Four summers ago, I got into an argument with a Facebook friend about Russell Wilson being a top-three NFL quarterback. That, plus Ron Jaworski's quarterback list got me thinking about making a power ranking for signal-callers. I figured it would be nice to have this as a yearly feature during the summer. So, here it is. If you disagree with anything on here, leave a comment below. Note that I'm grading the starters of each team only, so don't be confused if a talented backup is left off the list.
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32. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins. 2019 Ranking: 32. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Dwayne Haskins had some rough performances in his rookie year, particularly against the Giants and Vikings. However, he improved as the season progressed and played well at times down the stretch. The offensive line will have a big say in how well Haskins does in 2020, as the Redskins will be starting a fourth-round rookie at left tackle.
31. Justin Herbert, Chargers. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Justin Herbert isn't the starting quarterback of the Chargers at the moment, but he'll get the nod soon, so I'm listing him here instead of Tyrod Taylor. Herbert has terrific upside, but his pocket awareness and football IQ need to rise for him to be a solid starter in the NFL.
30. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
I debated whether or not to rank Tua Tagovailoa or Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Dolphins' quarterback. There's a chance Tagovailoa may not see the field until 2021 because of his devastating injury late last season, but he's the future of the Dolphins. Tagovaila projects to have Russell Wilson-type upside, so he could certainly be in the top 10 of these rankings in a future season. However, given that Tagovailoa may not play in 2020, he has to be ranked near the bottom for now.
29. Gardner Minshew, Jaguars. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Gardner Minshew is an exciting quarterback who has made some incredible plays during his rookie year. Those, unfortunately, were few and far between, as Minshew had some severe struggles at times. Minshew should be better with more experience, but outside of D.J. Chark and the to-be-traded Leonard Fournette, he doesn't have much to work with, including a poor offensive line.
28. Drew Lock, Broncos. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Drew Lock had some bright moments as a rookie, but also struggled at times. Lock has great upside, but is raw and may not be ready to be a consistent performer. Not having a full offseason is huge, though Lock will have a pair of dynamic receivers - Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy - at his disposal. With Sutton and Jeudy as Lock's primary weapons, we'll quickly discover just how good Lock is.
27. Sam Darnold, Jets. 2019 Ranking: 15. 2018 Ranking: 30. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Sam Darnold showed great improvement at the end of his rookie season, which gave me hope that he would have a great sophomore campaign. Instead, Darnold was infected with mono after some sketchy off-the-field ventures and then saw "ghosts" in an embarrassing Monday night loss to the Patriots. Darnold had some bright moments in 2019, but his stock is way down at the moment.
26. Ryan Tannehill, Titans. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: 24. 2017 Ranking: 19. 2016 Ranking: 26. 2015 Ranking: 14.
Some would say that Ryan Tannehill led the Titans to the AFC Championship. He obviously quarterbacked them, but the running game, offensive line and defense had a big say in the team's success. With Jack Conklin gone, Tannehill's protection won't be as good in 2020, so there's a very good chance for regression this upcoming year.
25. Derek Carr, Raiders. 2019 Ranking: 24. 2018 Ranking: 14. 2017 Ranking: 5. 2016 Ranking: 18. 2015 Ranking: 26.
Derek Carr is very frustrating. He's hesitant to take downfield shots even though they are available, which makes it puzzling as to why Mike Mayock used his initial first-round pick on Henry Ruggs. Furthermore, Carr's toughness has been called into question. It shouldn't surprise anyone if Marcus Mariota takes his job at some point in 2020.
24. Nick Foles, Bears. 2019 Ranking: 16. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: 20.
The Jaguars must have been shocked that the Bears were willing to surrender real assets for Nick Foles and his horrendous contract. Foles was a failure in his one season in Jacksonville, failing to win any of his three starts. Granted, Foles broke his collarbone and may not have been the same upon his return, but he's never succeeded in the NFL unless he's been surrounded by a great supporting cast.
23. Jared Goff, Rams. 2019 Ranking: 14. 2018 Ranking: 19. 2017 Ranking: 30. 2016 Ranking: 29. 2015 Ranking: --.
Jared Goff was brilliant in 2017 and 2018, but he's been exposed for what he really is. Goff was a byproduct of great coaching (Sean McVay, Greg Olson) as well as an elite offensive line. Goff, however, has lost Olson and some key blockers in recent seasons, which would explain a major decline in his production. Goff needs everything to be perfect because of his low football IQ, poor pocket awareness and shaky accuracy. Things haven't improved this offseason, so Goff will continue to struggle at times.
22. Kirk Cousins, Vikings. 2019 Ranking: 19. 2018 Ranking: 15. 2017 Ranking: 16. 2016 Ranking: 19. 2015 Ranking: --.
Kirk Cousins came up big in a playoff game, which was a change of pace for a quarterback who has often come up small in the clutch. He beat the Saints in overtime, but then struggled mightily against the 49ers the following week. Cousins is as pedestrian as it gets, and his numbers will likely decrease if Justin Jefferson can't replace Stefon Diggs' production immediately.
21. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers. 2019 Ranking: 17. 2018 Ranking: 11. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Jimmy Garoppolo led some nice victories late in games last year, but he also got himself into trouble at times. Garoppolo's biggest problem was holding on to the ball too long in the pocket. Garoppolo's inability to score in the fourth quarter killed the 49ers, so he'll need to play better in 2020 despite the departure of Emmanuel Sanders.
20. Baker Mayfield, Browns. 2019 Ranking: 13. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Baker Mayfield had a stellar rookie campaign, throwing for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns despite not playing in the first two games of the season. Mayfield, however, took a big step backward in his second year despite having Odell Beckham Jr. at his disposal. The biggest problem for Mayfield was poor protection, so I like his chances of rebounding now that Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin are his tackles.
19. Dak Prescott, Cowboys. 2019 Ranking: 25. 2018 Ranking: 21. 2017 Ranking: 12. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Dak Prescott has played behind a great offensive line for most of his career. He's been exposed when some of the blockers have been injured, making it understandable that Jerry Jones is hesitant to pay him. I imagine Jones will give Prescott the Kirk Cousins treatment that the Redskins utilized, franchising him several times so Jones can bide his time.
18. Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: 16. 2015 Ranking: 15.
It was nice to see Teddy Bridgewater play well in 2019. It seemed likely that Bridgewater's career was ruined when he suffered a devastating knee injury ahead of the 2016 campaign. Bridgewater didn't look very good in brief stints prior to last year, but he thrived when starting in favor of an injured Drew Brees. It remains to be seen if Bridgewater will continue to perform well without Sean Payton, but he'll certainly have a nice supporting cast in Carolina.
17. Joe Burrow, Bengals. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Joe Burrow had an incredible final season at LSU, culminating with a dominating performance in the college football playoff. There was no way he wasn't going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It'll be shocking if Burrow busts. While his arm strength isn't elite, he's very accurate and smart, and he also scrambles very well. His upside projects to Drew Brees with mobility.
16. Daniel Jones, Giants. 2019 Ranking: --. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Daniel Jones had a roller-coaster rookie campaign last year. He was brilliant at times, but also had some poor moments, mostly with his poor ball security. This was to be expected from a rookie quarterback who didn't have a great offensive line blocking for him. There's much cause for optimism, however, as Jones will be much better with more experience and Andrew Thomas shielding him from opposing pass rushers. I believe Jones will make a big leap in 2020.
15. Matthew Stafford, Lions. 2019 Ranking: 18. 2018 Ranking: 12. 2017 Ranking: 9. 2016 Ranking: 13. 2015 Ranking: 15.
Matthew Stafford is one of the toughest quarterbacks to rank this year because it's unclear how his back will hold up. Stafford's troublesome back could cause him to retire early, much like Andrew Luck did last summer. Then again, Stafford could be 100 percent, and if so, he may lead the Lions to a divisional title in the weak NFC North.
14. Cam Newton, Patriots. 2019 Ranking: 10. 2018 Ranking: 8. 2017 Ranking: 8. 2016 Ranking: 5. 2015 Ranking: 11.
Cam Newton is extremely difficult to rank because it's not clear how healthy he is. It might be good enough that Bill Belichick has taken a chance on him, but it's not like the Patriots have paid him very much. Newton still has Pro Bowl upside, but he has a very low floor in 2020 as well.
13. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers. 2019 Ranking: 12. 2018 Ranking: 9. 2017 Ranking: 10. 2016 Ranking: 4. 2015 Ranking: 4.
I mentioned below that Matthew Stafford is one of the toughest quarterbacks to rank on this list. The same applies to Ben Roethlisberger. He's returning from his elbow injury that caused him to miss all but two games in 2019. It's unclear if he'll be 100 percent. He may be, but then again, he's nearing 40, so it might be difficult for him to revert to his former self.
12. Philip Rivers, Colts. 2019 Ranking: 7. 2018 Ranking: 6. 2017 Ranking: 7. 2016 Ranking: 7. 2015 Ranking: 7.
Despite Philip Rivers' 4,615 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 66.0 completion percentage and 7.8 YPA, some are saying that the long-time Charger quarterback is done. Perhaps that's the case - Rivers turns 39 in December - but it's worth noting that the Chargers' offensive line was horrendous last year. Rivers simply had no chance. That won't be the case in Indianapolis, where Rivers is expected to be a big upgrade at quarterback.
11. Kyler Murray, Cardinals. 2019 Ranking: 22. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Kyler Murray proved that his height wasn't an issue during his rookie year, as he completed 64.4 percent of his passes and maintained a 20:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Murray was inconsistent, which was hardly a surprise because he had no experience and didn't have great blocking in front of him. If the offensive line can stay healthy, Murray will be much better in 2020, especially with DeAndre Hopkins serving as a new No. 1 target.
10. Josh Allen, Bills. 2019 Ranking: 29. 2018 Ranking: 31. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Josh Allen was a raw passer with great mobility as a rookie, but he made a big leap in his second season. His completion percentage jumped six points, while his touchdown-to-interception ratio improved from 10:12 to 20:9. He'll be even better in his third year, especially now that he'll have Stefon Diggs at his disposal.
