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Ranking the NFL's top 32 QBs


theScore's Mike Alessandrini, Dane Belbeck, Jack Browne, and Mitch Sanderson assess who are the elite, the average, and the downright awful at football's most important position.

Ignoring past accomplishments, team situation, and the value of youth, this exercise aims to rank the best 32 non-rookie quarterbacks, regardless of team, right now. Injured passers - Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford, etc. - were ranked under the assumption they'll return to reasonable health, though editors were free to dock them for their lack of availability.

Just missed the cut: Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater

32. Jacoby Brissett

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
13-7 6.6 16.9

Forced to start in relief of Luck with little time to acclimate to his new offense, Brissett showed flashes of real starting potential. His slow internal clock and spotty decision-making became more of an issue as the season went on, but the young passer's toughness, smarts, and premier deep ball earned him the 32nd spot. - Browne

Votes received: 25th, 31st, 33rd, 34th

31. Blake Bortles

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
21-13 7.0 26.1

Bortles led Jacksonville to the AFC Championship Game last season, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. His 13 interceptions and 60.2 completion percentage were career bests, but neither jump off the page. Lost in Bortles' improved efficiency was his lack of big plays. He has the tools, but time is running out for him to piece them together. - Alessandrini

Votes received: 25th, 30th, 32nd, 34th

30. Joe Flacco

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
18-13 5.7 24.7

Flacco earned a reputation as a deep-field dynamo early in his career, but that version of the veteran hasn't been seen in years. His mechanics have fallen apart, perhaps due to his recent injury issues, and his poor decision-making and passiveness have pushed him to the cusp of no longer being a starting-caliber player. - Browne

Votes received: 28th, 29th (2), 32nd

29. Nick Foles

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
5-2 5.3 17.7

Foles shocked the world in the Super Bowl, but two great playoff performances can't erase years of mediocrity - especially when he plays on one of the best rosters in the league. - Sanderson

Votes received: 26th, 27th, 30th, 33th

28. Ryan Tannehill

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
19-12* 7.7* 21.6*

*2016 season statistics

Tannehill is a jack of all trades, master of none-type quarterback. His athleticism, ability to throw on the run, and accuracy make him dangerous, but he's failed to develop as a passer and lacks the aggression needed to scare defenses deep. - Browne

Votes received: 22nd, 27th, 28th, 34th

27. Sam Bradford

TD-INT YPA  PPG (starts)
3-0 8.9 24.5

Assuming "reasonable health" when ranking quarterbacks is more difficult for some than others. Bradford is a perfect example, as his lengthy injury history caused him to place slightly lower on our list than what he's capable of. When healthy, the former No. 1 overall pick is as consistently accurate as they come. - Alessandrini

Votes received: 24th, 26th (2), 27th

26. Patrick Mahomes

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
0-1* 8.1* 27*

*started just 1 game in 2017

Mahomes has the prototypical physical tools to be a top-five passer in the next few seasons. However, after essentially redshirting his rookie year, he's arguably the hardest player to rank, as evidenced by our editors' varied votes. He flashed his elite talent in his one 2017 start, but the second-year pro will have to prove he can be consistent and accurate at the NFL level to make his expected leap up this list. - Browne

Votes received: 20th, 21st, 28th, 32nd

25. Mitch Trubisky

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
7-7 6.6 16.4

Trubisky's sample size in a run-first offense devoid of weapons as a rookie didn't really give a fair picture of what to expect from the 2017 No. 2 overall pick. The 23-year-old showed accuracy, mobility, and toughness when he did get to put the ball in the air, and he should get more opportunities in a revamped offense. - Sanderson

Votes received: 23rd (2), 25th, 29th

24. Andy Dalton

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
25-12 6.7 18.1

Dalton can look downright amazing one game, and barely NFL quality in another. He's painted as a game manager due to his lack of arm strength and lack of numbers, but he's really a gunslinger in the wrong body. At 30 years old, it's unlikely he can fix his game-to-game consistency issues. - Browne

Votes received: 23rd (2) 24th, 30th

23. Tyrod Taylor

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
14-4 6.7 18.9

Taylor will never blow anyone away with precision accuracy or deep passes, but he possesses traits coaches love, such as taking care of the football. Only one percent of his 2017 passes were intercepted - the most efficient rate in the league. Taylor may never ascend into the top quarterback tiers, but he's good at what he does. - Alessandrini

