By Reece Mowlem.
Anyone who knows me will be well aware of my passion for ranking things, from TV shows to brands of water. My favourite thing to rank however, is NFL players within their position groups, and where better to start than the quarterbacks. This list has been compiled based on the order I would rank current NFL QB's if I was the GM of 'Team X' and needed a signal caller for the 2019 season and the 2019 season only. It factors in not just the physical ability of the player but also the mental toughness and winning mindset they possess, traits that often get ignored. Durability is also taken into consideration. Some of you will agree with my opinions, the large majority of you won't, and that's fine, this is just a fun offseason exercise. So without further ado, introducing my completely objectively correct, undisputed Top 50 Quarterbacks for 2019. Enjoy!
1. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
Who else could be atop this list other than the reigning NFL MVP himself? Mahomes tore defences apart with his big arm and ability to improvise in only his first year as a starter, and I see no reason why he can't kick on and do the same in 2019.
2. Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
Brady may have lost some of his throwing ability over the past year, but one thing he will seemingly never lose is his winning mentality. His arm may have limitations, but there's not many quarterbacks I'd rather have in my team's huddle than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (yes that is in fact his real name).
3. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
Be it due to injury, a less than impressive supporting cast or his deteriorating relationship with head coach Mike McCarthy, A-Rod wasn't himself last season. That being said, he's one of the most talented QB's in the league and still has the all the skills to make big plays in big moments.
4. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
Much like Mahomes, Brees had an outstanding 2018 season, but narrowly missed out on both the Super Bowl and the NFL's top individual award. Despite his increased age and shaky playoff performance, the veteran QB still possesses elite-level accuracy and I expect to see him once again at the top of his game next season.
5. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
Wilson is undoubtedly a top five quarterback and he just got paid like it. The former third-round pick has become one of most dangerous dual threat players around, regularly hurting opponents both through the air and on the ground. Russell is most certainly one of the NFL's elite.
6. Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts)
After almost two years on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, Luck came back with a bang in 2018, once again leading his Colts to the playoffs. Like those above him in this list, the Stanford graduate can elevate the talent around him and succeed whatever the surroundings.
7. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
At only 34, Matty Ice is already top twelve all time in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, as well as being a league MVP. He may not have as many of the 'special' plays as some of the others on this list, but Ryan has been consistently elite for almost 10 years now, making him more than worthy of the number seven spot in my rankings.
8. Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers)
I'll tell you what, Old Man Rivers can still sling it. Like a fine wine, Phil seems to have gotten better with age and has cemented himself, at least in my eyes, as a top tier quarterback. If he can capture that elusive Lombardi trophy, there's no doubt he'll have a gold jacket within the next decade or two.
9. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Over the past few years, Big Ben's stats have been more impressive than his actual on the field play, mainly thanks to a stellar supporting cast. That being said, 7 is still a Top 10 guy, capable of winning a Super Bowl if he can just cut out a few poor decisions and stop talking trash about his teammates.
10. Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)
I know he's not even played a full season yet, but oh my gosh I love Baker Mayfield. His energy is electric, his trash talk is unrivalled and he can more than back-up his chat on the field. Quite simply, if I was an NFL player, I'd want him as my quarterback.
11. Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles)
A lot of people seem to have forgotten that just 18 months ago Carson Wentz was the favourite to win the NFL MVP award in his sophomore season. His injury history is certainly concerning, but the 26-year-old makes plays not many of his peers can, and he has the potential to be a top five quarterback in the league.
12. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
I'm actually surprised Cam made it into my top 12 as I've mentioned on the First Down Podcast a few times that I'm not his biggest fan. He's not the most accurate of throwers, but his freakish combination of size and speed makes him a force to be reckoned with. At the end of the day, he's a unique talent who wins games.
13. DeShaun Watson (Houston Texans)
A large reason Watson is high on this list is because he's managed to be productive behind maybe the worst offensive line in the league. His freak athleticism often gets him out of trouble, allowing him to make high-end plays outside the pocket on a week to week basis. With better blocking, DeShaun could become a top tier signal caller.
14. Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions)
If I was creating this list 12 months ago, Matt Stafford might just have cracked the top ten, but after a mediocre 2018 season, the long-time Lion has fallen a couple of places. It will be interesting to see how he operates in 2019, the second year of the Matt Patricia regime.
15. Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams)
It's incredibly hard to assess just how good Goff is as Rams head coach Sean McVay is so heavily involved in the QB's decision making process. That being said, Jared still has to make the throws and did so on a consistent basis in 2018. Taking everything into account, I decided the ex-Cal quarterback was in the 'above average' tier.
16. Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings)
The fact that Cousins, who I felt was overly criticised during his first season with the Vikings, has only just made it into the top half of starting NFL quarterbacks shows just how strong the depth of the position is in the league right now. If Minnesota can sort out their offensive line, I don't see why Kirk can't get to a Super Bowl in the next few years.
17. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)
For me, Dak is sat firmly on the fence between franchise quarterback and bridge quarterback, between Luck and Keenum. Now the Cowboys need to find out which side of the wall he will eventually fall with Prescott due his second contract in the near future. If I had to place my bets, I wouldn't because I really can't decide and gambling is bad.
18. Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers)
It's crazy that we still don't really know whether Jimmy G is a franchise quarterback or not. Despite already being on a pretty handsome contract, the 27-year-old has started only 10 games since being drafted in 2014 thanks to the combination of Tom Brady and injury troubles. I'm hoping he can stay healthy and finally play a full season in 2019.
19. Sam Darnold (New York Jets)
Darnold's rookie season looked pedestrian when compared to some of other quarterbacks in his draft class, like Mayfield or Jackson. That being said, I fully expect Sam to shine in his sophomore year. He showed enough flashes in 2018 to make me believe he'll be worth the Jets' very large investment.
20. Nick Foles (Jacksonville Jaguars)
My hero, my everything, my quarterback. A tear or two may have been shed when THE MAN WHO BROUGHT PHILADELPHIA A LOMBARDI left the Eagles to become Jag, but I do hope 9 succeeds down in Florida. In the right scheme, Foles has proved he can be a top tier QB.
21. Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals)
I might be the only person on the planet saying this, but I think the 'Red Rocket' gets too much criticism from NFL media and fans alike. Dalton has proved multiple times over his career that, when he has weapons around him, he can perform at a high level. Andy can still play lads, you'll see, you'll all see.
22. Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders)
It's hard to tell whether or not Jon Gruden believes in Derek, but Chucky did refrain from taking a QB high in the past draft, which can only be a good sign. The younger Carr brother hasn't quite been himself since his devastating injury in 2016, however I'm not ready to write him off just yet.
23. Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals)
If his play at Oklahoma is anything to go by then Kyler will be further up this list in 12 months time. However without seeing him ever take an NFL snap, I couldn't confidently place him any higher than 23rd. Murray's size and skillset isn't really something we've seen in the league before, but he proved in college he has immense talent and competitiveness.
24. Mitch Trubisky (Chicago Bears)
I'm sorry to break this news to you Bears fans but Mitch Trubisky is just not that amazing. His numbers on the surface look decent, however when you dig deeper you discover that the majority of his production is down to Matt Nagy's scheme and play calling. That being said, Mr. Biscuit is early in his career so still has time to develop and improve.
25. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Miami Dolphins)
Reasons why Ryan FitzMagic is the best quarterback in the league: he has an amazing beard, he's a Harvard graduate, he wore D-Jax's clothes better than D-Jax, he threw three 400-yard passing games to open the 2019 season, he has no fear, he's the mother f***in' man. Reasons why Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't the best quarterback in the league: everything else.
26. Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
He has the arm strength, the athleticism and the desire, but unfortunately for Winston, he doesn't have the brain. Jameis often makes plays that defy the laws of physics and teases you into believing he's a franchise QB, but just often he throws stupidly bad interceptions and loses games singlehandedly. He hasn't improved in 4 years and that's worrying.
27. Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)
Lamar can run. He can run pretty damn well. He's quick, explosive and elusive with his legs. However, when it comes to throwing the ball, a pretty important part of playing quarterback, Jackson falls very short of the mark. I expect the league to figure him and the Ravens offence out pretty quickly this season, so maybe he's not the answer in Baltimore.
28. Joe Flacco (Denver Broncos)
Sorry Joe, once again you're behind Lamar. He might be below the man who replaced him in these rankings, but Flacco showed flashes last year that made me believe he can still be an NFL starter. With an improved cast of offensive weapons, the 34-year-old may have a mini resurgence in Denver.
29. Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)
Many experts predicted Allen's inevitable inaccuracy and inconsistency in the passing game, while only a handful could have expected his Cam Newton-like athleticism and abilities in the run game. I don't see Josh correcting his accuracy issues, not many QB's ever have, but his big arm and rushing prowess make him a dangerous opponent.
30. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans)
Now there are two main reasons Mariota isn't higher on this list: his mediocre play and his injury history. Since he was drafted, the Hawaiian has struggled to stay on the field, and when he has been healthy, his play hasn't been as explosive as most expected coming out of Oregon. Whether Marcus will get a second contract in Tennessee is still yet to be determined.
31. Eli Manning (New York Giants)
That's right people, I have Eli Manning as a top 32 QB, thus making him still an actual NFL starter! The younger Manning brother is certainly in decline and not the future of there Giants franchise, but he's not quite as bad as everyone thinks, he even graded higher than both Trubisky and Jackson in 2019 according to PFF.
32. Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans)
The only reason Tannehill isn't a a few places higher on this list is his injury history. Few players have missed as many games as he has over the past few seasons and that's probably the main reason why he's no longer considered a franchise quarterback in the NFL anymore. He has the talent to start, but not the durability.
33. Case Keenum (Washington Redskins)
Excluding that incredible season with the Vikings in 2017, Keenum's career has been mediocre at best. However, because of that year with Minnesota, I have some belief that in the right offence, Case can actually do some damage. Unfortunately for him, I don't think he'll have the right offence in Washington.
34. Josh Rosen (Miami Dolphins)
I really don't think we can judge Rosen based on his rookie season in Cardinals due to the fact that the Arizona offence utterly abysmal. Lest we forget that the UCLA grad was considered by many experts as the top quarterback of the 2018 draft class ahead of Mayfield and Darnold. He may never be a starter again, but I'm not ready to give up on Josh.
35. Blake Bortles (Los Angeles Rams)
The single reason Bortles is above players Bridgewater and Taylor is that, when on one of his hot streaks, he can play at a level high enough to win playoff games. I mean if it wasn't for a few bad calls, Blake could have played in Super Bowl LII. He may only perform that well once every 20 games, but that glimmer of hope is enough for me.
36. Tyrod Taylor (Los Angeles Chargers)
It seems an age ago, but it's been less than two years since Tyrod lead the Bills to the playoffs for the first time in what felt like 250 years. He showed flashes for the Browns in 2019, but Taylor was always destined to lose his job to Baker. Now that he's in LA, I think the Chargers have one of best backups in the NFL.
37. Dwayne Haskins (Washington Redskins)
I wasn't the biggest Haskins fan during the 2019 draft process, but like with all rookies, there is the excitement of the unknown. He proved at Ohio State that he could put up big stat lines and win games, but I just can't see him becoming a stud. I picture him having more of Andy Dalton type career.
38. Jacoby Brissett (Indianapolis Colts)
Although he didn't win many games, Brissett impressed me during his spell as a starter in Indy. If Andrew Luck was to get injured this offseason, do I believe the ex-Patriot could take the Colts to the playoffs? Probably not. But could I see him winning 7 or 8 games? Most definitely.
39. Teddy Bridgewater (New Orleans Saints)
Teddy Two-Gloves had his chance to impress me when he stepped in for Drew Brees in Week 17 last season. Impress me he did not. The former Viking looked rusty and, to put it bluntly, not starting quarterback material. Maybe if he was given a longer stretch of games he could regain his confidence, but right now I see him nothing more than a solid back-up.
40. Nick Mullens (San Francisco 49ers)
It's crazy to think that Nick Mullens has only started two less games than his teammate Jimmy G. Despite starting the 2019 season as the third string QB, due to Garoppolo and Beathard injuries, Mullens was thrust into the starting job, and he didn't play too badly. I don't see him becoming a franchise quarterback, but the kid can play if needed.
41. Drew Lock (Denver Broncos)
I think Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said it best when talking about Drew Lock this offseason: "He's a hard thrower, he's not a quarterback yet." Everyone in the NFL was aware that the Missouri QB would be a project, but it seems he might be even further away from starting than we thought.
42. Daniel Jones (New York Giants)
When the Giants selected Daniel Jones at 6th overall, New York fans all over the world were, how do I put this nicely, well they weren't best pleased. That being said, it seems Eli's doppelgänger may actually beat the man himself to the role of the starting quarterback job. Only time will tell if Gettleman made the right pick.
43. Chase Daniel (Chicago Bears)
When Daniel filled in for Trubisky last year he did a decent job. Some experts even claimed that the veteran could be the better starting option for the Bears. As long it's in an Andy Reid influenced scheme, Chase can keep the ship from sinking when called on.
