The 2017/18 NFL season was one of the best seasons in recent memory, despite it being marred with controversy. It concluded with the Philadelphia Eagles, led by Nick Foles, going all the way to defeat the New England Patriots for their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. Now, the draft and Free Agency have come and gone, and if the amount of moves being made in the off-season has taught us anything, it’s that this season will no doubt top the last, as the league continues to go from strength to strength.
Before the season kicks off later in the year, you’ll no doubt see predictions about absolutely everything, whether it be MVP, Super Bowl competitors/winners, ranking the potential standings at season's end and so forth. Today, we are going to go a different route, and rate every team's starting QB from worst to best. From young guys finally getting their chance to take over a team, to veterans starting in new places and everyone in between, this may be one of the strongest QB groups in NFL history. Each and every one of them offers a plethora of strengths to their team, but we’ve done our best to rank them from #32 all the way down to #1.
So sit back and read along as we take a look forward to the 2018 NFL season, as we rank every starting QB from worst to best.
32 Buffalo Bills – AJ McCarron
The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs for the first time in decades a season ago, but they didn’t bring back Tyrod Taylor, and that’s left them with AJ McCarron, who is that mediocre that he will likely lose his job by the end of the year to rookie Josh Allen. AJ showed plenty of promise at Alabama, but he’s just not a starter at the NFL level, and this year is going to prove that as the Bills will go back to struggling in the AFC East.
31 Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill
The Miami Dolphins have been struggling to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball for years now, and they were hoping that Ryan Tannehill could be the leader for that, but he’s still struggling to find his footing, and last years injury certainly doesn’t help. The team has lost two of its biggest offensive threats in the past year, and that isn’t going to help him assimilate back into the team, and therefore, we don’t have much faith in him or the Dolphins, especially in the AFC East.
30 Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles
Despite having Blake Bortles struggle at QB all year long, the Jaguars made it within a quarter of reaching the Super Bowl, but for some reason, they re-signed him to a major contract, and it’s not a good thing for the franchise. He’s got the talent, but after all this time in the NFL, he has proved that he’s not up to scratch, and after losing his two top receivers, he’s going to struggle even further this year, and it could mean his permanent benching.
29 Cleveland Browns – Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor has plenty of potential as a QB in the NFL, but due to the lack of weapons up in Buffalo, he never managed to put it all together, and even though the Browns are definitely improving, we don’t think this is the ideal situation for him to improve in either. The team has plenty of weapons from Josh Gordon to Corey Coleman, but with #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield sitting there, the team will be eager to get him in, and it’s just not going to be a place that Taylor can succeed in.
28 New York Jets – Josh McCown
The New York Jets drafted Sam Darnold with the #3 overall pick, and with all his talent, it’s clear he’s the future of the franchise, but for now they have to settle with Josh McCown, and while it’s not great, it’s not the worst situation to be in. McCown had a career year in 2017, and while it’s unlikely he’ll top it this year, he will be a good placeholder while this very young team builds to Darnold in 2019.
27 Arizona Cardinals – Sam Bradford
The Arizona Cardinals have looked like Super Bowl contenders out West for several years now, but they’ve never been able to put it together, and with one last shot during their Championship window, signing Sam Bradford to a rich contract wasn’t the best decision to make. Bradford has been a solid performer over the course of his NFL career, but he just isn’t worth all that money, and before the end of the season, the Cardinals will be disappointed, and will need to appoint Josh Rosen as their starting QB.
26 Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota
While Jameis Winston is much further up our list, the #2 overall draft pick from his class is much lower down, and that’s due to the inconsistencies in his game, and with no real change in the Titans attack, we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Mariota has the ability to be a top 10, even top 5 QB in this league one day, but the former Heisman Trophy winner is yet to live up to the hype, and until he proves us wrong, he won’t climb this list.
25 Chicago Bears – Mitch Trubisky
The Chicago Bears have been touted as a dark horse team in 2018, and that’s on the back of this very young, talented offense led by Mitchell Trubisky, and if he can live up to the hype, he’ll no doubt find himself within the top 15, if not top 10 in the next few years. His rookie year was good, not great, and it looks like he has all the tools to be a big star in the NFL in the very near future, and although he’s not a big name like some other young QB’s, he’s going to develop into the franchise QB that the Bears have been seeking for a number of years.
24 Denver Broncos – Case Keenum
The Minnesota Vikings had a fantastic season a year ago, and it led them all the way to the NFC Championship game, but they tossed Case Keenum aside for Kirk Cousins, and now, he has another chance to make it to the big game with the Denver Broncos. The team looks incredibly dangerous, especially after adding Bradley Chubb to the D that is led by Von Miller, and if Keenum can replicate his career best year in 2017, they will be hard to stop in the AFC West.
