Some would argue New England's Tom Brady is the NFL's top QB, and there's a legitimate argument here. Anyone else currently quarterbacking a team with three Super Bowl rings on his hand?
Still, if I could coach a team for this upcoming season and I was allowed to draft a QB, I couldn't look by Manning. That's what these rankings are based on. Not what have they've done in their career, but if you had a team for this season, who would you want? Favre comes in at No. 6 in this ranking. I know No. 1 or No. 4 (his jersey number) would be a better place, but it's time to recognize some quarterbacks are just better than he is. Still, Favre is a treasure to watch.
The top 10:
1. Peyton Manning, Colts: Pluses — Manning is as smart as they come, works hard and can make every throw. Minuses — Not very mobile; hasn't won the big one.
2. Tom Brady, Patriots: Pluses — Always makes big plays in big games (see his three Super Bowl rings for proof); accurate passer. Minuses — Isn't as physically gifted as most QB's, but has it really mattered?
3. Donovan McNabb, Eagles: Pluses — Great leader, who produces with or without a Pro Bowl receiver; good runner. Minuses — Hasn't always made big plays in big moments (see NFC championship games).
4. Daunte Culpepper, Vikings: Pluses — Throws a good deep ball, and can run well, despite weighing around 260. Minuses — Small hands lead to too many fumbles.
5. Michael Vick, Falcons: Pluses — Gee, I wonder. He runs as fast as most running backs; has played well in big situations (he led Atlanta to an upset playoff win at Lambeau Field) in his second season; has a strong arm. Minuses — Still raw as a quarterback; not a typical pocket-passer.
6. Brett Favre, Packers: Pluses — Strong arm; smart; clever in the pocket; great leader. Minuses — Forces too many passes; not as mobile as he once was.
7. Drew Brees, Chargers: Pluses — Accurate passer; can scramble for yards. Minuses — Has only shined one season; not the strongest arm in the world.
8. Jake Delhomme, Panthers: Pluses — Gamer, as was proven two seasons ago when he led Carolina to playoff road wins at St. Louis and at Philadelphia; good leader. Minuses — Can be inconsistent, like last season, when he started slow and finished strong.
9. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks: Pluses — Statistically, he's productive; not afraid of big situations. Minuses — Has not led team to a playoff win; sometimes throws into coverage.
10. Trent Green, Chiefs: Pluses — Good pocket passer; shows good touch on jump-ball type passes in end zone. Minuses — Not very mobile; hasn't shown the ability to carry his team.
JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP 10
Jake Plummer, Broncos: He can make a coach go nuts, but last season Plummer played solid and was actually a help to the offense. It took a while.
Aaron Brooks, Saints: Former Packers draft pick has great talent, but has never gotten the most out of it. Throws bad passes and isn't a good leader.
Byron Leftwich, Jaguars: He's big, can run and throw. Sound like someone else (Culpepper)? He is on the verge of being really good, and it could some this season.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Last year, he rode the coattails of a running game and defense, but with a full season behind him, "Big Ben" will show why he was a first-round pick. He's a good passer.
Eli Manning, Giants: Yes, he struggled last season, but he's too good not to improve. As long as his skilled talent around him stays healthy, Eli will make strides.
Editor's note: Doug Ritchay is a longtime sportswriter and former Packers beat writer for the Green Bay News-Chronicle. E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.