44. C.J. Beathard (San Francisco 49ers)
When I think of Beathard I think of one word, and that word is gritty. However badly he's being beaten, both on the scoreboard and physically, C.J. always keeps fighting. He also has quite a bit of talent. In my opinion, the 49ers have the best third string quarterback in the league.
45. Brock Osweiler (Miami Dolphins)
Not many people would have expected Brock to start five games in 2019, let alone win two of them. He never came close to living up to his huge contract with the Texans, but he's proved over the past few years that he can come out victorious in an NFL game or two.
46. A.J. McCarron (Houston Texans)
In 2017 the Browns were willing to give away a second and third round pick to the Bengals in a trade for McCarron, believing he could be their franchise guy. Luckily for them the trade didn't go through and now Baker has the reins in Cleveland. A.J. is an okay reserve quarterback, that's all I can really say.
47. Robert Griffin III (Baltimore Ravens)
It's still baffling to me that RGIII is in the position he is when you consider he may have had the greatest rookie season of all-time. Injuries have certainly played a factor in his demise and now a back-up job is the best he can hope for. How times can change.
48. Will Grier (Carolina Panthers)
Grier, like all rookies, is a largely unknown quantity, but he showed signs of promise during his college career at West Virginia. He's a player that PFF rated highly and let's be honest, they're right more often than not.
49. Ryan Finley (Cincinnati Bengals)
I probably liked Finley more than most coming out of North Carolina, as I see the traits of a high-end second string QB within him. But that's all I see, he definitely won't be stealing Andy Dalton's job this season.
50. DeShone Kizer (Green Bay Packers)
Roses are red,
Hue should have been wiser,
He wasted a pick on that guy DeShone Kizer.
Latest articles below
By Reece Mowlem.
With the opening of the free agent market just a few days away, analysts everywhere are speculating, trying to predict how things will play out. That's a tough task for any expert, so instead of making a prediction, I've put together a small list of team and player pairings that I'd personally like to see become a reality this offseason. If you don't like any of the fits, then don't worry, I'm not your team's GM.
Landon Collins on the Indianapolis Colts
Why the Giants think a 25-year-old All-Pro safety isn't worth hanging on to is beyond me, but that's what they've decided, making Collins one of the top free agents on the market. Now I expect a shed-load of teams will be looking to secure his services for the next few years, but I'd love to see Landon join the Colts this offseason. Almost every player on the Indy defence vastly outplayed their expectations last year, but the strong safety position was one of the few weaknesses in the unit. Why not turn that weakness into a strength? Why not put Landon Collins alongside Malik Hooker and create an elite safety tandem? The Colts have more than enough cap space to do it. Adding Collins would give a sizeable boost to a team some already have tipped for the Super Bowl.
Trey Flowers on the Oakland Raiders
The Raiders only managed 13 sacks as a whole team in 2018, a total that was bettered by 7 players individually. With most of the top free agent quarterback-hitters being hit themselves with a franchise tag, Flowers is undoubtedly the best pass rusher left on the open market. Oakland have both the cap space and the need for an elite defensive linemen so I want to see them go out and get the best one they can. Some might think he's not worth the big contract, but Flowers was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the 6th best edge rusher in the league last season.
Jason Verrett on the Seattle Seahawks
Due to his major injury problems over the last year couple of seasons, a big chunk of NFL fans have seemed to have forgotten just how good Jason Verrett is when firing on all cylinders. He was a legitimate Pro Bowl player in 2015, but has only managed 5 games in the 3 years since. That will of course hurt his value, but I still think he's worth taking a chance on. Even if it's just a 1-year 'prove it' deal, I'd like to see the Seahawks offer the 27-year-old a contract and potentially bring a stud into a secondary a long way away from the 'Legion of Boom' glory years.
Adam Humphries on the Detroit Lions
Since losing Golden Tate in the middle of last season, the Lions have really missed having a tough, reliable receiver in the slot. Now Adam Humphries is just that (and should be pretty cheap to sign). It's clear that Stafford needs a safety blanket to look for on the short and intermediate routes in order to open up the deep game, and I'm sure the staff in Detroit recognise that. Much like Tate, Humphries will make the tough grabs over the middle of the field all game long, and he isn't scared to take a hit from a linebacker. He'd be a great addition for a handful of teams, but I like the fit in Motor City best.