23 Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton
The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL, because they’ve got a fantastic offense, but have still been unable to win a playoff game, and while Andy Dalton is a good regular season QB, he’s this far down the list due to his inability in big moments. The Red Rifle has a strong arm and is putting up huge numbers as of late, but until he proves he can win the big game, we just can’t justify putting him any higher.
22 Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco is one of the biggest name QB’s in the NFL these days, and he’s put together a fantastic career over the past decade, and that includes a Super Bowl win, but with a poor offense around him, he struggled over the past few seasons, and he’s slipped a long way down this list. With a big season, Flacco could again find himself on the fringes of the top 10, but the Ravens will be lucky to compete in the NFC North, and with Lamar Jackson waiting in the wings, we just can’t see Flacco finding his career best form again.
21 Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
The Kansas City Chiefs have dominated over the past few regular seasons, but they’ve struggled in the playoffs, and this year, we don’t know if it will improve with sophomore Patrick Mahomes starting at QB, but we know the offense is going to be dynamic. With Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt out there, this team will be incredibly exciting to watch, and Mahomes will no doubt be a great QB, but at this point, he’s just too unproven to be any higher on the list.
20 Washington Redskins – Alex Smith
Several years ago, Alex Smith would have been considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history, but he was given enough chances to prove that he’s a really good QB, and despite being labeled a ‘game manager’, he’s still recognized as one of the better QB’s in the game today. After some great seasons in Kansas City, Smith has been traded off to the Washington Redskins, and although they won’t make much noise in the NFC East, Smith will have another good year and continue to prove his worth to the league.
19 Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott slipped all the way to the 4thround in the 2016 NFL Draft, but immediately he made an impact on the NFL by taking the starting job for the Cowboys, and despite his struggles during his sophomore season, he is still a very talented QB with a bright future. With Ezekiel Elliot by his side, Prescott is primed and ready to have a fantastic year, and if he continues to protect the ball, he’s a dual-threat like few others in the NFL.
18 San Francisco 49ers – Jimmy Garoppolo
Tom Brady is one of the best to ever play in the NFL, but for some reason, none of his backup QB’s have gone on to success after leaving the Patriots, but if his 5-game season as a starter in 2017 is anything to go by, Jimmy G may be about to change that trend in a big way. Garoppolo has everything it takes to be the face of a franchise, and The Handsome One has given the entire Bay Area optimism regarding his team, and with a full training camp heading into this year, he’s going to prove just how great he is.
17 Los Angeles Rams – Jarred Goff
After his rookie season, plenty of fans and analysts were ready to call Jarred Goff a bust, but he bounced back with an incredible sophomore season, and if he can continue to improve at this rate, he may be considered one of this generations best in no time. He still has a lot to prove, but it’s clear that Goff is a great leader and has all the physical attributes it takes to be a top QB, so he, like plenty of other young QB’s will continue to climb this list year after year.
16 New York Giants – Eli Manning
Eli Manning will no doubt be entered into the NFL Hall of Fame one day, due to his longevity and major Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots, but he’s definitely struggled over the past few years, and that results in his slide down our list. With Saquon Barkley and a healthy Odell Beckham on the offense, Manning could have a bounce back year in 2018 which could rejuvenate his career, but it will be one last ride for the worse of the two Manning brothers.
15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston was a controversial player back at Florida State, and some people saw taking him #1 a big risk, but he’s put the Bucs on his back ever since then, and he’s blossomed into one of the best QBs in the NFL. He’s got Mike Evans on the outside, and that’s a major help, and even though the team probably isn’t going to go anywhere in the foreseeable future, Winston will continue to raise his game, to the point where he’ll be top 5 in no time.
14 Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck
If this list was built on pure talent and potential alone, Andrew Luck would no doubt be in the top 10, but due to his injury and lack of talent surrounding him, he falls to #15, but all it takes is one good year for Luck to again show how brilliant he is. Despite a poor team surrounding him since his arrival in the NFL, he has still managed to put up big numbers, and with the Colts developing a good, young team, he may be ready to break out as the next Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady.
13 Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford
It takes a lot to be a big name QB in the NFL, and one of the most attractive traits for QB’s is arm strength, and there’s no one in the NFL who matches Matthew Stafford, and that’s reflected in the huge numbers he’s been putting up. Detroit has been horrible for a number of years, and despite Stafford’s best efforts, he hasn’t been able to take them very far, and even if he doesn’t change that this year, he’ll still put up fantastic numbers.
12 Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is one of the more underrated players in the NFL, as he’s put up huge numbers for the Redskins over the past few years, and as they couldn’t see his talent, he moved on to Minnesota, and he’s now ready to break out as an elite level talent. With more weapons then he’s ever had in his NFL career to this point, Cousins will succeed as an individual and as the leader of a team this year, and it wouldn’t surprise us if he was a top 10 QB next year.
