A few other media outlets have ranked their Top 10 QBs for the upcoming season, so Rone suggested I follow suit and come up with a list of my own. I put it out on twitter yesterday and it's made for some interesting back & forth. Couple caveats: This does not take into account contracts/values, and we're only talking for one season (2020), not who you'd start a franchise with. So without further ado:
My Top 10 Quarterbacks in the NFL for 2020
1) Patrick Mahomes - money talks and this guy just signed a 10-year extension for half a billion dollars. Absolutely no brainer.
2) Russell Wilson - Russ continues to get it done despite having shaky tools around him. D.K. Metcalf was a big help last season and combined with Tyler Lockett and Greg Olsen and Will Disley who came on towards the end of the season, Russ in a position to take another step forward.
3) Lamar Jackson - The MVP of the league, Madden cover athlete, he got so much better last season, but still came up short in the post-season last year. I don't anticipate that becoming a trend because he's just so damn versatile and seems to have that Mamba Mentality to continue to get better. I wouldn't bet against this guy being even higher next year.
4) Deshaun Watson - He lost one of the best Receivers in football in DeAndre Hopkins, but Deshaun Watson is just clutch. He had it in college taking down Alabama in the Natty (winning National Championships is something I do know something about) and you saw it time and time again last season from Week 1 vs. the Saints to the playoff game vs. a stout Bills defense. I'm interested to see how he does without a stud #1 WR, but I think he's pretty firmly here.
5) Aaron Rodgers - Rodgers had a solid first season under new HC Matt LaFleuer and while GM Brian Gutekunst didn't exactly help him out in the draft taking a backup QB and a backup RB with his first two selections, Davante Adams is still there and is still a bad man. Rodgers will be playing with an even bigger chip on his shoulder this year after the Jordan Love pick, but it'll be interesting to see how his game shifts as the Packers try to turn more into a power running team.
6) Dak Prescott - This is where we see another tier come in. I think Dak is a very good Quarterback. He was so much better once Amari Cooper arrived and now Jason Garrett is gone. I think the Cowboys are primed for a huge season and I think they'd be wise to have locked up Dak a week ago before all the Mahomes numbers came in. I don't think he'll get that much money, but I do think he's an elite Quarterback and one thing you can count on with him is health. Hasn't missed a game his entire career.
7) Tom Brady - The G.O.A.T. Some say his skills are diminishing, but after looking at the tape, it's hard to see a huge drop-off.
He's still got plenty of arm strength, what I see is less of a willingness to stand in and take a huge hit while delivering a ball, which at 42 (43 when the season starts) seems fair. With better weapons around him this season than arguably ever, but at least since the 2007 season, I'm looking forward to seeing TB12 in pewter and red.
8) Drew Brees - He still wins so much before the play even happens. Like Tom he can diagnose where he needs to go with the ball quickly and while not mobile as a running threat, he is very mobile within the pocket and is great at buying time just by climbing and stepping up. The Saints are the team to beat in the NFC.
9) Matt Ryan - While I don't agree he's the best QB in the NFC South (see above), he's still a former MVP and a year removed from a 35 TD 7 INT season. This is a spot where you could arguably flip one of the biggest snubs too.
10) Matthew Stafford - He dealt with some injury issues last year, but had played 16 games in eight consecutive seasons before that. He was playing at a tremendous level last season before injury and full season numbers projected to 38 TDs and 10 INTs. If he can be in that neighborhood in 2020, this rating may be too low.
Outside Looking In:
Carson Wentz - you can certainly make the case he should be in the top 10 and it wouldn't be wrong. But he's only played 16 games in two of his four seasons. The Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round in April for Wentz insurance, so that makes him a little tougher to bet on if we're looking just at one season.
Ben Roethlisberger - Speaking of availability being the best ability, he's only played 16 games once in the past five seasons. Coming off elbow surgery it's tough to predict where he'll actually be. But in 2018 when he played 16 games he threw for 34 TDs vs. 16 INTs. The Steelers carry over a dominant defense so he might not have to do as much as he had in recent seasons, which should help him.
Kyler Murray - The trendiest 'longshot MVP' pick at the moment, he is in my opinion the most exciting player in the NFL. There is nothing he can't do and already has an elite deep ball and is a cheat code at QB running around. I just put out a breakdown on him to highlight his skills which I expect to take a big jump in year 2.
And while you're here, check out the latest episode of Going Deep where Willie Colon & I discuss Patrick Mahomes new deal, what the Eagles should do with DeSean Jackson and talk with Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon about his career, mentoring Cam Newton, and if Russell Wilson is too coddled in Seattle. You can listen here: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher