The National Football League is a league that is totally dependent on its star quarterbacks. Each team that has a legit starting quarterback has a real chance to win each and every Sunday, while teams that have sub-par quarterback play usually are hung out to dry most weeks. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers are always able to compete for the playoffs every season because they have such solid and dependable quarterback play. But there is one thing that no team can ever prepare for and this is injuries. Injuries are a part of football, but injuries to a starting quarterback can be completely demoralizing to a teams success.
Because of this, it's important for teams to have solid quarterback depth so that they can have somebody step in and carry the load for however long the starter is out. But building quarterback depth is much easier said than done. There are only so many starting caliber quarterbacks available in the world, so any team that has one as a backup should feel comfortable about their situation. So which teams are in a good position quarterback wise heading into the 2018 NFL season? There are definitely some teams that are better suited for unforeseeable circumstances than others. This list takes a look at each teams quarterback depth chart and ranks them from worst to best. Where does your team fall? Do you have faith in their quarterback situation?
32 Buffalo Bills
QB's on roster: A.J. McCarron, Josh Allen, & Nathan Peterman
After moving on from Tyrod Taylor, the Buffalo Bills brought in A.J. McCarron and Josh Allen this offseason to help find a future franchise quarterback. McCarron showed signs of being a starter during his brief stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, including decent play in a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but overall McCarron is best suited as a backup QB.
Josh Allen has the strongest arm in the 2018 draft, but he is wildly inaccurate in the pocket and will take years to develop. Lastly, Nathan Peterman has looked terrible in limited action, as he threw 5 interceptions in one half in his only NFL start.
31 Miami Dolphins
QBs on roster: Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, & Bryce Petty
If Ryan Tannehill can return to form in 2018, there will be more reason for optimism in Miami. But if Tannehill comes back and continues to struggle, it's going to signal a long and depressing rebuild for the Dolphins franchise.
To show just how bad their quarterback situation is right now, the Dolphins chose to sign Brock Osweiler to be the backup.
That is a recipe for disaster... just look at everywhere else that Brock has been a backup before. This is not a good situation for Miami.
30 Jacksonville Jaguars
QBs on roster: Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler, & Tanner Lee
The Jacksonville Jaguars were a better quarterback away from possibly competing in the Super Bowl in 2017, but sadly Blake Bortles just was not good enough as the starter last season. Despite the struggles at quarterback, the Jaguars were still able to make it to the AFC Championship.
The Jaguars defense is incredible and only requires average quarterback play, so it was surprising to see them not make a run at a different quarterback, even just for backup purposes. Will Bortles cost the Jaguars another chance next season? Time will tell.
29 Cincinnati Bengals
QBs on roster: Andy Dalton & Matt Barkley
Something has to change in Cincinnati, as this team is not capable of winning a championship or likely even competing for playoffs under it's current makeup. The Bengals should have fired head coach Marvin Lewis this offseason, but they decided to allow one final run with the roster they have, including quarterback Andy Dalton.
Dalton has not been an impressive quarterback over the last several seasons.
With A.J. McCarron now in Buffalo, the Bengals' last option is journeyman Matt Barkley. Things could get very ugly in Cincy in 2018.
28 New York Jets
QBs on roster: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, & Teddy Bridgewater
This may be the strangest quarterback room in the league right now as they have a clear cut veteran in Josh McCown who will still want to be the starter in 2018. They have the #3 overall pick in Sam Darnold, who was drafted after an impressive career at USC and looks to be the quarterback of the future.
Then they also have Teddy Bridgewater who just three years ago was thought of the franchise face for the Minnesota Vikings. Now healthy, Bridgewater will also be looking for the chance to see the field as much as possible. The competition should at least make the preseason interesting in New York.
27 Dallas Cowboys
QBs on roster: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, & Mike White
As a rookie, Dak Prescott impressed the entire league with his play-making and decision making ability, but he regressed in year two as the Cowboys offense was unable to consistently move the ball down the field. It didn't help that the Cowboys were without running back Ezekiel Elliott for much of last season either. But eventually, Prescott is going to have to show that he is the man in Dallas and can do it without an all-league rushing attack. He needs to be better, because the Cowboys have practically zero quarterback depth behind him in Cooper Rush and Mike White.
26 Kansas City Chiefs
QBs on roster: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne & Matt McGloin
This time next year, the Kansas City Chiefs could be ranked in the top 10 of the quarterback depth chart list if new starter Patrick Mahomes lives up to the massive potential he has.
