Rating AFC North QBs on Dilfer scale

When it comes to analyzing quarterbacks, no one delivers more insight than Trent Dilfer. You'll need an Insider subscription to read his thoughts on the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL,Insider but I will give you a small sampling of what he says about the ones in the AFC North.

Andy Dalton

Team: Cincinnati Bengals

2009 ranking: Not in league

Current ranking: Mostly good (This group has guys who have elite ability but aren't quite there yet based on age, health or recent issues)

Dilfer's comment: "He could become a star, and his supporting cast will only improve."

Hensley's comment: Dalton's immediate success allowed the Bengals to trade away Carson Palmer without any regrets.

Colt McCoy

Team: Cleveland Browns

2009 ranking: Not in league

Current ranking: Short leash (Guys who may begin 2012 as starters but have no guarantee to last without improved performance)

Dilfer's comment: "I believe in McCoy but am not sure he has a great chance to succeed there."

Hensley's comment: It's a vote of no confidence when the team chooses to hold a competition for the starting job.

Joe Flacco

Team: Baltimore Ravens

2009 ranking: Knocking at the door

Current ranking: A ring away (Most display a solid career trajectory and have proved themselves as winners, if not title winners)

Dilfer's comment: "He played well enough to get his team to the Super Bowl this year."

Hensley's comment: Flacco's supporting cast has let him down the past two postseasons with drops (Anquan Boldin last year and Lee Evans this year).

Ben Roethlisberger

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

2009 ranking: Stars

Current ranking: Hall of Fame level (The numbers, status among peers, Super Bowl rings and franchise-leader status are all there)

Dilfer comment: "This might turn heads, but Big Ben has reached this level."

Hensley's comment: He was the best quarterback in the AFC this season before injuring his thumb and spraining his ankle.