By: Ryan Cooley
If the NFL starts on time, we are 3 ½ months away from week one of the 2020 season. With free agency and the draft all but over, I ranked all 32 starting QBs for each team. These rankings are how successful I think each one will be in this season. Most of the rookie and second-year QBs have been put close to the end due to not knowing what they can do at the NFL level.
Here are my QB rankings heading into the 2020 NFL season.
1. Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes won the MVP his first year starting and a Super Bowl MVP in his second. Somehow the Cheifs found a way to retain all of their offensive weapons. They even added the best receiving back during the draft in Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I expect another big year for Mahomes.
2. Russell Wilson
While Mahomes is pretty much the unanimous QB #1, I believe Wilson is very close to him. Wilson does not have the luxury of a crazy receiving core and Andy Reid as his head coach. Brian Schottenheimer has done a poor job at putting Wilson in the best situations as an offensive coordinator. His persistence to run the ball and taking the ball out of Wilson’s hands is frustrating.
3. Lamar Jackson
The reigning MVP will need to take yet another step up as a passer. What he was able to do as a runner last year was unbelievable, but eventually, he will need to rely on his ability to pass. After the Titans got to an early lead and contained the run game, Lamar looked like a deer caught in headlights.
4. Tom Brady
A lot of people are going to roll their eyes for having Brady this high. However, I watched a lot of New England’s games, and he was not the problem last season. His receivers were second in drops and dead last in separation. With the weapons he has now, I expect him to have a fantastic year.
5. Deshaun Watson
Bill O’Brien may have had one of the worst offseasons I have ever seen. Trading away a top WR for an expensive injury-prone RB is mind-boggling. However, Watson is still a top QB, and I expect him to find a way to get the job done. I would like to see him be more patient in the pocket and stop trying to make the most out of every play.
6. Aaron Rodgers
The Packers did absolutely nothing to help out Rodgers this offseason. Being one game away from the Super Bowl, you would think they’d have some urgency to sign players that would help them win right away. Instead, they made moves that looked like they were preparing for life after Rodgers. Even after this, I expect Rodgers to have another solid season.
7. Carson Wentz
What Wentz was able to do last season with the lack of talent surrounding him was very impressive. His injuries are still a huge concern. After just four passing attempts in the playoffs, Wentz went down with a concussion. When healthy, he is one of the best QBs in the league.
8. Drew Brees
Some may think this is a low ranking for Brees. Last season was the second in a row he did not play well to end the year and struggled in the playoffs. He had no excuses last season for not reaching the Super Bowl. While I do not think Brees will fall off a cliff in 2020, I do expect somewhat of a drop-off.
9. Matthew Stafford
I have always been a Stafford fan and feel he is very underrated. The Lions have been a mess for a very long time, and Stafford has been the only thing that has kept them any what relevant. I believe if he played for a better organization, there would be more talk of him being a top QB in this league.
10. Matt Ryan
Much like Stafford, I feel Ryan is very underrated and does not get the respect he deserves. While they lost Hooper in free agency, the Falcons traded for former first-round pick Hayden Hurst. Of course, they still have one of the best WRs in the league in Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley impressed last season. Ryan is in another position this season to play at a high level.
11. Dak Prescott
Dak’s contract situation has been very frustrating for both sides. I am not sure when a long term deal will get done, if it ever does. Contract aside, Prescott is in a great situation after Cooper got his extension, and CeeDee Lamb was taken with their first-round pick. Dak has been in this 11-15 range for some time and may need to have a big year to convince Jerry to give him the big deal.
12. Ben Roethlisberger
Many people are assuming Ben comes back and has no drop-off. I am not so sure he will return to his former top-10 self. He didn’t play particularly well the game and a half before his injury and coming back from a major shoulder injury at 38 is not ideal. To top it off, his receiving core is still unproven.
13. Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill played at an elite level when head coach Mike Vrabel turned to him. He then signed a four-year extension worth $118 million. I am still not sure he can play at a high level consistently, but the Titans seem to have confidence in him.
14. Kirk Cousins
The Vikings signed Cousins in hopes he could get them to the Super Bowl. He missed the playoffs his first year and made it to the divisional round his second. They traded away Diggs, and I am not sure Jefferson can play at Diggs level right away. Cousins has always been a decent QB, but not a great one.
15. Kyler Murray
Murray impressed in his rookie year. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins is huge and gives this offense a lot of potential. I expect Kyler to take a big step forward in his second year, especially with the weapons surrounding him.
16. Jared Goff
Many people have jumped off the Goff train after a disappointing season. However, I still believe he can be a really good QB in this league. The former first overall pick will need to get back to how he played in 2018.