The Chiefs and head coach Andy Reid are betting on it happening as they have already traded away long-time starter Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins.
Mahomes is often compared to a young Brett Favre with his big arm and wild decision making.
This is a major boom or bust decision for the Chiefs and we will see how it plays out in 2018.
25 Denver Broncos
QBs on roster: Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch & Chad Kelly
Case Keenum thrived last season when he filled in as the starting quarterback after Sam Bradford was injured. All Keenum did as a fill in was lead the Vikings to the NFC Championship game where they ultimately lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. Keenum was good for the Vikings, but clearly they still wanted an upgrade as they sought out Kirk Cousins and let Keenum walk this offseason.
The Broncos, who also wanted Cousins, settled for Keenum. It's unlikely Keenum plays as well as he did under offensive guru Pat Shurmur in Minnesota, so it could be interesting in Denver this year. Oh, and Paxton Lynch is a bust.
24 Cleveland Browns
QBs on roster: Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield, & Drew Stanton
Honestly, this group deserves to be ranked much higher than this, but because they are the Cleveland Browns it's impossible to justify a higher ranking until they prove it in Cleveland. It's assumed that Tyrod Taylor will start the season as the starter, but he's not the long-term option at this point. He will be a good backup to Baker Mayfield whenever that switch ultimately occurs. Third stringer Drew Stanton is one of the more solid backup quarterbacks in the league and has a winning record as a starter for the Cardinals over the past 5 seasons.
23 Chicago Bears
QBs on roster: Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, & Tyler Bray
The Chicago Bears quarterback situation is just kind of "bleh" right now. There is some reason for excitement in Mitchel Trubisky, but he really hasn't shown enough to prove that he is playoff caliber quarterback yet.
The Bears acquired a solid backup when they signed veteran Chase Daniel away from the New Orleans Saints.
Chi-town fans, however, better hope that Trubisky improves and there is no need to play Daniel next season. This is a big year in the Bears' rebuilding process.
22 Houston Texans
QBs on roster: Deshaun Watson, Brandon Weeden, & Joe Webb
The Texans are in an interesting situation quarterback wise because they have a bonafide superstar at the position in Deshaun Watson if he can return to his pre-injury production level in 2018. Watson lit the NFL world on fire as a rookie last season before suffering his knee injury. If he can return to form, all is good in Texas. But if he does not, the Texans will have to turn to either Brandon Weeden (how in the world is he still in the NFL?) or Joe Webb. Neither of those two should inspire much confidence.
21 Tennessee Titans
QBs on roster: Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert & Luke Falk
The Tennessee Titans were a team that were completely built around their rushing attack in 2017 and for good reason since they had two lead backs in DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Those two would bully opposing defenses, which would ultimately open up big passing lanes for Mariota and his receivers. This year, it'll be Henry and Dion Lewis hoping to do the same.
Mariota has shown flashes of brilliance in his young career, but he's too inconsistent. Backup Blaine Gabbert will never live up to his pre-draft hype and rookie Luke Falk is a long-term project.
20 San Francisco 49ers
QBs on roster: Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard & Nick Mullens
After starting the season 0-9, the San Francisco 49ers turned to their new prize trade piece in Jimmy Garoppolo (aka Jimmy G) and he helped them reel off 5 straight wins.
Much is expected out of Jimmy G because of his impressive win streak to end the season last year, but it's important to remember that Jimmy G is still pretty inexperienced and could suffer regression.
No matter how he does on the field, he's the only real starting option for the 49ers heading into the upcoming season.
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QBs on roster: Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick & Ryan Griffin
Last season was supposed to be a breakout season for Jameis Winston, but sadly famous Jameis didn't live up to the hype. Injuries and inconsistent play derailed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2017 season and could do so again in 2018 if history repeats itself. The Bucs have backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is solid, but he is extremely frustrating to watch play. The entire Bucs room is decent, but they need Winston to take a step forward in 2018 to deserve this ranking.
18 Carolina Panthers
QBs on roster: Cam Newton, Garrett Gilbert & Taylor Heinicke
The Carolina Panthers have Superman at quarterback in Cam Newton. They better hope for their fans sake that Newton is unable to get injured like Superman, because if they lose Newton they are done. The team had Derek Anderson as their backup QB for several seasons and he actually played really well when forced into emergency duty. Currently that role falls on the inexperienced shoulders of Garrett Gilbert. Expect them to sign Anderson before the season begins, however, as Gilbert is not an NFL quality quarterback.
