta go with Brees because of his consistency over time with even less resources around him than Rodgers.

    4. Wilson – Argue all you want but research the stats first. Then consider what may be the biggest “statistic”… late 4th qtr comebacks.

    5. Big Ben – He may be on the short end of his career but for one game he could arguably be at #1.

    For the rest you have to figure various amounts of things like leadership, mobility, accuracy (see Cam), consistency, ability to carry his team, history, the mental half of the game, and last but not really least…commitment. Now toss in grit and you can start throwing out many of the pretenders.

  22. The top 4 is easy, as they are in their own tier, in age order:


    The 5th one is the tricky one. Just pick whoever you like!

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