17. Jimmy Garoppolo
I am not as high on Garoppolo as others. He is a good QB, but is still unproven. Yes, he took the Niners to a Super Bowl, but the team was extremely talented, and they didn’t need him to do a whole lot. Completing six of eight pass attempts in the NFC Championship shows just how good their defense and running game was.
18. Philip Rivers
The Colts seem to have a lot of faith in the 38-year-old. He looked very rough last year, throwing 20 INTs. He is on a much better team this year and has one of the best O-lines in the league protecting him. I have no idea what to expect from the eight-time pro bowler, but hopefully, he can bounce back.
19. Baker Mayfield
Baker showed a lot of promise his rookie year throwing 27 TDs. However, he struggled immensely to capitalize on that this year. His 78.8 QB rating was far from ideal. With a new head coach, hopefully, he can prove that he is THE guy in Cleveland
20. Derek Carr
I have always liked Carr but felt he has had to play through some unfair circumstances. Things clicked for him in 2016, throwing 28 TDs and only 6 INTs, while receiving an 85.3 grade from Pro Football Focus. The Raiders also went 12-4 that year. Carr’s offensive coordinator did not get a new contract, and he struggled with Todd Downing as the OC. This seems to be Carr’s big year to prove it to Jon Gruden that he can be their franchise QB.
21. Teddy Bridgewater
Bridgewater’s story last year was one of the best. After suffering a possible career-ending injury, Bridgewater fought his way back and, when called upon, led the Saints to a 5-0 record. The Panthers are a very different team for the Saints, but CMC and DJ Moore could help take some of the pressure off of him.
22. Sam Darnold
Darnold has had about as rough of time in the league as any QB. From coaching changes, little talent surrounding him, and even catching mononucleosis, things have to get better for him, right? He is a very talented QB, and I believe he can be a franchise guy if he is put in a good situation.
23. Josh Allen
Bills fans will be upset about this ranking, but Allen has not been a good QB. I was concerned with a lot of things when he came out of Wyoming. Some may say he can’t be that bad because he led the Bills to the playoffs. Buffalo was a very good team, and Sean McDermot is an excellent coach. In two years, Allen has a 56.3 completion percentage and grades of 65.3 and 64.2 from PFF.
24. Tyrod Taylor
I don’t think Herbert will start at the beginning of the season. I would not be surprised if he doesn’t play all year. Herbert needs time to develop before he is thrown into the fire. Taylor has been a high-end back-up/low-end starter for most of his career. I think he has enough talent surrounding him to find success in 2020.
25. Nick Foles
Foles’ legacy now finds itself in Chicago after a disappointing stint in Jacksonville. He will compete with Trubisky for the starting gig and I think he will win. However, I do not think he will bring the Bears a whole lot of success. There is a very good chance the Bears will be taking a QB in next year’s draft.
26. Dwayne Haskins
Haskins struggled immensely for most of his rookie campaign. However, he ended the year on a high note. In the last two games he played in, he managed to complete 72% of his passes and had a rating of 121.3 and 143.2. He has also been working extremely hard this offseason. I have a feeling Haskins will prove a lot of doubters wrong in 2020.
27. Daniel Jones
I was very impressed with Jones’ rookie year. He showed a lot of promise but will need to improve on ball security drastically. He had 12 INTs and 18 fumbles in only 13 games. I think Jones has a lot of potential, and I am excited to see what he can do.
28. Drew Lock
I thought Lock was going to need a year or two before he was able to play in the NFL, but he looked good in the five games he started. The Broncos helped him out a lot this offseason, drafting Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. We will see what kind of QB Lock can be in 2020.
29. Gardner Minshew
Minshew was thrown into the fire after Foles went down week 1. Most people just assumed the Jags season was over with a sixth-round rookie taking the reigns. However, he played a lot better than he was expected to. His play then fell off, and Foles took the starting job for two weeks before Minshew took it back over for the rest of the season. I am not sure what to expect from him, but he will need to be more consistent to prove he can be the long term starter.
30. Joe Burrow
Bengals fans are hoping the Ohio native will be their franchise QB. What he was able to do at LSU last season was remarkable. If they can stay healthy, his weapons are better than what most first overall picks have to throw to
31. Tua Tagoviloa/Ryan Fitzpatrick
Reports are saying that the Dolphins are expecting Tua to beat out Fitzpatrick for the starting gig. Tagoviloa has all of the tools to be a successful NFL signal-caller, but he will need to prove that he can stay healthy.
32. Jarrett Stidham/Brian Hoyer
Rob Ninkovich believes Hoyer will open up the season as the starter. We have yet to see Stidham get any real playing time. Last year he threw five passes, and one of them was a pick-six. Pair the uncertainty with Stidham and New England having one of the worst receiving core; their offense could be in big trouble.