By Reece Mowlem
Now week one can often lead to copious amounts of overreacting from NFL fans and analysts alike. I've tried to not get caught up too much in that line of thinking, that being said I saw a lot of things during the opening weekend of the season that surprised me. So after processing all that information, here are my power rankings entering week two.
1. New England Patriots (No change)
The Pats looked even more impressive than expected in week one, demolishing the Steelers 33-3 in Foxborough. If AB's off-field issues don't get in the way, this team could go unbeaten.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (Up 1)
The defence is still a weakness, but my god the offence looks incredible again with Pat Mahomes at the helm. Even without Tyreek Hill for 4-6 weeks, I expect KC to continue dominating their opponents.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (Down 1)
After a slow start against Washington, Wentz put in an outstanding performance in the second half, leading the Eagles to a comfortable win. With D-Jax looking as dangerous as ever on his return to Philadelphia, Carson could be in for another MVP type season.
4. New Orleans Saints (No change)
The only thing more impressive than Drew Brees' 4th quarter comeback performance in this game was Ryan Ramczyk completely shutting out J.J. Watt for the full 60 minutes. The Saints are a contender this season, no doubt about it.
5. Los Angeles Rams (No change)
Considering the lack of snaps they saw in the preseason, the Rams starters looked solid in their first outing against the Panthers. It's clear McVay wants to manage Gurley's workload, but LA seem happy to let him loose when required.
6. Minnesota Vikings (Up 4)
The game script certainly helped, but the Vikings confirmed the offseason rumours and ran the hell out of Dalvin Cook, allowing Kirk Cousins to only throw 10 completions. As long as the defence stays elite, Minnesota will be in the mix in January.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (Up 2)
The combination of Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson proved highly effective in Melvin Gordon's absence as they helped lead the Chargers to an overtime victory against the Colts. Will the football gods finally start smiling on the Bolts?
8. Dallas Cowboys (Up 4)
The Cowboys offence, and Dak in particular, looked revitalised under new OC Kellen Moore as they dispatched of the Giants in Arlington. That being said, Dallas will face much bigger tests than the lacklustre G-Men this year.
9. Green Bay Packers (Up 2)
We didn't see a vintage A-Rod performance in week one, but we did see a highly impressive outing from the Packers defence. The new safety tandem of Amos and Savage already looks to be one of the league's best.
10. Tennessee Titans (Up 5)
I told you the Titans were good and even I didn't expect them to go into Cleveland and win by 30. Tennessee have balance on both sides of the ball, and as long as Mariota can be at least mediocre, I see this team taking the AFC South crown.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (Down 5)
A hammering from New England isn't how any Steelers fan would have wanted to start the year, but Pittsburgh always seem to struggle on the road to the Pats. I wouldn't start panicking too much unless they lose their home opener against the Seahawks on Sunday.
12. Atlanta Falcons (Down 5)
Much like the Steelers, the Falcons put in a disappointing week one display after having reasonably high expectations. Things could get even worse in week two with a feisty Eagles team coming into town. However a win against Philly could kickstart Atlanta's season.
13. Carolina Panthers (Up 3)
Despite losing, I actually liked what I saw from the Panthers on the opening weekend. Running back Christian McCaffrey was once again Carolina's stand out performer and seems set for another incredible season.
14. Baltimore Ravens (Up 4)
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offence looked absolutely unstoppable against Miami, not that the Dolphins put up much resistance. If the second year QB still looks this impressive in November, then I'll have to admit I was wrong when I said he'd never be more than a middle of the road starter.
15. Cleveland Browns (Down 7)
Unfortunately for everyone who was excited about the 2019 Browns, the offensive line is even worse than we thought. Unless the issues upfront can be resolved, I don't see Cleveland living up to their offseason hype.
16. Seattle Seahawks (Down 3)
They may have got the W in the end, but the Seahawks' week one performance against the Bengals was underwhelming. Unless the defence can improve, Seattle will struggle to effectively operate their run heavy offence.
17. Houston Texans (Up 5)
DeShaun Watson balled out on Monday Night Football, it's as simple as that. However, the defensive holes of the Texans were exposed by Brees down the stretch and the offensive line still struggled to protect their stud quarterback.
18. Chicago Bears (Down 4)
Im sorry to say it Bears fans but you can't win a Super Bowl with Mitch Trubisky. On a positive note, the Chicago defence looked as stifling as ever, even with Vic Fangio out of the building.