11 Houston Texans – DeShaun Watson
DeShaun Watson may have had his rookie year cut short a year ago, but during those games, he flashed incredible amounts of potential, and with DeAndre Hopkins on the outside, he may solidify himself as a top player very early on in his career. Returning from a serious knee injury may delay his return to his best a little bit, but once Watson hits his strides, he’ll return to tearing up the AFC South, and will solidify his spot as the brightest young star in the entire NFL.
10 Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz
The Philadelphia Eagles just won the Super Bowl with backup QB Nick Foles, but Carson Wentz won’t need to worry, his job is definitely safe, as he was the favorite to win the MVP award before his season ending injury a year ago. The Eagles have confirmed that Wentz is on track to start the season under center for the defending champs, and if he can get back to form, he’ll no doubt be in contention for the MVP award, and may even catapult him into the top 5 in the NFL.
9 Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton
Cam Newton is the most physically gifted QB that the National Football League has ever witnessed, and despite some struggles over the past few years, he remains one of the best in the league, and he’ll no doubt go down in history as one of the best. Newton hasn’t fully recovered since losing the Super Bowl in embarrassing fashion to the Broncos, but now that the team is ready to regain control of the NFC South, Newton is probably going to be back to his best as he heads into his prime years.
8 Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr
Some people may argue that Derek Carr is too high on this list, especially after his woes lately, but talent-wise, there are few in the game as good as the Raiders QB, and with everything lining up nicely in Oakland, it could be a big year for them. His connection with Amari Cooper is going to be legendary, and Carr has all the tools that you need to be a top 10 QB of all time, and if he can put it all together under Jon Gruden, he’ll no doubt achieve that feat.
7 Los Angeles Chargers – Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers came into the NFL in the same draft class as Big Ben and Eli Manning, but he hasn’t achieved the same successes as those two, and with the Chargers looking good this year, he may finally get the chance to reach a Super Bowl. The team is set up to win now, and Rivers has proved over the last 3 years that he belongs in the elite QB conversation, and while it was tough to put him ahead of a few others, he’s earned that, and this year, he’s finally going to prove all his doubters wrong.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is arguably the toughest QB to ever play in the NFL, and it’s led to him putting on some super human performances, but when he’s healthy, there are few more dangerous QB’s in the game. His career is no doubt coming to an end, and the Pittsburgh Steelers may have even just drafted his replacement in Mason Rudolph, but Big Ben is still one of the best in the game, and with Bell, Brown and Smith-Schuster out there, he’s going to prove it once again.
5 Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson
A lot of teams slept on Wisconsin product Russell Wilson coming into the Draft, and the Seahawks have reaped the rewards of taking a chance on him, and after leading the team to 2 Super Bowl appearances, he’s become one of the very best in the game today. Despite having little help now up in Seattle, Wilson is still winning games and putting up tremendous numbers, and one can only imagine what he’d be on a stacked offensive team, but still, he’s done enough to land in the top 5 on our list.
4 New England Patriots – Tom Brady
In most people's eyes, Tom Brady is the greatest QB to ever play the game, and although we agree, he isn’t currently the best in the NFL, purely due to his age, but don’t ever doubt him, because he continues to thrive despite passing 40 years old. Brady has been consistently fantastic throughout his 15+ year career, and while that’s going to come to an end soon, we can’t see it happening in 2018, especially after the Pats fell short in the Super Bowl, so expect TB12 to show everyone why he is considered the GOAT in the NFL.
3 Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan may forever be remembered alongside the Falcons for blowing that 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, but over the past 5 years, he’s become one of the best QBs in the entire NFL. With the team looking to rebound from that embarrassing loss still, this could be his best year yet. The team has added yet another great weapon, and it’s looking like a great battle will ensue for NFC South supremacy. While Ryan is going to fall short of Drew Brees in this argument (3rdplace isn’t bad), his team may come out on top in that race.
2 New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees
Despite his size, Drew Brees has become one of the greatest QB’s in NFL history, and even with all the young, rising stars, he still finds himself as an elite QB in the NFL, one that few can go toe-to-toe with. His Saints may not be as good as they were when they reached and won the Super Bowl, but Brees has continued his prolific career with record breaking season after record breaking season since then, and it’s landed him very high on our list.
1 Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
There will be a lot of debate over who to put at the top, but no one can deny that Aaron Rodgers certainly deserves his place here, because when he’s healthy, there’s few QB’s in history as good as #12. His playoff record isn’t as good as the likes of Tom Brady or Big Ben, but in the regular season, no one is as good as Green Bay’s signal caller, and he’s going to prove it again this year when he takes the Packers back to the post-season.
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