It's the dead of the off-season. Free agency and the draft are in the books, now there's only time to wait until the season (possibly) begins. So while we're all here stuck in quarantine, let's take a look at who dominates each position in the NFL. Today, we're ranking the 32 starting quarterbacks. We'll be taking past performance, recent stats, age, and outlook all into account. Hot takes abound, let's get started:
2019 stats: 319 of 484 (65.9%) for 4,031 yards (8.3 yards per attempt), 26 TDs and five INTs; 43 carries for 218 yards and 2 TDs.
Mahomes was the 2018 league MVP and the 2019 Superbowl MVP. At only the age of 24, he is clearly the king of the NFL castle and probably will be for a long time. While he expectedly regressed from his absurd 50-touchdown season in 2018, he was still really good when healthy in 2019. He's one of the league's most creative players and has the rare ability to be equally as effective inside and outside of structure. Right now he's the best QB in the league.
2. Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks
2019 stats: 341 of 516 (66.1%) for 4,110 yards (8.0 yards per attempt), 31 TDs and five INTs; 75 carries for 342 yards and 3 TDs.
While Russell Wilson's season didn't statistically leap off the page like Lamar Jackson's, it was still elite, and his proven track record of similar elite seasons puts him at #2 on this list. Playing behind a below average offensive line, Wilson has consistently made something out of nothing, propelling himself to 6 pro bowls, 7 playoff appearances, 2 superbowl appearances, and 1 superbowl victory. With a career record of 86-41-1, Wilson has never endured a losing season, and is tied for the NFL lead in game-winning drives with 5.
2019 stats: 353 of 569 (62%) for 4,002 yards (7.0 yards per attempt), 26 TDs and four INTs; 46 carries for 189 yards and 1 TD.
The now 36 year old Aaron Rodgers has seen a steady decline in play for the past 3 seasons, having missed 9 games in 2017 due to injury. That said, he's still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and arguably the best pure quarterback talent ever. His 53.5 QBR in 2019 was the lowest of his career and his 7 yards per attempt was the second-lowest mark of his career since becoming the full-time starter in Green Bay. On the other hand, he ranked fourth in PFF's "big-time-throws" metric, as well as sixth in "turnover worthy plays". Finally benefiting from good defense and an effective run game, Rodgers led Green Bay to 13 wins.
2019 stats: 281 of 378 (74.3%) for 2,979 yards (7.9 yards per attempt), 27 TDs and 4 INTs
Even at the age of 40, Drew Brees whilst battling a thumb injury for most of the 2019 season, still proved capable of being a top quarterback in the league. Despite losing some firepower in his passing ability, he was the league's most accurate passer in 2019, leading the NFL in Adjusted Completion Percentage (82.9), passes completed under pressure (83.1), and on-target percentage (84.1%). Brees isn't getting any younger, and will likely retire any season now, but as long as he's on the field, he'll continue to be one of the best out there.
5. Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens
2019 stats: 265 of 401 (66.1%) for 3,127 yards (7.8 yards per attempt), 36 TDs and six INTs; 176 carries for 1,206 yards and 7 TDs.
It's not every day you see a league MVP ranked 5th at his position, but that's exactly what I'm doing. Lamar Jackson is one of the most polarizing and difficult to defend players in the league. If he doesn't beat you through the air, he'll beat you with his legs, or maybe both. This is accentuated by the fact he was the first QB to ever throw for 30 TDs and rush for 1200 yards in a single season. The reason Jackson doesn't find himself higher on my list, is because I value sustained success, as one year wonders happen all the time in the NFL. So while hes made tremendous leaps and bounds as a passer, I don't consider him to be a top talent in that department currently. I would like to see how he performs now that there's extensive tape available, and teams have a full off season to prepare to face him.
2019 stats: 388 of 607 (63.9%) for 4,039 yards (6.7 yards per attempt), 27 TDs and 7 INTs; 62 carries for 243 yards and 1 TD.
Please prepare your green tinted goggles. Yes, Carson Wentz is just outside, or arguably within the top 5 quarterbacks in the league. Despite the team around him succumbing to extensive injuries for the second straight season, Carson Wentz led the Eagles to the playoffs, while breaking a few NFL records along the way. While seemingly unspectacular statistically, Wentz has quietly been one of the best quarterbacks in the league behind the scenes. He was the 1st QB in NFL history to throw 20 or more TDs and 7 or fewer INTs in 3 straight seasons. As well as being the 1st QB in NFL history to throw for 4000 or more yards on the season, with no wide receiver having more than 500 receiving yards. He also holds the 2nd best INT ratio in NFL history, and the longest active streak of games without an INT. Let it be noted that Wentz accomplished all of this and more despite dealing with his own injury issues, and having the equivalent of grocery baggers at wide receiver.
