The top 10 QB draft grades

Mel reveals his top QB prospect grades since 1979; where does Luck rank?

Updated: March 22, 2012, 12:23 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Andrew Luck & Peyton ManningGetty ImagesWhere do Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning rank on Mel's all-time QB evaluation list?

I put out my first draft guide in 1979. This was back when there were 12 rounds of picks. It was endless. That year, the Buffalo Bills took Ohio State linebacker Tom Cousineau with the No. 1 overall pick. Cousineau wasn't too undersized for that time at 225 pounds, but he was a bust given his draft position. He finished his career with just 66 total starts. It was a good reality check; the game is filled with an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, and you can spend thousands of hours on tape, talking to coaches, players and scouts, but you'll still be wrong a lot. There's no way around it.

Most people don't remember Cousineau, but they always remember the quarterbacks. When you're deemed wrong on a quarterback, it sticks, but it's just part of the business. With the buzz surrounding Andrew Luck, I was asked to rank the top 10 quarterbacks I've ever graded -- with a few stipulations.

1. This is a ranking of guys based on their final draft grade the day before the draft, and it only goes back to 1979, since I've been grading.
2. It does not at all reflect NFL performance. (See: Ware, Andre)
3. I was told to say where Luck fits in. I will reveal that.

So here are the top 10 guys in order of draft grades since I've been in the game and where I believe Luck will enter the list.

To see Mel's top 10 list of quarterbacks he's ever evaluated -- and where Andrew Luck ranks on the list -- become an ESPN Insider. Sign up today!

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst