Ranking Each Division By Quarterback Talent

Friday, NFL Network Analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, sparked conversation, as he tweeted out his rankings for NFL divisions by quarterback talent. Jeremiah often tweets topics to start conversations with his followers, but none have ever been quite this inspiring. When posing a question, such as this one, many things should be taken into consideration.

If the rankings are set based on current talent and ability, players such as Eli Manning would become drastically less relevant, whereas Manning would lift the NFC East up at least a few spots if we glanced at his entire career. Regardless of the parameters, Jeremiah’s rankings are also follows:

8.) NFC East

7.) AFC East

6.) AFC South

5.) AFC North

4.) NFC West

3.) AFC West

2.) NFC North

1.) NFC South

For these rankings, we will examine current abilities, as well as letting the numbers speak for themselves in an attempt to get the best results.

8.) AFC East:

Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen

Years of Experience: 36

Record: 269-160-1 (62.6%)

Pro-Bowls: 14

Playoff Appearances: 16

Super Bowl Appearances: 9

Super Bowl Championships: 6

MVPs: 3

Passing Yards: 107,088

Passing Touchdowns: 745

Interceptions: 360

Tom Brady is Tom Brady, future Hall of Famer, legend on and off the field, and possibly the greatest to ever do it at his position. Brady has certainly carried the load for the AFC East and his success has resulted in the division becoming a graveyard for coaches and fellow quarterbacks alike.

That being said, three out of the five quarterbacks listed above are entering their second year in the league and only have one season on their resume. Darnold and Allen may turn out to be the quarterbacks their franchises need them to be, but it seems too early to tell for Rosen. After analyzing this group, Brady is the only reason this division has the accolades it does but Allen, Darnold, and Rosen’s potential to be franchise quarterbacks makes this a solid group but too early to tell.

7.) AFC South:

Andrew Luck, Deshaun Watson, Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Jacoby Brissett 

Years of Experience: 30

Record: 167-145 (53.5%)

Pro-Bowls: 6

Playoff Appearances: 10

Super Bowl Appearances: 1

Super Bowl Championships: 1

MVPs: 0

Passing Yards: 76,638

Passing Touchdowns: 489

Interceptions: 257

Andrew Luck is truly something special and we were reminded of that when he returned from injury in 2018. With head coach Frank Reich leading this team down the right direction with Luck under center, the Colts can be something special, especially with a talented back up in Brissett. Watson is another young star that has the potential to be what the Texans have always wanted. If Houston can strengthen that offensive line, they would be title contenders with their current defense.

Mariota is a season away from being labeled a bust, with a 27-28 overall record and only one playoff berth to show for it. Injury troubles have prevented Mariota from reaching greatness and now back up Ryan Tannehill may push him for the starting gig. Finally, Nick Foles is many things, but a franchise quarterback is not one of them. Despite helping the Eagles cap off a Super Bowl championship year, led primarily be Carson Wentz, this glorified bridge quarterback has not done much in his career otherwise. Foles will be a solid upgrade for Jacksonville, but that is a low bar to beat and for that price tag, Foles better have an MVP caliber season.

6.) NFC East:

Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum

Years of Experience: 28

Record: 197-175 (52.9%)

Pro-Bowls: 7

Playoff Appearances: 11

Super Bowl Appearances: 3

Super Bowl Championships: 3

MVPs: 0

Passing Yards: 89,670

Passing Touchdowns: 561

Interceptions: 334

Eli Manning will probably be a Hall of Famer and has not had a great offensive line in years, those are the facts plain and simple. Daniel Jones may take over as early as the fifth week of the season and as late as the start of 2020, it all depends on the play of Manning if Jones fails to beat him out in camp. Keenum is a glorified back-up who was given a gift from God when he was able to perform the “Minnesota Miracle” which has allowed him to prolong his career and has resulted in him moving cities twice since.

If rookie Dwayne Haskins can take charge of the Redskins’ offense, Keenum may get put on the back burner. Now, to put an end to the Dak vs. Carson debate. Dak has slightly more yards, less interceptions, and a better record. Carson has slightly more touchdowns and a Super Bowl ring. Both are solid starters and will have many years in this league. 

5.)AFC North:

Ben Roethlisberger, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Andy Dalton

Years of Experience: 25

Record: 224-127-3 (63.3%)

Pro-Bowls: 9

Playoff Appearances: 15

Super Bowl Appearances: 3

Super Bowl Championships: 2

MVPs: 0

Passing Yards: 89,220

Passing Touchdowns: 584

Interceptions: 311

In a division with two second year quarterbacks, a solid veteran, and a future Hall of Famer, these numbers are pretty good. Mayfield and Jackson show a lot of promise for their teams moving forward and will likely be starters for years to come. Roethlisberger has been the man under center for the Steelers for years and has carried the load for this group in terms of accolades and he may have a chance to earn a few more in 2019.

Dalton has been decent throughout his career but rookie head coach Zac Taylor may have different plans for the Bengals at the quarterback position after the 2019 season.

