ESPN's Ron Jaworski has admired Joe Flacco's ability for some time.
Now that Flacco has a Super Bowl title under his belt, Jaworski believes Flacco is the fourth-best quarterback playing in the NFL. And that includes ranking him ahead of Drew Brees, who checked in at No. 6. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was ranked fifth.
Here's what Jaworski had to say, courtesy of the PR folks at ESPN:
"Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco is the fourth-rated quarterback on my big board. A year ago, I had Flacco at No. 9. Many disagreed. All I heard last summer was that Flacco needed to take the next step.
"I guess those people forgot about this throw in the AFC championship game. It was as good a throw as you could make in a high-pressure situation. It would have been the game winner. Lee Evans’ drop did not change what Flacco did. What it changed was the perception of it.
"So what did Flacco do in 2012? He won four consecutive playoff games, throwing 11 touchdown passes without an interception.
"Following the Miracle of Mile High, Flacco – for the second consecutive season – outplayed Tom Brady in the AFC championship game in Foxborough.
"Flacco was outstanding in the Super Bowl. His ability to make downfield throws off movement was a deciding factor in the game. Few think of Flacco as a mobile quarterback, but his functional mobility created explosive, game-changing plays.
"Joe Flacco is now a Super Bowl champion. That counts an awful lot in my evaluation of quarterbacks. That is why he jumped from No. 9 to No. 4 in my quarterback rankings."
Jaworski now has three quarterbacks left to rank—Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Stating that Flacco is the best quarterback in the NFL behind those three guys is a bold statement. Flacco made Jaworski look smart by placing him as the ninth-best quarterback a year ago.
If Flacco furthers his stride in 2013, Jaworski may wind up looking like a genius.