It’s the most romantic position in US sports and it never fails to bring drama. Most want to be a quarterback when they play football in school. All eyes are on quarterbacks when it comes down to making the key plays in a game of football.
Who’s in the best position when week one comes around? Find out in our list below.
32. Dwayne Haskins
The 15th pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Haskins had a tough rookie season. The Washington Redskins youngster showed why it’s usually not a good idea to just drop rookie quarterbacks into the cauldron. He completed just 58.6 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.
However, the Redskins passed on Alabama QB Tua Tagovaila, showing their faith in Haskins. In reality, after his atrocious first year, it’s time for him to prove his character. With a new coach in town, a second season will make or break him, but let’s hope it’s the former. He may yet rise up this list of starting quarterbacks.
The shadows of superstar quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson still hang over the Chicago Bears and always will. The team infamously traded up to draft Trubisky in 2017, and he’s proven by far the worst of the quarterbacks in that historic draft class. While the Bears signed and could play Nick Foles, Trubisky could also start this season.
But they’ve already declined his fifth-year option so things aren’t looking good for him at all. Trubisky had shoulder surgery during the offseason which could help him get better. His accuracy was way off at times last season. That needs to drastically improve with Foles breathing down his neck. He could still do well because he is still just 25.
It’s a new era for the LA Chargers after the departure of Philip Rivers. While it doesn’t have the earth-shattering impact of Tom Brady leaving the Patriots, this is still huge for this franchise. Instead, Taylor and Justin Herbert will compete for the starting job.
All signs point towards Taylor playing for at least the first half of the season as Herbert acclimatizes to the NFL. Taylor is familiar with the system and has the mobility to outpace defenders. While he has a strong supporting cast, his passing is a concern. Overall he’s a stop-gap option in terms of starting quarterbacks.
Minshew threw for 3,271 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Those aren’t bad rookie numbers but he must do better this year, especially with the pressure on coach Doug Marrone dialed up to max. But one thing Minshew does have is charisma; just look at that mustache.
In short, the Jacksonville Jaguars QB needs to show that they aren’t just going to tank this year. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is an option if the season collapses around them, but Minshew has a strong mentality. He needs an even stronger arm this year. Overall, the man who began “Minshew Mania” isn’t one of the league’s best quarterbacks, but there’s room to rise.
Denver Broncos GM John Elway called Lock their ‘quarterback of the future.’ The future is now, as Lock is their starter this season. Only time will tell how good he actually is after just playing five games in the NFL so far. In those five starts, Lock threw for over 1,000 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
If you triple those statistics you get a rough estimate of what a consistent full season will look like. It’s not bad but not phenomenal either. Fans believe he can be the next Peyton Manning but Lock has a lot to do before he gets anywhere near that exalted status amongst quarterbacks.
Jones enters his second season after bulking up during the offseason. The New York Giants quarterback had a very mixed first year, and they definitely require more from him. His attempt to address his biggest problem of fumbling saw him pack on 10 lbs during the break.
The Giants starter fumbled 18 times, losing 11 in 13 games. The extra weight should be good for his turnovers. Furthermore, he’s excellent at finding receivers in the red zone. There is a decent amount to work with there as long as the turnovers go down. Even for a rookie, 33 giveaways are unacceptable at this level.
Former Alabama signal caller Tua Tavagoila arrives with a lot of hype on his shoulders, but don’t expect to see much of him this season. Instead, the fantastically-bearded Fitzpatrick will likely start to allow the young Hawaiian time to settle. And he should because he was the franchise’s MVP last year.
Fitzpatrick ended the 2019 season with 3,529 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He also led the team in rushing yards. In short, he knows that this is likely his last season as a starter in Miami so the pressure is off. He’ll just go out and have some fun.
Bridgewater was arguably the best backup in the league during his time in New Orleans. But now he’s Cam Newton’s replacement for the Carolina Panthers. Oddschecker.com even favors him to throw more touchdown passes than his predecessor assuming he starts in week one.