19. Indianapolis Colts (Up 4)
He's obviously no Andrew Luck, but Jacoby Brissett showed that he's more than serviceable in Frank Reich's innovative offence. They may be 0-1, but I think the Colts could still end up playing meaningful football in December thanks to the weakness of the division.
20. Cincinnati Bengals (Up 5)
Well don't the Bengals look spicy under Zac Taylor. The Andy Dalton to John Ross connection has been something we've wanted to see ever since the speedster was drafted in 2017 and it now seems to have finally clicked in 2019. Could Cincinnati throw a spanner in the works of the AFC North?
21. Buffalo Bills (Up 3)
I'm not really sure how it happened, but Josh Allen and the Bills pulled off a comeback win against the Jets in MetLife Stadium. With Buffalo heading back to the same venue in week two to play the other New York franchise, the third team from the Empire State could be 2-0 very soon.
22. San Francisco 49ers (Down 1)
Don't let the win fool you, the 49ers offence did not play well in Tampa. Jimmy G was helped out massively by his defence and will have to improve if he wants to make San Fran competitive.
23. New York Jets (Down 6)
The breaking news today that Sam Darnold is expected to miss time with mono is devastating for Jets fans to hear. After so much offseason optimism, the year already seems to be falling apart for new head coach Adam Gase.
24. Oakland Raiders (Up 5)
Well it looks like I was wrong about the Raiders. Even without Brown, the Oakland offence marched down the field on several occasions against what was expected to be a tough Denver defence. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs impressed in his debut and looks to be the key weapon to the team's success.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (Down 6)
Poor Nick Foles. As sad as it was to see the Jags' new QB leave the field, his replacement, 6th round rookie Gardner Minshew II, came in and showed a lot of promise against the Chiefs. Can the moustached one do a similar job when facing the Texans in week two?
26. Denver Broncos (Down 6)
I've got to be honest, Denver really let me down in this week. But I'm not going to jump off the Broncos ship just yet, especially when that ship sails much smoother on more familiar waters. I just hope Captain Flacco doesn't sink it too quickly.
27. Washington Redskins (Up 3)
Not many people would have predicted the Redskins racing out to a 17-0 lead in Philly but it happened. Much like last year, I feel Washington could surprise a few people and be a reasonably competitive outfit all season long.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Down 1)
New HC, new season, same Jameis Winston. The former FSU quarterback still looks to be a turnover machine under Bruce Arians, which I'm sure will frustrate the Kangol wearing coach. The only glimmer of hope for the Bucs is that sophomore running back Ronald Jones II looks to have made huge strides forward since his rookie year.
29. Arizona Cardinals (Up 2)
It may have been awful for 45 minutes, but Kyler Murray showed us in the final quarter why he was the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Oh and Larry Fitzgerald still has it.
30. New York Giants (Down 2)
I feel like I've been saying this forever now but it still rings true; Saquon is amazing, the Giants are awful.
31. Detroit Lions (Down 5)
If Matt Patricia carries on like this he'll be back on the Patriots staff by March.
32. Miami Dolphins (No change)
I think the Dolphins would probably struggle in the CFL at this point.
By Reece Mowlem
With the NFL regular season just hours away, I've decided to release my first Power Rankings list of 2019. All NFL teams are ranked from 1-32 based on how good I believe they will be this season, and therefore how likely they are to win Super Bowl LIV (in my opinion). There might be a few surprises and these rankings will undoubtedly change throughout the year, but this list reflects how I see it right now entering the first week of the NFL season. Where is your team on the list?
1. New England Patriots
As long as the combination of Belichick and Brady still resides in New England, I will always have the Patriots tipped for the Super Bowl. Even if TB12 does drop off slightly in 2019, the Pats have almost become a defence first team over the past 12 months, perpetually evolving to keep themselves top of the pile.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
From top to bottom, the Eagles might just have the best roster in the entire NFL, and they're strongest in the places it counts most: offensive line and defensive line. Pro Football Focus also graded the pass catchers of Philly as the top unit in the league. If Carson Wentz can play anything close to the MVP level we know he's capable of, Philadelphia could be a real handful this season.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
There's bound to be some degree of a regression, but I see no reason why Mahomes and the Chiefs offence can't be the league's most unstoppable force once again. This piles a lot of pressure onto the KC defence, a group that needs to step up and at least be average, which could be tough after losing a few pieces in the offseason. But if they can do that, Kansas City should be well in the mix come January.
