NFL’s Top 10 Quarterbacks

David Koier, Courier Staff

With the NFL season kicking off this Thursday and with the reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the Houston Texans, it seemed fit to look over the NFL’s signal callers and rank who looks the best coming into the 2020 campaign. Here are my picks for the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL entering the 2020 season.

No. 10 Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: Prescott is often underrated among NFL quarterbacks despite putting up top tier numbers. In the 2019 season, Prescott threw for almost 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, recording a 99.7 quarterback ranking, good for second highest in his career. The only thing overshadowing the Mississippi State product is the fact that the Cowboys were only able to post an 8-8 record. Prescott should be able to put up similar, if not better, numbers in the 2020 season with the offseason addition of head coach Mike McCarthy and rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb

No. 9 Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles: Wentz’s numbers from 2019 are insane (4,039 yards and 27 touchdowns) considering that his best perimeter weapon last season was Alshon Jeffery, with 490 yards. The former North Dakota State Bison quarterback’s targets were his two tight ends (Zach Ertz led the team with 916 receiving yards), running back Miles Sanders and a slew of unknowns. Even with a receiving core that doesn’t stack up with other QBs on this list, Wentz led the Eagles to a division title and a 4,000 yard season.

No. 8 Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: The 2016 NFL MVP had an uneven campaign in 2019. The yardage was good (4,466, fifth in the NFL), but his 14 interceptions were the seventh most among NFL QBs. Still, Ryan remains one of the NFL’s best signal callers and if he can clean up the high volume of turnovers, he will remain at that top tier.

No. 7 Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perhaps the biggest news of the offseason, Brady left the New England Patriots to sign with the Bucs. With the changing of uniforms, the veteran QB is also getting an upgrade in weaponry. Not only is he throwing to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans this season, but one of his favorite targets in his time at NE, Rob Gronkowski, came out of retirement to sign with the Bucs and reunite with his QB. Will the 43-year-old be able to pull out one more miraculous season that ends with him hoisting the Lombardi trophy, or will the aging QB struggle with his new team and new coach?

No. 6 Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: Another aging QB on this list, this could be it for Brees. The veteran QB missed five games last season but was able to return to finish out strong. He threw 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions over the last four regular season games for the Saints. The magic is still there for the New Orleans signal caller, but can he pull off one last dominating effort and ride off into the sunset after his second Super Bowl victory this season?

No. 5 Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: It’s no secret that Rodgers’ performance has been on the decline in recent years. However, that doesn’t mean that Rodgers is not a top tier talent. The Green Bay veteran QB was able to just eclipse the 4,000 yard mark while tossing 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The Packers made it to the NFC Championship but fell hard to the San Francisco 49ers in a game that saw a poor showing from Green Bay’s offense. With the drafting of quarterback Jordan Love in the 2020 Draft, it will be interesting to see if that will be enough motivation to launch Rodgers to his former MVP form.

No. 4 Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans: Watson got paid on Saturday, and he deserved every penny of it. Despite playing behind a rough offensive line and having to deal with the coaching styles of Bill O’Brien, Watson was able to make some impressive plays and put some impressive stats en route to an AFC South title. With the loss of his top receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Watson is going to need to step up his game even further than his already incredible 2019 campaign if the Texans are going to make it anywhere near the postseason.

No. 3 Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: Some may argue that the reigning NFL MVP is too low on this list, and that’s a fair statement. The reasoning behind it is that while Jackson plays QB, as he likes to quip, “not bad for a running back,” history likes to say it’s unsustainable. He’s a proven scrambler (1,206 yards on the ground) and strong passer (3,127 yards in the air) but running the ball as a QB can only get you so far, and as last season showed, it wasn’t the Super Bowl. Jackson is a top-three quarterback, but he needs to win more often from the pocket for Baltimore to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

No. 2 Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson is the type of player who, despite getting dealt a weak hand (in this case a bottom tier offensive line), he still goes above and beyond to make things work with 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 2019. With a real nice cast of weapons, look for Wilson to push once more for the MVP.

No. 1 Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: Mahomes stands alone above all other QBs in the NFL. The reigning Super Bowl champ enters the 2020 season as both MVP and repeat Super Bowl champion frontrunner. Mahomes has thrived under the tutelage of offensive genius Andy Reid (who just signed a contract extension with the Chiefs) and will routinely have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Clyde Edwards-Helaire to target once more this season. At this point, it’s just unfair.