Outkick Ranks The 32 NFL Starting Quarterbacks

Ranking NFL quarterbacks is tough to do. Some guys play with dumpster fire organizations — like Baker Mayfield in Cleveland — and some spend years in luxury: Tom Brady.

We’re going to rank the field of 2020 NFL quarterbacks and do our best to consider each guy’s situation to help or hurt their case.

Lets go.

32. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears

An eye test puts Trubisky higher on this list, but his inability to throw the ball for a great team takes the cake as the NFL’s worst quarterback. There’s a reason plenty took their talents to Vegas for a wager on Chicago to hoist last year’s Lombardi trophy. Mitchell Trubisky stinking up the field with inaccurate throws was the only thing stopping that train. Somehow pastor Nick Foles hasn’t been declared Week 1’s starter, but there’s no way he isn’t.

31. Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers

Taylor isn’t the answer in L.A. The Chargers know it. He wasn’t awful last year in Buffalo, but his mediocre play makes him a place holder for the eventual starter midseason: Justin Herbert. You don’t select a quarterback #6 overall to sit them behind a guy who’s been great no where. The Eagles said all the same things before they traded their starter to hand the keys to Carson Wentz. We don’t take kindly to placeholders on our list. Sorry.

30. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Football Team

The second-year quarterback showed absolutely no sign of life in 2019. Last year’s underwear streak of a performance did have a catch: The entire team was bad. No one could catch. 27th ranked defense so they couldn’t get anyone off the field and gave an underperforming Haskins no type of field position. Everything about the Washington roster struggled, so 30 is the best we could do.

29. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers

Seemed like Teddy’s 5-0 record as a starter had more to do with a dynamo of a roster in New Orleans. Don’t want to give him no credit for getting it done, but it’s hard to lose games with an 11th ranked defense and Michael Thomas in the building. The Saints’ receiving core could bring Brett Favre out of retirement. Combine Bridgewater’s past injuries and the fact he’ll be running for his life in Carolina, his 2020 season looks bleak.

28. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins

Fitz-mania was fun, but with the arrival of Tua, no one gives a damn about that anymore. The random magic of Ryan Fitzpatrick should remind us all of Linsanity in New York. A blast while it lasted, but it’ll be on to bigger and better things with Tua in 2020.

27. Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars

Minshew did everything right last year. The team signed up for an $88 million deal with Nick Foles, so they understandably got cold feet with Minshew. The good news is that Jacksonville’s front office owned up to the mistake and unleashed Minshew magic back into the starting lineup. We have him at 27, so it’s safe to say we don’t think he’ll be the next Tom Brady out the sixth round.

26. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

Too many reps of Carr running away from defensive ends to continue his development. The Raiders broke the number one rule in developing a quarterback and that is to speed up their mental clock. Carr routinely looks to escape the pocket, whether the line broke down or not. Has the skillset to play great quarterback, but the team didn’t do him much justice in the years leading up. Sorry to see Carr this low.

25. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos

Can’t fall in love with his record in 2019, but we can fall head over heals with the Broncos’ 2020 draft. Are you kidding me? Bama’s Jerry Jeudy and Penn State standout KJ Hamler to add onto a core that already had an 1,112 yards with Courtland Sutton? Drew Lock has a real opportunity to capitalize on an opportunity young players are lucky to see. Definitely buying into Lock’s progression and how that roster gives him more than just a shot.

24. Phillip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts

Expect a TON of game managing in Indianapolis. The colts had an elite offensive line and a solid running game, so don’t hold your breath for them to drop Rivers back a ton. Phillip Rivers will play like a severely watered down Dak Prescott. Quarterback play aside, the Indianapolis Colts could really win some games with the job their office has done.

23. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

Goff was paid like a star. He did nothing in 2019 that resembled a player worth anything close to that type of money. The Rams were blinded by staring at team success in 2018 and forked up 4-years, $134 million. That contract thrusted him in conversations with quarterbacks like Carson Wentz he frankly has no part in. Not looking for team success to push Goff up this list, but more so his accuracy down the field and getting the damn ball in the end zone.

22. Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Jones showed flashes last year. Preseason aside, he made some throws that made me believe in a future of stardom. The team was a dumpster fire, but so were the Arizona Cardinals in Kyler Murray’s rookie season. We believe in him. So maybe we should throw some hope in the talent that New York looks like they’re trying to hide.

