Updated: Jun 7, 2021
The quarterback position is one of the most important positions in all of the sports. He is the leader of the team who will either get all of the blame or all of the glory. You simply can not win a title in the National Football League without a solid quarterback. You can have a great defense and great weapons surrounding your quarterback, but it is up to him to put his team in a position to win football games. There is a healthy mix of veteran quarterbacks going into the 2020 NFL season, and an influx of young talent that is changing the game. In 2019, Lamar Jackson became the youngest MVP in NFL history at just 22 years of age, and this was after many people believed that Jackson would never be a serviceable quarterback. Patrick Mahomes won the MVP in his first season as a starter in 2018 and won the Super Bowl and was named the Super Bowl MVP in his next season. Tom Brady is still producing at 42 years old and just inked a 2-year $50 million-dollar contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With this talent at the quarterback position in today's game, it raises the question of who is the best? Who is the worst? Here is my list of the worst to best projected starting quarterbacks for their respective teams entering the 2020 NFL season.
#32 Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert
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After sixteen seasons with the Chargers, they let their captain Philip Rivers leave in free agency this past offseason. After some speculation on their interest in signing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, they ultimately decided to wait until the NFL Draft and select a quarterback. After Joe Burrow was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals and Tua Taguvailoa was selected by the Miami Dolphins one pick ahead of them, the Los Angeles Chargers selected the Oregon Ducks product, Justin Herbert, with the sixth overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Going into the 2019 draft Herbert was projected to be selected in the early first round, but he decided to stay for his senior season at Oregon. This was a huge risk for Herbert, but it showed the loyalty that he had for his college program. He improved every season as a college quarterback and in four seasons in college, he led Oregon to a 29-14 record. He is known for his strong arm and athleticism and his upward trend in college allowed the Chargers to be comfortable with taking him as the third quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. After this selection, it is clear that Herbert is the future starter in Los Angeles and Tyrod Taylor will once again be regulated to backup duty. Herbert is your prototypical big and strong quarterback with a lot of arm strength but there is still a lot of bust potential. He made some very questionable decisions at times and tried to press the issue in certain situations. It will be interesting to see how Herbert develops but going into next season do not count on Herbert having a great year.
#31 Chicago Bears- Mitchell Trubisky
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When I originally put out this article on June 16th of this year I assumed that it was a no brainer that Nick Foles would be the Week 1 quarterback for the Chicago Bears. The former Super Bowl MVP did not have a great year for Jacksonville in his only season there but the Chicago Bears were still confident enough in the 31-year-old to trade a 4th round pick for him and take on the remaining 3 years and $24 million dollars left on the deal after restructuring it. Here is what I originally had to say about Nick Foles:
"It seems like its been ten years since Nick Foles was crowned the Super Bowl MVP for the Philadelphia Eagles after defeated the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52. Foles threw for 373 yards with 3 touchdowns and of course, a 1-yard receiving touchdown on the famous "Philly Special" play. He then was regulated to a backup role once in again in 2018, but he performed well when Carson Wentz was injured at different points during the season. The Eagles picked up his $20 million-dollar option heading in 2019, but he voided the option and became a free agent. He then signed a 4-year $88 million-dollar contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was performing very well against the Cheifs in Week 1 of the 2019 season, but he injured his shoulder and missed ten weeks. After the emergence of Gardner Minshew, Foles came back to start in Week 11 but was not the same. He was later benched for Minshew after Week 13 and remained the backup for the rest of the year. After the season concluded he was shipped to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick and he now should be the clear cut starter over the disastrous Mitch Trubisky. Foles has all the intangibles to be a great quarterback. He has had many up and down moments over the years and only really performed great with the Eagles in the 2017 playoffs and 2018. These were both two situations where Wentz was hurt and Foles was thrusted into the starting role. He had a great season with Philadelphia in 2013 but then struggled in 2014 and 2015 after being traded to the then St. Louis Rams. He is inconsistent and will never be a flashy quarterback, but he has obviously proven that he can thrive when the spotlight shines the brightest. It was a very good pickup for the Bears to see what they can get out of Foles, but there are too many question marks surrounding him to put him higher on this list. "
With the shocking news breaking that the Bears are indeed sticking with Mitchell Tribusky at quarterback instead of starting Nick Foles, Chicago's quarterback situation has gone from number 28 ranked on this list to the second-worst in the NFL at number 31.
The Chicago Bears looked like they were the next up and coming franchise. After four years straight of placing dead last in the NFC North and not winning more than 6 games in a season they fired John Fox and hired the quarterback whisperer and offensive-minded guru head coach Matt Nagy. Nagy was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs and he expressed his excitement to work with Mitch Tribusky even after a poor rookie season. Tribusky was selected with the 2nd overall pick by Chicago in the 2017 NFL Draft over Patrick Mahomes who went to the Chiefs at pick number 10 and Desean Watson who went to the Houston Texans with the 12th overall pick. That will always be a hard pill to swallow for Bears fans. I am truly sorry for all of you. In all fairness, most scouts believed he was the most pro-ready quarterback coming out of the University of North Carolina, even though many believed he did not have the most potential compared to Mahomes and Watson. With built-up excitement around the Bears offense in 2018, Tribusky performed well for Chicago and the Bears ended with a 12-4 record and finishing first in the NFC North for the first time since 2010. Tribusky was a threat through the air and on the ground and had a respectable touchdown to interception ratio of 2:1. He completed 66.6% of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 95.4. He improved in every single statistical category from his rookie season to his second year and he led the Bears to an 11-3 record in the 14 games that he played. Tribusky even performed well enough to be named to the 2019 Pro Bowl after filling in for Jared Goff who was competing in the Super Bowl. After an exciting and encouraging 2018 season, there were high hopes for the Bears and their young quarterback to take a big step forward entering 2019. It is fair to say that Tribusky did not deliver. He threw for 3,138 passing yards which was less than his 2018 total (3,223) even though he threw 82 more passes. He only threw for 17 touchdowns in 15 games which was far less than his 2018 total of 24. His passer rating went from 95.4 to 83.0. He was much less effective on the ground as well running for only 193 yards compared to 421 the year before. He actually performed fairly well in a few games last season but overall he was a well below-average quarterback. He performed so poorly that the Bears declined his 5th-year option meaning he will be a free agent after this season. Tribusky claims to have made significant improvements this offseason and the Bears are instilling their waving confidence in him by naming him the Week 1 starter but look for there to be a short leash on the abysmal fourth-year quarterback.
#30 Washington Football Team- Dwayne Haskins
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As a rookie in 2019, Dwayne Haskins showed some flashes of the solid potential quarterback that he could be in the future. He made some outstanding throws especially in certain situations when he was flushed from the pocket. He also made some decisions that made you scratch your head and ask what was he thinking? Haskins only started one year in college for the Ohio State Buckeyes but put up one of the best seasons from a college quarterback in the past thirty years. He threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns with 8 interceptions. He was only the sixth quarterback in FBS history to throw 50 or more touchdowns in a single season. He grew up a New York Giants fan and many people expected him to be selected by the Giants, but they selected Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. After falling to fifteen he was selected by the Washington Redskins at the dismay of former head coach Jay Gruden. He made his debut against the New York Giants in Week 4 and threw three interceptions. He made his first career start in Week 9 against the Buffalo Bills once the Redskins were relatively out of playoff contention. He put up an average first game but he improved as the season went along. In his final two starts, he threw for 4 touchdowns with 0 interceptions and a combined 394 passing yards and a 72.1% completion percentage. He has a lot of young intriguing weapons around him and I foresee him becoming a great quarterback in the future. He has a good arm and can move around the pocket very effectively. He needs to work on his footwork and needs to be more fluid in his throwing motion, but he has a lot of skills that he can build on. He is smart and is only 23 years old. He has thinned down in the offseason and he goes into 2020 knowing that he is the starter and new head coach Ron Rivera believes in him. There is also a part in me that can see Dwayne Haskins' decision making and lack of leadership at times result in him becoming a bust. We will have to wait and see what Haskins has in store for us going into the 2020 season.
