Let’s just jump right in.
Below are my own personal rankings of the NFL’s 32 starting Quarterbacks. They will all be ranked and discussed in order from #1 to #32. I also broke them down into tiers of my own choosing. Some of you may love where I slot in your QB, but most of you won’t. Hey, that’s half the fun. These rankings will be reviewed after the draft and then again before the season…
TIER 1 – THE GOATS
(1) Aaron Rodgers – GB Packers
Rodgers is the best QB in the world today. He is capable of making any throw, into any window, from anywhere on the field. He is one of the best ever quarterbacks in the history of extending plays. More impressively, he has reached this level with sub-par talent surrounding him and a very mediocre scheme as well. The addition of Martellus Bennett this season and the possibility of more help in the draft may make his life a little easier. With the right moves, Aa-Rod may be hoisting up his second Lombardy Trophy next February.
(2) Tom Brady – NE Patriots
Tom Brady may very well be the actual GOAT. This past season he wrapped up his 5th Super Bowl title as well as his 7th visit to the big game. And at age 39, his play on the field has barely skipped a beat. Despite being suspended the first four games of the season for some illegal air/ball thing, he still managed to average almost 300 yards passing per game. He also set an NFL record by throwing 28 touchdowns but only 2 interceptions. He only had two interceptions in 12 games. Let that sink in for a second; some quarterbacks have two interceptions in 12 minutes. To be honest, I think Blake Bortles could find a way to throw two pickles on the same drive. If any of you readers also managed to miss that last Super Bowl, Brady also kinda brought his team back from a 28-3 hole. Also something that had never been done in Super Bowl history. Did I mention he was 39? Brady keeps himself in great shape and has managed to avoid serious injury for most of his career. He says he plans to play a few more years, and I certainly wouldn’t bet against him.
TIER 2 – DREW BREES
(3) Drew Brees – NO Saints
Drew Brees will possibly go down as one of the most underappreciated quarterbacks in NFL history. And for that reason, he gets his own tier. Over the last 11 seasons since he landed in New Orleans Brees has been the most consistent QB in the league. Every season he has thrown for at least 4388 yards, completed at least 63% of his passes and thrown a minimum of 26 TDs. He has also been insanely durable, missing only 2 games in that stretch. He has tossed at least 30 touchdowns or more the last nine seasons, and eclipsed 5000 yards five times. He is this generation’s Dan Marino, only he won a Super Bowl. He plays in a small market, only does jeans commercials and hasn’t had nearly as many kids as Phillip Rivers, so he seems to just fly under the radar. At 38 years young, he shows no signs of slowing down, unless you consider the stat line of 5208 Yards, 37 TDs and a 70% Completion Percentage slow. He did that at age 37! D-Breezy currently sits third on the NFL’s all time passing list, behind only Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. He trails manning by a little less than 6000 yards. Let’s see if he can get there this year.
TIER 3 – THE ELITE, MINUS ELI
(4) Matt Ryan – ATL Falcons
If Matt Ryan would have won the Super Bowl, I may have moved him up in the rankings. Well, he didn’t, so he ends up here. He made that final step into the NFL’s elite last year and took home the league MVP award for the 2016 season. The high point of his season came when he led the Falcons to a 28-3 second half lead over the eventual Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. After that, things get a little fuzzy. All kidding aside, Ryan had a remarkable season. Finishing with close to 5000 yards and throwing for 38 touchdowns and completing nearly 70% of his passes is nothing to sneeze at. If he continues to perform at this level for the next few years, he should be lock for the Hall of Fame.
(5) Cam Newton – CAR Panthers
Cam Newton is no longer superman. With that being said he’s probably still at worst Aquaman. He is still really good at football. He came into this season as the reigning MVP and left it raining losses. He didn’t seem like the same otherworldly player he was before he took the L in Super Bowl L against Denver. His teammates let him down quite a bit this year and the coaching staff didn’t help much either. He had shoulder surgery after the season and hopefully he’ll be back at full strength in 2017. If he returns close to the Cam of 2015, he could give Rodgers a battle for that #1 spot.
