Ranking the NFL Backup Quarterback Depth Charts

Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Everyone knows who the best quarterbacks in the NFL are at the moment and no one ever debates it. However, there is a great divide among scholars as to has the strongest quarterback depth chart. If the starter goes down, who is in trouble and who will move on like nothing happened? What follows is a look at the best backup quarterback depth charts in the NFL.

32. Los Angeles Rams: John Wolford / Bryce Perkins

Bad news for any Rams fans doubting Jared Goff -- these people do not exist. Apologies to anyone from either of their families who stumbled upon this list if they do.

31. New York Giants: Colt McCoy

McCoy was drafted a decade ago and at some point became one of those guys who will be a backup until he's 40 just because he is considered a backup NFL quarterback.

30. New York Jets: David Fales / James Morgan

Fales was a sixth round pick in the 2014 draft and he is with his sixth team. Morgan was the Jets' fourth round pick this year. Luckily, Sam Darnold is impervious to health issues.

AJ McCarron and a former competitive diver.
AJ McCarron and a former competitive diver. / Bob Levey/Getty Images

29. Houston Texans: A.J. McCarron

Another guy who is destined to be in the league forever without ever having to do anything. It's not bad work if you can get it.

28. Detroit Lions: Chase Daniel

And another. It is so weird how some guys never get a chance and others just sit on rosters across the league. Daniel has made more than $34 million in his career.

27. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Finley

Finley was not good when given a chance last season. Maybe you can chalk that up to the Bengals being bad. Maybe Finley will get some more time this year if Burrow really, really struggles.

26. Denver Broncos: Jeff Driskel

The former Florida QB actually has eight starts in just two seasons, not that anyone remembers who they were for.

25. Arizona Cardinals: Brett Hundley

I just realized that someone from Brett Hundley's family might read this list and for that I'm sorry. He saw some action in 2017 and it wasn't great. He's only thrown a few passes since and if Kyler Murray gets hurt, the Cardinals are probably headed to the tank.

24. Minnesota Vikings: Sean Mannion / Nate Stanley

Mannion was picked in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He's managed zero touchdowns and three picks in his career. Stanley was picked in the seventh round this year.

23. Washington Pigskins: Kyle Allen / Steven Montez / Alex Smith

Kyle Allen was briefly the reason the Panthers should move on from Cam Newton. Now he's backing up Dwayne Haskins which is probably a bad sign. Steven Montez is an unknown. And then there's Alex Smith who hasn't played football since 2018 and is returning from a devastating injury. He might actually have the brightest future of the bunch.

Nick Foles during his lucrative Jaguars stint.
Nick Foles during his lucrative Jaguars stint. / James Gilbert/Getty Images

22. Chicago Bears: Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky

The "or" is because we don't know who will be the starter and who will back him up. If Foles is the backup, well, that's worked out for the Eagles in the past. If he's the starter, you've got Trubisky backing him up. Trubisky did take the Bears to the playoffs.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Gordon

In eight seasons, Russell Wilson has never missed a game so this is one of the best jobs in football. This year it will be held by a guy who threw 48 touchdown passes for Mike Leach last season. Looking at the success of Gardner Minshew in Jacksonville, there are worse dice you will probably never have to roll.

20. Buffalo Bills: Jake Fromm / Matt Barkley / Davis Webb

Jake Fromm is a rookie. Matt Barkley is a veteran. Davis Webb has been in the league since 2017 and never taken a regular season snap, but he's now on his third New York-based football team.

19. Cleveland Browns: Case Keenum

Keenum has started games for five different franchises since 2012. He's been decent in spots, including an 11-3 record in Minnesota in 2017.

Mason Rudolph
Mason Rudolph / Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mason Rudolph / Devlin Hodges

Both of Ben Roethlisberger's backups got significant playing time last season and the Steelers almost made the playoffs. That says nothing about how good they were.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Marcus Mariota

He lost a job to Ryan Tannehill so Raiders fans probably shouldn't get too excited.

16. Green Bay Packers: Jordan Love

It remains unclear what the Packers were thinking trading up to take a quarterback while Aaron Rodgers still walks the earth. The team must think Love is decent.