17 Los Angeles Rams
QBs on roster: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion & Brandon Allen
It's Jared Goff or bust in Hollywood next season as there is not a whole lot of depth in the Los Angeles quarterback room.
Fortunately for Rams fans, Goff is a pretty great option if he can remain healthy all season.
He has a great surrounding cast and one of the brightest young coaches in the NFL. All that sits behind him though on the depth chart currently is Sean Mannion. The Rams are a stacked football team, but they are one significant injury to Goff away from being pretenders in 2018.
16 Indianapolis Colts
QBs on roster: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, & Brad Kaaya
It seems that Andrew Luck is going to finally play in the NFL again. He is on track to start this season. This ranking is solely dependent on Luck finally being healthy again, because he's the only hope the Colts have at this point. Backup Jacoby Brissett proved himself to be just that, a solid backup. But it would be a long season if Brissett is forced to start the majority of games again in 2018.
15 Seattle Seahawks
QBs on roster: Russell Wilson & Austin Davis
The only reason why the Seattle Seahawks are ranked in this top 15 is because of the pure talent and confidence that Russell Wilson exudes on every single Sunday. Wilson is incredible and is undervalued around the league. The past two seasons, the Seahawks should have won less than 5 games, but Wilson essentially willed them to victory on his own numerous times. If anything happens to Wilson, however, the Seahawks are done for as their only other option is the uninspiring Austin Davis.
14 Los Angeles Chargers
QBs on roster: Philip Rivers, Cardale Jones, & Geno Smith
Longtime Los Angeles Chargers starter Philip Rivers is nearing the end of his lengthy career, but that doesn't mean he won't be as competitive as always in 2018.
Rivers is as fiery of a quarterback as the league has ever seen and is on a quest to finally bring the Chargers to the Super Bowl.
Very few quarterbacks have been as durable as Rivers throughout his career so one would expect him to play all 16 games again. The backups are fun projects in Cardale Jones and Geno Smith.
13 Oakland Raiders
QBs on roster: Derek Carr, Connor Cook & EJ Manuel
Last season was definitely a major disappointment for the Oakland Raiders and especially for their young star quarterback Derek Carr. This offseason, the Raiders retooled by adding a new head coach in Jon Gruden and two playmaking receivers in Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant. This could be a big year for Carr. Fortunately for the Raiders, if Carr struggles again or suffer's an injury, Gruden should be able to turn Connor Cook or EJ Manuel into a stable backup option.
12 Washington Redskins
QBs on roster: Alex Smith, Colt McCoy & Kevin Hogan
The Washington Redskins made a major change this offseason when they traded for Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs. They then signed Smith to a long-term extension, thus signaling the end of the Kirk Cousins era/drama in Washington. Maybe this was a good thing, as Cousins never really led the Redskins to much success. Smith is a proven quarterback and should fill in well for the Redskins. They also have the stability of having the reliable Colt McCoy and Kevin Hogan in the backup positions.
11 New Orleans Saints
QBs on roster: Drew Brees, Tom Savage & Taysom Hill
It was very difficult to leave Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints out of the top 10 on this list but that is what they deserve after signing Tom Savage to be the teams new backup quarterback. Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time and has managed to stay relatively healthy during his tenure with the Saints, but he's also 39 years old.
It's not fair to expect Brees to continue to stay healthy, especially at his size, so it's a shame that the Saints let backup Chase Daniel leave this offseason.
They will not be pleased if they have to turn to Tom Savage at any point in 2018.
10 New York Giants
QBs on roster: Eli Manning, Davis Webb & Kyle Lauletta
Unbelievably, the New York Giants former head coach Bob McAdoo made the decision to bench long-time starter Eli Manning in 2017, instead starting Geno Smith. It's the type of decision that has major ramifications and is one of the main reasons why McAdoo is now the former head coach of the Giants. Now in 2018, Manning will look to revive his career and having new running back Saquon Barkley will certainly help. The Giants also have returning backup Davis Webb and exciting sleeper rookie Kyle Lauletta. This QB room is the strongest it's been in New York in over a decade.
9 Minnesota Vikings
QBs on roster: Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian & Kyle Sloter
The Minnesota Vikings quarterback depth chart looks completely different than it did entering the 2017 season. This team was involved in a carousel of quarterback moves that saw them land the offseason's biggest prize in Kirk Cousins. They also brought in former Denver Broncos starter Trevor Siemian as insurance, but Cousins has proven to be pretty healthy for most of his career. Is Cousins the guy to finally get the Vikings over the hump and back to the Super Bowl?