4. New Orleans Saints
I'm not going to pretend that Drew Brees' subpar playoff performances didn't happen, however I do believe how he played for the majority of the 2018 season is a more accurate representation of how he'll play this season. Around the veteran is an offence stacked with talent and maybe the best pair of tackles in the NFL. Add to that a top twelve defence and you've got a serious NFC contender.
5. Los Angeles Rams
Despite having them at five, I do see a path which ends with the Rams missing the playoffs in 2019. That being said, I've put them near the top of the rankings and that's largely down to the fact that I expect the Sean McVay offence to be as potent as always. Also, having the unquestioned best player in the league as the leader of your defence is certainly a massive advantage.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
With AB out of the building, hopefully the drama will have left with him, allowing the Steelers to just focus on football. Brown's abilities will of course be missed, but I don't expect to see too much of a drop off in Pittsburgh's offensive production, and on defence the depth chart is looking like the best group gathered in Heinz Field for a few years. I'm predicting a black and yellow bounce back this season.
7. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons were my Super Bowl pick last year and it's fair to say it didn't quite go the way I hoped. A combination of key injuries, poor offensive scheming and a lack of pass rush led to Atlanta missing out on the playoffs altogether. But with the roster fully healthy and some fresh faces on the coaching staff, I'm once again willing to put my faith in Matt Ryan and his teammates to have a strong season.
8. Cleveland Browns
If the Browns had a top ten offensive line right now I'd probably have contemplated giving them a spot closer to the summit of this list. Sadly for the fans in Cleveland, the O-line is looking as leaky as a brand new sieve. They have immense talent on both sides of the ball and one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the league, but I feel the lack of protection up front will prevent this roster from achieving its Super Bowl aspirations.
9. Los Angeles Chargers
I've been a big fan of the Chargers for a number of years now, due largely down to my enjoyment of watching Phillip Rivers go to work. But this season I have a fear that we may start to see a decline from the vet, a sad sight to see for the majority football fans. The defence could end up carrying this team, especially if Derwin James gets back on the field by December, but I think the Super Bowl might be a step too far once again.
10. Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins' first year in Minnesota didn't look too great on the surface, but he actually had career high figures in a large portion of statical categories in 2018. With Dalvin Cook fully healthy, an improved offensive line and a defence set to bounce back, I have the Vikings tipped to win the NFC North, one of the NFL's most competitive divisions.
11. Green Bay Packers
In my opinion, the range of outcomes for the 2019 Packers is huge and it mainly hinges on the relationship between Aaron Rodgers and rookie head coach Matt LeFleur. If they gel and A-Rod returns to his best, the Green Bay offence could be one of the league's most prolific units. However if the marriage doesn't work, we could see a lot of early pressure on the McVay disciple to deliver, or else the organisation may want to move on fast.
12. Dallas Cowboys
The reason the Cowboys are a fringe playoff team in my eyes has nothing to do with Zeke, Dak or even the offence, it comes down to the fact that I love the young core of the Dallas D. With Lawrence bringing pressure, Vander Esch racking up tackles and Jones shutting down receivers, the 'boys have an elite piece at each level. I can't see them beating out Philly for the division crown, but they'll be in the mix for a wildcard spot in a crowded NFC.
13. Seattle Seahawks
When I sit and look at the Seahawks depth chart I don't really like what I see, but after last season I'm not going to question the coaching powers of Pete Carroll again. Despite a deficiency of high-end defensive talent, Seattle always manage to create a production on defence, and as long as Russell Wilson is running the offence, they have the potential to win any game they're a part of.
14. Chicago Bears
Many experts have the Bears tipped to return to the playoffs, but I just see too many parallels to the Jaguars of 2018 to do the same. The way I see it, the likelihood of the defence repeating it's dominance again this year is low without Vic Fangio and I have no faith in Trubisky getting the job done on the other side of the ball. Matt Nagy is a great coach and Chicago will certainly be competitive, but I don't see them as a shoe-in for January football.
15. Tennessee Titans
I seem to be the only human outside of Nashville with this view, but I think the Titans are going to win the AFC South. I personally don't see a weakness at any position group in Tennessee, and that includes the quarterbacks. Although Mariota has struggled in recent times, he's taken a worse roster than this to the playoffs before, and so has backup QB Ryan Tannehill. They may not be sexy, but I expect Vrabel and company to get the job done.
