Ranking NFL Quarterbacks 1-32 For the 2017 Season


We attempted to ranking the NFL’s starting QBs ahead of the NFL draft. Rankings are subjective. We did NOT answer: What QB would you take if you were starting a franchise? This is NOT based on career accomplishments. This is, right now, a ranking of the 32 starting QBs, from best to worst.

1. Tom Brady, Patriots: Turns 40 in August and has shown no signs of slowing down. He just won a Super Bowl without Gronk. And the Patriots added Brandin Cooks. A 6th Super Bowl ring would match Jordan’s six NBA rings. But Brady’s already passed him.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Cowboys fans are going to have nightmares about this passdrawn up in the huddle! – until they win another Super Bowl. Led the NFL with 40 TD passes last year; he’s thrown 109 TDs in the last three seasons, against just 20 INTs.

3. Andrew Luck, Colts: With no running game and no offensive line, the best young QB in the NFL (27 is young!) still managed to threw for 4,240 yards and 31 TDs.

4. Matt Ryan, Falcons: Reigning MVP led the NFL in almost every passing category that matters, but it’s going to take months to get that 2nd half of the Super Bowl out of everyone’s heads. Unless of course you want to fully blame Kyle Shanahan.

5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks: It felt like he took a step back last year. Threw a career high 546 passes, and was 15th in Total QBR after being in the top six the previous three years. Number to watch: He’s absorbed 40+ sacks each of the last four seasons. And he’s not built like Luck, Ryan or Roethlisberger.

6. Drew Brees, Saints: Led the NFL in several passing categories, but for the 3rd straight year he couldn’t get the Saints to the playoffs. He’s 38 now, and like Brady, showing no signs of slowing down.

7. Marcus Mariota, Titans: Too high? With the weakest WR of any contender, he’s already had two better seasons than the QB picked ahead of him, Jameis Winston. Concern: Both of Mariota’s seasons have ended prematurely due to injury. I think he’s taking them to the playoffs this season.

8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Just turned 35, never seems to enter the season in great shape, and frankly, he’s had two subpar seasons in a row. Yes, they’re seasons anyone on the list below #22 would kill for, but still.

9. Derek Carr, Raiders: He’s been on fire for two seasons now, and I can’t say enough how wrong I was about him. His injury, depriving the Raiders of any shot in the playoffs, made everyone sad. Could easily ascend into the Top 5 with another monster year. Also, good dude.

10. Matt Stafford, Lions: He’s put up over 30,000 passing yards and seems like he’s been playing forever, but he doesn’t have a playoff win yet. Tough to figure out the Lions – they lose Calvin Johnson and the offense gets better? Stafford threw a career-low 10 interceptions and engineered a league-high eight 4th quarter comebacks.

11. Kirk Cousins, Redskins: He’s finished top 8 in QBR, passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt each of the last two years. So this isn’t some fluke of a run. If anything, I’m bullish on his prospects because he wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near this good of a QB and has exceeded all expectations.

12. Eli Manning, Giants: Seems to have finally put his interception woes behind him (led the league in that category three times) and he’s got a loaded group this year between Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard.

13. Cam Newton, Panthers: Followed up his MVP campaign and a trip to the Super Bowl with his worst season as a pro. And he wasn’t a great QB before the 35-TD 2015 season. Mike Tyson once said, ‘everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth.’ Cam got hit in the mouth a lot last year, how will he respond in 2017?

14. Dak Prescott, Cowboys: A polarizing QB, I’m sure many would have him in the 20s, and add that any QB could thrive behind that offensive line. (Except of course, the Cowboys QBs in 2015, when Tony Romo was also hurt.) Folks – he was 3rd in QBR, 3rd in QB rating, 4th in completion percentage, and threw just four interceptions.

15. Philip Rivers, Chargers: Has always been high-risk, high-reward, but last year there was a lot of failure – league-high 21 INTs. He finished 19th in QB rating and had his lowest completion percentage since 2007. A week one injury to star WR Keenan Allen certainly didn’t help.

16. Joe Flacco, Ravens: There was a time when he was a Top 10 QB – it helped to have Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta – and he still could ascend back into that group. For those clamoring about his completion percentage finally going up (career-high 64%), it came with a price – career low yards-per-attempt (6.4, 27th in the NFL).

