Ranking all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks for 2020
We’re seeing a shift in the NFL landscape when it comes to quarterbacks. The older generation is slowly getting phased out and a new and exciting group of franchise quarterbacks are taking over.
Where does Carson Wentz rank on that list?
Well, you’ll find out a little later. Here’s how I rank the 32 starting quarterbacks heading into the 2020 NFL season (updated with Cam Newton). The Eagles face four of the top five in 2020.
(All photos USA Today Images)
32. Redskins: Dwayne Haskins
There’s a reason some folks thought the 'Skins should have thought about taking Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 2 pick. But they didn’t and now we’ll see if Haskins really is the future. In his rookie season, he played in nine games (seven starts), completing just 58.6 percent of his passes with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. It wasn’t a great start to his career.
31. Bears: Mitchell Trubisky
Sure, there’s a really good chance Nick Foles wins the job in Chicago, but we can’t just assume that. So for now I’m sticking with Trubisky here. The former No. 2 pick put up good numbers in 2018 but came back to Earth in a big way in 2019. To make matter worse, two QBs drafted after him are top QBs in the league.
30. Chargers: Tyrod Taylor
Justin Herbert is expected to take over eventually, so Taylor is the stop-gap QB for now. Taylor, 30, can win some games but he’s not very good. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2015-17 with the Bills.
29. Jaguars: Gardner Minshew
Minshew-mania died down some but all together, he had a solid rookie season. Minshew threw for 3,200 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. And in his final four games of the season, Minshew had 7TD/1 INT.
28. Broncos: Drew Lock
The second-round pick started five games and led the Broncos to a 4-1 record, but we don’t have a huge body of work to look at. In those five starts, Lock threw for over 1,000 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
27. Giants: Daniel Jones
The first-round pick started 12 games and had a 3-9 record last season. There were definite growing pains but good signs too. He ended up throwing for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns as he enters Year 2.
26. Dolphins: Ryan Fitzpatrick
It’s only a matter of time before Tua takes over in Miami but in the meantime, they’ll ride with the 37-year-old journeyman, who has had some great moments in Miami. But there’s a reason why he’s bounced around so much in his career.
25. Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater
The Panthers moved on from Cam Newton this offseason and brought in Bridgewater, who hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2015. But after recovering from that horrific knee injury, Bridgewater ended up in New Orleans as the best backup in the league. Now it looks like he’ll have a chance to be the Week 1 starter again.
24. Jets: Sam Darnold
Sort of a mixed bag of results for Darnold in his first two NFL seasons, but there’s still a lot of hope that he’s the future for the Jets. He’s been inconsistent but Joe Douglas is working to put a better team around him and we’ve seen enough good things from him to think he might be able to move up this list.
23. Browns: Baker Mayfield
After an impressive rookie season, Mayfield simply didn’t have a very good 2019. So what should we expect from him in 2020? It’s hard to say. Will we see the electric player that debuted as a rookie or the player who threw nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns last year?
22. Bengals: Joe Burrow
It’s very hard to place rookies on these lists, but Burrow is the only one guaranteed to be a Week 1 starter. And the No. 1 overall pick has a chance to be really good in this league. You never know for sure, but he seemingly has all the tools.
21. Colts: Philip Rivers
The 38-year-old was a Pro Bowler from 2016-18 but didn’t have a great 2019 season and is now heading to the Colts. Rivers might end up in the Hall of Fame one day, but it seems like he’s well past his prime.
20. Bills: Josh Allen
In Year 2, Allen led the Bills to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. He threw for 3,000 yards and ran for another 500. His accuracy still isn’t good, but he at least improved in his second NFL season. As a pure passer, he’s not great, but he found ways to win last year.
19. Raiders: Derek Carr
It’s hard to believe Carr is already entering Year 7 in the NFL. While he made three Pro Bowlers from 2015-17, he has settled into that area as a solid NFL starter. He’s been good, not great, and he’s probably going to stay in that zone.
18. Cardinals: Kyler Murray
The Offensive Rookie of the Year had an electric first NFL season. He threw for over 3,700 yards and ran for another 544. He’s a fun player to watch and after seeing Lamar Jackson’s jump from Year 1 to Year 2, it’ll be exciting to see what happens with Murray in 2020.
17. Rams: Jared Goff
The former No. 1 overall pick is coming off a down year in 2019 after two straight Pro Bowl seasons. He threw for over 4,600 yards last year but had just 22 touchdowns to 16 picks. He has the ability to bounce back but I’m not sure if his ceiling is a top-10 guy anymore.
16. Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is 38 now and is coming off what was pretty much a lost season after an elbow injury. He is back for 2020 and as long as he can stay healthy, should be able to put together a big season.
15. 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo
Will he ever be an MVP candidate? Probably not. But Garoppolo had an efficient season in 2020 and led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl appearance. This real question: Can they get over the hump with him as their QB?
14. Patriots: Cam Newton
In my initial list I had Jarrett Stidham as No. 32 out of 32, so Newton is quite an improvement. Honestly, it was hard to figure out where to put Newton. He’s a former MVP but he’s coming off a foot injury that limited him to just two games last season. If Newton is healthy, there’s absolutely no doubt that he wins the starting job in New England and is already the best QB in the AFC East.
13. Falcons: Matt Ryan
He’s 35 now but Ryan has been very consistent during his NFL career, throwing for over 4,000 yards in each of the last nine seasons. But he’s now three years removed from his MVP season and it seems like those days are gone.
12. Cowboys: Dak Prescott
The Cowboys have yet to pay their quarterback, which means Prescott might be stuck playing the 2020 season on a franchise tag. Prescott isn’t as talented as one of the players higher on this list, but he has a 40-24 record in four NFL seasons and he hasn’t missed a game. He’s a good, solid quarterback who has plenty of weapons around him.
11. Vikings: Kirk Cousins
Stefon Diggs is gone but the Vikings drafted Justin Jefferson so Cousins will still have plenty of weapons. Cousins had a very good season in 2019 but there might not be a ton of room for growth.
10. Buccaneers: Tom Brady
It feels almost blasphemous to have Brady so low on this list but we saw some real decline in his game last season. Now with the Bucs, he’ll be 43 for the start of the 2020 season. Father Time is still undefeated, even though Brady has given him a run for his money.
9. Titans: Ryan Tannehill
I never thought we’d see the day where Tannehill ended up as a top-10 quarterback, but he deserves it. He was so efficient last year, leading the Titans to the playoffs with a 117.5 passer rating. He was rewarded with a four-year, $118 million extension.
8. Lions: Matthew Stafford
Stafford was playing at an extremely high level in 2019 before fractures in his back ended his season. He’s a good pick for Comeback Player of the Year. It’s like Stafford has been hiding in Detroit for years. He’s made just one Pro Bowl, but he’s been a consistently good quarterback and was nearly on pace for a 5,000-yard season before going down last year.
7. Eagles: Carson Wentz
What Wentz did down the stretch of the 2019 season was pretty incredible. He carried a group of receivers who began the year on the practice squad into the playoffs. He needs to prove he can stay healthy and he needs to be more consistent, but Wentz at his best is nearly as good as any quarterback in the league. With some speed around him this season, he should be even better.
6. Texans: Deshaun Watson
Bill O’Brien traded away perennial All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins, which couldn’t have made Watson very happy. But the former No. 12 overall pick is coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons and is one of the most electric players in the NFL.
5. Packers: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is a future Hall of Famer who hasn’t been at his best the last couple of seasons and now he’s 36. But something tells me the Packers’ drafting Jordan Love in the first round is going to light a crazy fire under Rodgers. I see a big season coming.
4. Saints: Drew Brees
I know he’s 41 now and I know he won’t play forever, but Brees is still really good. After coming back from his thumb injury, Brees was amazing in the last four games of the 2019 season. He threw for over 1,100 yards with 15 touchdowns and no interceptions down the stretch.
3. Ravens: Lamar Jackson
The league’s MVP in 2019 was outstanding. He threw for 3,127 yards with 36 touchdowns and then rushed for another 1,200. Those are staggering numbers. So staggering it’s hard for me to imagine him doing it again. Even if he doesn’t, Jackson has the chance to be a great player for a long time.
2. Seahawks: Russell Wilson
The reason Wilson is ahead of Jackson is because of consistency over a period of time. It’s not Jackson’s fault obviously, but let’s see him do it for more than one season. Wilson is a no-doubt-about-it Hall of Famer in the middle of his prime. He’s still just 31 and had a tremendous 2019 season. While he doesn’t run as much as he did earlier in his career, he’s become an even better passer.
1. Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes
This was the easiest decision of them all. No, Mahomes didn’t duplicate his 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown season, but he was still incredible and led the Chiefs to their Super Bowl title. He’s going to get paid all the money.