21. Joe Burrow, Cincinatti Bengals

Take note on how this list says he plays for the CINCINNATI BENGALS. There’s no telling how any player plays when you thrust them into the Bengals locker room. X’s and O’s give me no reason to sell on Burrow, but this organization wouldn’t shock me if they turned lemons into RC Cola. Joe Burrow deserves to be way higher on this list given the expectations, but this roster may not allow him to flourish year one.

20. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Really the same concept to follow with Joe Burrow. Can the Cleveland Browns bring anyone into this franchise and give them a puncher’s chance? Mayfield at least showed what he could do his rookie year, but he’s been it turning over more than Kim Kardashian did for Ray J. The Browns gave up needed o-line help to secure Odell Beckham last offseason, so hopefully some additions they’ve made can soften that blow.

19. Cam Newton, New England Patriots

Superman had some time to get his body right and I’m expecting him to play better football in 2020. Unfortunately for Cam (and Bill Belichick) half the Patriot roster was scared off by COVID. Newton will still be must-see Sunday television, but this roster isn’t doing him much of a favor to show the world what Carolina passed on.

18. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

Ryan Tannehill will undoubtably be claimed to be “underrated” by his fanbase. Couldn’t be further from the truth. The Titans roster was built to run the ball like they’re in the SEC, but game plans ALWAYS WIN. Count on it. You can play one way for a year and the league always manages to expose your weakness. That weakness is Ryan Tannehill using his arm. Not allowing Derrick Henry to run wild. The Cowboys were forced to adjust and so were Kap’s run-first 49ers. Selling hard on Tannehill.

17. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Ben doesn’t have the body and more importantly the weather to come back at 38-years-old from major elbow surgery. He has a better team and coach than the guys above him on this list so my faith is more in them. Roethlisberger knows the game and that alone gives me more confidence that he’ll be middle of the pack in 2020.

16. Sam Darnold, New York Jets

The team was bad last year. No denying it. They couldn’t block for Sam Darnold and it didn’t help that he missed three games with mono. Everything was working to throw the Jets to the wolves in 2019, but taking o-line help in the first round is what Sam Darnold needs. A supreme talent in New York deserves better decisions from the front office. This year was a start, but for Darnold to move up further, they’ll need to take a page out of Indianapolis’ book.

15. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Allen is probably the only quarterback in the league I would classify as very good while also being wildly inaccurate. His legs are magic. As I expected Ryan Tannehill to be forced to throw the ball down the field, I expect the same adjustments for Allen. Luckily for Buffalo it’ll be so freakin’ cold that you have to use your legs to win there in the playoffs anyway. Never thought I would see the day the weather in Buffalo, New York as a blessing.

14. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

I have Matt Ryan aging like pirate’s feet. For a guy that loves to hit his down the field wizard in Julio Jones, being 35-years-old doesn’t work. If you think Matt Ryan will just dial it back and hit short routes: when has he ever been good in tight windows? There’s a reason the Matt Ryan-Julio Jones tandem never got the ball in the end zone. They’re better in space and aging quarterbacks and down the field throwing go together like Salmon and A.1.

13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Picking on Kirk Cousins felt exactly the same as poking fun of Tony Romo back in the day. We all knew he was playing great football, but it never works out in the end. Losing offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and Stefan Diggs from the receiving core steps him back from last year. A step back from last year is still better than most. 13 was the best I could do as we get into the game’s elite. THAT Kirk Cousins is not.

12. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

His entire legacy would be seen differently if he hadn’t missed one throw in the Super Bowl. Easy to say he has to make that play, but only one guy makes every play his team needs. When you play Patrick Mahomes, chances are that he’ll make one more throw than you. It’s science.

11. Mathew Stafford, Detroit Lions

At some point Mathew Stafford’s injuries catch up. He’s juggling how to keep his body ready for 16 weeks, but also a new offensive coordinator. Never know how open any player is to coaching when what they were doing last year was working. Stafford would tell you himself the defense has always been the problem in Detroit. Why are we coaching me harder? Stafford’s talents propels him high on this list regardless of the circus.

10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Some of the easier throws for Murray in his rookie season were the “harder” ones for everyone else. Expecting the supremely talented Murray to improve on intermediate throws doesn’t feel far fetched. Seems likely. No telling if last year’s top pick can handle his new expectations, but Arizona’s dominance of this year’s draft will make Murray look good. They didn’t just use their draft to address o-line troubles. That defense looks miles ahead of last year, too.

