ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando put together one of the most comprehensive rankings of NFL quarterbacks that you’ll ever find, polling 26 league insiders to grade all 32 starters on a 1-5 scale for this piece (which requires Insider access). He polled eight current general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, two head coaches, seven coordinators, two position coaches and a top executive.
Drew Brees finished in a four-way tie for the No. 1 spot with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. They all earned an average rating of 1.4 (with 1 being the best possible grade). However, Sando wrote that most voters placed Brees just behind Brady and Manning.
One offensive coordinator pointed out how Brees has been able to thrive even as the offensive weapons around him have changed. Among the slight knocks against Brees were his performance outdoors and his performance when the Saints fall behind by 21-28 points.
Also, in a statistical breakdown by route, Pro Football Focus rated Brees as the NFL’s most accurate quarterback at throwing the hitch or curl route last season -- the most frequently-thrown pass in the NFL.