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Winston the 15th best quarterback in the NFC?

Colin Cowherd makes a bold statement.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Minicamp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the time of the year that is known as the “dead period” around the NFL. Most players are away from the facility, which results in no real “breaking news” from any of the 32 teams. It’s also the time of the year when analysts, reporters or talk show hosts make bold statements or predictions about the upcoming NFL season. Some are smart and some are, well, just silly.

Colin Cowherd, who hosts “The Herd” on Fox Sports, recently ranked the NFC quarterbacks on a letter scale. It has been widely documented, really ever since Jameis Winston was drafted, that Cowherd wasn’t his biggest fan. He has been a Marcus Mariota guy ever since the debate began back in 2015. I have truly yet to hear Cowherd say anything positive about the former first overall pick, but that’s neither here nor there. Winston was given a C- ranking, which is good for second to last in the conference, only ahead of Mitchell Trubisky. Some of the names that are questionably ranked ahead of Winston are Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Jimmy Garoppolo and Sam Bradford/Josh Rosen.

The full rankings are below:

So, I get it, Winston is under a lot of scrutiny from the media and rightfully so, but it is utterly ridiculous to declare him the second worst quarterback in the NFC. The numbers just don’t add up.

You’re telling me that Sam Bradford, who is a walking emergency room and hasn’t played a full NFL season since 2012 and Josh Rosen, who has yet to take an NFL snap are graded higher and give their team a better chance to win?

Or Eli manning, who has regressed for the better part of three seasons now?

What about Dak Prescott, who disappeared last season without a running game and has shown an inability to truly take over a football game?

For those wondering, Winston has 11,636 passing yards through the first 45 games of his career. That is more than Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees had through their first 45 games. All four of those quarterbacks will be in the Hall of Fame. Winston also has an 87.2 passer rating which is tops among that group. I mean seriously, when is Winston going to start getting the respect he deserves? Yes, he has made dumb decisions off the field, but he is not the 15th best quarterback in the NFC and he does not deserve a “C-” rating.

Does Winston have his flaws? Absolutely he does, but he isn’t the only young quarterback to turn the ball over. The media destroys Winston for his turnovers, but what they never bring up is that Brady, Manning, Brees and Favre were also turnover prone early in their careers. This might come as a surprise to people, but Winston has the best TD:INT ratio through his first 45 games then those future hall of famers.

That says something to me and it should start meaning something to the rest of the media. It feels like Winston has to go undefeated just to start getting respect from certain national media outlets and it’s a damn shame.

If it were my list, I would have Winston rated as a “B-/B” quarterback. No, I don’t think Winston is in the upper half, but I do think he belongs in the same sentence as guys like Matthew Stafford, Alex Smith and Kirk Cousins. I hope Winston proves people like Cowherd wrong this upcoming season, because the disrespect is getting a bit old.