2019 stats: 333 of 495 (67.3%) for 3,852 yards (7.8 yards per attempt), 26 TDs and 12 INTs; 82 carries for 413 yards and 7 TDs.
Much like Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson has proven the ability to play well behind a porous offensive line. Because of this, Watson has often been forced to put the team on his back and lead it to victory, as he is currently tied for the league lead in game-winning-drives with 5. While he doesn't have the elite passing ability of some QBs lower on the list, his legs are always a factor. He currently has 1233 rushing yards and 14 rushing TDs to his name over 4 seasons. If Watson can put together a season containing 30+ TDs and less than 10 INTs, he could find himself in elite company, and he is only 24 years old.
8. Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons
2019 stats: 408 of 616 (66.2%) for 4,466 yards (7.3 yards per attempt), 26 TDs and 14 INTs; 34 carries for 147 yards and 1 TD.
Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons have seen a big downturn in success since their 2016 Superbowl appearance, losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 divisional playoffs, followed by two back-to-back 7-9 seasons. The 34 year old QB is nearing the twilight of his career, and his team now finds themselves in an enigmatic NFC South. Ryan still has the talent to keep his team competitive, but with a lot of holes, and a division now populated by Tom Brady in Tampa and a new coaching staff in Carolina, they could find themselves on the outside looking in.
2019 stats: 307 of 444 (69.1%) for 3,603 yards (8.1 yards per attempt), 26 TDs and 6 INTs.
Kirk Cousins is coming off the best season of his career, where he took his Vikings team to the divisional playoffs, and was awarded with a pro-bowl selection. His stats don't jump off the page, having thrown for 3600 yards and 26 TDs, but he ranked 4th in completion percentage, and 7th in Y/A. Cousins is no spring chicken at 31, but he's signed through 2022, and is surrounded by some of the better talent in the league. The NFC North is a gauntlet, but expect the Vikings to remain competitive.
10. Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2019 stats: 373 of 613 (60.8%) for 4,057 yards (6.6 yards per attempt), 24 TDs and 8 INTs.
It took until his age 42 season, but we finally saw the mortality of the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Brady still had a good season as far as the numbers dictated, but there was a clear decline in play in the second half. He threw his 2nd lowest career completion % and 2nd fewest touchdowns in his career -- since 2003. Brady still led the Patriots to a 12-4 record, losing in the Wild Card round to the Tennessee Titans, and is still a top 10 passer in the league. Just don't expect his play to trend upwards with him turning 43 to start the season, and learning to play on a new team with better divisional competition.
11. Jimmy Garappolo - San Francisco 49ers
2019 stats: 329 of 476 (69.1%) for 3,978 yards (8.4 yards per attempt), 27 TDs and 13 INTs.
Yes, it's true that Jimmy Garappolo just recently led his team to the Superbowl, losing 20-31 to the Kansas City Chiefs. But the 49ers defense did a lot of the heavy lifting, ranking 2nd in overall defense, and 1st in pass defense. Jimmy G is still a good quarterback that can make the right throws at the right time, and play well enough to ensure victory for his team. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the most creative minds in the NFL currently, and the true mastermind behind San Francisco's current success. With a team full of young talent, expect Garappolo and the Niners to stay in the playoff chase in the NFC.
2019 stats: 35 of 62 (56.5%) for 351 yards (5.7 yards per attempt), 0 TDs and 1 INT.
Of all the supposed "old guard" quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger might be the least fortunate. The six-time pro-bowler and 2-time Superbowl champion has missed 22 games due to injury over the past 5 seasons. While healthy, Big Ben has been a solid player, and hasn't played a losing season since 2006. I expect him to bounce back after a season lost to injury, but at the age of 38, I don't predict top level play moving forward.
13. Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys
2019 stats: 388 of 596 (65.1%) for 4902 yards (8.2 yards per attempt), 30 TDs and 11 INTs; 52 carries for 277 yards and 2 TDs.
Since the start of his career, Dak Prescott, a former 4th round selection as been a solid yet unspectacular game manager on a team loaded with talent, but confined by poor coaching. With a new head coach at the helm in Mike McCarthy, the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year hopes to take his game to the next level, catapulting him into the top 10. Despite putting up fairly solid numbers so far, Prescott's Cowboys have been muddled with mediocrity, having only made it past the first round of the playoffs once in that timeframe. If anything perfectly encapsulates Dak's tenure with the Cowboys, it's being the #1 offense in 2019, but finishing the season with an 8-8 record. If everything is going right, Prescott is capable of high level play, but has struggled where the lights shine the brightest. The Cowboys are one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and with a great incoming draft class, expect the NFC East to be a two horse race between the Cowboys and Eagles.
