In response to DeadAhead2's comment:
THere is plenty of debating.
Otto Graham isn't even on his top 5 list and Elway makes #3? Marino kills Elway. To me that isn't even close from that era. Denver had better overall teams around Elway, too.
Elway was one of the worst postseason QBs I ever saw, has a horrendous TD/INT ratio, too. I don't see how he can be in a top 5 discussion. HIs last 2 SBs have a big dark cloud over them, too with a massive cheating scandal as Bowlen clearly cooked his books to basically build him an All Star team.
1. Montana (4 Rings, Joe Cool, impeccable leadership)
2. Graham (dominated NFL in 1950s)
3. Brady (could be the best if he can get another ring and improve in postseasons)
5. Sammy Baugh (mastered forward pass)
For now, that's my top 5, trying to keep a mix of old and new.
Marino (no ring, but Shula was a moron by that point)
Manning (1 ring, all the records, but offensive era Polian arranged)
Young (highest compl% ever)
Starr (rings, great teams, a winner)
Bradshaw (4 rings, but really not a great QB to be in the top 10 discussion, IMO
Staubach (very underrated HOF QB, could be a back end top 10 guy)
Tarkenton (1 ring puts him possibly into the top 10)
Putting Otto Graham in front of Brady, Marino, Manning, or Elway I just can't agree with. The guy was an amazing athlete(didn't he win a basketball championship before Paul brown brought him to Cleveland) and he was a great QB in a much different game of football...
Graham's 1st 4 or 5 years in the league you could still throw the ball to all the offensive linemen. I mean it wasn't even close to the same game, and after the rules were changed to exclude linemen from being eligible receivers Grahams numbers spiraled.
Right when they changed the game to force more down field passing(and excitement) Graham threw 14 tds to 20 int's in 1950. The next and last 5 years of his career went like this:
1950 14 tds to 20 int's
1951 17 tds to 16 int's
1952 20 tds to 24 int's
1953 11 tds to 9 int's
1954 11 tds to 17 int's
1955 15 tds to 8 int's
The entire sport was different but to look at what Graham "The QB" did and compare it to Joe Montana, Brady, Elway, Marino and Peyton isn't fair to either party.
Tom Brady has 3 Super Bowls but so many records on top of that. Played in the free agency era where they take your Jerry Rices from you. That cannot be down played. The FA era changed the game.
When you go to profootball reference and look at Tom Brady's numbers he put up compared to Elway, Marino, Aikmen, and lots of others it is total domination on top of 3 Super Bowl championships.
Highest td to int ratio of any of them including Joe and PM and highest winning % in NFL history.
Now Joe put up similar numbers given the defensive era he played in(Joe getting 3,500 yards is like Tom or Peyton getting 4,500 imo) His td to int ratio was amazing, better then Elway, and company. Montana only lost 47 regular season games in his career, 117-47, Brady is at 148 - 43 AMAZING.
But if who the best QB comes down to only the guys who won more championships then you have to put guys like Eli and Big ben ahead of Peyton and Marino and everybody who has ever watched football knows that isn't true.
I compare guys with similar careers and opportunities.
Tier 1. Montana, Brady, Elway have 14 SB appearances between them. Similar numbers.
Tier 2 I would put Unitas, Peyton, and Marino here, 3 of the best QB's to ever play the game regardless of opportunities to win a championships
Tier 3 The championship club...Graham, Bradshaw, Aikmen, Staubach, Starr. Guys that played on great teams and were good QB's
Tier 4 Brett Favre, Eli, Ben, Griese, Steve Young, brees, Plunkett. Guys who played well when it counted although Favre gets to tier 4 only based on longevity(and he did play well against us in 97)
The way I see it Tom Brady edges out Joe Montana based on the free agency era and amazing td to int ratio(a true measure of a QB's impact on winning and losing) and winning %(both played on great teams though Montana's were probably better all around and certainly better on offense with Rice, Craig, Taylor, Rathman etc...)