#29 Denver Broncos- Drew Lock
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The Denver Broncos went into the 2019 season with John Elway's prototypical quarterback. A tall, semi athletic quarterback that is not very mobile but has a solid arm in Joe Flacco. After trading a fourth-round pick for Flacco, he only lasted 8 games and then suffered a season-ending neck injury. Drew Lock was selected 42nd overall by the Broncos in 2019 and came into the preseason battling for the job with Flacco. He had a good career at the University of Missouri but took a step backward in his senior season which allowed him to slip into the second round. After Flacco won the job, Lock injured his thumb in the last preseason game and was placed on injured reserved. After being activated on November 30th he started the last five games for the Broncos in the 2019 season. He brought a swagger and confidence to the Broncos that they did not have before. In five games as the Denver Broncos starter, he went 4-1. He threw for 7 touchdowns with 3 interceptions and threw for over 1,000 yards. His 4 wins as a rookie tied him with John Elway for the most wins by a Denver Broncos rookie quarterback in franchise history, even though he only started five games compared to Elway who started ten games. Lock had a tremendous first five games as a rookie and he is gaining support around the league and from management that he is the guy for the future. He still has a lot to prove especially after performing well in a small sample size against pretty average competition. On the MoeCast podcast Episode 10 on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, I labeled the Broncos as a playoff team. The leadership of Lock and the flashy young weapons surrounding him led to this decision. Lock is a young quarterback with a lot to prove after his average senior season at Missouri, but he has all the intangibles to become the guy in Denver for the foreseeable future.
#28 Cleveland Browns- Baker Mayfield
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The Cleveland Browns. Everyone thought 2019 was their year. Baker Mayfield had a pretty good first year and the addition of Odell Backham Jr. was going to put them into playoff contention. They went 6-7 under Baker in his first season in 2019 and the division was wide open. Now, how can you not make the playoffs with a team trending upwards and one of the best wide in receivers in the game now on your team? What is the worse that can happen? After throwing three interceptions in a 31-point blowout loss in Week 1 against the Tenessee Titans, Baker Mayfield went on to have one of the worst seasons for a quarterback in the NFL last season. This was interesting and sad to see for Browns' fans because of his impressive rookie season. Personally, I used to be a huge Baker Mayfield fan. He was cocky at Oklahoma but he backed it up. He silenced many of his doubters and won the Heisman in 2017. He achieved the goals that he set and he was a good team player that shined in the biggest moments. He was drafted first overall by the Browns in 2018 and completed 63.8% of his passes with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 games as a rookie. He entered 2019 primed for a breakout season but nearly had as many interceptions as he did touchdowns. In 16 games he completed 59.4% of his passes with 22 touchdowns compared to 21 interceptions. The Cleveland Browns finished with a 6-10 record. He had the second-worst passer rating in all of the NFL at 78.8 only ahead of Andy Dalton. I would not be surprised in the slightest if the Browns starting quarterback at the conclusion of the 2020 season in Case Keenum. I believe Keenum is a better game manager and a better fit for the Cleveland Browns at this time, but Mayfield is still only 25 years old and will be looking to rebound off of his sophomore slump. Bayfield has the talent to be a great quarterback in this NFL, but his 2020 season will show the world if he has it in him.
#27 Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa
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The Miami Dolphins shocked the world last season. After the first couple of weeks when they lost 59-10 against the Baltimore Ravens and then 43-0 against the New England Patriots many people believed the Dolphins were heading towards an 0-16 season. Not only were those two losses brutal and demoralizing they were both at home and the Dolphins then traded away their best defensive player, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, to the Steelers going into Week 3. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the starter for most of the season and Fitzmagic had some great moments. After an 0-7 start, the Dolphins ended the season 5-11 after winning five of their next nine games. If Fitzpatrick was not 37 years old the Dolphins would have given him a shot to remain the starter but they made the right choice in drafting Tua. Tua was a superstar at Alabama and showed flashes of becoming a terrific pro quarterback. After halftime of the 2018 National Championship game, Tua replaced Jalen Hurts with Alabama down 13-0 against Georgia. Tua then went on to have a great 2018 and 2019 season but struggled to remain healthy. At just 22 years old has suffered five notable injuries during his three-year career. His latest injury was his most serious one, a dislocated hip. This raised many concerns for teams in the drafting process and he would have maybe been above Joe Burrow on most draft boards if it had not been for his injury history. His athleticism, arm strength and pinpoint accuracy lead to many scouts calling him the left-handed Drew Brees. His upside is enormous. If he remains healthy and shows no signs of his injury history he will quickly become a top-10 quarterback in the NFL, but the injuries are a real concern especially coming at such a young age.
#26 New York Giants- Daniel Jones
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The New York Giants shocked many people when they selected Daniel Jones out of Duke University with the sixth overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. They made it well known that they were looking for a successor after Eli Manning was nearing the end of his career, but many scouts believed that they were going to select Dwayne Haskins. The Giants were blasted for selecting Jones and some scouts even labeled it as one of the worst drafts picks in New York Giants' history. Jones is a tall and athletic quarterback but did not put up terrific numbers at Duke University. After a stellar preseason, Jones was named the backup behind Eli Manning. He ended up playing in 13 games for the Giants throwing for 3,027 yards with a 61.9% completion rating, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 279 yards. He put himself on the map after his first career start in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In a back and forth game, Jones threw for 336 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran for 2 touchdowns. With the Giants down 31-25 with three minutes remaining he marched the offense down the field. On 4th down and 5 yards to go from the 7-yard line, he dropped back to pass and subsequently scrambled for a touchdown run which proved to be the game-winning score. After silencing the haters in the preseason, Jones had a solid year with a poor offensive line and sensational running back Saquon Barkley injured for most of the season. Jones did have some holes in his game, and fumbled a league-high 18 times in just 12 starts. This is an extremely high total and it resulted in 11 lost fumbles. It is not uncommon for rookie quarterbacks to have a fumbling problem, but this is a very alarming number. Daniel Jones showed off his athleticism and poise as a quarterback in the National Football League, but he needs to continue to produce and work on his turnover issues before being ranked higher on this list.
#25 Jacksonville Jaguars- Gardner Minshew
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Who does not want to see this man succeed? Gardner Minshew became an icon in 2019. Minshew began his collegiate career at a community college, and after two seasons with East Carolina, he ended his career with Washington State. Under head coach Mike Leach, Minshew took off at Washington State and ended up fifth in the Heisman voting in 2018. He led Washington State to an 11-2 record and with his mustache and solid play he became one of the brightest faces in college football. He was not selected until the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he became the backup to Nick Foles in Jacksonville. After Foles went down with a shoulder injury in Week 1, Minshew performed as a top quarterback for the rest of the season. He ended the year with 3,271 passing yards, 60.6% completion percentage, 21 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. He also rushed for 344 rushing yards in the 14 games he appeared in. Minshew receives a lot of hate from critics talking about his lack of arm strength and poor decision making, but his 21 touchdowns to 6 interceptions are very good for a rookie. He did miss some easy reads, but he maneuvers well in the pocket and was confident in his abilities. He was consistent throughout the season but did put up some poor performances against higher-ranked defenses. It is pretty remarkable the numbers that he put up for a disastrous Jacksonville Jaguars ballclub and with relatively no weapons around him. He had the highest passer rating amongst rookies and threw more touchdowns then Kyler Murray while also having half the amount of interceptions as Daniel Jones. It will be interesting to see how Minshew develops in Jacksonville with a very young cast around him and a poor offensive line, but his remarkable rookie season as a sixth-round pick leads to fans being hopeful about him in the future.
