With the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft, most starting quarterbacks are in place. Except maybe Aaron Rodgers.
In 2020, fans witnessed incredible performances from rookie quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. With five QBs selected in the first 15 picks, we may see something similar this year from at least one or two new starters.
Updated weekly throughout the football season, here are the top-20 NFL starting quarterback rankings.
2021 Training Camp NFL QB Rankings
20. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Few are looking forward to Week 1 more than Jared Goff is. Out to prove the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay wrong, Goff likely has a chip on his shoulder the size of a Lion. As a former No. 1 overall pick that’s taken his team to the Super Bowl, Goff has proven he can win a lot of games. Repeating that success in a place that hasn’t had much to celebrate over the years could be too much to overcome. Time will tell.
19. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Some thought after last season’s late meltdown, Ben Roethlisberger may retire this offseason. Morgan Freeman narrates “He didn’t”. Now back with a vengeance, Big Ben is eager to show he still belongs. Najee Harris can help establish the smashmouth football Steelers fans have running through their veins and Mike Tomlin’s defense should continue to be stout, especially after signing Melvin Ingram. While some are skeptical of their chances due to an aging Big Ben and an unproven O-line, the Steelers have just as strong a chance as any team.
18. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
While Urban Meyer is frustrated early in his NFL career, once he sees Trevor Lawrence firing live bullets in training camp, he should start walking on sunshine in Jacksonville. Already a Rookie of the Year favorite, fans are eager to see the NFL’s next phenom take some snaps. But not excited enough to buy his jersey over Tim Tebow’s apparently. We’ve seen rookies come into the league and dominate before, Lawrence’s first season will be as highly anticipated as ever. As Bart Scott would say, “Can’t wait!”.
17. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
While Julio Jones flew the coop, Kyle Pitts will be a monster in an Atlanta Falcons uniform. Matt Ryan still puts up impressive stats for a player going into his 14th season in the NFL. New head coach Arthur Smith might be able to turn this Falcons team into a contender sooner than most think. Working off what should be a successful ground game with Mike Davis, the Falcons should be able to shred teams using more play-action passes.
16. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
There’s a lot of heat on Derek Carr in Las Vegas. After seven seasons donning the Raider silver and black, Carr’s never played in a playoff game. Quarterbacks don’t typically have that long of a leash. But it isn’t all Carr’s fault, in fact, he’s played pretty well given the circumstances. With a few things going the Raiders’ way, there’s no reason the playoffs or even a Super Bowl can’t be in sight. We’ll see if Carr and Jon Gruden’s gambles pay off this year in Vegas.
15. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Nobody wanted to see Joe Burrow’s season end the way it did. Everyone’s relieved Burrow’s knee will be 100% by training camp. The competition between Justin Herbert and Burrow was fun, but now we want to see these young QBs win some games. For the first time in years, Cincinnati fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about their football team’s future. I can’t wait to see Burreaux reunited with LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase in tiger stripes.
14. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
The clock is ticking in Minnesota for Kirk Cousins. When the Packers drafted the protege to their QB, they got an MVP season out of Aaron Rodgers. How will Cousins respond? With a revamped offensive line, the defense getting its stars back, and an explosive offense, they may finally have the pieces in place. If Cousins struggles, there’s plenty of skill position players to help Kellen Mond succeed in purple.
13. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Last year, the Tennessee Titans led by Ryan Tannehill were pretty good. Swapping out Corey Davis for Julio Jones should lead to them being even better. It also gives the Titans one more player who closely resembles the team name. Julio and Derrick Henry are definitely Titans. If offensive coordinator Todd Downing can have this unit firing on all cylinders, the scoring potential is gargantuan.
12. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Showing he’s one of the most talented quarterbacks to come out of the draft in recent seasons, Justin Herbert won the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Joe Lombardi will be Herbert’s sixth offensive coordinator in six years. The Chargers are hoping Lombardi’s work with the Saints offense carries over, leading to more wins. Besting his 31 TD/10 INT rookie performance may be tough, but imagine if that was just a stepping stone for Herbert?
11. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns haven’t had the same starting quarterback three years in a row since 1999. Leading them to their first playoff victory in 18 years, Baker Mayfield has rescued the Browns from the Dawg Pound. As he continues to improve, is this the season we see the Browns making their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history?
NFL QB rankings: Top 10
10. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford in a Los Angeles Rams uniform is going to be special. There’s a reason the 49ers wanted him before the LA Rams swooped in, Stafford has one of the best arms in football. He’s never played with a defense this good. If the Rams could reach the Super Bowl with Jared Goff under center, the expectations should be sky high with Stafford at the helm. Cam Akers tearing his Achilles won’t help.
9. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Looking to maximize value while Kyler Murray‘s on his rookie salary, the Arizona Cardinals pushed their cards all-in this offseason. With a loaded roster, the NFC West Division race will be as tough as ever. I doubt K1 ever tests out his baseball career, but he’ll keep reminding us of the possibility. He’s pretty darn good at this football thing too, being named the NFL’s most explosive runner. I think Murray’s an MVP waiting to happen.
8. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
I’ve been critical of Lamar Jackson‘s passing abilities in the past, but I think he takes a big step this year. Bringing in both Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman gives him more weapons capable of creating separation. The progression since his rookie season has been nice, from winning MVP in 2019 to his first playoff victory in 2020. While we’d like to continue seeing him develop as a passer, Jackson’s speed and elusiveness as a runner make him one of the best players in football. His ability to throw is almost a bonus.
7. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Ranking seventh in these NFL QB rankings, Dak Prescott is on the cusp of being elite. Getting back to the form he showed prior to his leg injury, Prescott has the ability to be one of the best quarterbacks in football. He’s surrounded with talent on offense, if the defense figures it out, could the Cowboys do well enough to reach Super Bowl LVI? Any Given Sunday. Fans will even get an early look at Prescott through the scope of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
6. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
The Deshaun Watson trade and legal situations have been a wild ride. There are rumors of a Watson trade to the Eagles, but nothing will happen until we know Watson’s 2021 playing status. When Watson’s on the field, he’s one of the best young QBs in football. It remains to be seen whether Watson plays this season, and if he does, which uniform will he be wearing? The drama continues.
5. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
After initially struggling early in his career, Josh Allen is now one of the greatest young quarterbacks in the NFL and his arrow continues to trend up. A stacked receiving corps with one of the best wide receivers in the league in Stefon Diggs should lead to another fun season in Buffalo. With how much he loves the city and Bills Mafia, getting Allen signed long-term shouldn’t be much of an issue.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
During the offseason, Russell Wilson trade rumors ran rampant, but it may have just been blown out of proportion. We’ll see how the offense meshes with a new coordinator. Other NFL executives still suggest the drama in Seattle with Wilson is not over. Whatever the case may be, as long as Wilson is in a Seahawks uniform, they have a good chance to go to the Super Bowl.
3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Over the years, fans have gotten to see plenty of incredible Patrick Mahomes highlights. After just a few seasons, the Mahomes stats are becoming just as impressive. At 108.7, Mahomes is the NFL’s all-time career passer rating leader. Last time we saw him on the football field during the 2021 Super Bowl, his offensive line was a mess. By adding three former All-Pro or Pro Bowl offensive linemen, Mahomes should have plenty of time to launch footballs downfield. With a revamped O-line, Mahomes is the betting favorite to win MVP.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
What’s going on with the Aaron Rodgers trade situation? Nobody knows. He turned down a larger contract extension, indicating this isn’t about money. His concerns likely lie with the lack of trust and transparency from the organization and how they’ve treated their franchise’s best player in the past decade. After leading the Packers to a Super Bowl victory, winning three MVP awards along the way, AR12 deserves better. Personally, I don’t see how Rodgers doesn’t play the season out in Green Bay this close to preseason.
1. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After winning Super Bowl LV MVP playing on a torn MCL, Tom Brady has no plans of walking off into the sunset. Still planning to play until he’s 45, TB12 has established his status as the GOAT. Showing no signs of slowing down, Brady has earned his spot at No. 1 in these NFL QB rankings.