4.) NFC West:

Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Blake Bortles, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyler Murray

Years of Experience: 20

Record: 131-101-1 (56.2%)

Pro-Bowls: 7

Playoff Appearances: 9

Super Bowl Appearances: 4

Super Bowl Championships: 1

MVPs: 0

Passing Yards: 55,819

Passing Touchdowns: 381

Interceptions: 172

Russell Wilson is easily a top-ten quarterback in this league both in the air and on the ground. Honestly it is surprising that he has not won MVP yet, as he is a significant reason why the Seahawks are always competitive. Jimmy G is an offensive weapon that we have rarely got to see these past two seasons. After being traded to San Francisco, he went 5-0 in the final five games of the year, only to tear his ACL in the initial weeks of the 2018 season. Kyler Murray has often been compared to Wilson but until we see him under center in an actual game, we will never know. As of right now, he is poised to be the best rookie quarterback of this class, at least in 2019.

Finally, the Rams are enjoying solid depth at quarterback, as their pro-bowl signal caller Jared Goff is leading the offense but this time, with Blake Bortles backing him up. Bortles has been a less than average starter for the Jaguars for nearly half a decade and he is now shifting gears to become one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. This division has insanely talented men and solid depth behind them.

3.) NFC North:

Aaron Rodgers, Mitch Trubisky, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins

Years of Experience: 26

Record: 217-180-3 (54.3%)

Pro-Bowls: 9

Playoff Appearances: 13

Super Bowl Appearances: 1

Super Bowl Championships: 1

MVPs: 2

Passing Yards: 107,390

Passing Touchdowns: 735

Interceptions: 293

Aaron Rodgers is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame and has wreaked havoc on this division for years but now the division is fighting back. With the Lions, Vikings, and Bears all finding what seems to be their franchise quarterbacks, they will continue to build and aim to take down the G.O.A.T. of the NFC North. Stafford is extremely underrated due to his general lack of help, injuries, and Detroit’s inability to consistently make their way into the playoffs. Cousins is extremely overpaid but could be the quarterback that gets the Vikings to the playoffs on a consistent basis.

If Minnesota fails to make the playoffs in 2019, I would consider the Cousins-project a failure and search for a replacement. Trubisky is still growing and head coach Matt Nagy is still molding him into the quarterback he needs to be for this offensive to truly be dangerous. We saw a glimpse of Trubisky’s progress in 2018, he should take another leap in his second year under Nagy’s scheme. 

2.)AFC West:

Patrick Mahomes, Phillip Rivers, Tyrod Taylor, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock, Derek Carr

Years of Experience: 41

Record: 282-228-1 (55.2%)

Pro-Bowls: 13

Playoff Appearances: 15

Super Bowl Appearances: 1

Super Bowl Championships: 1

MVPs: 1

Passing Yards: 126,550

Passing Touchdowns: 811

Interceptions: 401

This division is filled with talented veterans and a few young bucks. Rivers is a potential Hall of Famer but is the only prominent quarterback of that talented ‘04 class that has still yet to win a championship, despite leading the Chargers to plenty of great seasons. Flacco was amazing to start his career but has somewhat disappeared the past four to five seasons, maybe a change of scenery will allow him to add more accolades to his career, if not, rookie Drew Lock is gazing over his shoulder at the starting spot. Tyrod Taylor, who recently joined the Chargers, is also a Super Bowl champion, but since he was backing up Flacco at the time, it has been nullified for this argument.

Taylor was serviceable for the Bills for three seasons before he got traded into a sticky situation in Cleveland, where he was quickly ran out of town. Taylor will back-up Rivers for 2019 but after that the future is unclear with Rivers’ potential retirement. Carr started out his career hot, looking like an MVP caliber signal caller before several injuries got in his way. With a future Hall of Fame wideout in Antonio Brown and an improved offensive line, Carr may be able to get back to his old form. Finally, we have the reigning MVP of the league in Patrick Mahomes. In his second year in the league (first year starting), Mahomes looked outstanding and gave the entire league highlight after highlight as the weeks progressed. With Mahomes playing this good so early in his career, his ceiling is dangerous and his even his floor is exciting.

1.) NFC South:

Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan 

Years of Experience: 46

Record: 363-278-1 (56.5%)

Pro-Bowls: 21

Playoff Appearances:  19

Super Bowl Appearances: 3

Super Bowl Championships: 1

MVPs: 2

Passing Yards: 170,522

Passing Touchdowns: 1,114

Interceptions: 554

It’s clear to see that this is one of, if not the most dominant divisions in the NFL. Brees should be a first ballot Hall of Famer and is arguably a top-five quarterback of all-time. Fortunately for the Saints, they also have one of the best back-up quarterbacks in Bridgewater. Matt Ryan was one half of football away from a ring and has consistently been a good if not great starting quarterback. Cam Newton has been solid his entire career but has been inconsistent in taking his team to the playoffs regularly. The only somewhat mediocre signal caller on this list is Winston and that is only because he is turnover prone and makes poor decisions. There is no denying that this is one of the best divisions in terms of quarterback talent.

Generally, Jeremiah had a good analysis and placement for each division but after analyzing the data there were only a few adjustments to be made. With so much talent in the league, this ranking was difficult but current ability combined with career statistics allowed for the most accurate ranking system. To break any ties that may arise when completing your rankings, analyzing which quarterbacks would be the best to start a franchise with should be a great determinant.

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