#24 New York Jets- Sam Darnold
I believe that Sam Darnold has one of the highest ceilings amongst the quarterbacks drafted in 2018. These quarterbacks include Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, and more. Obviously Lamar Jackson has the highest ceiling and put up an unreal season last year but Sam Darnold has all the intangibles to become an elite quarterback. The Jets started 2019 with relatively high hopes especially with the addition of running back Leveon Bell, but they began the season 1-7. Darnold missed three games early in the season after he was diagnosed with mono. He came back in Week 6 and threw for 338 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. The next week, he had a terrible performance against the New England Patriots in Week 7 when he threw for just 86 yards while throwing 4 interceptions and losing a fumble. He was famously filmed on the sideline saying that he was "seeing ghosts" during his disastrous night. He went on to finish the season with pretty good stats and the Jets went 6-2 in their final eight games even though they did not face many challenging opponents. He is not considered a dual-threat quarterback but has great mobility in the pocket and can throw on the run very well. He increased his passer rating and a touchdown to interception ratio from his first to his second season while also having a better completion percentage. He had a solid career at the University of Southern California and many believed that he should have been the first overall selection by the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft over Baker Mayfield. He is described as a "gunslinger" and has a pretty good size of 6'3 and 230 pounds. Even though he is entering his third season he just turned 23 years old on June 5th. He is inconsistent and can look like a franchise quarterback one week and then a backup quarterback the next week, but he has shown a lot promise through his first two seasons especially with a weak offensive line.
#23 Carolina Panthers- Teddy Bridgewater
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Teddy Bridgewater has had an interesting and rocky career, to say the least. After becoming a star at the University of Louisville and setting many records he was not drafted until the last pick of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. After performing okay as a rookie in 2014 he was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and not only was he a good passer, but he also was a big-time threat to run the ball. He suffered a career-threatening injury in practice in 2016 and missed 19 months. He came back in late 2017 with the Vikings to back up Case Keenum. The Vikings declined his fifth-year option and he subsequently became a free agent after the season. He signed with the New York Jets in 2018 and was then traded to the New Orleans Saints after a strong preseason. He was a solid backup for Drew Brees and in 2019 he shined when Brees missed five weeks after tearing a ligament in his thumb. Bridgewater led the Saints to a 5-0 record while producing well against tough defenses like the Seattle Seahawks. In those five games as a starter, he threw 9 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions. He averaged 241 passing yards per game. This silenced many of his critics because he completed 67.9% percent of his passes while not running the ball much. It proved to people that Bridgewater can be an effective quarterback without having to use his legs. It is pretty remarkable that he fully recovered from his horrific knee injury and became the best backup quarterback in the league. He got to learn under one of the best quarterbacks of all-time in New Orleans, Drew Brees. He was rewarded by the Carolina Panthers with a 3-year $63 million-dollar contract and will become a full-time starter for the first time since 2015. Bridgewater proved he could still play as a backup behind Drew Brees these past two seasons and he will look to have a solid year taking over for Cam Newton's as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.
#22 Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow
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The Cincinnati Bengals made the no brainer decision and selected Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow as the first overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. It is very hard to place rookies' on a list like this especially ahead of a solidified starters in the NFL like Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, but boy oh boy is Burrow's potential through the roof. After two years at Ohio State where he only threw 39 combined passes, he transferred to LSU for his junior and senior seasons. After his solid junior season, he went on to have arguably the best season we have ever seen be a college quarterback. He came into the season with some questions marks, but the head coach of LSU Coach O and the rest of the team rallied behind Joe as his leadership allowed the team to be so successful. He led LSU to a National Championship with arguably one of the best college football teams we have ever seen. His 5,671 passing yards ranks third of all time, he set the record with 60 passing touchdowns, and he set the record for the best passer rating of all time at an unbelievable clip of 202. He flashed some speed as well and rushed for 368 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is taking over for Andy Dalton on the Cincinnati Bengals team that went a horrifying 2-14 last year but he has some weapons around him and a healthy AJ Green will be his main target. The one question surrounding Burrow is his athleticism, but after watching his tape he is sneaky athletic and is an all-around good athlete. He had Divison 1 offers to play basketball in college as well after being named an all-state point guard his senior year. Burrow is from Ohio and will be looking to change the culture of a Cincinnati Bengals team that has had some pretty good seasons over the years but has never been able to burst through and win a Super Bowl in their 50 years in the NFL. Burrow has arm strength, confidence, and mobility that he will use to his advantage in the NFL as the face of the Bengals. All of his accomplishments and elite attributes made me feel comfortable with putting Joe at #22 on my list without having played an NFL snap.
#21 Las Vegas Raiders- Derek Carr
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Would you believe me if I told you that Derek Carr was entering his seventh season in the NFL? Well, here we are. Derek Carr was a relatively unknown prospect coming out of Fresno State in 2013. He had a solid career at Fresno State, but his intangibles did not interest a ton of teams. He was known as the brother of former first overall pick David Carr who will go down as one of the biggest busts in NFL history. The Raiders selected Carr in the second round at 36th overall in 2014 and he was expected to backup quarterback Matt Shaub, but Carr won the job after his great preseason play especially in the fourth and final game. He was the only rookie quarterback to start in Week 1 in 2014 and he was the first Raiders rookie quarterback in franchise history to start the season opener. He performed well as a rookie throwing 21 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 16 games started. He has improved steadily every season but leveled out in 2017. He signed a 5-year $125 million-dollar contract with the Raiders before the 2017 season so he is the quarterback of the future for at least two more seasons. Carr is a solid quarterback that can win you some football games, but he will never wow you. He is now 29 years old and set his career-high for completion percentage at 70.4%, career-high for passing yards at 4,054, and career-high for passer rating at 100.8 in 2019 in his first season under new head coach Jon Gruden. The Raiders signed Marcus Mariota this offseason to a 2-year contract to back up and push Carr, which is similar to the situation this last offseason when the Tenessee Titans signed Ryan Tannehill to push Mariota, and Tannehill later proved to be a better fit for the team and he won the starting job in the middle of the season. Derek Carr is a leader on the Raiders and he has good weapons surrounding him. He does not turn the ball over much and Jon Gruden has the Raiders trending upwards after a 7-9 season last year. Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler from 2015-2017 and he is a solid quarterback in the NFL with good poise and a good arm but he will never be an elite quarterback.
#20 Los Angeles Rams- Jared Goff
Kyusung Gong/ AP
Jared Goff was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was a three-year starter at the University of California and his great sophomore season put him on projected draft boards. After his third year at California, he decided to skip his senior season and he was projected to be a top quarterback selected in the draft even though he did not have a great combine. He rated well on his test scores as a smart quarterback but did not show any flashy athleticism. He started 7 games as a rookie and was a bright young star for the team's first season back in Los Angeles. He did not have a very good rookie season and many people were quick to label him as a bust after throwing 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. In his second season in 2017, he put up great numbers under new head coach Sean McVay (I personally met McVay right after he was hired as the Rams head coach in a CVS I credit myself for his success) and Goff made the Pro Bowl. He threw for 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He and Todd Gurley showed the potential of a dynasty in Los Angeles. He made the Pro Bowl once again in 2018 when he threw for 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He led the Rams to a Super Bowl where they lost 13-3. The whole Rams team struggled in the game, and Goff threw a costly interception to Patriots cornerback Stephen Gilmore late in the fourth quarter. With Todd Gurley struggling for most of 2019 Goff had to carry the load for the Rams more and he struggled in this role. He did throw for 4,638 yards but his passer rating dropped from 101.1 in 2018 to 86.5 in 2019. He threw fewer touchdowns with 22 and more interceptions at 16. He has a very good arm and has a lot of experience at 25 years old but he has struggled with accuracy since entering the league. Some scouts look at his long arm motion and say that this affects his game and he will not be a good quarterback in the NFL without a good offensive line, but I have not seen much of an issue with that facet of his game up to this point. Goff is a solid quarterback in the NFL, but he struggled when he is the best player on offense and his accuracy issues lead to some concerns going into 2020.