8 Arizona Cardinals
QBs on roster: Sam Bradford, Josh Rosen, & Mike Glennon
For the past five seasons, the Cardinals relied so much on the health of Carson Palmer and unfortunately for them, his health just didn't hold up. The one year it did, Palmer helped lead the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game.
With Palmer now retired, a similar conundrum lies in Sam Bradford and the Cardinals' reliance on his own health concerns.
The biggest difference in Arizona now, however, is that if Bradford should suffer an injury, the team now has rookie Josh Rosen ready to become the face of the franchise. Even their third string quarterback, Mike Glennon, is a former NFL starter.
7 Detroit Lions
QBs on roster: Matt Stafford, Matt Cassell & Jake Rudock
Matthew Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, as he fits the mold of the classic gunslinger similar to that of a young Brett Favre. He makes throws that make you say "wow," but also makes throws that make you say "huh?" The Lions are happy to have him, however, and their success will go directly through the right arm of Stafford. If Stafford were to go down, the Lions have a proven veteran in Matt Cassell ready to fill in. Luckily for them, Stafford is pretty durable for a starting quarterback.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers
QBs on roster: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, & Landry Jones
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had the same starting quarterback for over a decade and if Ben Roethlisberger has his way, it will remain that way for at least a few more seasons. But Big Ben's career is clearly coming to an end sooner than later, so it made sense for the Steelers to draft the talented Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 draft. Rudolph will compete with Landry Jones for the backup position this coming season. If Rudolph can win the backup job, it will signal him as the quarterback of the future for the Steelers.
5 Baltimore Ravens
QBs on roster: Joe Flacco, Lamar Jackson, Ryan Mallett, & Robert Griffin III
Many people may think this ranking is too high for a Baltimore Ravens squad that was not very impressive in the quarterbacking department last season, but there have been some major changes in the depth chart in Baltimore heading into 2018 that will make this season very interesting to watch.
Obviously, Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco is still the main guy right now, but he will be pressured hard by Lamar Jackson if he struggles again.
Jackson is one of the most exciting quarterback prospects since Robert Griffin III, who just also happens to be on the roster this year. If RGIII has a good preseason, it could spell the end of Ryan Mallett's time on the roster.
4 Atlanta Falcons
QBs on roster: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub & Garrett Grayson
Although he had a down year by his lofty standards in 2017, Matt Ryan still did enough to lead the Atlanta Falcons to the playoffs a year after leading them to the Super Bowl in 2016. Matty Ice is a beast and he has been extremely durable throughout his career, so it's no wonder that backup Matt Schaub hasn't had much of a chance to play the past two seasons. But should anything happen to Matty Ice, the other Matt is not a bad secondary option as Schaub has years of starting experience during his time with the Houston Texans. Needless to say, the Falcons are in a good spot with their qb depth.
3 Green Bay Packers
QBs on roster: Aaron Rodgers, DeShone Kizer & Brett Hundley
It seems like every season the Green Bay Packers' success becomes wholly dependent on the health of Aaron Rodgers. The past few seasons, Rodgers' injury concerns have been apparent and so have the Packers quarterback depth. Given that Brett Hundley showed flashes of his potential last year, he was a disappointment for the most part.
The Packers made the move this offseason to add former Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer to their depth chart. Now the Pack seem to be more prepared should anything happen to their golden boy Rodgers again in 2018.
2 New England Patriots
QBs on roster: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer & Danny Etling
Obviously the New England Patriots were going to be ranked extremely high on this list for the sole reason that they have the greatest quarterback in the league and arguably the history of the game. Tom Brady leads the Patriots into 2018 and will be as hungry as ever to win his sixth Super Bowl.
As durable as Brady has been throughout his career, the Patriots are also prepared should he suffer an unexpected injury as they have longtime journeyman Brian Hoyer in the #2 role.
Hoyer started his career as Brady's backup and has now come full-circle to provide solid depth for the Pats.
1 Philadelphia Eagles
QBs on roster: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles & Nate Sudfield
This one is pretty simple. The Philadelphia Eagles are the reigning Super Bowl champions and much of that has to do with their incredible quarterback depth. After Carson Wentz started the year playing at a MVP level, he suffered a brutal and ill-timed knee injury that immediately put the Eagles' season in jeopardy.
Instead of suffering a let-down, backup quarterback Nick Foles took control of the team and led them to a Super Bowl victory, being named the Super Bowl MVP in the process. Having a Super Bowl MVP as a backup quarterback is clearly enough to land them at #1 in the QB depth chart rankings.