Heading into 2021, there’s a clear number one on pretty much every valid quarterback list: Patrick Mahomes. But beyond him, there are plenty of questions.
So, let’s rank. With the season starting soon, here are the best 15 quarterbacks in the NFL:
(I’m going to exclude Deshaun Watson from this ranking as his status is in question.)
15. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
We don’t know how good Lawrence will be. But he’s the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, and he has the tools to be really good right off the bat.
TREVOR LAWRENCE DIME 😲
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 14, 2021
14. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
His performance was promising last season until his injury. He reportedly struggled early in training camp, but he should shake off the rust.
13. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
At 36, Ryan is getting up there in age, but he’s still productive for a pretty bad Falcons team.
12. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Mayfield benefits from a great situation in Cleveland. He’s had some great games and moments, but he still makes some mistakes and misses some throws.
11. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Like Mayfield, Tannehill has had a good infrastructure around him. He’s been one of the most productive and efficient quarterbacks over the past couple of years with the benefit of offensive talent.
10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
His value as a runner is almost unparalleled, and he performed well as a passer last year as well. He has plenty of room to grow and move up the top 10.
9. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
With Sean McVay’s offense and the Rams’ talent, Stafford could play like an All-Pro this year. He’s been very productive for years despite his often subpar surroundings in Detroit.
8. Justin Herbert, LA Chargers
Herbert’s rookie year was great, and he’ll only get better. He has the arm strength and athleticism to become a truly elite talent.
7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
We all know that Jackson can take over a game with his legs, and while he’s not necessarily an elite passer, he’s underrated with his arm. His production certainly suggests as much.
— NFL (@NFL) August 28, 2021
6. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
For all the criticism, Prescott is consistently one of the league’s best quarterbacks. The offense fell apart without him last year. We’ll see how he rebounds from his major ankle injury.
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
This is where we get into the “yearly MVP candidate” tier. Wilson is a playoff berth unto himself.
4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even in his mid-40s, Brady always finds enough to pull out victories. He was up and down in last season’s playoffs, but great in the Super Bowl.
3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Everything came together for Allen in his third season. He threw 37 touchdowns and generally dominated with his incredible arm strength and mobility. He’ll certainly be one of the MVP favorites.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers produced a vintage 2020 season and won a deserving MVP. Offseason drama notwithstanding, Rodgers is the league’s second-best.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
There isn’t much question here. Mahomes is the class of the league, in a tier of his own.
Mahomes across the body for his second TD pass of the quarter.
— NFL (@NFL) August 28, 2021