#19 Indianapolis Colts- Philip Rivers
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It seems like this guy his been slinging sidearm passes since the day I was born. I love quarterbacks like Philip Rivers. He is a gamer, he is fearless, and he is a leader that I would love to play for. He was drafted out of North Carolina State University fourth overall in 2004 even though there were many questions surrounding him. His college success was undeniable but many GMs scoffed at his throwing motion and his lack of big-time arm strength. Rivers is one of the biggest trash talkers in the game and still shows a lot of spunk even after getting up there in age. Rivers is an 8-time Pro Bowler and has a career passer rating of 95.1. He has thrown for 59,271 yards and 397 touchdowns compared to 198 interceptions. I would say he has had a pretty good career. Rivers has started 215 consecutive football games which only trails Brett Favre's record by 85 games. Rivers solidified himself as one of the toughest players the league has ever seen after tearing his ACL and meniscus in a playoff game in 2007 and then playing in the AFC Championship game six days later against the New England Patriots. He performed well even though he was hobbling around the field, but the Chargers lost 21-12. He has always put up consistently solid numbers for the San Diego now Los Angeles Chargers, but they allowed him to walk in free agency after last season. Rivers is now 38 years old and threw 20 interceptions last season. His 20 interceptions were a key factor in the Chargers going 2-9 in games decided by one score or less. It was a disastrous season for the Chargers last year and the poor offensive line allowed Rivers to have this below-average season. He threw for over 4,275 yards for the seventh consecutive season and showed that he still had a couple of years left in the tank. He threw for 23 touchdowns and his most recent Pro Bowl season was 2018. His 88.5 passer rating in 2019 was his worst season in that category since 2007. He has not won a Super Bowl to add to his legendary status and I do not give the Indianapolis Colts a great shot to win it in 2020. He signed a 1-year $25 million-dollar deal with Indianapolis pretty early in the offseason, and I hope that this is not his last year in the NFL. I expect him to have a bounceback year for the Colts in 2020 and even though Jacoby Brissett is a solid quarterback this was the right move. Rivers is a great quarterback with a couple of years left and I would have been put him even higher on the list if he did not have mobility issues and a major rise in turnovers.
#18 Buffalo Bills- Josh Allen
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Josh Allen is everything you want in a quarterback in 2020. He is 6'5, 240 pounds, has an absolute cannon for an arm, and is very mobile. He was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of The University of Wyoming, and if it was up to me Allen would have been my first overall pick. I believe he is a much better fit and player than Baker Mayfield is for the Cleveland Browns. Allen had a great season for Wyoming in 2016 and was planning on declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft, but later changed his mind and stayed for an extra season. His numbers declined but Buffalo still decided to trade up in the draft and select Allen in the first round. Allen was not named the starter for the Bills going into the 2018 season, but he quickly became the starter after the Bills ditched the Nathan Peterman experiment. Allen had his ups and downs in 2018 but flashed his potential. He was a big threat to run the ball and this was evident by his 631 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. He was not known as a big-time runner coming out of college but his running abilities allow him to stretch the defense in the NFL. In 2018, he broke the record for most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback through his first eight games with 490 yards. This broke the record set by the fastest quarterback of all time in Michael Vick. He had more interceptions with 12 then passing touchdowns with 10 in his rookie season and also had a poor passer rating of 67.9. The Bills went 5-6 in his starts and some people had questions going into the 2019 season. Allen answered his critics by leading the Bills to a 10-6 record and improving in almost every offensive category. Allen has one of the strongest arms in the NFL and I believe the only quarterback with a stronger arm is Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Cheifs. Allen led the Bills to the playoffs and threw for over 3,000 yards and rushed for over 500 yards. He had 20 passing touchdowns with 9 interceptions and 9 rushing touchdowns. He did fumble 14 times, but he lost only 4 of the fumbles. He still struggles with accuracy but improved from a 52.2% completion percentage in 2018 to a 58.8% completion percentage in 2019. He improved his decision making and accuracy in 2019 and he knows how to win. The 24-year-old Allen will look to continue to improve in 2020 and it will be fun to watch him team up with Stefon Diggs.
#17 San Fransisco 49ers- Jimmy Garoppolo
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Jimmy Garoppolo is a winning quarterback. In his first season as an NFL quarterback, he was a central part of a Super Bowl run. He led the 49ers to a 13-3 season and put up pretty good stats while doing it. Will the 28-year-old ever be an All-Pro or an MVP candidate? No. Has he proven to people around the league that he is efficient and you can build around him? Yes. He put up great numbers in college at Eastern Illinois and as a senior, he threw for over 5,000 yards and 53 touchdowns. He did not face the competition that most elite college quarterbacks face, but he never had a poor game. He was drafted with the second pick in the second round and he became the backup for Tom Brady. After three seasons in New England, he was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick in the NFL Draft. Many people were speculating that the Patriots would hold onto Jimmy G to serve as Brady's successor, but Bellicheck ended up trading him at a pretty fair price. After appearing in 6 games with the 49ers in 2017 he signed the largest contract in NFL history at the time. A 5-year deal worth $137.5 million dollars. This surprised many people because he had not yet proven himself as a solid starter by any means. In his 6 games in 2017, he threw for 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He did win over the 49ers fanbase by leading the team to a 5-0 record in his five starts. In Week 3 of 2018, he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season. He returned in time for the beginning of the 2019 season for San Francisco after some speculation whether he was going to be ready or not. He started in all 16 games for the Niners and completed 69.1% of his passes while throwing 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He threw for 3,978 yards and his passer rating was 102.0. He is criticized for his lack of shots down the field and his overthrow of Emmanual Sanders in the Super Bowl, but if he was so successful in 2019 throwing short passes there is no reason to stop. He does not have the strongest arm and will not break off long runs but he is trending upwards entering his second full season in the league. Since he has only started 21 career NFL games he does not have a lot of wear and tear on his body. He has great weapons surrounding him and an elite young defense to back him up. It remains to be seen if the 49ers will ever get over the hump with Garoppolo as their quarterback and win a Super Bowl in the future, but he is a solid quarterback that will not wow you but will never lose you a football game.
#16 Arizona Cardinals- Kyler Murray
I have to admit Kyler Murray surprised me in 2019. I did not buy into the hype even after his Heisman Trophy-winning season with Oklahoma in 2018. He was famously an elite college outfielder and was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft. He would have gone even higher, but many teams were unsure of whether he would sign with them or go with football. I agreed with Deion Sanders' advice that he gave Murray: "pick up a baseball bat and don't look back." Kyler was not an elite football prospect going into his 2018 collegiate season. He had only thrown 21 passes for Oklahoma in his sophomore year, and he did not do very well at Texas A&M when he threw 121 passes as a freshman. Scouts cited the lack of poise he had as a quarterback and his lack of size and arm strength. No one believed that at 5'10 he could be the player that he became. Murray threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns while rushing for 1,001 yards. He then was selected first overall in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals after selecting quarterback Josh Rosen with the tenth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. It was almost as if Murray was not on anyone's radar in 2019 and he quietly put up a great rookie season. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after throwing for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. His passer rating was 87.4 and he completed 64.4% of his passes. He also flashed his speed and ran the ball 93 times for 544 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did not have fumbling issues like many rookie quarterbacks do and he only lost 2 fumbles in a full 16 game season. In his first game as a rookie in 2019, he led the Cardinals to a 27-27 tie against the Detroit Lions. He threw for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns and led the Cardinals from being down 16 points in the fourth quarter. He set 14 records as a rookie quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals and was one of their best players without many offensive weapons around him. He had an electric first season and did not see many growing pains. He has a great offensive-minded head coach in Kliff Kingsbury who heavily recruited him when he was the head coach at Texas Tech. Murray showed his maturity and poise as a rookie, and the sky is the limit for the 22-year-old especially after seeing the jump that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson made from year one to year two.