That’s possible because Bridgewater has better passing weapons around him, although the Patriots as a complete unit are clearly a better team than the Panthers. Furthermore, Bridgewater is a more methodical quarterback than Newton so it will be interesting to see how the Panthers adapt to this.
Mayfield set the rookie record for passing touchdowns in 2018. So what happened last year? He came into 2019 with so much hype and excitement surrounding him. But that quickly evaporated into disappointment after a shoddy season.
The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback posted a pass completion rate of just 57% in his last four games. However, they struggled with the offensive line and playcalling all season. Now with a fully fit Odell Beckham Jr. beside him, things have to get better. The Browns invested heavily in his protection ahead of the new year, so it’s up to him to get back on track.
The New York Jets are sticking with Darnold after an up-and-down season. On paper, he’s the perfect prototype for a quarterback. However, the reality is that life hasn’t been all that great for him in green. There was the low of a hideous defeat against the Patriots, but he had an excellent game against the Cowboys.
He was very unlucky with injuries and illnesses which is why head coach Adam Gase is sticking with his man. But he really needs to prove this season that he’s got the ability to play at this high level. In short, Darnold has physical gifts but does he have the mental cognition to improve? He simply has to this year.
It’s difficult to power rank somebody who hasn’t even played in the NFL, but Burrow has so much potential. He had a record-breaking year at LSU and now looks to take professional football by storm. He’s the only rookie quarterback who knows he will start in the first game. Not even Tua Tagavoila can say that.
But he is playing for the Cincinnati Bengals so the question is can he prosper under the restrictions of that team? Furthermore, we’ve all seen number one picks who played well in their first year but struggled in the second. Burrow has talent but needs to carry on the momentum from his record-breaking year.
The Los Angeles Raiders are by no means a perfect team, but they have upgraded their offensive weapons for this season. With the additions of Henry Ruggs III and Lynn Bowden Jr, as well as Josh Jacobs heading into his second year, quarterback Derek Carr has some fine weapons around him now.
Carr has improved over the past couple of seasons under John Gruden’s stewardship. The team believes in Carr, at least for one more season. He is just the fifth quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards in all of his first six seasons in the league. This is a big year for him.
The other veteran quarterback to move during the offseason, Rivers played the past 235 games for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. Now, the six-time Pro Bowler has joined the Indianapolis Colts, where, at the age of 38, he hopes to end his career on a high.
However, many critics called on him to retire after a season where Rivers threw 20 interceptions. His signing is definitely a risk, but most people agree that he is better than Jacoby Brissett. To sum up, this one could go either way. A fresh start could either revive Rivers or expose him.
Allen is one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills have genuine aspirations to win the AFC East this year but still require a lot of things to go their way from the very start. Allen looks even more prepared than before, after packing on more muscle to his frame to withstand the hits inevitably coming his way.
Not many quarterbacks have such a powerful physique, but he does still have flaws in his game. Most notably, Allen needs to improve his throwing accuracy. He isn’t under severe pressure because he has such a great team around him, but after ranking just 31st in adjusted completion rate, he needs to be more technical.
Goff had a down 2019. He threw for over 4,600 yards last year but had just 22 touchdowns to 16 picks. The Rams did rue the absence of a consistent running game and the offensive line’s terrible play contributed to these low numbers, but Goff simply has to do more in 2020.
Unfortunately, his 2016 draft alumnus Carson Wentz always overshadows him. When the latter does well, the pressure is on Goff as that year’s number one pick to prove his worth. In short, his bad throw rate desperately needs to improve as it was the sixth worse in the NFL last season.
It will be very exciting to see what Murray does this season after a stellar rookie year. The Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback was excellent throughout the last term and was even a Pro Bowl alternate. In 2019, he racked up 3,722 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
However, he needs to at the very least replicate that form this year or he’ll lose some of the goodwill around him. Just ask Baker Mayfield how fickle NFL fans can be when you start to struggle. Murray definitely has the potential to be something very special.
