Morning links: Best QB of 2004 draft class

Good morning. Robert Mays of Grantland profiles the best quarterback of the 2004 draft class. But it’s not one of the obvious choices -- Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger -- who have four Super Bowl rings between them. According to Mays, it’s San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

Mays: “After a two-year banishment, Rivers was again one of the best quarterbacks in football. But reentry to the club doesn’t go far enough — not after the season he had a year ago and the seven he put together before that. Last season placed Rivers alongside Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, players who have long been his peers, even if he is rarely considered in the same breath. By some measures, Rivers is one of the five best quarterbacks of the past decade. But many would list him third in his own draft class -- the famous 2004 group that includes Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.

“Those two have one claim that Rivers doesn’t — each has won a championship. Same as Peyton, Brees, and every other quarterback comparable to Rivers during his 10 years in the league. He’s done enough to earn his generation’s title as the best quarterback without a Super Bowl. But he’s been so much more.”

ESPN’s NFL Nation Vikings beat writer Ben Goessling reports former Chargers cornerback Derek Cox was one of Minnesota’s roster cuts to get down to 75 players.

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego writes that offensive lineman Jeromey Clary likely will begin the regular season on the physically unable to perform list, making Johnnie Troutman the starting right guard to open the season.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com offers five lessons learned from the San Francisco game.

Kyle Posey of Bolts from the Blue takes a play-by-play look at the dominant performance by San Diego’s starting defense against San Francisco.

Andy Benoit writing for Sports Illustrated says that the Chargers are primed for another postseason run in this team preview.

Jake Hefner of Bolt Beat highlights the performance of inside linebacker Kavell Conner in place of Manti Te’o.