#15 Atlanta Falcons- Matt Ryan
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Matty ice. This guy has been Ballin in the NFL for twelve years now. For everyone out there that likes to slander Matt Ryan let me throw a few statistics at you. Matt Ryan has played twelve full seasons in the NFL after being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He set numerous records when he was a quarterback at Boston College and he was seventh in the Heisman voting his senior season. He won the Manning Award which is given to the best quarterback in college football. After being selected by the Falcons, he was immediately named the starting quarterback as a rookie and led Atlanta to an 11-5 record after they had a 4-12 record the year prior. He has started 189 games in his career and has only missed a total of 3 games. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns for nine consecutive seasons. He has made the playoffs for six out of his twelve NFL seasons and he reached the Supe Bowl in 2016. Did you know that Matt Ryan won an MVP award? Yes, that Matt Ryan. Ryan won the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League just three seasons ago in 2016. In that season, Ryan passed for 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns to go with just 7 interceptions. He had a 69.9% completion percentage, and an unreal 117.1 passer rating. He is no longer that elite player but Ryan's consistency should not be overlooked. He has made four Pro Bowls in his twelve seasons and he also won the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008. He is a tough quarterback that has had great success in his career. It has helped that he has a top-three receiver in the game, but Ryan has performed well with all of the subpar weapons surrounding Julio. Ryan has always been an accurate thrower, and his career average completion percentage is 65.4%. His career average for passer rating is 94.6. He put up another solid season in 2019 even though the Falcons struggled, especially during the start of the season. Ryan threw for 4,466 yards with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Most people scoff at the fact of him turning the ball over a lot, but he averages 12 interceptions a season which is a respectable total. When looking at advanced statistics his game is similar to Drew Brees, and Ryan has ranked in the top 10 for QBR every season of his career except one. The 35-year-old Ryan is a solid and accurate quarterback that does not get the proper recognition he deserves.
#14 Dallas Cowboys- Dak Prescott
Ron Jenkins/ AP
Rayne Dakota Prescott. Coming out of Mississippi State, I expected this guy to be a bust. He was not an accurate passer and he made some very poor decisions. The talent was there, but the Dallas Cowboys had a fascination with their golden boy in Tony Romo. I did not envision the Cowboys moving on from Tony Romo so quickly even though he was battling injuries. I still do not get the fascination with Romo. Sure he was good, but in eleven seasons as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo never advanced his team to the NFC Championship game. Anyways, I will talk more about slandering "America's Team" another day. A team that has not made it to the NFC Championship game in 26 years does not deserve my time. Prescott was a fourth-round draft pick in 2016 and there were seven quarterbacks drafted ahead of him. Prescott was named the starter for Dallas going into the 2016 season with Romo reinjuring his back in the preseason. Prescott led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record while throwing for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns with just 4 interceptions. He also ran for 282 yards and 6 touchdowns. He performed so well that when Romo was healthy he was relegated to backup duties. Prescott has not missed a game in his first four seasons of the NFL and he has a career completion percentage of 65.8%. His average passer rating is 97.0 and he has led the Cowboys to a .500 or better record in each of his four seasons. He declined in his sophomore season and threw a career-high of 13 interceptions with a career-low of 22 touchdowns but he still put up an above-average year. He has improved every season since his down year in 2017 and he made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2018. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in his unreal rookie season in 2016 and he has stayed pretty consistent since. Dak does not have a huge arm and does not throw many deep passes but his threat to run the ball makes defenses stay on their toes. He does not have the talent that most people think but he is intelligent and one of the strongest quarterbacks in the NFL. It is a great achievement to have a 40-24 record after your first four seasons in the NFL and he has made the most out of some good weapons, and a great offensive line around him. He does not have the contract that he wants going into 2020 so we will have to see what happens. Prescott is a solid quarterback that manages the game well and can make some great plays with his throwing and running ability.
#13 Minnesota Vikings- Kirk Cousins
Keith Srakocic/ AP
Captain Kirk. It was no big deal to me, as a Redskins fan when the Redskins let Kirk Cousins walk in free agency in 2018. They had been battling over contract disputes for years and it was time for a separation. Kirk Cousins signed a 3-year $84 million-dollar contract with the Minnesota Vikings and it was fully guaranteed, and after the 2020 season, he signed a 2-year $66 million-dollar extension with the Vikings. Kirk was a great college quarterback at Michigan State and proved to be a true leader. He was not projected to go high in the draft due to him not improving much from his sophomore to senior season in college. He was not a highly recruited prospect out of high school either and he was going to commit to playing for Western Michigan until the new head coach of Michigan State, Mark Dantonio, failed to sign some big recruits. He then offered the 2.5 star rated Cousins a scholarship. Cousins was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft which shocked many analysts because the Redskins had traded up to select Robert Griffen III with the second overall pick. After showing flashes of his potential when RGIII was injured at various points, Cousins was named the starter going into the 2015 season. He started every game for the Redskins in the next three seasons, and he was a Pro Bowler in 2016. He had a great year with the Vikings in 2019 throwing for 3,603 yards with 26 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He was named a Pro Bowler once again and he even led the Vikings to an improbable victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card Round. He is a solid and tough quarterback with a good arm that does not deserve much of the hate that he receives. He does not perform well in the clutch for the most part, but his playoff game against the Saints showed us that he can play in big situations. He can be inconsistent at times and I get the frustration that some fans have with him, but you never realize how good of a quarterback he actually is until he leaves your own team (sad). He has completed 69% or more percent of his passes three times and has thrown for 25 or more touchdowns in his first five seasons as a starting quarterback in the NFL. There is not much room for him to grow but he has of plenty of solid seasons left under his belt.
#12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tom Brady
Elise Amendola/ AP
"Tompa Brady." It is still pretty weird to think about arguably the greatest quarterback going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a 2-year $50 million-dollar deal. The Bucs have won 1 Super Bowl in 44 years as a franchise. I am not going to tell Patriot's fan that I told them this was going to happen but I found it very weird that at 42 years old he was heading into free agency for the first time in his career. Also, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman at a college basketball game with Tom Brady screaming "He's coming back. He's coming back." with Tom Brady sitting beside him with an awkward smile and shaking his head was pretty suspect. Anyways Tom Brady needs no introduction. The 6'4 quarterback out of the University of Michigan was a sixth-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. That is the year I was born and he is still out there playing meaningful games in the National Football League. He has never had the talent and athleticism of the top in quarterbacks in the NFL but the numbers speak for themselves. He has won 6 Supwerbowls and was named the Super Bowl MVP 4 times. He has won the NFL MVP 3 times and has been named to the NFL Pro Bowl 14 times. He has thrown for 20 or more touchdowns in every season since 2001 (except for the 2008 season when he missed the entire season after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 1). It has definitely helped his legacy that he has always had a strong offense around him and an elite defense, but he has been consistent and a great leader for the Patriots organization. It is truly remarkable at his age what he is still doing. It will be very intriguing to see how he performs this season without Bill Belicheck as his head coach, but Bruce Arians is also an elite coach. He is surrounded by great weapons, in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and of course Rob Gronkowski coming out of retirement. Brady has always had a pretty strong and accurate arm but is has slipped the past few seasons. His last pass as a Patriot was a pick-six against the Tenessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card game, and Brady had his worst passer rating in 2019 since the 2006 season. Brady threw for 4,057 yards with 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He did not have a strong supporting cast around him which resulted in a completion percentage of 60.8%. He started every game for the 11th season in a row, excluding the 2016 season when he was suspended for four games after the deflate-gate scandal. Tom Brady is still putting up good numbers especially at 42 years of age, but his downward trend the past three seasons, diminishing arm strength, and starting on a new team for the first time in his career allows him to slip to number 12 on this list.