16. Carolina Panthers
If Cam is healthy, the Panthers offence should be dynamic with McCaffrey, Moore and Samuel all looking set for great seasons. Then defensively, this team has more than enough talent to be a top half of the league unit with the coaching of Ron Rivera. The NFC South is a tough division to get out of, but Carolina have playoff potential in 2019. Do I think they'll make it? Probably not, but they've got a good shot.
17. New York Jets
I never thought I'd be saying this 6 months ago, but I actually quite like the Jets. Darnold has all the tools to take a big step forward in his sophomore year, and with Le'Veon Bell in the backfield, the green side of New York now has a star to cheer for on a Sunday (or a Thursday or a Monday or even a Saturday). Adam Gase took a Dolphins team much worse than this to the playoffs in 2016, I could see him doing similar this season.
18. Baltimore Ravens
I'm sorry Ravens fans but I don't see the Lamar Jackson experiment ending the way you hope it will. The Chargers showed the NFL how to stop the young dual threat quarterback in the playoffs last year and I expect teams to catch on quick. The defence will keep this team in the mix, but I don't see Baltimore as a playoff team this season.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars
I think it's fair to say that Nick Foles has a lot of pressure on his shoulders entering 2019, especially with Luck out of the division. I fully expect the Jags defence to elevate their play after a disappointing campaign last year, so a lot lies on whether or not the new QB in town can get the job done on offence. He hasn't got the supporting cast around him that he did in Philadelphia, but with John DeFilippo as his coordinator, he has every chance to succeed in Jacksonville.
20. Denver Broncos
If I had to choose a sleeper team to make the playoffs this year then I'd probably go for the Broncos. With Vangio at the helm I envision the Denver defence becoming one of the moist feared units in the league, much like they were when they won Super Bowl 50. On offence, the line is improved, the weapons are young and exciting, and I believe Joe Flacco has one more good season left in his right arm.
21. San Francisco 49ers
The football world is still waiting to see what the combination of Shanahan and Garoppolo can do when firing on all cylinders, but hopefully we'll find out this year. As much as this team excites me, I think they're a year or two away from being playoff contenders, let alone in the mix for a Super Bowl. That being said, I do expect the pass rush pairing of Ford and Bosa to give opposing tackles nightmares all season long.
22. Houston Texans
If you listen from 9:01 to 11:30 of episode 101 of the First Down Podcast you'll get a very detailed insight into what I think of the Texans organisation and Bill O'Brien. But in short, this team has too many holes to make a real playoff push, especially with one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this season. The AFC South may be there for the taking, but I don't see it ending up in Houston.
23. Indianapolis Colts
Even with Luck leading the team I wasn't massively high on the 2019 Colts, so now that the Stanford grad has called it a career I have even less faith in Frank Reich's team. My main concern is the defence, a unit that completely out produced it's talent last year and I predict a regression this season. I do expect Reich to get better play out of Brissett than when he started for Indy in 2017, but I can't see it being enough to be competitive.
24. Buffalo Bills
Just like has been the case ever since he arrived in Buffalo, I have high hopes for Sean McDermott's defence up in western New York. My big questions for the Bills are all on the offensive side of the ball. Will the offensive line be better with a bunch of new starters? Can Devin Singletary be a workhorse back? Will the new weapons gel with Josh Allen? Can Josh Allen be accurate? We'll have to wait and see.
25. Cincinnati Bengals
After week five of the 2018 NFL season I declared that the Cincinnati Bengals would win the AFC North. That didn't quite go to plan. Moving forward, with Zac Taylor replacing the immortal Marvin Lewis as the head coach I see a promising future for the franchise. However with the offensive line injuries and lack of defensive bite, I don't see the Bengals as a contender just yet.
26. Detroit Lions
And to think I used to quite enjoy watching Stafford and the Lions. Since the appointment of Matt Patricia as head coach, Detroit have decided to commit to running the ball and playing tough defence. As of yet, neither have panned out. 2019 could be the year we see this team take a step up, but I'm expecting more of a 6-10 season than a 10-6 season.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Can Bruce Arians come in and save Jameis Winston's career? Not with the Bucs current offensive line he can't. The combination of a complete lack of protection on offence and a vastly inexperienced secondary on defence, I can't see how Tampa Bay can be successful this year. As a fan of the man in the Kangol I hope I'm wrong, but I think I'm going to be right (surprisingly).
28. New York Giants
As impressive as Daniel Jones has looked in the preseason I'm going to keep my expectations reasonably low, especially after I was tricked by DeShone Kizer's August performances only a few years ago. Whether the Giants roll with Eli or throw in the rookie, the entirety of the roster in New York is deficient of top tier talent. If the G-Men make it it to .500 I'd consider that a success.
