Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 6.
#6. Eli Manning, New York Giants
You can’t spell “elite” without “Eli”. I consider the top six quarterbacks of my rankings as elite quarterbacks, with Eli right inside that sub-category of quarterbacks.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP looks to lead his team back to the playoffs for just the second time in the last five years. The one time that New York did make the playoffs (2011), they won the Super Bowl.
Manning has everything he needs, including a strong front office and staff, to play in his own stadium in February.
Physical traits and athleticism
Standing at 6-4, Manning is at a good height for a quarterback. He has a nice, high release point because of this, and doesn’t have many passes batted down. Although he is not fast at his position, he does possess mobility that is game-changing. Just rewind the tape of Super Bowl XLII and watch how he escaped pressure on third-and-five, finding David Tyree for the catch in the middle of the field. Grade: 8/10
We heard a lot in the media in the middle of last year about “Eli’s tired arm”. I don’t think that was the case – the team in general was in a slump. Injuries contributed to that, not Manning’s arm. Manning has a very strong arm (that doesn’t get tired) and makes any throw – long, short, intermediate, down the sideline, over the middle, etc. It’s not the strongest arm in the world, but Manning did win two championships with it. Grade: 8.5/10
Manning’s footwork is part of the reason he’s mobile and is able to escape pressure, making it look easy. He doesn’t always step into his throws, but he makes accurate passes from awkward delivery positions, showcasing his upper-body mechanics, behind an offensive line that’s been hindered with injuries for almost the entirety of Manning’s professional career. Grade: 9/10
Manning has won two Super Bowls – he clearly knows exactly what he’s doing in terms of the mental game. It runs in the family. Manning does everything that an elite quarterback does mentally. Perhaps no other quarterbacks are better pre-snap at the line of scrimmage than Eli and his brother. Grade: 9.5/10
Manning is a hard-working veteran who has proven to be the unquestioned leader of the Giants team, even though he doesn’t talk much. People have doubted him his whole career, starting from the moment he was drafted, and has continued to deliver time and time again in clutch situations. Grade: 9/10
Eli Manning is a mature, smart quarterback. And he’s elite. The Giants are always in the hunt with Manning under center – it’s up to his team to carry him back to the playoffs after making the tournament only once in the last four seasons. Overall Grade: 44/50