#11 Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford
Paul Sancya/ AP
Matthew Stafford is a great quarterback. It is sad to see that he does not get much respect for his quality of play over his career. He is tough, consistent, and has never been a below-average quarterback. Other than having Calvin Johnson at the start of his career Matthew Stafford has been the best player on the Detroit Lion's offense. He has made the best out of what he has to work with. Stafford was a great quarterback in college at the University of Georgia and many scouts were high on him since he started as a true freshman. Football analyst Mel Kiper Jr. even said "Matthew Stafford will eventually be the Number 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Write that down." Kiper said this in 2006 not even a month into his first season at Georgia. Stafford was the first overall selection by the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft after three seasons at Georgia. He started ten games as a rookie and threw 13 touchdowns compared to 20 interceptions. He missed six games as a rookie and then thirteen games in his second season, but he then went on to start every single game in eight straight seasons from 2011-2018. He missed eight games in 2019 after injuring his back halfway through the season. After overcoming his growing pains, Stafford had his best season as a pro in 2011 after throwing for 5,038 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. He then went on the throw for 4,000 or more yards and 20 or more touchdowns in six straight seasons. He has built up a reputation around the NFL as a guy who plays through injuries and produces no matter what the circumstances are. He has a great arm and has always performed well with little to no talent around him. The Lions have never even built up an effective running game when Stafford has been the quarterback. His career completion percentage is 62.5% and his passer rating is 89.3. He has limited his turnovers especially in the past six seasons and he has matured and made better decisions in this time period. In the 2019 season, he was putting up the best numbers of his career. He was averaging 312.4 yards a game which was second in the NFL, and his 19 touchdown passes thrown would have put him on track for almost 40 touchdowns. His 19 touchdown passes in only half of the season was more touchdown passes then Andy Dalton, Mitch Tribusky, and Jacoby Brissett threw the whole year. Stafford also set his career-high for passer rating at 106. Stafford is a great quarterback in the NFL that gets no credit due to him playing in Detriot and not having much success as a team, but he has a terrific arm and is a strong leader that is entering the best years of his career at 32 years old.
#10 Pittsburgh Steelers- Ben Roethlisberger
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I still have a lot of faith in Big Ben. For all of you double-taking on how I can have this 38-year-old quarterback this high on the list look at his statistics before last season. You forgot how good Roethlisberger was due to his injury last season. He was drafted out of Miami University in Ohio. He set over twenty records at Miami Ohio and was drafted with the eleventh overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has won 2 Super Bowl's and has been named to 6 Pro Bowls. He won the Rookie of the Year in 2004 and has led the league in passing yards twice. Roethlisberger has been a starter for the always successful Steelers team's since his rookie year in 2004 and he has been very consistent. He is pretty durable and has averaged almost 15 games per year in fifteen seasons prior to last year. He led the Steelers to a 13-0 record in the games he started as a rookie and he performed well in the AFC Championship game even though they lost to the New England Patriots. He won the Super Bowl in just his second year in 2005. In fifteen seasons as a full-time quarterback, the Steelers have had a winning record in games starter by him for every single season except for 2006. Roethlisberger had one of his best seasons as a pro in 2018 when he threw for 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. He even ran for a career-high of 3 touchdowns. He has a career completion percentage of 64.3% and a passer rating of 94.0. His 96.5 passer rating in 2018 was one of the highest in his career. He has always been helped by a good running game, but he put up his great numbers in 2018 when Le'Veon Bell held out and missed the whole season. James Conner did well, but it shows Roethlisberger's value by Conner having a poor season last year with Roethlisberger off the field. He regularly leads the NFL in game-winning drives and he has great arm strength and is as strong as an ox. He has great size at 6'5 and 240 pounds. He was my darkhorse to candidate to win the NFL MVP last season, and if you think I am crazy Fox Sports analysis Skip Bayless also asserted that Roethlisberger could win the 2019 NFL MVP. Well, now I am not sure if you actually think I am even crazier now. Roethlisberger is coming off a serious elbow injury which made him miss 14 games in 2019, but if he is healthy he has proven that he has poise and a rocket arm which leads him to be an elite quarterback.
#9 New England Patriots- Cam Newton
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When I put this article out a couple of weeks ago the projected starting quarterback for the New England Patriots was Jarrett Stidham. I was not too high about the Patriots quarterback and I had him ranked as the worst starting quarterback in the NFL coming in dead last at number 32. Here is what I had to say about it:
"It is weird to rank the New England Patriots dead last in any category but here we are. Could Jared Stidham be a solid NFL quarterback? Yes, but we have no clue if he will turn out that way. Stidham is a 23-year-old quarterback who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. After starting his collegiate career at Baylor University, he transferred to Auburn for his junior and senior season. After a successful junior season that put him on the map, he took a step backward in his senior year. It was a less talented ballclub, but he made some poor decisions and many scouts doubted his arm strength. The Patriots liked him enough for their fourth-round selection, and they later released their long-time second-string quarterback Bryan Hoyer after Stidham won the role as Brady's backup. Stidham only threw four passes as a rookie in 2019 and one of them was a terrible throw which resulted in a pick-six for Jamal Adams of the New York Jets. He has shown some flashes that he can be a threat with his legs, and he learned the Patriots system under the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tom Brady. He is still young and will have a lot of room to grow with great minds helping him through the process. The Patriots offense will not be as good as they have been in the Tom Brady era but it remains to be seen what the Patriots will get out of this 23-year-old second-year quarterback. So, good luck to Jarrett Stidham for taking over as the new quarterback for the New England Patriots and filling the shoes of the greatest and most successful quarterback in NFL history."
Now, after the Cam Newton singing the New England Patriots went from having the worst quarterback in the NFL to a top ten quarterback. Here is Newton's outlook entering the 2020 NFL Season.
On June 28th, 2020 I received a text message after a family dinner which altered my universe. Superman Cam Newton was heading to the New England Patriots. How weird is it that Cam Newton will be taking over as Tom Brady's successor at the quarterback of the New England Patriots? If Newton is healthy and can regain half of his 2015 season form he will be a top ten quarterback in the NFL in 2020. Newton has come a long way since his college career after beginning at the University of Florida. Newton was the backup to Tim Tebow and after rumblings of off the field issues, he announced he was transferring to a Junior College. After one season at Blinn Junior College in 2009, he transferred to Auburn University in 2010 and put up arguably the best season by a college quarterback in NCAA history. He won the Heisman Trophy and he led a decent but not great Auburn team to an undefeated season capped off by a Championship over the Oregon Ducks. He was drafted first overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft and he became the franchise quarterback on day one. Newton threw for 4,051 passing yards and 21 touchdowns while winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He did throw 17 interceptions, but he completed 60% of his passes and he rushed for 706 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. He performed well from 2012-2014 and he made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2013. He led the Panthers to a playoff berth in 2013 as well, but his previous accomplishments did not come close to what he did in 2015. This is the year that Cam Newton turned into Superman. Newton played in all 16 games and he completed 59.8% of his passes for 3,837 yards, 35 touchdowns, 636 rushing yards with 10 rushing touchdowns, He threw a career-low 10 interceptions and had a 99.4 passer rating. Newton led the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl which they ultimately lost to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Newton was named the Most Valuable Player in the NFL and he performed pretty well over the next few seasons even while battling injuries. He set a career-high for rushing yards in 2017 with 754 yards and he set his career-high for completion percentage in 2018 at 67.5%. He had shoulder surgery in January of 2019 and it has been noted that this has affected his throwing motion. After starting the first two games in 2019 he missed the rest of the season after a lisfranc foot injury. The Panthers fired long time Head Coach Ron Rivera midseason and hired Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule after the season concluded. After hiring Rhule, the Panthers announced that they were moving on from Cam Newton. The 31-year-old sought a trade, but after not finding a trade partner he was released. After a long offseason, he signed a 1-year that is worth up to 7.5 million dollars with the New England Patriots. Newton is as hungry as he has ever been and he will be the starter going into next year. If Cam Newton is healthy he will be a top quarterback in the league, and I will be very interested to see how he does as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots.