Newton only played a couple of games last season. Naturally gifted, he can drive this franchise forward if he stays fit and focused. In sum, if he can get anywhere close to his MVP form then the Patriots are onto a winner. He might not be their long-term fix, but he’s certainly an excellent short-term option at the very least.
Jarrett Stidham is convincing nobody of his ability to be a starting quarterback for New England. Newton has the opportunity to follow in the path of a legend. Bill Belichick and the Pats might have played this one perfectly. It’s definitely one of the most interesting quarterback stories of the year.
Some might call this wishful thinking, but ‘Big Ben’ will want to have a massive season. An elbow injury effectively wrote him off last year, but now he’s back and ready to drive the Pittsburgh Steelers to glory. At least, that’s the plan, but we know it isn’t so simple.
Roethlisberger took to the field for only six quarters last year, completing 56% of his attempts for 351 yards and an interception before the injury. But now, back to full fitness and with Juju Smith-Schuster and James Conner both ready to go, things are looking up in Pittsburgh.
Fair or unfair, the pressure is mounting on Garoppolo to step it up in San Francisco. A lot of this stems from Garoppolo missing his throw to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. There are also a lot of questions about his ability under pressure.
However, to be fair, a knee injury did hamper him against the Packers, and he was still recovering. Furthermore, Garoppolo finished the 2019 season with 3,978 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Will 2020 be a defining year for the polarizing player?
Ryan is a brilliant quarterback and continues to play at an extremely high level year after year. The former NFL MVP has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his past nine seasons. That level of output is simply extraordinary. But is he on the decline?
Opponents sacked the 35-year-old 48 times in 2019, the most in his NFL career so far. Ryan ended the season with 4,466 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions as the Falcons finished with a 7–9 record. Those numbers suggest that it’s the Falcons at fault, not Ryan.
If you want dependability, then Prescott is definitely your man. He hasn’t missed a game in four seasons, establishing a 40-24 record in that timeframe. With the right weapons around him, Prescott is a highly effective quarterback. However, the Cowboys haven’t paid him yet so they may stick him with the franchise tag.
Prescott finished last season with 4,902 passing yards (2nd in the league), 30 touchdowns (4th most), and 11 interceptions. Those are fine numbers but the big question is always about his contract. He and Dallas have gone back and forth about a long-term deal and he’ll play 2020 on the franchise tag.
It might seem harsh but a lot of people don’t have much faith in Cousins’ ability to grow. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback had a fine 2019, but can he break through another ceiling? The Vikings just drafted Justin Jefferson, so he has another exciting young weapon beside him.
One of his main criticisms is that he isn’t really an improviser. But is it really fair to call this a fault when he’s so consistent? Sure, he might not often pull off a spectacular play out of nowhere, but there’s nothing wrong with doing things by the book.
Fractures in his back ended Stafford’s season early but before that he was on fire. He was even on track for a 5,000-yard season which just goes to show how consistent he was. A one-time Pro Bowler, Stafford has been steady as a rock for the Detroit Lions.
Stafford was also on track to complete 600 passing attempts in 2019 before his injury got in the way. If he did that this year it would be the first time since his lone Pro Bowl campaign. However Darrell Bevell plans to spread the offense this year, so it will be interesting to see how his numbers fluctuate.
We might be a bit too kind to put Brady up this high because the reality is nobody knows how good he’ll be this season. It’s his first term with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is exciting. Furthermore, his name value alone guarantees him the starting quarterback position.
However, last season wasn’t that great for him. He’s 42 now and time is a fickle friend to high-level athletes. No Bill Belichick means that he wants to win even more than before. Who knows how long he has left? Enjoy him while you can because this is going to be a fascinating year.
All of a sudden, Tannehill is a top 10 quarterback. The Tennessee Titans star helped his team blaze into the playoffs last year, but they fell short against the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC title. In short, that’s why they rewarded him with a four-year, $118 million extension.