2019 stats: 187 of 291 (64.3%) for 2499 yards (8.6 yards per attempt), 19 TDs and 5 INTs.
Matthew Stafford is the best quarterback the Detroit Lions have ever had, even with a career 69-79-1 record. Most of the team's inadequacies can be pinned on poor coaching, and GM Bob Quinn's unwillingness to spend money on talent. Stafford has carved out a pretty good career despite all of the roadblocks in front of him. Having missed 8 games in 2019 due to injury, after eight straight seasons of perfect attendance, Stafford was 2nd in yards per game (312.4), and threw more TDs than Jacoby Brisset, Mitch Trubisky, and Andy Dalton. While he's never quite lived up to lofty expectations after that 41 TD 2011 season, he's still an above average quarterback in the NFL. Stafford is not a perennial pro bowler, or a HOF quarterback, but he doesn't need to be. With a draft class that grades out well, we'll see if Stafford's Lions can be competitive in a stacked NFC North.
15. Jared Goff - Los Angeles Rams
2019 stats: 394 of 626 (62.9%) for 4638 yards (7.4 yards per attempt), 22 TDs and 16 INTs.
In 2018, Jared Goff was on top of the world. He had just finished a pro-bowl worthy season tossing 30+ TDs and leading his team to the Superbowl. After his breakout sophomore season in 2017, it seemed like Jared Goff was finally living up to his first overall pick billing. Then 2019 happened, and regressed in a major way, ranking 19th out of 25 qualifying passers by ProFootballNetwork's grading metrics. The Rams lost a lot of talent this off-season after inking Goff to a 4-year $134mm contract. We'll have to see of 2017 Coach of the Year; Sean McVay can scheme up a better season than 9-7 with Goff at the helm.
16. Derek Carr - Las Vegas Raiders
2019 stats: 361 of 513 (70.5%) for 4054 yards (7.9 yards per attempt), 21 TDs and 8 INTs.
Derek Carr, or as I like to call Schrodinger's Quarterback; simultaneously good and bad in the eyes of NFL fans. Carr has seemingly been a pretty good QB that has suffered from a lack of talent around him, and isn't quite the elite player that can elevate the play of his teammates. After three straight pro-bowl seasons between 2015-2017 and a very bad 2018 season, Carr bounced back and had a surprisingly good 2019. He was second only to Drew Brees in completion %, which was not an empty stat having averaged nearly 8 yards per attempt. He also had a passer rating of 100.8 which was good for 9th among qualifying quarterbacks. The 2020 NFL draft brought in a ton of receiving help for Carr, so I expect the Raiders to be competitive in a good NFC West.
2019 stats: 201 of 286 (70.3%) for 2742 yards (9.6 yards per attempt), 22 TDs and 6 INTs; 43 carries for 185 yards and 4 TDs.
Tannehill finally got the boot from South Florida after a seven-season waiting game. Ironically, the breakout campaign Miami had been waiting for didn't happen until he was a newly minted Tennessee Titan. Benefiting from playing behind NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, Tannehill had an impressive season. He ranked 1st in yards per attempt, 1st in passer rating, and 3rd in completion %, while also leading the Titans to a 7-3 record over 10 games and all the way to the AFC Championship. Despite a good season by the numbers, Tannehill's play in critical moments was pedestrian. I'm curious to see him play a full 16 games in 2020.
18. Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills
2019 stats: 271 of 461 (58.8%) for 3089 yards (6.7 yards per attempt), 20 TDs and 9 INTs; 109 carries for 510 yards and 9 TDs.
Josh Allen is a rising talent with ideal athleticism, size, and a big arm. He's still quite raw, but has already made tremendous strides between year 1 and year 2. Not exactly great in the passing game, despite his big arm, which is exemplified by his league worst 58.8 competion %, and a bottomn 10 passer rating. On the other hand, he made big plays on the ground, recording 9 rushing TDs, and led the Bills to a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance. All eyes will be on Allen in his junior season as he continues to develop under Bills quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey -- the man behind Cam Newton's MVP season in 2015.
19. Phillip Rivers - Indianapolis Colts
2019 stats: 390 of 591 (66.0%) for 4615 yards (7.8 yards per attempt), 23 TDs and 20 INTs.
