As the NFL season draws to a close, the eyes of obsessive individuals like myself are already looking ahead to the NFL Draft. As we look over our favorite – and least favorite – teams, let’s rank the current quarterback situation for all 32 rosters. One key note: This is not ranking the current quarterbacks. This is ranking the quarterback situations. Contracts, age, talent, depth, etc. Let’s get started
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Obviously. The Chiefs have a 25-year-old phenom in Patrick Mahomes that has already led them to a Super Bowl title, has won league MVP, and was the Super Bowl MVP last year as well. Yes, they backed up the Brinks truck and gave him a massive contract, but deservedly so. The Chiefs, once again, are entering the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league and have secured the first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They have the makings of a true dynasty.
2. Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen has taken the leap this year and is in the conversation as an MVP candidate. He’s playing incredibly well, has a natural rapport with new wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and led the Bills to an AFC East title for the first time since 1995. It’s a cheat code in the NFL to find a stud quarterback on his rookie contract, and the Bills are currently in that position. They will be a tough out in the playoffs this year and are positioned well for the next couple of years.
3. Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury are still ironing out some of the kinks, but Murray has proven to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL when healthy. Some injuries this year have put a damper on his stats, but he showed the command as a passer and the elusiveness as a runner to show that he is a franchise quarterback. As the Cardinals continue to revamp their team, they will do so on the arm – and legs – of their quarterback.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Another young signal caller cracks the top of the list with rookie Justin Herbert. While the Chargers have once again had a disappointing season, it isn’t because of Herbert, who has a cannon for an arm, size, mobility, and the poise under pressure of a seasoned veteran. If the Chargers can figure out how to not suck at clock management and how to pull out some narrow wins, they should be in position to take a leap forward next year.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Unfortunately, the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was hurt halfway through his electric rookie season, but he will be back for 2021 and gave his coaches and fanbase plenty to be excited about. After a truly historic 2019 college campaign, Burrow continued his passing prowess to start his NFL career. The Bengals top priority this offseason should be to improve their abysmal offensive line at all costs to protect their young star.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has demonstrated this year that he can win games in a multitude of ways, from high-scoring shootouts to a methodical, controlled beating. Seattle paid Wilson the big bucks a few years ago, but he has shown to be worth it. Wilson is leading the NFC West-leading Seahawks into the postseason yet again, and has a chance at clinching the NFC first seed.
7. Houston Texans
The Texans are a mess everywhere except at quarterback, where they did the right thing and locked up stud Deshaun Watson through the 2025 season. After firing moron Bill O’Brien, there will be a new coach and General Manager tasked with surrounding Watson with the assets needed to get back into playoff contention. Watson is a franchise cornerstone and deserves to be given a team that can compete.
8. Baltimore Ravens
Not everything was as electric and exciting this year as it was last year for Lamar Jackson, but the Ravens have caught fire over the last month or so, largely because Jackson appears to be recapturing his MVP form. Jackson might not be the right quarterback for every team, but it is for this one. They have schemed their offense to his skill set and he has shown the ability to capitalize on it. Jackson is on his rookie contract, but expect an extension, potentially as early as this offseason.
9. Green Bay Packers
Many, like myself, raised their eyebrows when the Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. All Aaron Rodgers has done is respond with an absolutely dominant season. The Packers are currently in control of the NFC number 1 seed and control their own destiny this weekend, and Rodgers has casually tossed a cool 44 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Rodgers is playing out of his mind, and Green Bay will be in good hands for at least a couple more seasons.
10. Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill has been phenomenal since coming to Tennessee last season, and they rewarded him with a new contract keeping him with the Titans through 2023. Much like Lamar Jackson, Tannehill is perfect for his team’s scheme. All they ask him to do is be efficient, not turn the ball over, and capitalize on play action - and he does all three of those things wonderfully. Tannehill deserves much more respect than he is given.
11. Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield has been rocky at times, but he is continuing to grow in his third season and has had a great stretch over the last month, throwing eight touchdowns and one interception over a three-game period. I can’t stress enough how important a rookie contract can be to a team, and he’s still on his. If he continues to play at the level he’s been playing, Cleveland is capable of making a run in the playoffs.
