There’s a ton of good, young quarterbacks around the NFL set to take that next step to stardom.
As we look ahead to the 2020 season, we’re beginning to see a changing of the guard. Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are not getting any younger. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have taken over as the faces of the NFL. Now we could see some even younger passers in Western New York, Denver and Jersey make the leap into stardom.
What five quarterbacks will are primed for breakout 2020 seasons? We’re glad you asked.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
As a sophomore last season, Allen led his Bills to a shocking 10-6 record and only their second playoff appearance since the Bill Clinton Administration. Finally, fans in Western New York could have their best quarterback since the great Jim Kelly.
Though, there’s still a lot for Allen to improve on. He completed fewer than 59% of his passes and continued to show a lack of consistency. Notably, Allen accounted for just five touchdown passes in the Bills’ six losses. The correlation is obvious. He needs to play better for Buffalo to take the next step. Now that the team added star receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade this past spring, the expectation is that Allen will morph into a superstar as a third-year player.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
At the start of his rookie season, Lock didn’t necessarily receive a ton of praise from Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. In fact, the longtime coach indicated that his rookie second-round pick was nowhere near ready to be a quarterback in the NFL.
Lock proved Fangio and all the naysayers wrong. Taking over for an ineffective and injured Joe Flacco, the Missouri product posted a 4-1 record in five starts with seven touchdowns and only three interceptions. Now the unquestioned starter, he has Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton and stud rookie first-round pick Jerry Jeudy to toss the ball to. Look for Lock to take a major step forward as a first-year, full-time starter.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
For a quarterback that pretty much every expert concluded was not ready for the NFL, Jones proved the naysayers wrong. The No. 6 overall pick out of Duke replaced Eli Manning as New York’s starter within the first quarter of the season. He responded by completing 62% of his passes for 3,027 yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
It is alarming that Jones fumbled the ball a league-high 18 times. That’s a ridiculous number. However, he should be helped big time by New York selecting offensive tackle Andrew Thomas in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Either way, everything seems to be in motion for Jones to break out even more as a sophomore in 2020.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Disastrous. That’s the best way to describe what we saw from Mayfield and his Browns during the quarterback’s sophomore season. Coming off a record-breaking rookie campaign, the Oklahoma product threw 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Ultimately done after just one season, Freddie Kitchens was not the answer as head coach. It led to a disappointing 6-10 season for the long-downtrodden Browns.
Things seem to be looking up for the former No. 1 pick and his team heading into 2020. Cleveland replaced Kitchens with an innovative offensive mind in Kevin Stefanski. Even better for Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. is returning healthy. The team has two new book ends at tackle and an elite, young running back in Nick Chubb. Look for Mayfield to enjoy tremendous success in his third season.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Two words. DeAndre Hopkins. Arizona’s ability to pull the Houston Texans’ pants down in the trade for this All-Pro receiver during the spring was among the most shocking developments of the offseason. Hopkins now joins Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk to form what might be the best receiver trio in the NFC.
As for Murray, he was absolutely brilliant under fellow rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury last season. The former Heisman winner accounted for nearly 4,300 total yards with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He boasts all the hallmarks to be an elite signal caller as a sophomore. Look for the smallish Murray to enter superstardom this coming season.