After three straight pro-bowl seasons, and two playoff appearances between 2016-2018, Rivers hit the regression button hard. There was a noticeable decline in pocket poise, arm talent, and patience. He was 3rd worst in INT%, threw the worst TD% in his 14-year career as a starter. At the age of 38, I don't believe Rivers will put up anymore pro-bowl performances, but I do predict he'll be more efficient in Indy.
2019 stats: 349 of 552 (64.4%) for 3722 yards (6.9 yards per attempt), 20 TDs and 12 INTs; 93 carries for 544 yards and 4 TDs.
All things considered, the 2019 first overall pick had a pretty good rookie season, despite playing on a bad team. Murray silenced the doubters, showing he was capable of throwing from the pocket despite his 5'10" height, and displayed impressive speed and burst while scrambling. Murray also showed why he was drafted 9th overall in the MLB draft, demonstrating above average arm talent. With Deandre Hopkins in the fold for 2020 and future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald in the fold, I expect Murray to continue progressing as a passer.
2019 stats: 4 of 6 (66.7%) for 33 yards (7.2 yards per attempt), 22 TDs and 21 INTs; 28 carries for 141 yards and 3 TDs.
The 2018 first overall pick had an inspiring rookie season after taking over for an injured Tyrod Taylor. His sophomore season on the other hand, was a little less inspiring. So while expectations are low on Mayfield, his poor play can mostly be attributed to Freddie Kitchens just being a bad coach. Baker had little to no experience under center at Oklahoma, and thrived in a spread offense. When Kitchens and Williams took over for Hue Jackson midway through 2018, Kitchens schemed up an offense that played to Baker's strengths. Come 2019, with Odell Beckham Jr. and Nick Chubb in the fold, and the offense reverts to Air Coryell. With Kevin Stefanski as the new head coach of the Browns for 2020, I expect a better season from Baker Mayfield.
2019 stats: 317 of 534 (59.4%) for 3827 yards (5.5 yards per attempt), 1 TDs and 0 INTs.
Tyrod Taylor sat behind Phillip Rivers in Los Angeles for the duration of 2019, but when he was the starter for the Bills for 3 seasons, he accumulated a pro-bowl appearance in and a playoff appearance as well. Taylor is not a world beater, and at 30 years old he doesn't have anymore developing to do. But he does a good job protecting the ball, can make plays with his legs, and can win some games with the right pieces in place. He has the 2020 season to show he belongs as a starter somewhere, since the Chargers drafted Justin Herbert 6th overall.
2019 stats: 285 of 470 (60.6%) for 3271 yards (7.0 yards per attempt), 21 TDs and 6 INTs; 67 carries for 344 yards and 0 TDs.
"Minshew Magic" was a beautiful thing. The 2019 6th round pick took over for an injured Nick Foles and never looked back. His play however did have it's caveats, with poor performances against St. Louis, Houston, and Atlanta. Minshew is slated to be the starter for the Jags in 2020, but for a team that's lost a lot of talent since it's 2017 AFC Championship appearance, a poor season could spell draft position to get Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.
24. Mitch Trubisky - Chicago Bears
2019 stats: 326 of 516 (63.2%) for 3138 yards (6.1 yards per attempt), 17 TDs and 10 INTs; 48 carries for 193 yards and 2 TDs.
It's clear that confidence in Mitch Trubisky as a quarterback is at an all time low in Chicago, as evidenced by their sending a 4th round pick to Jacksonville for Nick Foles -- and leaving the starting job up for grabs between the two. In 2018, Trubisky led his Bears team to a playoff appearance with an 11-3 record, as well as earning a pro-bowl nod. On the flip-side, Trubisky played poorly enough in 2019 for the Bears front office to decline his fifth-year option, despite trading up to take him 2nd overall in 2017. Trubisky has at times, played like a pro-bowl caliber talent, and he has also played like he shouldn't be starting for any team in the league. 2020 is Trubisky's last chance to take the next step and prove he can be a quality starter in the NFL.
25. Daniel Jones - New York Giants
2019 stats: 284 of 459 (61.9%) for 3027 yards (6.6 yards per attempt), 24 TDs and 12 INTs; 44 carries for 279 yards and 2 TDs.
When the former Duke signal caller was taken 6th overall in 2019, many football analysts and fans (myself included) had to ask ourselves: "what the hell is Dave Gettleman doing?" and that sentiment still lingers today. That said, Daniel Jones actually had a pretty decent rookie campaign, all things considered. He does struggle to get passes to the receivers hands on time, and one of his biggest knocks coming out was lack lister arm strength. He does however had good accuracy, and a quick release -- which makes up for ball speed. Jones has a good number of offensive playmakers around him such as Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram. I expect him to be a riser on this list once the game slows down for him.
