The NFL is filled with quarterbacks who are perceived by the common fan in a different light than their teams. Some are overrated in the grand scheme of things. We focused on that before.
Though, others are tremendously underrated. From a couple of young signal callers who have taken over for former Super Bowl winners to another player coming off an appearance in the big game, here we look at the five most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Most of the talk surrounding rookies last season involved Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa. Despite this, Jones flew under the radar after the Giants made him the No. 6 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Eventually replacing future Hall of Fame signal caller Eli Manning under center, Jones showed out to the tune of 3,027 yards with twice as many touchdowns (24) as interceptions (12). Despite fumbling the ball a staggering 18 times, Jones proved that he is the Giants’ quarterback of the future. Once he hones his skills, the NFC East will have to be on notice.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Another rookie on this list, Minshew replaced an injured Nick Foles under center in Week 1 last season and did not look back. The sixth-round pick awed fans in Duval with ridiculous play after ridiculous play. It really was something to behold.
When all was said and done, the Washington State product put up 3,271 yards with 21 passing touchdowns and just six interceptions in 14 games (12 starts). The youngster also added 344 yards on the ground. Now that Foles is a member of the Chicago Bears, Minshew Mania can take over even more in Jacksonville.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
Fitzpatrick, 37, has now played for one-quarter of the NFL’s 32 teams throughout a 15-year career. For the most part, he’s been seen as nothing more than a stopgap option and backup quarterback. Despite this, the former seventh-round pick from Harvard has etched out a pretty solid career.
Last season saw Fitzpatrick complete 62% of his passes for 3,529 yards with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Back in 2018 with the Buccaneers, he led the NFL in yards per attempt and yards per completion. Likely set to start over rookie No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa this season, look for another consistently good performance from Fitzpatrick.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
The Lions’ lack of success since they selected Stafford with the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft has impacted how the common fan perceives the Pro Bowl signal caller. He’s now posted a career 69-79-1 record in 11 seasons. That’s not great by any standard.
However, Detroit’s issues have been much more widespread than the quarterback position. Coming off a serious back injury, Stafford has put up 256 touchdowns compared to 134 interceptions throughout his career. He’s thrown for 4,000-plus yards seven times and has finished with a 90-plus quarterback rating six times. The Lions’ all-time statistical leader in every major passing category, Stafford remains one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
When the 49ers handed Garoppolo what was then the richest contract for a quarterback in league history following the 2017 season, it came as a bit of a surprise. He had started a grand total of five games (winning each outing) with the team since being acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots. Expectations were going to be high for Garoppolo moving forward.
Despite a brutal performance in February’s Super Bowl, Garoppolo has more than lived up to those expectations. He’s now 19-5 as San Francisco’s starter. Last season alone, the former second-round pick completed a resounding 69.1% of his passes for nearly 4,000 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also led the NFL with four fourth-quarter comebacks.