9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

The foundation for a letdown 2020 season is already there. Quarterback that believes he was shortchanged by Jerry Jones for a team that’s already in the spotlight. Dallas even got in Zeke Elliot’s ear that they’re looking to throw the ball more. A dangerous game to play with a QB that’s never carried a franchise. I’m expecting plenty of mistakes early and pressure in Jerry World to mount quick.

8. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccanears

I’m predicting a 12-win season for the Bucs, so it’s not like I don’t see Brady bouncing back. He will. Tampa is dominant at every position Tom Brady ever needed to be successful: Slot(Chris Godwin) and tight end(Rob Gronkowski). With a solid offensive line, expect the old man to take the young guys to school in 2020. After all, The Bucs were pretty good last year with a quarterback that couldn’t see.

7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

I’ll keep this short. Aaron Rodgers watched this team take Jordan Love first round out of Utah State. Not even like the Packers took some surefire pick that didn’t help Rodgers in any way in 2020. They REACHED on a project quarterback and punted on helping him right the wrongs of last year. They gave up. It’s “Go-to-hell” time for Aaron Rodgers. He’s a man on a mission that I expect to come out in “week 16” mode.

6. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz played with an offense last year no one recognized, but things change with health. Will Wentz stay on the field? Probably not, but his talent to carry a franchise shouldn’t be questioned again. We damn sure know that the Jared Goff conversation died years ago. Wentz should be an absolute monster in 2020 with all eyes on Dak Prescott and his contract.

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees’ heroic December(winning him player of the month) makes him a strong bet to annihilate 2020. I wasn’t kind to Matt Ryan over his age, but Brees dominates the middle of the field. His game plays as long as he wants it to. Expect a deep playoff run for Drew Brees’ final hurrah.

4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

A top talent in the game that quarterbacks for Bill O’Brien, unfortunately. His front office trading away DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for a washing machine did nothing to help the 2020 campaign.

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Part of me believes the league can adjust to any style. The other side of my brain says Lamar Jackson is generationally good at meshing the quarterback and running back positions. Overall Jackson should still impose his will on NFL defenses for at least another season.

2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson is the only player in the NFL that succeeds in spite of a poor game plan. This team buys into the running game every year and Wilson still manages to prove himself to be right up there with the best anyway. It’s time to give Wilson his flowers for being #2 behind the game’s best player. No shame in that.

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

This guy is so much better than than the field that he has no problem showing us new tricks under pressure. We truly are not worthy. Generationally great player that has a chance to go down as the best quarterback in NFL History. Hard to find any way to make a prediction we’ll see anything different in the 2020 season. Kansas City is king, for now.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

21 Comments

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  1. Oh boy, Gary. Get ready for it. Just kidding. This is a pretty well rounded ranking IMO.

    Wentz before Brady is interesting as is Dak in front of Kyler Murray 🧐

    Enjoyed it. Keep up the bitchin’ work!

  2. Great to finally have a true sports article, thank you!

    I do think Rivers might surprise this year, he’s never been a game manager, not in his DNA. But he is one of the greatest “dink and dunk” QB’s to ever play the game. Expect a lot of short passes, Jack Doyle is in line for a big year, as is Nyheim Hines.

    • Much of what determines a great NFL QB is the 6 inches between their ears. That’s where people underrate Rivers and vastly overrate Mayfield. Or as I like to call him Baker Manziel.

  3. Hey Gary,
    Looks good your ratings. I have a little push back from #20 – 32, but no biggie…the rest looks good to me. I’d like to think Daniel Jones has a better year than Joe Burrow, but we’ll have to wait for it.

  4. Welp Gary, you got #1 right. I would bet my house on Brady as #2. All the others are way off. Especially this top 10 man. Wow.

    I’m working on a list that shows likely 5-7 of these guys won’t finish even half a season. And at least one guy will probably throw a fit and get released.

    Stay tuned for my list.

    • I noticed that too, but let it go, Tyrod was average in Buffalo recent enough. If not for drafting Justin Herbert I think the Bolts would have picked up Kaepernick, that franchise is desperate to sell tickets and build interest, especially now that Derwin James is done AGAIN.

      I think Herbert is going to be good for them. Love the Oregon connection as was Foutsy.

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