Votes received: 21st (2), 27th, 30th

22. Eli Manning

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
19-13 6.1 15.3

Manning has been divisive throughout his entire career, and it's no different here, as our editors vary greatly on how much the two-time Super Bowl winner has left. The 37-year-old's physical skills have diminished of late, and while his accuracy and pocket presence remain good, his poor decision-making is becoming harder to overcome. - Browne

Votes received: 17th, 24th (2), 31st

21. Case Keenum

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
22-7 7.4 23.8

While his underdog story was one of 2017's bright spots, Keenum needs to prove his most recent campaign is a sign of development instead of just catching lightning in a bottle. He exhibits everything you would want in a quarterback from a mental standpoint, but lacks the physical gifts to be considered one of the more desirable NFL passers. - Sanderson

Votes received: 20th, 21st, 25th, 26th

20. Derek Carr

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
22-13 6.8 18.9

Carr played like an MVP in 2016 but came back down to Earth last season. Jon Gruden has a difficult task to get the young pivot back on track. Carr's inability to play consistently under pressure needs to be fixed, as does his struggle to push the ball downfield. He's never averaged more than 7 yards per attempt in his career. - Browne

Votes received: 20th (1), 22nd (3)

19. Jared Goff

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
28-7 8.0 31

While Goff's breakout sophomore campaign can be partially attributed to head coach Sean McVay, the young quarterback should get his fair share of credit as well. After a tumultuous rookie year, the former No. 1 overall pick proved he's a dangerous passer in multiple facets of the game. Goff shined on downfield, play-action, and tight-window throws in 2017. - Alessandrini

Votes received: 18th (2), 19th (2)

18. Jameis Winston

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
19-11 7.9 20.7

Winston has failed to take the next leap in his development and is still frustratingly inconsistent from game to game. He has all the physical tools to be an elite quarterback but too often throws before he thinks, leading to an alarmingly high turnover rate. The time has come for him to deliver on the hype. - Browne

Votes received: 13th, 17th, 18th, 20th

17. Jimmy Garoppolo

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
7-5 8.8 24

What we've seen so far out of Jimmy GQ with the 49ers has been nothing short of mind-blowing. He scored a TD on his first drive and led a 1-10 team to five straight wins. However, that's just five starts in a low-expectation environment. While he's on the right path, the sample size is too small to give him more than a middle-of-the-pack ranking. - Sanderson

Votes received: 16th (2), 17th (2)

16. Deshaun Watson

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
19-8 8.3 34.6

Watson lit up the league in just six starts before an ACL injury ended the dream start to his NFL career. Few quarterbacks are as capable of consistently creating big plays as Watson, who dominates through the air and on the ground. His aggressiveness might become an issue as defenses catch up to him, but Watson's advanced pocket presence and football IQ should keep him ahead of the game. - Browne

Votes received: 14th (2), 16th, 19th

15. Dak Prescott

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
22-13 6.8 22.1

Prescott shouldn't shoulder the majority of the blame for taking a step back in his second NFL season. The quarterback's production was hindered by injuries along the offensive line and the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott is still a strong deep passer and delivers accurate, well-timed throws in a way that's beyond his years. - Alessandrini

Votes received: 12th, 15th, 16th, 18th

14. Kirk Cousins

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
27-13 7.6 21.4

Cousins is paid like the best quarterback in the league, but his actual level of play puts him in the middle of the pack. The Vikings quarterback's gunslinging ways can get him into trouble, and he lacks elite physical traits. However, his intelligence and high-level accuracy mean he could still push his way into the top 10. - Browne

Votes received: 14th (1), 15th (3)

13. Alex Smith

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
26-5 8.0 25.9

Leading into 2017, everyone thought they knew the book on Smith. Then, he went on to be the season's best deep passer. While he's still sometimes the butt of jokes, the new Washington passer exceeds expectations every time he's counted out, so keep the barbs coming. - Sanderson

Votes received: 11th, 13th (2), 18th

12. Marcus Mariota

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
13-15 7.1 21.6

Mariota's talent is unfairly represented in his 2017 statistics due to the Titans' misguided and ill-fitting scheme and nagging injuries. The former No. 2 overall pick has top-tier accuracy, amazing athleticism, and a penchant for creating big plays. Last season was a disappointment, but Mariota is still one of the NFL's premier young talents and should be able to prove it in 2018. - Browne