(6) Andrew Luck – IND Colts
The Indianapolis Colts “lucked” into the first pick of the 2012 draft because Peyton Manning got hit so hard he had to have damn neck fused back together. One would think that the Colts would learn a lesson from this and protect Andrew Luck, keeping him safe. They learned no such lesson, as in fact Luck has been hit so often and so hard that he at one point ruptured his spleen. If I saw Andrew Luck on the street I’d probably go give him a big hug and buy him some ice cream. When Luck has managed to not get killed, he is an excellent quarterback. If he can stay healthy he is one of the best quarterbacks on the planet, and hopefully the Colts will keep that in mind.
(7) Ben Roeslithberger – PIT Steelers
Big Ben is easily one of the best QB’s of his generation. He may be one of the all time greats in terms of extending plays. All those years of shrugging off tacklers and leaving himself exposed are starting to catch up to him. There’s only so many hits you can take. And this guy was taking them in the offseason on his motorcycle, too.
(8) Russell Wilson – SEA Seahawks
I had Russell ranked 7th until those baby photos with Ciara came out. NFL QB’s can’t be having that. It would be nice if the Seahawks put actual offensive linemen out there to block for him every once in a while too. Maybe they should just sign his bodyguards; they’ve kept Future away so far.
TIER 4 – THE YOUNG GUNS
(9) Derek Carr – OAK Raiders
If Derek Carr didn’t get hurt the only time he was breathed on this season, things might have been different. When Carr went down in Week 15, the Raiders where flying high, still contending for the top spot in the AFC and at worst, a first round bye. Then Carr snapped his fibula, and now Brock Osweiler has a playoff win. Before the injury Carr was putting up an All-Pro caliber season. He had thrown for close to 3937 yards and 28 touchdowns. Best of all he had cut down on his turnovers, having only 6 interceptions and 2 lost fumbles on his ledger. Carr has already done the impossible by making the Raiders relevant again. If he returns to full health he has every opportunity to rise up these rankings. On a lighter note, just remember Carr was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft. The same 2014 draft that saw future Arena League Hall of Famer Blake Bortles taken 3rd overall. Carr was also selected after the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and one Jonathan Manziel. Manziel is out of the league and Bridgewater barley has a leg to stand on in Minnesota at this point. I bet those teams with they had taken this Carr for a ride.
(10) Marcus Mariota – TEN Titans
I’m fairly confident that by this time next year, Marcus Mariota will be many spots higher on this ranking. Of course if the Titans continue to provide him with few playmakers and unimaginative scheme, his immense talent could be wasted. While the Titans have surrounded Mariota with a strong offensive line, his only real game-breaker on offense is tight end Delanie Walker. The team has also, for the most part, limited their offense and scheme. Tennessee employs a run-first scheme with very little creativity. Watching this offense in motion you almost forget how explosive, creative, and exciting Mariota can be. But when they do open it up, his gifts take center stage. Watching him play, he shows off his elite arm talent, accuracy, and touch. If the Titans can land him a go-to receiver in the upcoming draft, the sky is the limit. Hopefully his top receiver is not still Rishard Mathews come Week 1. Yes you read that right, #1 WR Rishard Mathews. Welcome to the twilight zone……
TIER 5 – “HE THINK HE’S FAVRE”
(11) Mathew Stafford – DET Lions
Matthew Stafford is the epitome of the term Gunslinger. He is blessed with a bazooka attached to his right shoulder. He can and will make all the throws into any window imaginable, but sometimes there’s a DB in that window and Stafford hits him in the chest so hard the ball wedges itself into the defenders rib cage. Stafford’s golden arm has luckily saved him from numerous interceptions just for the simple fact he throws it too hard for defenders to handle. Despite losing Calvin “Megatron” Johnson to retirement last offseason, Stafford went out in 2016 and had an excellent season. He led the Lions to 8 wins when they had been trailing at some point in the 4th quarter, tossed a career low 10 interceptions and posted a career high QBR of 71.6. Sadly he suffered a finger injury in Week 13 and the Lions finished the year on a 1-4 slide and missed the playoffs. At least he led the league in awkward gloves worn.
