With the NFL regular season starting tomorrow night, those of us here at The Bench Sports will be ranking the top 10 for a variety of NFL positions. Today, I’m focusing on the quarterbacks. Keep in mind, my rankings are primarily based on ability TODAY although some past history is factored in as well.
1: Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
Rodgers recently got PAID and he should be worth every penny for the Packers. Rodgers missed most of the 2017 season and it really showed just how flawed Green Bay is without him. In 2016, AR12 threw for over 4,400 yards, 40 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. Aaron Rodgers is still the baddest dude playing the QB position on a football field.
2: Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz, like Rodgers, is coming off a major injury in 2017 that forced him to miss a good chunk of games for his squad. Before Wentz tore his ACL late in the year, he was on track for potential MVP honors. In 13 games, Wentz threw for nearly 3,300 yards, 33 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. Wentz will likely miss the first part of the season for Philly but he’s as good as it gets at the QB position and could surpass Rodgers as Wentz matures while Rodgers’ ability deteriorates.
3: Tom Brady – New England Patriots
I know, TB12 was the 2017 NFL MVP; how could I possibly have him third on this list? It’s based on ability today, not his career reputation. TB12 is one of the greatest to ever suit up and be the leader of a football team. This isn’t a knock on Brady’s overall ability, he’s just 41. FOURTY-ONE. TB12 will still do his usual thing and be a top 5 passer with a great TD to INT ratio but his ability in general just isn’t at the level of what Rodgers and Wentz can do on a football field. Brady is as smart as they come but his physical gifts are starting to slip away.
4: Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
Brees, like Brady, is getting older but still among the most elite at the QB position. His touchdowns (23) were down last year compared to the rest of his career, but he still threw for over 4,300 yards while posting a low turnover rate. Brees might not be what he was in 2010, but he’s still pretty damn good.
5: Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
Yes, I know he hasn’t really played since the end of 2016. No, I do not care. The last time Andrew Luck was 100% healthy, he threw for nearly 4,800 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Turnovers have always been an issue with Luck, but his ability to rack up yardage and put up points consistently puts him just inside the top five QB group. We’ll see if Luck supports my thinking here or if he just isn’t the same player we once knew.
6: Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Russ was very, very close with Luck in the positional rankings. Russ is much more of a running threat and doesn’t turn the ball over, but too often Russ feels like a glorified game manager. Russ doesn’t really take risks when his team needs him to make a big time play. He can make big plays, no doubt, but he’s never really had to carry a team throughout his career. That’s what separates him from Luck and the other guys in the top 5.
7: Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions
Based on ability alone, Stafford is one of the most naturally talented QBs in the NFL. I do think an argument could be made for him to be considered top 5. He routinely puts up great numbers and is always the field general of a potent offense. There’s just something missing to put him higher and I can’t quite put my thumb on it.
8: Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan is such an interesting case as far as rankings go. There are some people think that he is severely underrated, however there are also people who think he’s severely overhyped. He’s not super special in any one facet of playing QB but he’s good in a lot of areas. He’s kind of mobile. He has a good arm but not an elite one. He’s accurate but can be inconsistent. Yes, he’s a former MVP but I just can’t put him above the other guys on this list.
9: Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
Another perplexing case of how to evaluate a QB. Cam Newton’s 2015 season is one of the most dominant seasons we’ve seen in recent memory. He has an elite arm and is basically a running back in a QB’s body. His issue is consistency as well. Another former MVP but his inconsistencies just keep him a little lower on this list.
10: Phillip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers
Maybe a bit of a surprise here at #10 but Rivers is someone that I feel like is constantly overlooked. I think he’s a bit of a jerk and he’s not super likable but the man is a good QB, despite the awkward throwing motion. Rivers continually has his offense ranked in the top half of the league and they’ve always had an explosive passing attack.
There’s my list of the top 10 NFL QBs. Let me know who got snubbed by tweeting us @TheBench_. Let’s have a discussion!