Tannehill led the league and set franchise-records with a 117.5 quarterback rating and 9.6 yards per attempt. However, the big question is what happens if Derrick Henry leaves? A great running back brings the best out of your quarterback. Just how good would he look without that kind of support?
Wentz could rise up this list if he continues how he ended last season. Furthermore, there’s no reason why he can’t because the Philidelphia Eagles definitely have quicker options next to him now. But we’re here to rave about Wentz and it’s very easy to do.
Undisputably the Eagles’ starting quarterback, Wentz was brilliant last time out. He became the first quarterback in franchise history to pass for at least 4,000 yards. If Jadeveon Clowney’s helmet hadn’t ended his season, who knows what could have happened?
It will be interesting to see how Watson’s statistics change with the loss of DeAndre Hopkins. The Houston Texans star has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the past couple of seasons. He isn’t quite yet in the class of those above him in these rankings, but he’s still a very fine player.
Watson has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. However, he is already the only player in NFL history with 25 touchdowns passes and five touchdown runs in back-to-back seasons. The big question is whether or not he can take the next step. Many think he’s the best quarterback in Texans’ history.
Rodgers is not happy about the current Jordan Love situation, but it could be a stroke of genius by the Packers. In truth, he hasn’t been among the best quarterbacks for the past couple of seasons, a position he once topped with ease. However, this could light a fire underneath him and inspire him back to his brilliance.
At the age of 36, Rodgers will be desperate to get back close to Super Bowl contention. He obviously has personal qualities but are the Packers strong enough? Furthermore, with Love breathing down his neck, Rodgers is under more pressure than ever before in his career.
The last four games of 2019 show that Brees still has a lot to give. He threw for over 1,100 yards with 15 touchdowns and no interceptions. Don’t forget that this man is 41 years old. In sum, he’s like a vintage wine; just getting better with age. The New Orleans Saints are lucky to have him and he is certainly among the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
Of course, he can’t play forever, but the veteran is still better than many quarterbacks half of his age in the NFL. As well as his brilliant arm, he also has the experience and maturity to help his franchise towards the Super Bowl. But hopefully, he hasn’t divided his locker room with his controversial take on kneeling during the anthem.
Wilson is a quarterback in his prime. The Seattle Seahawks star doesn’t run as much these days but his passing is as crisp as ever. His excellent 2019 went under the radar because of the two names above him in these rankings. Overall, Wilson is a class act who also has maturity.
In sum, the 31-year-old is a surefire future Hall of Famer. Furthermore, the offense around him last season underwhelmed, taking the gloss off of his personal excellence. But now, in his ninth year in the NFL, it could be the time when he enters his best form.
2019 was a stellar individual season for Jackson. However, the NFL MVP will want to go even further this time. In truth, you could have Wilson and Jackson side-by-side because they are so good. But we’re choosing to put Jackson at number two because he’s just so exciting.
Last year, he threw for 3,127 yards with 36 touchdowns and rushed for another 1,200 yards. Those are tremendous numbers. The Ravens have also added to their defense this season with the likes of Calais Campbell. A stronger team will only help him to flourish.
After a Super Bowl-winning season with the Kansas City Chiefs, Mahomes is looking to carry on where he left off. He just signed the biggest contract in sports history this week with a 10-year extension worth up to a reported $503 million. If the Chiefs repeat the feat, Mahomes will be the first quarterback since Tom Brady to win back-to-back Super Bowls. It would be quite a feat.
Lamar Jackson is close but nobody else is on his level right now. Of course, things may change as the season progresses but it will take a lot. In 2019, Mahomes threw for the seventh-most yards in a season (4,031) in Chiefs history despite missing two-and-a-half games because of an injury. He’ll hope to get back above 5,000 in 2020, but stats only mean so much. He won the Super Bowl MVP in 2019 after winning league MVP in his first year as a starter the prior season.