TIER 6 – JOHNNY APPLESEED
(12) Phillip Rivers – LA Chargers
Phillip Rivers was part of the historic 2004 draft that saw himself, Eli Manning, and Big Ben all taken in the first round. More than likely, all three will be enshrined in Canton one day. Also more than likely, only two of them will lead their team to multiple Super Bowl titles. Sorry Phil, you might have more (legitimate) kids then Big Ben and one less chromosome than Eli, but those guys have the jewelry. Rivers may be getting on in years but he can still sling it with the best of them. In 2016, he had his 8th 4000+ yard season of his career. He tossed 33 TDs on the season, but showed a few chinks in the armor by leading the league with 21 interceptions. Rivers is still a player capable of putting up an All-Pro season, he just needs more help around him at this point in his career. In all honesty though, it’s surprising Rivers has anytime for the NFL at all, seeing as he and his lovely wife Tiffany welcomed their 8th child into the fold. That’s right, 8 kids in one house. This isn’t a Antonio Cromartie situation where he just stashes and dashes kids all over the place. Shoot, that dude was still having kids after his vasectomy. Rivers is stuck with almost a whole baseball team full of kids at home. Phillip Rivers, popping kids out like it’s 1899.
TIER 7 – THE KIND OF GUYS JEFF FISCHER COULD GO 7-9 WITH
(13) Kirk Cousins – WSH Redskins
This offseason Kirk Cousins became the first quarterback to ever be franchised two seasons in a row. Despite throwing for over 9000 yards the last two season and leading the Redskins to back to back non-losing seasons, the team has still failed to lock him up. The type of deal he’s looking for would make him one of, if not the highest, paid player in the NFL. The Redskins do not seem to be in a hurry to do that. Now we are going to enter the participation part of our program here ladies and gents. I want you to take a deep breath, and then carefully look at all the players listed above Cousins in this ranking. How many of them do you think are worse than Cousins? If Cousins was your teams QB, how many players on this list would you take over him all things being equal? My guess is that most of you will have a number in your head ranging from 6 to 16 players. Cousins is a fine quarterback; you can go 9-7 with him. He isn’t worth 25 million a year, but there’s a good chance he might get it. As a Redskin fan, “Do you like that?”
(14) Dak Prescott – DAL Cowboys
12 months ago if you’d have asked me where I’d rank Dak Prescott on a list of NFL starting quarterbacks, I would have laughed in your face. Then Prescott went out there in 2016 and stole Tony Romo’s job, and in 2017 will go back for whats left of his soul. When Romo broke himself for the umpteenth time in the preseason, Prescott stepped in and led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record. His life was made much easier with the help of fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliot and one of the leagues best offensive lines. The Cowboys also made thing easier for the young QB. For the season Prescott only attempted 43 passes more than 20 yards down field, and 304 of his 451 passes traveled less than 10 yards down the field. By leaning on the running game, and not forcing him to do too much, Dallas unearthed a fourth round gem and may have found their quarterback of the present and future. It’ll be interesting what adjustments both Prescott and the league make in 2017. It’s also important to note that Prescott isn’t the underdog anymore, but rather the face of the Cowboys. The scrutiny higher, the drug prices are lower. All of Texas is his oyster, the question is, “will he embrace the spotlight, or wilt in the Texas heat?” On a lighter note that should fill Cowboy fans with glee, Prescott fell into Dallas’ lap in the fourth round. The Rams and Eagles gave up a multitude of assets in order to trade up for Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. That’s the equivalent of the Cowboys finding a VanGoh at a yard sale, and the Rams letting Goff finger-paint on his clipboard.
(15) Sam Bradford – MIN Vikings
At the beginning of the 2016 season, the Minnesota Vikings found themselves in quite a pickle. Teddy Bridgewater had just injured himself so badly that some of his teammates vomited uncontrollably at the sight of what was left of his leg. With Bridgewater sidelined for the season and possibly beyond after dislocating and tearing all of the CL’s in his knee, the Vikings needed a quarterback. Since the Eagles had just given up multiple picks to trade up in the draft and select their QB of the future and possible bust of the present Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford was available. The Vikings managed to swindle the Eagles for Bradford, by just giving them a 1st round pick and a conditional 4th rounder that would have risen as high as a second rounder had the Vikings won the Super Bowl. The poor fools in Philly also paid 11 million of Bradford’s 18 million contract for the season. In hindsight, a 1st, a 4th, and $7 million seems like a small price to pay to have Sam Bradford lead you to the promised land of 8-8.
(16) Tyrod Taylor BUF Bills
Tyrod Taylor is pretty good at football. The Buffalo Bills spent the offseason treating him like he was Blake Bortles. He should have left Buffalo. Not just for the way the team had treated him, but because well, it’s Buffalo! Who really wants to be in Buffalo? I’ts cold, it snows in the summer and the Bills haven’t been good since they lost 4 straight Super Bowls. You know you suck when the pinnacle of the franchise is four straight losses. Oh well, Taylor got paid. Count your money Tyrod. Enjoy shoveling your driveway in May.
