Aug 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up prior to game between the Detroit Lions and the New England Patriots at Ford Field Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Rankings: No. 4


Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his 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 4.

#4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Most football fans know Tom Brady’s story. A sixth-round pick, six quarterbacks taken ahead of him – does that ring a bell? An injury to the starter gave Brady his time to shine.

He is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the league. He’s guided his team for twelve years, has appeared in five Super Bowls, and won three of them. Now, he looks for that elusive fourth victory.

There’s been drama surrounding New England this offseason with Tim Tebow and the whole Aaron Hernandez situation, but Brady looks to lift his team like he’s done his whole career.

Physical traits and athleticism

He isn’t big, he isn’t very tall, and he isn’t quick on his feet. But what he has is definitely enough. Brady has a well-built frame that’s only gotten better since he’s been in the league. He’s tall enough (6-4) to avoid bat-downs and to find clean throwing lanes around and over his offensive linemen. Grade: 8/10

Arm talent

Brady has been known to throw one of the best deep balls in the league. Throughout the course of his career, he was hitting guys such as Deion Branch, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker down the field with ease (although none are with Brady now). Brady’s mechanics help him with his arm – the arm itself isn’t as strong as some NFL quarterbacks’, but it’s obviously been good enough to succeed Grade: 9/10

Mechanics

Brady’s been playing in the NFL for twelve years. His mechanics have improved throughout the course of his career. His feet set more quickly than most quarterbacks; he keeps the ball high and tight – fumbles inside the pocket when his throwing motion starts are almost eliminated. Coming off a torn ACL in 2008, he did a great job maintaining good mechanics even through the course of his recovery. Grade: 9/10

Mental make-up

I can only three other quarterbacks who have a mental skillset that compares to Brady’s: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers. If the defense commits any minor error – any single thing – Brady will find a way to exploit it. Grade: 9.5/10

Intangibles

Brady’s work ethic speaks for itself. He came back from a career-threatening injury in 2008. He excelled after being named the starter, as a sixth-round pick, in 2001. He’s consistently made his teammates better. Brady is, without question, is the captain of the Patriots, regardless of the fact that head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t have any one player with a “C” on his chest. Grade: 9.5/10

Overall impression

Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. To win another Super Bowl would most likely cement his status as the best ever, either tied with or right in front of his childhood idol Joe Montana. Overall Grade: 45/50

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: New England Patriots NFL Tom Brady