The dead heat of summer is here and it is hitting me hard. It is still too early for me to go all in on baseball and all other sports are just finishing up their off seasons so there really aren’t many things in the sports world that I can obsess over. I need football and I need it now. To get my fix, here are my rankings for all 30 NFL starting quarterback situations. Not only are we going to go through each quarterback, we are going to go through each tier of quarterback and how I view each tier and their role in taking a team through a Playoff run.
Tier 1: Need a Miracle
This bottom tier of QBs need a miracle season to carry a team to the promise land. Playoffs are only seen in their dreams and all of the talk surrounding them in the pre-season is full of “ifs” and what could happen if they begin to progress into the potential that all of the experts (like myself) have been talking about since they were drafted. Guys that COULD play well, but more than likely will not…
32. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
The Jared Goff era began last season with a gut punch to all Rams fans that stayed with the team after the move to Cali. The Rams gave up two first, two second, and two third round picks in order to move up in the draft and get their guy in Jared Goff. The young quarterback came in midway through the season and walked away with an 0-7 record. 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay might have the secret sauce to make Goff look special, but with a lack of weapons or prior success of any kind make it almost impossible to think that Goff makes a significant step forward in his sophomore season. Rough year ahead for Goff, especially knowing he has to see Seattle’s and Arizona’s defenses a total of four times this year.
31. Cody Kessler/Brock Osweiler, Cleveland Browns
What is there to say about the Cleveland Browns? Well… Cody Kessler went 0-8 as a starter in his rookie season last year and hopefully the only way to go is up. The Browns had another good draft and could be on their way back to mediocre football instead of staying in the basement like in recent seasons. Whether it is Kessler, Osweiler, or even recent draft pick DeShone Kizer, the starting QB in Cleveland will not have any outstanding weapons to help them out this season.
30. Josh McCown, New York Jets
Now hear me out here. I like Josh McCown as a solid NFL quarterback, despite his 5-22 record as a starter over the past four seasons. If he had the weapons that the Jets had on their roster last season, I would put McCown up near the 22 or 21 spot. The losses of Brandon Marshall and Eric Dekker make the Jets roster look like a joke. Charone Peake, Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa sound like the lineup for a last place Mountain West school. The Jets might not win a game this year and the complete puke-fest that they call their wide receiving core. Good luck Josh.
29. Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch, Denver Broncos
I am not too sure what is really going on at the starting QB position in Denver. It really is a shame because that defense is nasty and can carry an incredible old and fragile Peyton Manning to a Super Bowl Ring. Both Siemian and Lynch go into camp competing for QB1. Siemian made 14 starts last season for Denver and didn’t do too much to lose the job, but definitely didn’t do anything to guarantee it for this season. Lynch, being a first-round quarterback, needs a look and deserves to get a chance to show his first round talent.
28. Tom Savage/Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Another situation where an elite defense is being wasted because of their QB situation. Last season, Houston’s defense was terrifying and now they’re adding JJ Watt, who could arguably be the best player in football every season. Savage only played in three games last season and didn’t wow too many people so Houston went out and got Watson in the first round of the draft. Watson showed some signs of brilliance in his great college career and it would be awesome to see signs like that at quarterback with Houston’s defense on the other end. Until I see those signs, Houston will be the best example of wasting a championship defense.
27. Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers
The 9th year veteran is on his 6th team in 9 years and will always have the “could be worse” label to him. He will not be miserable for a three or four game stretch but will not carry the team to multiple victories either. He is a good place holder for a franchise that is a complete rebuild. Hoyer is not in a situation to surprise anyone this season due to his lack of offensive weapons. Pierre Garcon and Carlos Hyde aren’t going to give many defensive coordinators nightmares.
26. Mike Glennon, Chicago Bears
The Post-Cutler era begins this season in Chicago and it begins with a guy that, in the words of many people throughout the league, has deserved a starting spot for years now. I have heard nothing but good things about Mike Glennon and how he handles himself off of the field. I do believe that people overlook that only $18 million of his $45 million contract that he signed in the off-season. Glennon must also look over his shoulder all season for 2nd overall selection Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears gave Glennon decent weapons and if a lot of “ifs” go well, Glennon could put up some solid numbers that would shut a lot of people up. These “ifs” include: “If” Kevin White and Victor Cruz stay healthy, “if” the offensive line gels, “if” Jordan Howard can back up a spectacular rookie season and “if” Adam Shaheen can come out as a rookie and use his amazing size to become a Gronk 2.0. IF all of these things work out for the Bears this season, Glennon could keep all of the Trubisky talk quiet.
25. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
Here we have a quarterback that set an all-time NFL record last season. Bradford finished the 2016 season with an incredible 71.6% completion percentage, but that does not carry too much weight in my eyes. Just because a quarterback dumps little 2 or 3 yard passes doesn’t mean that he is a top quarterback. I have never really seen Sammy Sleeves carry his team to a win like an Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. He has always been just good enough to not be considered “bad” even though his ceiling seems to be around 210 yards a game with a TD and an INT. Not terrible, not good. With Teddy Bridgewater still recovering from a nasty knee injury last season, Bradford seems to be the man in Minnesota.
24. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
After one season in the NFL, Wentz over Goff seems like the biggest no-brainer since Luck over RGIII. Wentz had flashes of brilliance and flashes of rookie play last season. but the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith will definitely give him the tools to take a big step forward in his sophomore season. The NFC East is always fluctuating and the emergence of Wentz could just be the thing to shoot the Eagles up the standings and maybe even atop of the division. Until I see that emergence with my own two eyes, Wentz will stay down here in Tier 1.
23. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
There seems to be a theme forming down here in Tier 1, high draft picks with a ton of talent yet to actually perform in the NFL. Bortles came to Jacksonville after being selected with the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft. Bortles is 11-34 as a starter throughout his first three seasons and that record should land him lower on this list, but I just like the guy. I can feel it in my gut and in my bones. He now has a decent supporting cast after the Jags took Leonard Fournette in this past year’s draft and defenses will have to stack the box to stop the run. This will give Blake the opportunities and openings he needs to put up some big numbers. 3 years without much help on offense is okay but if Bortles doesn’t show progress this season with Fournette, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Mercedes Lewis, his time in Jacksonville may be coming to an end.
22. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Here we have a break of the mold from the last few players on the list. Taylor was a 6th round pick by the Ravens in 2011 and after sitting behind Joe Flacco for a few seasons, he signed a three year contract with the Bills and showed some signs of a good quarterback. In his two years of being a starter in Buffalo, T-Mobile has thrown 37 TDs and 12 INTs. He has yet to play a full 16 games in a season so staying healthy will be a main concern in Buffalo this year. With his mobility and solid decision making, a healthy Tyrod Taylor could make some noise this season in the AFC East.