C.J. Stroud being behind Aaron Rodgers in any ranking is laughable

When talking about the best quarterbacks in the league, C.J. Stroud tops Aaron Rodgers.
Houston Texans v New York Jets
Houston Texans v New York Jets / Al Pereira/GettyImages

Regarding the world of sports, rankings are as common as opinions. Much like opinions, everyone seems to have a ranking for whatever sport and position you can think of. Rankings go hand in hand with opinions because they're a concept rarely tied to facts. Emotions and historical bias define a listing far more than facts and stats do.

At least, that's the case for CBS Sports' recent Top 100 list. The list, written by Pete Prisco, sees many interesting opinions being shoveled out. For instance, D.K. Metcalf isn't on the list at all. They also have Jordan Love in the top 100 despite being up and down in 2023. So we're not surprised to see C.J. Stroud a bit lower than expected.

Stroud ranked sixth of all the quarterbacks on the list. Patrick Mahomes was rightfully number one, he's a multi-time MVP and Super Bowl winner. Josh Allen, the most versatile player at the position, came in at number two. Joe Burrow, the young gun-slinger from Cincinnati is at number three. Two-time and reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is at four. They all make sense to be above Stroud.

Then, the fifth-best quarterback in the league, and 18 spots higher than Stroud overall, is Aaron Rodgers. Now, how in the holy-tap-dancing nonsense is that possible? This isn't an all-time list, this is a list based on performance from 2023. Rodgers played one snap in 2023, and he got sacked. He had a sack rate of 1.000% last season.

He missed practically all of 2023, and not only was he ranked higher than one of the best young quarterbacks the league has seen in recent memory, but he somehow went up spots too. Rodgers went from No. 29 to No. 20, all while getting older and more injury-prone. There isn't a mathematical formula that can describe how Rodgers, who didn't do anything last year, had a higher placing in 2024 despite, and I say this again, without ever doing anything.

We're not arguing his place as a great player and future Hall of Famer. That's not what this list is about. This list is about the best players in the league today. We can only look at the performances of both men from the prior year to determine who should be higher.

Since Rodgers didn't play at all, it's a pretty easy decision for us to make. Rodgers isn't above Stroud. At all. We can play the semantics game all day. We can talk about past performances, historical standing, career statistics, and even Super Bowl wins. These are all valuable points in a debate about all-time greats.

It's important to remember that no one is saying Peyton Manning is a top-five quarterback today, or even Tom Brady. Despite their years of production, they're no longer top talents. Seeing as how Manning and Brady have the same number of completed passes and touchdowns as Rodgers in the last year, it's fair to say Rodgers shouldn't be in the discussion at all, to any degree.

He's 40, missed an entire year, and suffered an injury that can be career-ending. He has a whole new list of obstacles to overcome to stay on the field, let alone be as productive as he once was. Rodgers hasn't proven he's as good as he was in 2022, let alone that he's better than anyone starting in the NFL currently. It may not seem fair but when you're his age, and you suffer this catastrophic of an injury, you are starting over.

So yes, Rodgers is arguably the 32nd-best quarterback in the league, since he's starting all over. That's far from where Stroud, our top-five quarterback, currently sits.