2019 stats: 133 of 196 (67.9%) for 1384 yards (7.1 yards per attempt), 9 TDs and 2 INTs.
Teddy Bridgewater was originally selected in the first round, 32nd overall in the 2014 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings had traded their second and fourth round picks to the Seattle Seahawks to move up and select the former Louisville Cardinal. There was a clear plan in place for Bridgewater to be the Vikings franchise signal-caller moving forward, and that plan was seemingly on-track when Bridgewater led his Vikings team to an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance in 2015, also earning himself a pro-bowl nod in the process. Unfortunately, Bridgewater got hit with the injury bug since then, missing the entire 2016 season and only playing in 1 game in 2017. He's been a backup in New Orleans for the past 2 years, and now has a chance to show he can be a starter for a rebuilding Carolina Panthers team, adjusting to life after Cam Newton.
27. Sam Darnold - New York Jets
2019 stats: 273 of 441 (61.9%) for 3024 yards (6.9 yards per attempt), 19 TDs and 13 INTs.
Expectations were high for Sam Darnold coming into the 2019 season, with a Jets squad that added a lot of talent in the off-season, and a new head coach in Adam Gase. Unfortunately, those expectations never really came to fruition as Darnold struggled behind a poor offensive line. A line so bad that LeVeon Bell couldn't even successfully run behind it. Darnold is entering his third season, and so far he hasn't lived up to his first round billing. Now it's make or break time for him to prove to the Jets front office he deserves to be their franchise quarterback.
28. Drew Lock - Denver Broncos
2019 stats: 100 of 156 (64.1%) for 1020 yards (6.5 yards per attempt), 7 TDs and 3 INTs.
Drew Lock had a very promising rookie campaign, leading the Denver Broncos to a 4-1 record over 5 games played to finish the 2019 season. Lock was drafted in the second round, 42nd overall and was expected to develop behind Joe Flacco for a season or two. After suffering a thumb injury in preseason and being placed on injured reserve, he was handed the keys to the car immediately upon return, in an attempt to save the season of a floundering Broncos team. Expectations are high for Lock, and he could be one of the biggest risers on this list.
29. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Miami Dolphins
2019 stats: 311 of 502 (62.0%) for 3529 yards (7.0 yards per attempt), 20 TDs and 13 INTs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a career journeyman nearing the end of his career. He's the perfect person for Tua to sit behind for a season and learn from. At this point, Fitzpatrick isn't getting any better or any younger. He didn't have a bad season in 2019, but it wasn't good either, as the Dolphins went 5-11. Fitzpatrick might find himself on another team needing a veteran QB next season, or he might just hang em up for good.
30. Dwayne Haskins - Washington Redskins
2019 stats: 119 of 203 (58.6%) for 1365 yards (6.7 yards per attempt), 7 TDs and 7 INTs; 20 carries for 101 yards and 0 TDs.
The Redskins got an absolute steal when Haskins (who was expected to go in the top 5) fell to the 15th pick. At this point, Haskins is all potential. He showed flashes in 2019, but also struggled from rookie mistakes, and from playing on a bad Redskins team. Washington looks to be improved after a good off-season, but the likelihood of them being competitive in the NFC East is slim. Haskins will probably take a few years to fully develop as a high ceiling low floor prospect.
31. Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals
2019 stats: N/A
While I think that Burrow will immediately be better than some other quarterbacks higher on this list, I'm placing him here at #31 simply because he has yet to play in an NFL game. Expectations are sky-high for the newly cemented 1st overall pick, and he will be tasked with leading a bad Bengals team from the basement back to contention in an AFC North that features the Ravens and Steelers.
32. Jarrett Stidham - New England Patriots
2019 stats: 2 of 4 (50.0%) for 14 yards (3.5 yards per attempt), 0 TDs and 1 INT.
I know I put Burrow at #31 because he hasn't thrown a pass in an NFL game yet, but 4 passes and only 14 yards hardly count as playing in a game either. Stidham, a 2019 fourth round pick, now has to take the Patriot reigns from Tom Brady, the most successful quarterback to ever play the game. While I think Stidham can be be a decent backup, having him as the starter for the 2020 season communicates to me that the Patriots have their eyes on drafting a highly regarded quarterback in 2021. I'm all for Stidham proving everyone wrong though.
If you made it to the end, thanks! Do you agree or disagree with the list? Comment what changes you would make down below.