12. Dallas Cowboys
This might be the hardest team to rank because it entirely depends on Jerry Jones getting out of his own way and doing the right thing. Dak Prescott has proven that he deserves to get paid, and Dallas has been jerking him around for at least the last two years. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension, so Dak played on the franchise tag this season… only to have a gruesome lower leg injury. Assuming he recovers and is ready for next season, and assuming Dallas opens the purse for him to keep him around, then Dallas will be in great shape going forward.
13. Minnesota Vikings
We’re now entering the “meh” portion of this list. Kirk Cousins has been… fine. He’s had a very solid season, aided by the addition of rookie standout Justin Jefferson. I don’t know if Cousins can lead this team into a deep playoff run, but he’ll be just good enough to keep his job going forward. He’s under contract for the next two seasons, and will likely play out that contract as a Viking. Minnesota should start taking a look at who the successor will be.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady has looked decent in his first year with the Buccaneers, outside of his terrible inefficiency at passes further than 20 yards down the field. As long as they have him, they feel like they can win, and they are trying to go all in while they have him. Brady will be in Tampa Bay likely for one more season, but who knows what will happen after that.
15. Miami Dolphins
I’m going to be cautiously optimistic about Miami here, because I believe in the talent of Tua Tagovailoa. We’ve seen flashes of very solid play, but the numbers have looked poor in large part to the fact that Miami has essentially no offensive weapons. Miami is still retooling and will continue to do so through next offseason, and I expect that we’ll see a second-year jump from the Alabama product.
16. Las Vegas Raiders
I can’t think of anyone more mediocre than Derek Carr, so ranking the Raiders directly in the middle feels perfect. Carr is average. The Raiders are average. Their weapons are average. The coaching is average. Their situation is average. They have Carr under contract at a very average salary for a starting quarterback, or they could move on with only a $2.5 million dead cap hit next year. Meh.
17. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees might be hanging it up this year (he should), and the quarterbacks on roster behind him are 30-year-old swiss army knife Taysom Hill, and Buccaneers cast off Jameis Winston. Is Hill the answer? Eh, I don’t know. He brings a dynamic style to the field that the Saints have never had, and clearly head coach Sean Payton is beyond enamored with him, but you have to think if he was truly a quarterback, we would have seen it before now. Maybe Taysom is the guy. Maybe not. It remains to be seen
18. Detroit Lions
The Lions have an underrated veteran quarterback in Matthew Stafford. If they choose to keep him and re-tool their team around him, their QB situation is rock solid. However, the reason they’re as low on the list as they are, is because there’s a very real chance that they could move on from Stafford and go into full-blown rebuilding mode under a new head coach and general manager this offseason.
19. Atlanta Falcons
Pretty much the same situation as Detroit - a team in shambles, an aging quarterback, and a lot of needs to become competitive. Atlanta could similarly be moving on from Matt Ryan this offseason, leaving them in the lurch and needing to find an heir-apparent. This could potentially be a really weird offseason for the quarterback landscape.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Unlike the two teams prior, the Steelers should, be all accounts, be considered a strong contender… at least they were until they lost three games in a row. After getting back in the win column with a comeback against the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger seems to have staved off some of the naysayers, but I’m not convinced. His average yards per attempt is over a full yard lower than his healthy 2018 season. His yards per completion this year is 9.5 compared to his career 12.0. I have real concerns that the 38-year-old is deteriorating before our eyes. His backups are atrocious, and he counts over $41 million against the cap next year. They have no clear plans for the future at the position.
21. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have veteran Philip Rivers under contract for this year, and are a roster poised to make a playoff run on good defense and a physical rushing attack. Whether Rivers will be back next year is very much in question, and if not him, the Colts will be looking elsewhere to fill the void. Perhaps they turn to rookie Jacob Eason, or maybe they look for a veteran in need of a change of scenery (*ahem* Carson Wentz).
22. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers thought they were solving the position with Teddy Bridgewater, but that just ain’t it. He’s been mediocre at best, accounting for only 15 passing touchdowns to go with his 9 interceptions. The Panthers aren’t winning - they missed the playoffs, and head coach Matt Rhule has been clear that they will evaluate everything this offseason. That, however, is easier said than done when Teddy B will cost them $20 million in dead cap if they were to move on this offseason. It looks like he’ll be back, and that’s not a good thing.
23. New York Giants
Oh, Daniel Jones, you turnover machine, you. The Giants need to make a decision, and quickly, as to whether Jones is their franchise quarterback or not. Short answer - he’s not. The dude fumbles more than anyone I’ve ever seen. It’s time to move on. Luckily, Jones is on a rookie contract, so it won’t be hard to do… but, securing a quarterback in the draft is no sure thing, as they’ve learned. Better luck next time.
24. San Francisco 49ers
There are a lot of rumblings that Jimmy Garoppolo might be done in the bay, meaning the future of the position is wide open. With the projected third-lowest amount of cap space for 2021, it’s going to be hard to figure out who will be under center for the Niners in 2021. Maybe the draft one? Maybe they make trades to clear cap and sign a free agent? Who knows. It’s muddy at best.
25. Los Angeles Rams
How’s that Jared Goff contract extension going, Rams? Pretty well, huh? Goff has proven to be a very mediocre quarterback on a team that doesn’t even need their quarterback to do much because of their elite defense. He counts for a total of roughly $189 million in dead cap over the next three years, while throwing 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this year. That’s an expensive average joe.
26. Chicago Bears
The Bears have Nick Foles (eww) and Mitchell Trubisky (double eww) as their two quarterbacks, who have both been benched once this year. Trubisky looks to be playing better of late, but they declined to pick up his option for next season, meaning he’ll hit free agency. What the hell is this team doing at quarterback? The quarterback of 2021 isn’t on their roster as of now, which is a scary situation to be in.
27. Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts has looked incredibly promising, so at least the Eagles have that going for them, but that weighed wet blanket of a contract they have in Carson Wentz is very, very bad. He counts for a $59 million dead cap hit next year which is just… shocking. He’s the highest paid backup quarterback in NFL history at this point. Now, granted, maybe they’ll be able to make a trade with someone that thinks they can unlock his talent and get him back on track, like Frank Reich, who was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia during Wentz’s impressive 2017 season and is now the head coach of the Colts.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags are a dumpster fire and their quarterback situation is equally awful. They’ve been rolling out the perennial-backup Mike Glennon this season, which is less than ideal. They easily have the worst quarterback room in the NFL; the only reason they aren’t last is because they’re currently in line to draft Trevor Lawrence, which you can say is pretty nice.
29. Denver Broncos
The Broncos quarterback position has been an endless carousel since Peyton Manning retired in 2016. The carousel will only continue, as Drew Lock has been… bad. They’ve done a fantastic job surrounding him with talent, and he still hasn’t performed. He has a 57% completion percentage, 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Those numbers are not the numbers of a starting quarterback. It’s time to move on.
30. New England Patriots
The Patriots, who have no idea what they’re doing in the post-Brady era, are at a total loss with their quarterback position. They tried the Cam Newton experiment, and that’s been terrible. They have Jarrett Stidham, but apparently they don’t even want to get him on the field to see what they have. I don’t think they have any idea what they’re going to do at quarterback next year, and neither do I. Draft, maybe?
31. New York Jets
For the longest time, it was assumed that the Jets would win the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, but then they got it in their head in the final month of the season to win two games and hand him over to the Jaguars. Never has winning been worse for a franchise. With Sam Darnold apparently not the answer in New York, there’s a good chance they look to another rookie in the upcoming draft, but everyone else is a clear second behind Lawrence. The Jets are starting over. Again.
32. Washington Football Team
The award for the worst quarterback situation in football goes to the Washington Football Team, who just released Dwayne Haskins for being an immature flop, and only have the oft-injured Alex Smith or Kyle Allen left to choose from. What’s worse, is that if they win their division this weekend, their draft pick will end up somewhere in the middle of round one instead of near the top, lowering their chances at a top-tier quarterback option come draft day. The rest of this team is rounding into shape, but the quarterback position is a hot mess.