Now that the NFL Draft is over and free agency is done, we have a good idea of what the quarterback situation will be like for each team. So here at the Big Lead, we used a group effort to rank the quarterbacks for 1-50 for the upcoming season, considering everyone on a roster plus free agents. Eight writers submitted their individual rankings and these are the composite results (and yes, there were plenty of differences of opinion–the individual rankings are below).
These rankings are for 2018 only, taking into account whatever the individual wanted to consider, from health, past production, age, teammates, and system. So these are not projections of the next 3-5 years.
All the commentary is mine, but the rankings are a collaboration.
#1 Aaron Rodgers
Are we collectively too generous with Aaron Rodgers? We saw how much of a difference he made last year when the Packers had to play without him. He will turn 35 years old this year and is coming off a season where he missed 9 games. If he plays the full 16, he is the best in the game.
#2 Tom Brady
Still going strong at age 41. Older quarterbacks have fallen off a cliff suddenly, but it’s foolhardy to bet against Tom Brady.
#3 Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson led the NFL in touchdown passes last year and was the primary weapon on the ground with a struggling Seattle running game. He may have to do just as much this year, and is turning 30, an age when plenty of quarterbacks have made a leap.
#4 Drew Brees
For the first time since 2010, Drew Brees averaged less than 300 passing yards a game, and his 23 passing touchdowns were his lowest since 2003. Still, he was highly efficient and led the NFL in completions, while the team relied on its rejuvenated running game with Alvin Kamara more. I was the lowest on Brees accounting for his age, and the potential for decline we’ve seen at this same point with many Hall of Famers, but he is still one of the best.
#5 Matt Ryan
Just one year removed from winning league MVP, Matt Ryan is still only 33 and capable of another big year in 2018 in an offense that should be among the league’s best.
#6 Carson Wentz
How will the recovery from the knee injury go? Carson Wentz was an MVP candidate in just his second year in the league a year ago, and his health may determine if he can duplicate those numbers for the defending champs in 2018.
#7 Jimmy Garoppolo
We are collectively bullish on Jimmy Garoppolo despite less than 10 career starts, as he was inside the top 10 in all but one ranking. He’s got a career yards per attempt of 8.3 on 272 career passes, and his teams are 7-0 in games he has started.
#8 Ben Roethlisberger
#9 Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers continues to get it done, and the franchise move did not impact his production. He’s now 6th all-time in passing touchdowns.
#10 Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford has led the NFL the last two seasons in game winning drives, and has kept the Lions in playoff contention both years. He’s turning 30 and seems to be entering his prime. Can he make a leap like Matt Ryan did two years ago?