Matt Paradis on the New York Jets
When All-Pro centre Nick Mangold retired after 11 seasons in New York, he left a very large hole in the offensive line, a hole that hasn't yet been filled. This offseason the Jets have a chance to change that. With the Broncos letting Matt Paradis hit free agency, it means PFF's second highest graded centre from 2018 is on the market. The Jets need to bring in some big men to protect their young franchise QB, and maybe make space for Le'Veon Bell, so why not start that in the middle with a high-end veteran talent.
Tyrann Mathieu on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When I watched the Cardinals season of 'All Or Nothing' in 2016, it was clear that Bruce Arians and Tyrann Mathieu had a close bond. Now that BA's in Tampa, a team with maybe the worst secondary in the NFL, it seems almost too obvious for the honey-badger not to end up on the Bucs in 2019. He may not have played his best football over the past few seasons, but Mathieu can still make a big impact in the league for years to come.
John Brown on the Philadelphia Eagles
Torrey Smith in 2017. Mike Wallace in 2018. John Brown in 2019? The Eagles have made a habit of signing ex-Ravens speedsters under Doug Pederson, and I think Brown could be the perfect compliment to the current receiving corps in Philly. Like all of the receivers in Baltimore, Brown's stats fell of a cliff when rookie Lamar Jackson came into the lineup last year, but the 28-year-old was putting up big numbers with Joe Flacco earlier on in the season. Brown can certainly still produce and would add a much needed deep threat to Carson Wentz's offence.
K.J. Wright on the Cleveland Browns
It's clear from the recent trade for edge rusher Olivier Vernon that John Dorsey wants to build a formidable defence over in Ohio. However with Jamie Collins confirmed as a cut casualty, a spot has opened up at linebacker that Wright could not only fill, but upgrade. Although it's not the highest priority position the Browns need to target in free agency, it's one I do believe they need to address, and Wright might be the best available on the market. He also shouldn't be too expensive. Make it happen John!
Tevin Coleman on the Buffalo Bills
This is a simple one, the Bills need weapons to put around Josh Allen. He may not be a workhorse back, but Coleman might be the best runner available in free agency outside of Bell and would work well as part of a committee in Buffalo.
Jay Ajayi back on the Miami Dolphins
Although he did win a Super Bowl ring, I think even the Brit would admit his time with the Eagles didn't go quite as well as he would have wanted. But even with his knee troubles, I do believe Ajayi can still be a useful back as part of a committee. That's why I'd send him back to the Dolphins, adding physicality to a Miami RB group that will most likely lose veteran Frank Gore this offseason. Ajayi and Drake would bring some thunder and lightening to the Floridian city.
This year, the First Down Podcast team (Dan Barber, Owen Turner, Fergus and Reece Mowlem) decided to once again do a draft of the NFL teams to create their own 'Team of Teams'. This year's draft took place on Episode 55 of the FDP and was full of shocks and surprises. The aim is to have the most total wins from your team come the end of the season, including playoff wins. Below are the teams and their records for the 2018 'Team of Teams' competition.
Team Dan Barber
New England Patriots (13-5)
Philadelphia Eagles (10-8)
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
Kansas City Chiefs (13-5)
Dallas Cowboys (11-7)
Baltimore Ravens (10-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
Buffalo Bills (6-10)
Total Wins: 73
Team Reece Mowlem
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1)
Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
Green Bay Packers (6-9-1)
Tennessee Titans (9-7)
New York Giants (5-11)
Chicago Bears (12-5)
Arizona Cardinals (3-13)
New York Jets (4-12)
Total Wins: 56
Team Fergus Head
New Orleans Saints (14-4)
Los Angeles Chargers (13-5)
Houston Texans (11-6)
Detroit Lions (6-10)
Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Cleveland Browns (7-8-1)
Miami Dolphins (7-9)
Total Wins: 68.5
Team Owen Turner
Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1)
Los Angeles Rams (15-3)
San Francisco 49ers (4-12)
Carolina Panthers (7-9)
Seattle Seahawks (10-7)
Denver Broncos (6-10)
Washington Redskins (7-9)
Indianapolis Colts (11-7)
Total Wins: 68.5
Each week our writers will be picking the outcome of every NFL matchup to see who is the ultimate champion of game predictions. Last week both Dan and Fergus went 4-0 in their wildcard round predictions, making Fergus 8-0 in his predictions for the playoffs' opening round over the last two season. Below are the picks for the divisional round of the playoffs.
Looking for a more analytical take on game predictions? Visit www.gamedaypicks.co.uk.
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).