(17) Ryan Tannehill – MIA Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill is a better QB than most people think. With that being said, he is good, but not great. Over the course of his career, the only favor the Dolphins have done for him was his contract extension. He has never had an elite receiver and the best weapons they have had (Lamar Miller), the team underutilized and miss-used. If the Dolphins continues to upgrade the cast around him, in Adam Gase’s scheme Tannehill could thrive. And if the team continues to give him the David Carr treatment, at least his wife is smoking hot. Always good to have a fall-back plan fellas, remember that.
TIER 8 – THE TRUE “ELI”TE
(18) Eli Manning – NY Giants
Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP. He is somehow 8th on the NFL’s career passing yards list and is winding down on a probable Hall-Of-Fame career. And he’s had that same stupid, mouth agape, confounded look on his face for 13 years now. What really sells it for Eli is the soulless, empty look of hopelessness in his eyes. Looking into his eyes you just get the feeling that he’d rather be anywhere else than on the football field. He reminds you of the kid whose parents made him sign up for the local youth team. The only difference is he got drafted #1 overall in the draft, won two titles and survived 13 years in the media capital of the world. He probably swallowed a whole bunch of flies, though.
TIER 9 – GUYS JEFF FISCHER WOULD STRUGGLE TO GO 7-9 WITH
(19) Andy Dalton – CIN Bengals
Andy Dalton is possibly the most average, plain, run of the mill QB in the whole NFL. The only thing that stands out is that he was born blessed with freakishly red hair. He is also the perfect quarterback to represent the Cincinnati Bengals franchise. Just good enough to get you to the playoffs, just sketchy enough to get you knocked out in the first round.
(20) Joe Flacco – BAL Ravens
Yes Joe Flacco led the Ravens to a Super Bowl, but so did Trent Dilfer. One hot playoffs run doesn’t make you a great player. In fact, since he signed the big contract after that SB MVP season, Flacco’s been pretty awful. This past season Flacco was asked to throw the ball more than he ever had in his entire career, launching 623 passes. Well, launching might be a overstatement. Of his 623 pass attempts, 461 of them traveled less than 10 yards downfield. This was probably a good thing, because Flacco was dreadful when he did go down field this season. On passes traveling more than 20 yards he threw 10 interceptions on only 162 attempts. Flacco was also one of the least clutch QB’s in the league. This season in crunch time (4th Quarter of a game with the score within 7 points), Flacco completed only 57% of his passes with a quarterback rating of just 57.8, threw 3 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. While the Super Bowl run was special, and Flacco has been known to play well in the postseason, he may not be good enough at this point to lead a team there. On the bright side, as long as Brock Osweiler’s around he wont be the most overpaid QB in the league.
(21) Jamies Winston – TB Bucs
Winston does a lot of things good on the football field. He’s a charismatic, natural leader. He seems to have a very good football IQ. His teammates and coaches love having him around. He has above average athleticism. He possesses good, but not elite arm strength. He can make all the throws, as scouts would say. And he was a good enough prospect in college that he was the top pick in the draft despite some very questionable off the field behavior. He is also just 23 years old, and his best football should be in front of him. With all this going for him, why is he so low on this list? Winston is this low because of the thing he doesn’t do well: be accurate with the football. Winston is incredibly inaccurate throwing the football. Much more so than the hard numbers suggest. His footwork tends to get sloppy over the course of a game and this does him no favors. He will routinely sail the ball over receivers heads as well as also place passes behind them. His numbers are helped a great deal by the players around him, Mike Evans specifically. Evans is a giant, mountain of a man. He is what scouts like to call a mistake eraser. When Winston throws the ball to Evans it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is possible for Winston to become a more accurate passer, but it wont be easy.
(22) Alex Smith – KC Chiefs
Did you watch Alex Smith play dodge ball at the Pro Bowl? The guy once went a whole season without throwing a TD to a wide receiver. A whole season! Dontari Poe managed to throw one last year, and he’s a nose-tackle.
(23) Carson Palmer – AZ Cardinals
Carson Palmer looked really old last season. It’s looking like the end of the line is coming up soon. Hopefully for the Cardinals sake he’s got enough gas in the tank to get them through another year.