9. Matt Ryan, Falcons. 2019 Ranking: 9. 2018 Ranking: 7. 2017 Ranking: 4. 2016 Ranking: 16. 2015 Ranking: 10.
Time is running out for Matt Ryan, who is somehow 35 years old already. Ryan posted terrific stats last year, but much of that came in garbage time in the first half of the season. Ryan's offensive line let him down, but there's hope that the blocking will improve in 2020, now that Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary will have experience. Ryan should continue to play very well, but he needs some more help.
8. Carson Wentz, Eagles. 2019 Ranking: 5. 2018 Ranking: 3. 2017 Ranking: 15. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
It's truly amazing that Carson Wentz led the Eagles to the playoffs last year. Despite countless injuries to his receivers and offensive line, Wentz had strong showings down the stretch to clinch the NFC East. He may have had a chance to advance deep into the playoffs, but a concussion ruined things. Wentz's bugaboo is his injury history, but if he can overcome that, he may eventually emerge as a top-three quarterback once again in the NFL.
7. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens. 2019 Ranking: 23. 2018 Ranking: --. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Robert Griffin and Vince Young were both Pro Bowl scrambling quarterbacks when they began their careers, yet their play plummeted after their hot starts. I do not expect Lamar Jackson to suffer a similar fate. Unlike Griffin and Young, Jackson works tirelessly to improve his game, so while his mobility will decline as the years pass by and the injuries mount, his passing ability will continue to be upgraded.
6. Drew Brees, Saints. 2019 Ranking: 6. 2018 Ranking: 4. 2017 Ranking: 6. 2016 Ranking: 8. 2015 Ranking: 12.
Drew Brees turned 41 this offseason, so even though he has stated that he wants to play until he's 45, regression will arrive at some point in the near future. However, Brees' playing style makes him resistant to age regression. He has a tremendous supporting cast and great coaching staff, so Brees is set up for yet another huge year.
5. DeShaun Watson, Texans. 2019 Ranking: 11. 2018 Ranking: 10. 2017 Ranking: 24. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
It's truly amazing that Deshaun Watson can repeatedly lead his team to the playoffs despite quarterbacking a franchise run by Bill O'Brien. Not only is O'Brien an incompetent coach; he has diminished Watson's roster with his horrible management. Watson now won't have DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal, so 2020 will be the ultimate test for Watson. Perhaps it'll be better for the long term if Watson fails this season, which could finally prompt Houston to fire O'Brien.
4. Aaron Rodgers, Packers. 2019 Ranking: 3. 2018 Ranking: 2. 2017 Ranking: 1. 2016 Ranking: 1. 2015 Ranking: 1.
Aaron Rodgers was one victory away from reaching the Super Bowl last year. His receiving corps was terrible outside of Davante Adams, so logic dictated that the Packer front office would find him more help. Instead, the opposite happened, as the Packers wasted their first-round pick on Rodgers' replacement. Perhaps they know that Rodgers isn't quite the quarterback he once was, but there's no doubt that Rodgers still belongs near the top of this list.
3. Tom Brady, Buccaneers. 2019 Ranking: 1. 2018 Ranking: 1. 2017 Ranking: 2. 2016 Ranking: 6. 2015 Ranking: 8.
Tom Brady saw a decline in production last year, but he was playing with the worst receiving corps in the NFL once Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon were no longer on the team. Brady, who will be more determined than ever to succeed, should have a great year throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. He turns 43 in August, but it would be foolish to doubt the GOAT, especially when he's out to prove that he can win without Bill Belichick.
2. Russell Wilson, Seahawks. 2018 Ranking: 4. 2017 Ranking: 3. 2016 Ranking: 2. 2015 Ranking: 3.
Russell Wilson is a wizard on the football field. What he does in terms of maneuvering around the pocket, and either finding open lanes to pass through or picking up yardage on the ground is just amazing. Wilson is also a winner; if the Seahawks are behind entering the fourth quarter, they can easily generate a comeback victory via Wilson's play-making. Wilson, unfortunately, is shielded by one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, and this could get him hurt in the near future. Wilson has never missed a game, but he's certainly at major risk for an injury.
I wrote this three years ago, and it still applies with the Seahawks seemingly unwilling to fix their offensive line aside from the Duane Brown trade. Wilson somehow hasn't gotten hurt - he has yet to miss a single game in his pro career - but I'm fearful an injury is coming. Despite the offensive line struggles, Wilson somehow always gets his team to the playoffs.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs. 2019 Ranking: 2. 2018 Ranking: 16. 2017 Ranking: --. 2016 Ranking: --. 2015 Ranking: --.
Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL, and there's no doubting that. He has no weaknesses. He has a rocket arm, great accuracy, dangerous mobility, infectious leadership, a very high football IQ and a tireless work ethic. It's scary to think that Mahomes has just two years of starting experience. Imagine how good he'll be when he has even more starts under his belt. Mahomes has the potential to go down as the greatest quarterback of all time.
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