17. Alex Smith, Chiefs: He’s running less, has yet to register that landmark playoff win (2-4) and Kansas City is gonna draft another QB. His 15 TDs last year ranked 27th among QBs.

18. Jameis Winston, Bucs: He just turned 23, and has already passed for 50 TDs and 8,000 yards. Has avoided off-the-field trouble; now just needs to avoid interceptions.

19. Carson Wentz, Eagles: Had a good rookie season (16 TDs, 14 INTs) but the learning curve was steep from I-AA to the NFL. He was 29th in YPA (6.2). They got him Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, so there will be pressure on Wentz to deliver.

20. Tyrod Taylor, Bills: A) I can’t believe he renegotiated his contract after a very good 2015, B) Call me crazy, but my first draft of this had him five spots higher. Hot take: If he were on the Jaguars, and its defense was as good as it was last year, Jacksonville sneaks into the playoffs.

21. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins: He’s Blake Bortles with better accuracy, right? Will tease you with something incredible, and then you go watch the Seattle or Tennessee or Baltimore tape and you vomit and wonder how they gave him a massive extension.

22. Carson Palmer, Cardinals: Really tempted to slide him lower, but maybe 2015 – when he was MVP runner up – was the anomaly, not 2016. If he’s sacked 40 times again, this might be the last season for the 37-year old QB.

23. Sam Bradford, Vikings: He did complete 71 percent of his passes, and finished well ahead of Cam Newton (among others) in Total QBR. He was 6th in passer rating! He averaged less than 10 yards a completion so it was a lot of dink-and-dunk with his new team.

24. Andy Dalton, Bengals: The worst good starting QB? Can that be a label? The Bengals lost a few important offensive pieces from a good 2015 team, and AJ Green got hurt. If you want to argue Dalton higher than this, look at his playoff history, and tell me who he leapfrogs on this list, and why.

25. Brian Hoyer, 49ers: Moves on to his 6th team in nine years, and he’s coming off a good run in Chicago (67 percent completions, 6 TDs, 0 INTs in six games), plus he gets a good offensive mind (Kyle Shanahan).

26. Mike Glennon, Bears: Has only thrown 11 passes in the last two seasons, and he’s going to a team whose top receivers are Kevin White, Cameron Meredith and Markus Wheaton. If you asked enough people, surely some would put Glennon in the 30-32 range. This is, after Mariota, the biggest projection on the list.

27. Trevor Siemian, Broncos: Siemian feasted on bad teams early, and struggled in the 2nd half of the season vs playoff teams. He’s a solid backup QB. On the surface he had decent numbers (18 TDs, 3,401 yards) but I think he’ll be replaced by Paxton Lynch before Thanksgiving.

28. Blake Bortles, Jaguars: Has been below average for three straight years, but somehow has a lot of defenders on social media. Pick-six machine. Also, he can’t hide behind “the entire team is bad” anymore because the defense could be a Top 3 unit next year.

29. Jared Goff, Rams: Only appeared in seven games as a rookie, didn’t get a win. Offseason present? New coach, new offense. The good news: At least he won’t open this season 3rd on the depth chart. His offensive line is better, and Robert Woods will help at WR. Is there hope he’s a Top 15 guy? Nothing I saw in that limited sample size suggested that. But it’s very early. He’s only 22.

30. Tom Savage, Texans: This one’s in pencil. Maybe they add Jay Cutler, and for sure they’ll draft a QB. Savage’s 3-year career in Houston: Five games, 0 TDs, 1 interception, one fumble. Yeah, they should have done whatever it takes to get Tony Romo.

31. Bryce Petty, Jets: Had a decent half rallying to beat Colin Kaepernick on the road, but other than that, he didn’t look like a starting NFL QB. Which is fine, because the Jets are tanking for Sam Darnold.

32. Cody Kessler, Browns: Hue Jackson clearly likes him, and Kessler was serviceable as a rookie (65 percent completions, 6 TDs, 2 INTs). No, Brock Osweiler or Kevin Hogan would not move the Browns out of 32.