TIER 10 – THE HONKEY DONKEYS
(24) Brian Hoyer – SF 49ers
Brian Hoyer is sneakily better than you would think. With that said, he still really isn’t all that good. But luckily for him and the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan is a coaching demigod. Despite the coaching choke-job he had in the Super Bowl, Shanahan always seems to get the best out of his quarterbacks, and designs schemes that always seem to end up in the top part of the league. Hoyer will put up some good fantasy numbers, but don’t let that fool you; he still sucks.
(25) Mike Glennon – CHI Bears
Mike Glennon is really good… at being really tall. He has played okay when given the chance, and is probably not too horrible. If given enough weapons and some good coaching he could be serviceable in Chicago.
TIER 11 – YOUNG AND NOT REALLY GOOD
(26) Carson Wentz – PHI Eagles
Carson Wentz was a great story last year. He went 2nd overall in the draft despite playing Div II football at North Dakota State. He is 6’5″ 240lbs and is very athletic and mobile. He has above average arm strength. He looks the part of an NFL quarterback. But he faces a steep leaning curve and it should be noted that he is old for a rookie, tuning 24 during the season. He is actually more than a year older than both Jamies Winston and Marcus Mariota. He is not overly accurate with his passing and often throws behind receivers. And despite his strong arm, he is often awful when he goes downfield. He completed just 43 % of his passes with a TD-INT ratio of 7-9 on all passes over 10 yards. The Eagles are giving him weapons too work with, so for his sake hopefully he’ll improve in year two. I mean, on the bright side, he’s not Jared Goff.
(27) Trevor Siemian – DEN Broncos
Siemian will be fighting Paxton Lynch for the starting spot in Denver. Neither guy is any good; both are pretty Osweileresque. Hopefully one guy plays over his head this year and the team can make a deep playoff run behind their elite defense. No mater what, having these two donkeys is still better than if they would have paid Osweiler.
(28) Jared Goff – LA Rams
Jared Goff didn’t play much as a rookie. When he did play, he was poo. He was the first pick in last years draft and a team traded a lot of assets to move up and get him. This means someone thinks he is talented. I have yet to see it. Sean McVeigh will be tasked with getting the most out of him, which isn’t out of the question considering that while coaching the Redskins he got 9,000 yards out of Kirk Cousins in 2015 and 2016. This is a big year for Goff, and hopefully he spends more of it on the field.
TIER 12 – ONE MORE YEAR OF BLAKE BORTLES
(29) Blake Bortles – JAX Jaguars
Blake Bortles is the ultimate garbage-time performer. Over the last two seasons the majority of his yards and touchdowns have come when his team has been losing by at least a touchdown. He does most of his damage against prevent defenses. He didn’t really get better in his “breakout” 2nd season, but he certainly regressed last year. So far the Jags have declined to pick up his fifth year option. If they’re smart, not letting him start in year 4 might be a better idea.
TIER 13 – THE SUN, BECAUSE WATCHING THEM MAKES MY EYES BURN
(30) Brocky Kessweiler – CLE Browns
The Browns are in full rebuild mode. They have no good answers at quarterback. They brought Osweiler in on a salary dump, and dump is a good way to describe his play last season. They drafted Kessler last year and he far exceeded my expectations by not getting cut. They should draft a player at the position early, but if not there’s always next year, and the year after that, etc.
(31) Whomever Starts For The Jets – NY Jets
The Jets are in bad place, quarterback wise. Josh McCown is about 600 years old and has never been good. Brice Petty is also not good. Christian Hackenberg is so bad that a Jets coach said last year that he couldn’t hit the Ocean from the beach. They should just draft a QB in every round and hope they hit on one of them.
TIER 14 – PLEASE GET TONY ROMO
(NA) Tom Savage – HOU Texans
If Tony Romo plays this season, odds are it will be in Houston. If he can stay on the field the Texans would be a dark horse Super Bowl contender. When he gets hurt again or if he never comes, the Texans are screwed. Tom Savage would probably rank around #30 on this list. If its Romo I’d slot him in around #9. Romo, when healthy is that good. This is one spot to watch when the draft happens as well.
I call them as I see them. Agree or not, these are my rankings. Got a problem with em, come @ me and lets hear your side of the story…