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ESPN's QB rankings have Kansas City Chiefs' Alex Smith in the third tier

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Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith was ranked 18th in last year's ESPN quarterback rankings.

This year he's ranked 16th.

The first paragraph of their Chiefs section pretty much sums up the usual Smith debate:

"Smith is the type voters view more favorably because he generally will not lose the game, and he's a good teammate. However, voters do not think he has played a leading role in his 25-13-1 record as a starter over the past three seasons."

And then the required Andy Dalton comparison in the next sentence.

ESPN's rankings divide the quarterbacks into four tiers, with the first tier being the best. Smith was in the third tier which says: "Tier 3 are quarterbacks who are good enough to start but need lots of support, making it tougher to contend at the highest level." That's just behind Carson Palmer and just ahead of Ryan Tannehill.

Among the comments on Smith:

  • One head coach said he would be in the second tier if not for his arm talent.
  • One GM said a third tier quarterback can't win a championship even with a good cast around him.
  • One salary cap manager said they can not rank Smith higher than the fourth tier if he didn't throw a touchdown to a receiver last season.
Alex Smith is ahead of Colin Kaepernick (tied for No. 18) in this ranking.

In the AFC West, Peyton Manning was No. 5, Phillip Rivers was No. 7 and Derek Carr tied for No. 20. That's quite the ranking for Carr, who enters his second year in the league. He was ahead of Teddy Bridgewater.

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady tied for first with Andrew Luck coming in at No. 3.

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