#8 Tenessee Titans- Ryan Tannehill
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I am a huge fan of the renaissance of Ryan Tannehill. I would love for more fans to jump on board with me and ride the Ryan Tannehill train into another great season in 2020. Simply put, when Ryan Tannehill became the starter in Tenessee he was a top-five quarterback in football. Before the 2019 season, I would have considered myself crazy if I ever knew Tannehill would be a top-10 quarterback in my book. Tannehill is a lot more athletic then most people think he is. He was a three-sport athlete in high school when he played basketball, football, and competed in track and field. Not only was he an elite quarterback in high school, but he was also an elite defensive back. In his freshman season at Texas A&M, he lost the starting quarterback job. Instead of being a backup quarterback and not receiving much playing time, the head coach moved him to wide receiver, a position that he had never played before. In his fifth game as a wide receiver, he broke the school rookie record with 210 yards on 12 catches. He went on to break the freshman receiving record and just missed becoming the single-season leader in Texas A&M history by 11 yards after he compiled 844 receiving yards. He became the full time starting quarterback in his senior season and he put up good enough numbers to be drafted eighth overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft. After eight years with the Dolphins where he put up pretty average numbers, his career was in doubt. He was a good quarterback but did not put up good enough numbers to be a franchise quarterback. His career-high for passer rating was 93.5 and he only threw more than 24 touchdowns once in his career. He had a good arm and occasionally broke off a good run, but the Miami Dolphins decided to go in another direction after the 2018 season. He was traded to the Tenessee Titans and signed a 1-year $7 million-dollar contract to be the backup to Marcus Mariota. After another average start to the season from Mariota, the Titans replaced him with Tannehill in the middle of Week 6. After being named the starter for Week 7, Tannehill threw for 312 passing yards and 2 touchdowns in a victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. He finished the 2019 season throwing for 2,742 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions in just ten games started. He compiled a 7-3 record and he had the best passer rating in the NFL at 117.5. He played the play-action to perfection and his accuracy was off of the charts. He completed 70.3% of his passes, and to all of his critics I ask if it is so easy to be the quarterback of the Tennessee Titans because of Derick Henry, why did Marcus Mariota never perform very well? Tannehill is a great quarterback that is a perfect fit for the Titans and it will be interesting to see if he can live up to the 4-year $118 million-dollar extension he signed with the Titans in the offseason.
#7 Philadelphia Eagles- Carson Wentz
I am a Carson Wentz fan. I have my doubts and believe that he is not as good as Eagles fans and others around the league think he is, but I can not deny the amount of success that he has in such a short period of time. Remember, he is the guy that led the Eagles to an improbable victory against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. He threw for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns while winning the Super Bowl MVP. Wait, I think I am confusing him with Nick Foles. Anyways, Eagles fans please do not forget what Foles did for your franchise. I will always believe that Foles should be the starting quarterback for the Eagles right now even though Wentz is more talented, but that is an article for another day. Carson Wentz went to North Dakota State University which is a Divison I-AA school. He was drafted second overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2016 NFL Draft after flying up draft boards after his combine. He was the highest draft pick out of the FCS in NFL history. Wentz started every game as a rookie and had his ups and downs. He threw for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions. In 2017 he was having a monster year. Through 13 games he had 3,292 passing yards with 33 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. His passer rating was 101.9 and he also rushed for 299 yards. He was the favorite to win the NFL MVP before he tore his ACL in Week 13, and he would have won the award over Tom Brady if he had finished the season. He had another great year in 2018 but missed five regular-season games and the playoffs after recovering from his ACL injury and then injuring his back. He completed 69.6% of his passes and set his career-high for passer rating at 102.2. In 2019 Wentz had in my mind his best season. He started all 16 regular-season games and threw for 4,039 with 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He did this without any quality receivers around him. There were multiple players that had not seen any quality reps in their whole careers to then be put in crucial roles in the passing game. He did get injured in the playoffs, but he basically led a wide receiving practice squad group into the playoffs. Wentz is a good quarterback with more talent then most quarterbacks in all of the NFL. He has a good arm and is very mobile in the pocket while remaining patient under pressure. He needs to be more consistent, remain healthy, and limit his fumbling issues after he had 16 fumbles in 2019, but going into 2020 almost every team in the NFL would want Carson Wentz as their quarterback.
#6 Green Bay Packers- Aaron Rodgers
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Aaron Rodgers is still a "baaaaaaadddd man!" He has always had a chip on his shoulder after sliding to the twenty-fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Rodgers performed very well at the University of California and scouts pointed to his great arm strength and thought he would be a very high pick in the NFL Draft. He grew up in California and expressed his interest in playing for the San Fransico 49ers. The 49ers selected Alex Smith out of the University of Utah instead and Rodgers was not selected for twenty-three more picks. The 49ers offensive coordinator at the time was Mike McCarthy who would then become the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. It must have been a pretty awkward situation for Rodgers to have his head coach be the guy who drafted Alex Smith over him the year before. Rodgers backed up legendary quarterback Brett Favre for three years until he became the starter in 2008 and he saw immediate success. He threw 28 touchdowns with 13 interceptions while throwing for 4,038 yards. He became a Pro Bowler in 2009 and won the Super Bowl in 2010 while also being named the Super Bowl MVP. The next season he won his first NFL MVP award in 2011 and he broke the NFL record with an incredible 122.5 passer rating. He threw for 4,643 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, and just 6 interceptions. He has not thrown for more than 8 interceptions since 2010 and he has the highest career average passer rating of any quarterback in NFL history at 102.4. In total, he has made 8 Pro Bowls, won 2 NFL MVP's, and is a 2-time First-Team All-Pro. He also broke the record for 402 consecutive passing attempts without an interception. He has rushed for 3,122 yards in his career and will go down as one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever play the game. He simply does not turn the ball over even when he takes multiple deep shots down the field. The Packers have never appreciated his greatness enough and they do not surround him with the talent that other great quarterbacks have. They have never drafted a skilled offensive player for Rodgers in the first round until the 2020 NFL Draft. When they drafted Jordan Love a quarterback out of Utah State. Over Rodgers's last two seasons he has played all 32 games and thrown for a combined 8,446 yards with 51 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. His passer rating is 95.5 and he has completed 62.2% of his passes. He has a terrific arm, is mobile, great at making throws on the run, and is very accurate. He is now 36 years old and has been declining slightly, but I expect him to put up a big season after the Jordan Love draft pick surely displeased him.
#5 Houston Texans- Deshaun Watson
Michael Wyke/ AP
It has been a great few years for Deshaun Watson in the NFL. He put up three great seasons at Clemson University and was a highly regarded prospect entering the 2017 NFL Draft. I was not as high on Watson coming into the NFL as most people were but I still expected him to be a good player. He had a great arm and was very mobile. The Texans traded up to snag him with the twelfth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was the third quarterback taken in the draft behind Mitch Tribusky of the Chicago Bears and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Cheifs. We have seen the player that Mahomes has become, but that Tribusky pick drafting him second overall was a big yikes for the Chicago Bears. To be fair, Tribusky was the most "pro-style" quarterback available in the draft. Watson started 6 games as a rookie and performed well in limited playing time. He threw for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions with a passer rating of 103. He also rushed for 269 yards. After tearing his ACL which caused him to miss the rest of the season in November, Watson played in all 16 games in 2018. He threw for 4,165 yards with 26 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also ran for 551 yards and 5 touchdowns. He completed 68.3% of his passes and had a 103.1 passer rating. He put up a similar season in 2019 when he threw for 3,852 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with a completion percentage of 67.3%. He rushed for 413 yards and 7 touchdowns while having a passer rating of 98.0. He has already set numerous records through his first three seasons and he had an electric combination with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. It will hurt that the best wide receiver in the NFL was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, but I still anticipate Watson to put up great numbers. He has shown off his athleticism in many situations and he has a strong and accurate arm. He is coming off back to back Pro Bowl seasons and he is known as one of the most electric players in the NFL. It is remarkable what Watson has done in the NFL in just a short period of time. He has also performed well in the playoffs and of course with Clemson University when they won the National Championship in 2016. Watson is only going to get better and this 24-year-old is in line for a bright and historic future.