15. Kansas City Chiefs: Chad Henne / Jordan Ta'amu

The drop-off from Mahomes to any mortal would be incalculable. Especially with Super Bowl champion Matt Moore no longer on the roster.

14. Tennessee Titans: Logan Woodside / Cole McDonald

That's right, the computer generated players from the fifth season of your Madden franchise have ended up in Tennessee. And they've got all the potential in the world.

13. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake Luton / Joshua Dobbs / Mike Glennon

Those are all names I recognize. Jake. Josh. Mike. Definitely real names, which is something you want in a quarterback. A name.

Not Jim Halpert.
Not Jim Halpert. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

12. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub went 12-4 in 2012. Colin Kaepernick went 12-4 in 2013.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Blaine Gabbert / Ryan Griffin

Normally, they wouldn't be much to write home about, but when you back up Tom Brady you become a legitimate option.

"Hello, rich people? P.J. is joining you. Yes, I'll hold."
"Hello, rich people? P.J. is joining you. Yes, I'll hold." / XFL/Getty Images

10. Carolina Panthers: Will Grier / P.J. Walker

Grier was the franchise's third round pick in 2019. Walker showed a lot of promise in the XFL. If Teddy Bridgewater doesn't hold up, they'll find out if they have a legitimate NFL quarterback between the two of them.

9. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Sudfeld / Jalen Hurts

Hurts might be a first-round talent that the Eagles stumbled on to in the second round. Wentz's injury history makes the Eagles' backup quarterback position extremely important. Wentz could be really good this year and Hurts could end up winning a Super Bowl. Or maybe Nate Sudfeld, who is expected to be the primary backup, could win the Super Bowl. You just never know!

Nick Mullens listening to the haters.
Nick Mullens listening to the haters. / Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

8. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Mullens / C.J. Beathard

Remember when Nick Mullens was a thing? Back when Jimmy G was hurt? The 49ers remember and have no intention of trading him. Beathard has been with the organization since he was drafted in 2017. At the very least the Niners have to guys who know the system that took them to the Super Bowl.

7. New England Patriots: Brian Hoyer

Jared Stidham is apparently the man, but Brian Hoyer is again the man behind the man. Hoyer has been in the league for a decade and has been with seven different franchises. This is his third time with the Patriots so Belichick either likes him as a player or he is an incredible conversationalist.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert or Tyrod Taylor / Easton Stick

Another case of a rookie and a veteran competing for a job and we don't know who will be the backup. They could both be deserving. Whoever wins, fans could end up pining for the other guy. Stick was fifth-round pick in 2019 out of North Dakota State.

RGIII / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

5. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Griffin III

What's the drop-off from an MVP to an RGIII? There's really no way to be certain unless we see it. Griffin has only started six games since 2014. If he's all the way back, he's a very valuable insurance plan for the Ravens. Especially with two full years in the system.

4. Indianapolis Colts: Jacoby Brissett / Jasob Eason

Another potentially deep depth chart, with the starter from last season and a rookie with a potentially high ceiling. Brissett is good enough to be a starter and Eason might be.

Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton / Michael Hickey/Getty Images

3. Dallas Cowboys: Andy Dalton

Dalton is 32 and as been a starter his entire career. He's been to the playoffs and Pro Bowls. If Dak Prescott holds out, his job might not be there when he comes back. Skip Bayless thinks the Cowboys believe Dalton is good enough to be their starter.

2. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa or Ryan Fitzpatrick / Josh Rosen

You either have a reliable veteran or a promising rookie starting. Tagovailoa and Fitzpatrick will probably take turns this season unless Tua is lights out on a team that was quite bad last season. Plus, you have Josh Rosen, who was a top 10 pick just two drafts ago.

Taysom Hill goes deep.
Taysom Hill goes deep. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

1. New Orleans Saints: Taysom Hill / Jameis Winston

Taysom Hill is a thrilling unknown with high upside. Jameis Winston is a proven starter with a turnover problem that may have been helped by the addition of decent eyesight this offseason. The Saints are deep at the most important position.