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Trent Dilfer rates the league's quarterbacks

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer has written an Insider piece rating the NFL’s top 40 quarterbacks and slotting them into seven categories.

I got special permission to share how the quarterbacks of the AFC South rank.

Hall of Fame Level (top level)

Peyton Manning, Colts: “May not be back in 2012, but his legacy is entirely secure. From pure performance -- i.e., discounting number of Super Bowls discussion -- will be considered the best QB of his generation.”

A Ring Away (third level)

Matt Schaub, Texans:“It's not unfair to say that the Texans would be a good bet to reach the Super Bowl had Schaub been healthy. He has limitations, but might be the best deep passer in the game. Good trajectory.”

Mostly Good (fourth level)

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans: “Proved that, when healthy, he can still lead a winning NFL team. That's the league perception of him and I think it's fair.”

Short Leash (sixth level)

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars: “He needs more weapons around him, but looked overmatched as a rookie. Might have been a mistake to start him.”

Curtis Painter, Colts: “Almost certainly a backup to enter 2012.”

Intriguing wild cards

Jake Locker, Titans: “Great skill set, but accuracy questions remain. Can he beat out Hasselbeck if the Titans feel they can be a playoff team?”

T.J. Yates, Texans: “Got great experience, and is now clearly a prospect in terms of league perception.”