I’m not a quarterbacks expert, and I’ve never claimed to be. But I figured, with all the talk about ranking QBs, I would take my own shot at creating a top-10 list. I’ll include a short reason as to why I put them in the spot I did.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs - It’s pretty simple, if I were starting a franchise today, Mahomes would be my first choice at QB. He won MVP last year, and deserved it. I know he wasn’t able to beat Brady last season, but his game-tying drive at the end of regulation was stupid. Factor in the fact that he turns 24 in September, and he’s the obvious choice for the #1 QB in the NFL right now.
2. Tom Brady, Patriots - You can make an argument for a few other QBs in this spot, but Brady is the one that belongs here. He won MVP of the league in 2017, and has led the Patriots to three straight Super Bowl appearances. He’s going to be 42 this season, but shows no signs of slowing down. He’s the most important player on the best team in the league.
3. Andrew Luck, Colts - Heading into last season, there was serious concern about whether Luck would ever be back to normal. He had missed the 2017 with a shoulder injury, and didn’t throw most of the early offseason. Those questions were quickly answered when, in a losing effort, he threw the ball 53 times for 319 yards against the Bengals in week one. Luck had a fantastic season, and, if it wasn’t for Mahomes, may have been in consideration for the MVP. The Colts have done a good job building their offensive line, and their focus on it has helped Luck immensely. He’ll turn 30 this season, and it looks like he’s finally ready to consistently be one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
4. Russell Wilson, Seahawks - For a few years, Wilson has been carrying the Seahawks to wherever they go. He’s also one of the toughest guys in the league, starting every game of his career while playing through a laundry list of injuries. Wilson can make things happen with his arm and with his feet. He’s already led his team to a Super Bowl win, and a second appearance. His offensive line has been dreadful in recent years, and he’s been doing things pretty much on his own. Losing Doug Baldwin will hurt, but Seattle still has some weapons. Regardless of recent win-loss record, Wilson has proven himself to be an elite QB.
5. Drew Brees, Saints - Last season was the first time since Brees got to New Orleans that he didn’t throw for 4,000 yards, and he missed it by only eight yards. There have been eleven seasons where a QB has passed for 5,000 yards — Brees has done it five times. In the last two seasons combined, he has 55 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions. Anyone that says he has lost his fastball or isn’t as good as he was simply isn’t watching him. Combine his skill with the talent he has around him, and there’s no reason to think that he’s on the verge of slowing down anytime soon.
6. Deshaun Watson, Texans - You might be surprised by this, but Watson is electric. He passed for over 4,000 yards last year, 26 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. He was also less than a year removed from an ACL tear. Remember how Brady wasn’t quite the same in 2009, and then won the MVP in 2010? Now, I’m not saying that Watson is going to win MVP this year, but putting up those stats, plus over 500 yards rushing, the year after an ACL year is impressive. He’s young, he’s got a ton of talent around him, and he has been healthy this offseason. Watson is going to show that he deserves to be at this spot, if not higher, this season.
7. Aaron Rodgers, Packers - Packers fans, I promise I’m not trolling you. I know Rodgers threw only two interceptions last season, and also for over 4,000 yards. I also know that he’s 35, and relies on his ability to scramble way more than Brees or Brady. I’m not saying he’s no longer elite, he’s still in the top 10 of the NFL’s QBs, but the players above him all deserve to be there. His leadership has also been questioned in recent years, that might be valued at this position more than any other in football. Your quarterback has to buy into the program for it to work, and I don’t think Rodgers has done that enough in recent years. Let’s see if, with a new regime, he’s more inclined to do so.
8. Philip Rivers, Chargers - Maybe one of the toughest players in the game. I’ll never forget when he played the 2007 AFC Championship Game on a torn ACL, and almost pulled the damn thing out. He just continues to put up numbers, even if they have to drag out Antonio Gates’ corpse to catch the passes from him. The Chargers are in a great position with talent all over the field, so now is the time for Rivers to make his first Super Bowl. Like Brees, he has had only one season of under 4,000 passing yards since 2008.
9. Matt Ryan, Falcons - I need to be honest for a second: I don’t love Matt Ryan. The problem is that all the other QBs below him either stink, are aging, or just too unproven. Ryan has also been throwing for over 4,000 yards consistently since 2011, and last year almost his 5,000. There’s just something about his game that rubs me the wrong way. He puts up great numbers, has only missed two games in his career, and is reasonably clutch, but I still don’t put him with the best of the best. Maybe I just can’t get over Super Bowl 51, and seeing him on the sidelines sweating bullets up 25. I don’t know for sure. I know you could do a heck of a lot worse than Matty Ice as your QB, and he’s still only 34 this season, so he still makes the top 10 — but maybe just not as high as others may have him.
10. Baker Mayfield, Browns - Mayfield is just simply electric. He has that “it” factor that makes a great QB. His teammates seem to love him, and he seems to love football almost as much as he loves trash talking. The Browns are the sexy pick to make a big run this year, and while I think they might still be a year away, seeing him with the weapons they have this season is going to be a lot of fun. There is a long list of very good young quarterbacks in the NFL, and Mayfield is primed to be near the top of that list for many seasons to come.
I tried my best not to let my personal biases effect where I ranked a player. I know my Rodgers ranking is going to be lower than most, but I really do think all six of the QBs ahead of him are better than him. Remember, playing quarterback isn’t just about the throws you make on the field, it’s so much more than that. NFL fans should be excited, because, although there are definitely some older veterans on this list, there are also multiple young players, who should be elite for years to come.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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