29. Oakland Raiders
The "Hard Knocks Effect" really hasn't worked on me with this year's Raiders team. I find Jon Gruden cliché-filled and patronising, Mike Mayock seems out of his depth, and Antonio Brown appears to be more of a hindrance than a help. On top of that, the defence is mediocre at best and the offensive line still looks to be an issue despite the amount of money that's been thrown at it. Oakland will have a top five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, mark my words.
30. Washington Redskins
The Redskins surprised me last year with Alex Smith under centre, but with either Case Keenum or Dwayne Haskins at the reins I doubt we'll see the same results. Even if one of the two QB's does step up, the weapons in Washington might just be the worst in the league. They'll most likely be solid defensively, but average offence might spell the end for Jay Gruden's time in the capital.
31. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona are going to be fun to watch in 2019. The thought of Kyler Murray throwing darts in Kliff Kingsbury's innovative air-raid system is a mouth-watering prospect. That being said, I can't see them winning too many football games. Although exciting, I expect the Cardinals offence to be inefficient and the defence may just be the worst in the NFL. As I see it, this franchise is boom or bust right now, and as much as I like Murray, I'm leaning towards the latter.
32. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are in full tank mode. See you at the 2021 NFL Draft.
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.
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.
Every NFL players strives to be the best in the league at their position and cement themselves as one of the sporting elite. Those who manage to reach this lofty status in a single season are recognised by the associated press and selected for the one of the two All-Pro teams. These fictional rosters identify the top 2 (or occasionally 3) players at each position on the field in the eyes of the media, but in my opinion, they don't always get it right. That's why I have decided to create my own teams, both first and second, and show my appreciation for the outstanding players of the 2018 NFL season.
First Team: Pat Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
Second Team: Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
First Team: Saquon Barkley (New York Giants)
Second Team: Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams)
First Team: DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans), Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons)
Second Team: Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs), Adam Thielen (Minnesota Vikings)
First Team: Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints)
Second Team: Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers)
First Team: George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers)
Second Team: Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs)
First Team: Terron Armstead (New Orleans Saints)
Second Team: David Bakhtiari (Green Bay Packers)
First Team: Joel Bitonio (Cleveland Browns)
Second Team: David DeCastro (Pittsburgh Steelers)
First Team: Jason Kelce (Philadelphia Eagles)
Second Team: Matt Paradis (Denver Broncos)
First Team: Zach Martin (Dallas Cowboys)
Second Team: Marshal Yanda (Baltimore Ravens)
First Team: Mitchell Schwartz (Kansas City Chiefs)
Second Team: Ryan Ramczyk (New Orleans Saints)
First Team: Khalil Mack (Chicago Bears), J.J. Watt (Houston Texans)
Second Team: Von Miller (Denver Broncos), Cameron Jordan (New Orleans Saints)
First Team: Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams), Fletcher Cox (Philadelphia Eagles)
Second Team: Chris Jones (Kansas City Chiefs), Damon Harrison (Detroit Lions)
First Team: Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks), Luke Kuechly (Carolina Panthers), Darius Leonard (Indianapolis Colts)
Second Team: Leighton Vander Esch (Dallas Cowboys), Zach Brown (Washington Redskins), Jaylon Smith (Dallas Cowboys)
First Team: Stephon Gilmore (New England Patriots), Byron Jones (Dallas Cowboys)
Second Team: Chris Harris Jr. (Denver Broncos), Kyle Fuller (Chicago Bears)
First Team: Derwin James (Los Angeles Chargers), Eddie Jackson (Chicago Bears)
Second Team: Jamal Adams (New York Jets), Kevin Byard (Tennessee Titans)
First Team: Desmond King (Los Angeles Chargers)
Second Team: Kareem Jackson (Houston Texans)
First Team: Aldrick Rosas (New York Giants)
Second Team: Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens)
First Team: Michael Dickson (Seattle Seahawks)
Second Team: Johnny Hekker (Los Angeles Rams)
First Team: Jakeem Grant (Miami Dolphins)
Second Team: Cordarelle Patterson (New England Patriots)
First Team: Andre Roberts (New York Jets)
Second Team: Tarik Cohen (Chicago Bears)
First Team: Cory Littleton (Los Angeles Rams)
Second Team: Albert McClellan (New England Patriots)
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).