2019 NFL Preseason QB Rankings
NFL training camps open in less than a month with excitement building for many teams who have not tasted a championship in decades. The annual exercise of ranking quarterbacks is fun but certainly not easy. This year the list contains only one QB per team with the selection process based on predicting which signal-caller will start the most games for each franchise. The methodology includes impact on the team, projected stats and of course winning. The 2018 season does not factor in the rankings as this serves as a projection for the 2019 season. The rankings themselves are by conference.
With no further ado:
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City: The reigning league MVP put on a show last year for the Chiefs. He led his squad to the AFC Championship – the expectations are that and more for the 2019 campaign.
2. Tom Brady, New England: One of, if not the, greatest quarterbacks of all-time brought home another championship last season. He may be slipping a bit – but the old savvy veteran is still the man to beat come playoff time.
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: The expectation is for Big Ben to fall off the proverbial cliff – but he continues to put up monster numbers, including last season where he led the league in passing yardage. The light may be at the end of the tunnel but expect another stellar season in 2019.
4. Baker Mayfield, Browns: The rookie QB etched his name in the record book with 27 TD passes last season. With a year of seasoning and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., the sky is the limit for Mayfield with immense excitement brewing in Cleveland.
5. Andrew Luck, Colts: Luck finally got his health back which resulted in a playoff appearance and victory for Indianapolis. He isn’t the willing runner he once was but is still a difficult match-up for any defense.
6. Deshaun Watson, Texans: Tremendous leader, gives everything he has each and every week. The Houston o-line let him down last year which resulted in big hits. He must protect himself and improve in the pocket for the Texans to reach their ultimate goal.
7. Phillip Rivers, Chargers: The wily old veteran continues to perform at a high level. The window is closing for the Bolts – this may be his last shot at a Super Bowl.
8. Josh Allen, Bills: His athleticism was on full display as a rookie – in part due to his lack of seasoning and in large part due to porous o-line play. The line has been improved which will result in a big step for Allen.
9. Derek Carr, Raiders: The Silver & Black will be much better in 2019 with major additions on offense – specifically Antonio Brown. Expect big growth by Carr with a full year of Gruden’s system under his belt.
10. Nick Foles, Jaguars: Jacksonville believes Foles is the acquisition to get them over the hump. He is a clutch – tough competitor but his willingness to hang in the pocket while absorbing hits is a concern as is the Jags’ offense as a whole.
11. Sam Darnold, Jets: Adam Gase will have his young QB to work with in his first season as the Jets’ head coach. Darnold showed promise and has a chance to be a high-level QB but a new system could limit his growth. He could rapidly rise up the rankings.
12. Lamar Jackson, Ravens: The question with Jackson will always be surrounding his passing ability – or lack thereof. However, few bring the athleticism that Jackson possesses. Baltimore is building a team and offense that suits his skill set.
13. Andy Dalton, Bengals: He has suffered through criticism – mostly to his lack of success in the playoffs but had some really good seasons. As the level of talent around him has dwindled – he has become pedestrian.
14. Marcus Mariota, Titans: At times the former Heisman Trophy winner looks like he is the answer in Tennessee but most of the time nagging injuries have set him back. He has not progressed enough from the pocket to be considered a franchise quarterback.
15. Joe Flacco, Broncos: The former Super Bowl winner was jettisoned to Denver this offseason to be Elway’s latest answer at the position. He is long in the tooth and lacks mobility but if the defense can carry them – he can play well enough to win some games.
16. Josh Rosen, Dolphins: Rosen will not start the whole season after being acquired from the Cardinals. However, he has a chance to be their future and will likely start more games than veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has talent but will require patience.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers: A new coaching staff and system in Green Bay may rejuvenate the uber-talented Rodgers’ career. He possesses as much natural talent as any quarterback in the history of the game. Expect huge numbers once again in Titletown.
2. Drew Brees, Saints: One of the best to ever play the game, Brees isn’t asked to do as much as years past but can still put the ball wherever he wants. Championship will once again be the goal in the Crescent City.
3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks: He has been hit with many labels in his career but the fact of the matter is this – he flat out wins and produces. Wilson is a great athlete who has improved in the pocket. No matter the departures – Seattle is always in the mix.
4. Carson Wentz, Eagles: The story of his career has been injuries. When healthy, he is a bonafide franchise quarterback. He can move in and out of the pocket – and can thread it no matter the elements. His team will once again be in championship contention.
5. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers: His season was cut short last year which destroyed San Francisco’s playoff aspirations. Although he has seen limited action, his command of his team and immediate impact were obvious in his brief stints with the Niners. Risky ranking only due to his health status.
6. Mitch Trubisky, Bears: He came into his rookie season with only one full season as a collegiate starter. In year two, with a system more centered on the QB – Trubisky took major strides. He and HC Matt Nagy will grow even more in their second year together. The Bears will be a factor.
7. Matt Ryan, Falcons: Somewhat unheralded – Ryan continues to put up big stats. Many point to the dome or lack of winning but he has been one of the most productive QBs year in – year out. For his legacy to be more than just stats – he will need a return to the Super Bowl and this time a ring.
8. Kirk Cousins, Vikings: In many ways, Cousins is viewed in a similar fashion as Ryan. He will put up stats but winning consistently – especially against playoff caliber teams has been an issue. This is a huge season for him and the Vikings.
9. Jared Goff, Rams: The Sean McVay system has fit well with Goff. He put a big season last year culminating in a Super Bowl appearance. He doesn’t possess the greatest natural attributes but plays within himself.
10. Dak Prescott, Cowboys: Prescott has been under much scrutiny in Dallas. He improved with the acquisition of Amari Cooper. The pressure will only increase with a contract extension drawing nigh.
11. Cam Newton, Panthers: Although Carolina is a grind it out type of team – Newton has put up good numbers throughout his career. Shoulder injuries are a major concern. The best of Newton may already be behind him.
12. Matthew Stafford, Lions: Few signal-callers look the part more than Stafford. He has exceptional arm strength and can throw with accuracy. However, it has not translated into consistent winning. At some point, will Matt Patricia take the route his mentor Bill Belichick did early in his career regarding the QB position?
13. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins: It is unlikely the rookie will put up big numbers in his debut season but he will have a veteran group around him which should keep them in games. Jay Gruden will tailor a conservative gameplan around Haskins – that along with a solid defense should keep the Skins in the playoff hunt.
14. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers: One of the more intriguing QB/HC combinations in the entire league is Winston and Bruce Arians. How long will Arians’ patience last with the mistake prone Winston? This will be a hit or miss situation.
15. Kyler Murray, Cardinals: He will start out of the gate and likely put up more numbers combined passing/rushing than many QBs ranked ahead of him. However, his impact and the win totals will likely be minimal during his rookie campaign. 2020 will be a much different story.
16. Eli Manning, Giants: The “Boo Birds” will likely be out in full force early on. Although the fan base is not thrilled with rookie QB Daniel Jones, on the bench he will provide something Manning cannot – hope.