Matt Flynn

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tried to pay his backup, Matt Flynn, a compliment this week, saying he’s a top-15 quarterback.

Flynn will be one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason and he’ll likely get the starting job he covets. What, exactly, is a top-15 quarterback though? First, let’s put Rodgers’ comment in context. Here’s the whole thing.

“The team that gets Matt is going to be very happy, I can promise you. They’ll be getting a top-15 quarterback.”

Obviously, Rodgers is saying Flynn is a good quarterback. He’s not saying he’s a great quarterback, but some people have interpreted the comment to mean Flynn is an average or mediocre quarterback. Do we agree with that assessment or interpretation?

Certainly not with the interpretation.

Throwing Flynn in with middle-of-the-road quarterbacks would put him in the company of Mark Sanchez, Matt Hasselbeck, Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman, Rex Grossman and Alex Smith. We’d say Flynn is better than at least three of those guys, based on our limited sample of his play.

Here’s a look at who ranked 15th in various passing categories in 2011.

Yards: Sanchez — 3,474
Touchdowns: Hasselbeck and Michael Vick — 18
Rating: Cam Newton — 84.5

None of those numbers are terribly impressive and they’re all seemingly attainable for a guy like Flynn. It will be interesting to finally see what he can do with a full season of work.