Votes received: 11th, 12th (2), 14th

11. Philip Rivers

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
28-10 7.9 22.2

There aren't many quarterbacks who possess Rivers' football IQ. Despite a mountain of injuries, the veteran signal-caller led the Chargers from 0-4 to the AFC playoff picture due in large part to his in-game adjustments and well-timed aggression. The unbreakable Rivers ranked second in the NFL with 4,515 passing yards, tossing 28 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions in 2018.
- Alessandrini

Votes received: 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th

10. Cam Newton

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
22-16 6.7 22.7

There's only one Cam Newton. Maybe the most unique player ever to line up under center, Newton is a physical monster who can dominate with both his arm and legs. His inconsistent accuracy holds him back from pushing further into the top 10, but few quarterbacks are asked to carry as heavy a burden as the Panthers' franchise player. - Browne

Votes received: 6th, 9th, 10th, 13th

9. Matthew Stafford

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
29-10 7.9 25.6

Stafford's win totals and overall stats have to be considered with the caveat that his rushing attack has been ranked in the bottom five each of the last four seasons. The 30-year-old's ability to adjust his style, reads, and throwing angles as his team changes around him is unmatched. It's virtually impossible to find an offense Stafford couldn't work with. - Sanderson

Votes received: 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th

8. Andrew Luck

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
31-13* 7.8* 26.9*

*2016 season statistics

The last time we saw Luck, in 2016, he played like a top-five quarterback. Of course, he hasn't stepped back onto an NFL field since due to a shoulder injury. But, working under the presumption of reasonable health, Luck more than deserves his place in the top 10. He's arguably the best deep passer in the league and is a magician in the pocket, and as he proved in 2016, he's better than most NFL quarterbacks even at less than 100 percent. - Browne

Votes received: 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th

7. Carson Wentz

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
33-7 7.5 28.9

Wentz exploded onto the scene in 2017 after an uneven rookie campaign, emerging as an MVP favorite before tearing his ACL in December. His ability to process the game pre-snap, make post-snap decisions, deliver big-time throws, and lead his offense is something the league hasn't seen from a second-year quarterback in quite some time. Don't count out Wentz in 2018.
- Alessandrini

Votes received: 6th (2), 8th, 10th

6. Ben Roethlisberger

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
28-14 7.6 25.2

Roethlisberger rebounded from an uneven start in 2017, reminding everyone why he's always a game-changing threat thanks to his top-tier deep ball and aggressive mentality. Big Ben might make a few too many mistakes (14 interceptions in 2017), and isn't the scrambler he was in his younger days, but he remains in the conversation of the league's elite passers. - Browne

Votes received: 5th, 7th (2), 8th

5. Matt Ryan

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
20-12 7.7 21.6

Ryan leads the "really, really good, but not the best" group in large part due to his recent MVP/Offensive Player of the Year performance in 2016. His drop in production last season can be largely blamed on wretched play-calling, but he proved to be good enough to have success even when having to make up for coaching mistakes. - Sanderson

Votes received: 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th

4. Russell Wilson

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
34-11 7.2 22.9

Wilson has masterfully combined high-efficiency football with a backyard style that's still causing NFL defensive coordinators' heads to spin. He might not be the best at reading defenses and staying in the pocket, but Wilson is a playmaker unlike any other. He can make pinpoint throws with ease and is a wizard when the game is on the line. - Browne

Votes received: 4th (3), 5th (1)

3. Drew Brees

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
23-8 8.1 27.9

What more can we say about Brees? The 39-year-old signal-caller has shown no signs of regression in recent years, completing a league-high 72 percent of his passes while throwing just eight interceptions in 2017. While head coach Sean Payton has scaled back the aggressiveness of his offense for the veteran, Brees remains one of the premier timing and touch throwers in the NFL. - Alessandrini

Votes received: 3rd (4)

2. Tom Brady

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
32-8 7.9 28.9

Brady just misses out on our top spot, but the soon-to-be 41-year-old plays with a consistency and calm that most quarterbacks can't even manage on the practice field, let alone under football's biggest spotlights. He may not have the arm strength he once did, but his anticipation, pocket presence, and ability under pressure are unmatched, maybe in NFL history. - Browne

Votes received: 1st (1), 2nd (3)

1. Aaron Rodgers

TD-INT YPA PPG (starts)
16-6 7.0 24.4

You know what happened the last time Rodgers played less than 15 games in a season? He won MVP the next year. The 34-year-old is still the NFL's premier passing talent entering his 14th season. He may have to break in some new toys this season, but don't count that against his own skills. He's the G.O.A.T. - Sanderson

Votes received: 1st (3), 2nd (1)

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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