#4 Baltimore Ravens- Lamar Jackson
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Can you believe what Lamar Jackson did last season? Yes, it was real. I still remember sitting in my dorm room at James Madison University in Virginia right before the NFL season began and my friend sent me a text. "Lamar Jackson is a great under the radar bet to win the NFL MVP this year." I will have to admit I laughed it off. I was not as down on Jackson as most people were, but in my wildest dreams, I did not think he would win the MVP in his first full season. In college, he was putting up video game numbers at the University of Louisville. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 and was a three-year starter for Louisville. He never completed for more than 59.1% of his passes but had back to back 3,500 or more passing yard seasons with 1,500 or more rushing yards in each season. After announcing that he was declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft many scouts started to doubt his quarterback abilities. They said that Jackson was never going to be an accurate passer and he was better suited for another position in the NFL because of how athletic he is. Jackson made it clear that he saw himself as a quarterback and he even declined to participate in drills like the 40-yard dash in order to focus on displaying his passing skills. He did not get picked until the last pick in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens. There were four quarterbacks selected before him. Jackson started 7 games as a rookie and threw for 1,201 yards and rushed for 695 yards. His completion percentage was 58.2% and he threw for 6 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. Jackson struggled against the Chargers in the 2018 Wild Card Round. At one point in the fourth quarter, he had 25 passing yards and an interception. He ended the game with 194 passing yards 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and a fumble lost. This casted much doubt on his quarterback status entering 2019, but the Ravens had confidence in him. Jackson went on to have one of the best seasons by a quarterback in National Football League history. In 15 games started he threw for 3,127 yards with 36 passing touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He had his best completion percentage in his career 66.1%, and he had the third-best passer rating in the NFL at 113.3. He also broke Michael Vick's quarterback rushing record by rushing for 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns. He was unbelievable and was the youngest unanimous MVP in NFL history at 22 years old. He will look to continue to improve and look to perform well in the playoffs in the future, and going into 2020 he is the most electric quarterback in the NFL.
#3 New Orleans Saints- Drew Brees
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I do not care what anyone says this man Drew Brees is still playing at an extremely high level. Brees is such a great underdog story and I really respect the great career he has had. He was drafted out of Purdue with the thirty-second overall pick in 2001, the first pick in the second round to the San Diego Chargers. He had a great four seasons with Purdue, and he was projected to be a mid-first-round draft pick, but many scouts had concerns about him. They believed he was too small at 6'0 tall and lacked great arm strength. He backed up legendary quarterback Doug Flutie in his rookie season and then started for San Diego for four years. The Chargers gave up on him and drafted Philip Rivers in 2004 so Brees left for free agency after the 2005 season. He was not a hot and commodity and only the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints were interested. After Miami pulled out over concerns about Brees's shoulder he signed a 6-year $60 million-dollar deal with the Saints, and he found immediate success. He was a good quarterback in San Diego, but it all clicked when he became the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. He is a 13-time Pro Bowler, he became a Super Bowl Champion in 2010 while also winning the Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl, and he is a 4-time Second-Team All-Pro. He holds the NFL record for most career passing yards at 77,416, most passing completions at 6,867, and most career passing touchdowns at 547. Over his last sixteen seasons, he has only missed nine games. He is durable and has been a leader and an icon in New Orleans for over a decade. He was the face of the franchise after Hurricane Katrina and is still playing at a high level all these years later. He is known around the NFL for his accuracy and his relaxed gameplay. He gets the ball out quickly and on target. He completed an outstanding 74.3% of his passes last season and 74.4% of his passes the year before. He has thrown for over 5,000 yards in five different seasons and has thrown for 30 or more touchdowns in ten different seasons. He set a career-high with 46 touchdowns and 5,476 passing yards in 2010. He missed the most games in his career last season with five after suffering a torn ligament in his thumb early in the season. He does not throw many interceptions and has a career 2.3 touchdown to interception ratio. He has especially limited his interceptions the past few seasons. His career passer rating is 98.4 and he set his career-high in 2019 at 116.3. Brees was outstanding in the last four regular-season games for the Saints last year when he threw for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. Brees is still a top-five quarterback in the NFL even at 41 years old, and he uses a combination of his accuracy, arm strength, and knowledge to be so successful.
#2 Seattle Seahawks- Russell Wilson
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This guy just shows up to every game, does not talk much, and year after year puts up MVP level statistics. Russell Wilson is another quarterback with a great story. After a great high school career at Collegiate, a prep school in Richmond Virginia, Wilson committed to North Carolina State University and played his first three seasons there. He also played baseball for NC State and he was drafted in the fourth round by the Rockies and reported to Spring Training in 2011. In June of 2011, it was announced that he would be transferring to the University of Wisconsin for his senior year. After putting up 3,175 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions he was put onto NFL Draft boards. One scout stated that "If he was 6'5 he'd probably be the Number 1 pick in the draft." Jon Gruden added later on that "The only issue with Russell Wilson is his height. That might be the reason he's not picked in the first couple of rounds." Wilson was not selected until the third round and was the 75th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He was the sixth quarterback selected in the draft, and the Seahawks did not care that he is not even 5'11. He was projected to backup newly signed Matt Flynn, but Wilson won the job in the preseason over him. Before his rookie season, many people around the league ripped the Seahawks for drafting Wilson. He performed very well his rookie season throwing for 3,188 yards and 26 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. In eight total seasons as a pro, he has not missed a single game. The Seahawks have never had a losing season with Wilson as the quarterback. He has been extremely consistent and has a great arm. He is very mobile and makes throws on the run look easy. He ran for 849 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2014. He does not run as much as he did earlier in his career, but he has become an even better passer. His career passer rating is 101.2 and he has completed 64.5% of his passes. He is a Super Bowl Champion, 7-time Pro Bowler, and was named to his first Second-Team All-Pro in 2019. He has never had a season below a completion percentage of 61%, has thrown over 20 touchdowns in every season, and has not had a passer rating below 92.6. He is an elite quarterback and is a Hall of Famer that is still in his prime. He makes the Seattle Seahawks teams look great even if they are not as talented as they were the previous season. His consistency and great passing numbers make him a sure-fire pick as a top-five quarterback on any list. He is a humble and nice guy that loves Seattle. His vision and arm strength lead to great decisions from the veteran quarterback and Russell Wilson is at the top of his game entering his 31-year-old season in 2020.
#1 Kansas City Cheifs- Patrick Mahomes
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If you do not consider this man the best quarterback in the world I am not sure if you have ever watched him play. After watching Mahomes for five minutes you almost come to the conclusion that the NFL is too easy for him. I have to be honest, when the Kansas City Cheifs selected Mahomes tenth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft I did not even know who he was. Alex Smith was doing fine as your quarterback why would you select a college prospect that is a pretty raw talent? After growing up in Texas, he had three great seasons at quarterback after committing to Texas Tech. After playing baseball a little baseball for Texas Tech his freshman year he switched his focus solely on football and I would say this was the right decision. Mahomes served as the backup to Alex Smith in 2017 and after the Cheifs traded Smith to the Washington Redskins after the conclusion of the season Mahomes became the starter for the Cheifs going into 2018. This 2018 season was the greatest season I have ever seen from a quarterback in my lifetime. He threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He completed 66% of his passes and had a passer rating of 113.8. He won the NFL MVP and displayed his rocket arm in every single game. He has the strongest arm I have ever seen as a quarterback. In 2019 he put up another great season. He missed two games due to a knee injury, but in 14 games he threw for 4,031 yards with 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His career completion percentage is 65.9% through his first two years and he has a 108.9 passer rating. He is very fast and can break off long runs at any moment. He has a variety of different arm angles that he throws from and he has even completed multiple no-look throws. His biggest change from 2018 to 2019 was his ability to throw more passes with arch. He did not chuck as many passes and it allowed receivers to catch the ball more easily. He led the Cheifs to the playoffs for his second consecutive season and ultimately led them to a Super Bowl Title. The Super Bowl MVP threw for 286 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 29 rushing yards with a rushing touchdown. It is crazy to think that Mahomes has taken over the league in only two seasons as a starter and if he keeps up this elite play I believe he will win multiple titles and become the greatest quarterback of all time. He is 24 years old and will surely get the biggest contract in NFL history in the next year or two. Mahomes has the most talent of any quarterback in NFL history, has a bazooka for an arm, can run whenever he wants too, is a great leader, and he has not even entered his prime. We all need to sit back and watch every Mahomes game we can because he always puts on a show.