If you watch the NFL on a weekly basis, you know that one thing is clear. The league is driven by the quarterback position. Generally, the team’s with the best quarterbacks are the teams that have the most success. Granted, offensive weapons and defensive play a big part of getting to a championship level, but most teams can do very well in the regular season with a top QB. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Aaron Rodgers are all QB’s you typically see in the playoffs. Oh yeah, and how about the guy that retired on top last year?
Today’s post will focus on the top ten QB’s to start an NFL team with. Let’s be clear. This list is NOT a list of the top ten quarterbacks in the NFL. It’s a list of young QB’s who an NFL Executive would build a team around for the next ten years. The criteria will be as follows. The QB’s on the list will be age 30 and under. That’s right. You won’t see Brady, Rodgers, or Drew Brees on this list.
What?! Tom Brady is going to play until he’s 45! Get a grip… The list is focused on the QB’s who will be leading the NFL into the next ten years.
Here’s First Score Boston’s list of top ten QB’s to start an NFL team with!
#10. Andy Dalton – Bengals. Say what you want about Dalton’s lack of ability to win a playoff game. It’s a valid point. With that said, the reality is that Dalton has been one of the league’s best regular season quarterbacks over the past few seasons. Take a look at his season last year. He was very efficient with 25 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. His QB was 106.3. This year, his rating is 98.0. Good QB. Never great.
#9. Carson Wentz – Eagles. Wentz is playing very well for the Eagles who are threatening for a playoff spot this season. His stats don’t jump out at you as he has only thrown nine touchdown passes in the first eight games. However, he has that look and feel of a guy who can lead and he’s already winning games. We’ll likely see him continue to make progress and become a top tier QB.
#8. Dak Prescott – Cowboys. A 7-1 start as a rookie QB has put Prescott on the map. He has been very efficient. It looks like Tony Romo won’t see the field this year as long as Prescott continues to win. Through eight games, Prescott has thrown for 2,020 yards with 12 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Projected over a full season that would be 4,040 yards with 24 TD’s and 4 INT’s. Could you ask for more from a rookie? There’s a strong possibility that Prescott could move up this list as we see more of a simple size.
#7. Jameis Winston – Buccaneers. 6’4″, 230 pounds, 22 years old, and a lot of talent. This guy has the skills to be the guy. It’s just a matter of how far he can take that talent. In his rookie season, he threw for over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. This season, he has already thrown for 17 touchdowns through the first eight games. He’s certainly making good progress. The big question is can he take a franchise that has been a historical loser and make them a winner. Time will tell…
#6. Matthew Stafford – Lions. OK. We get it. Matthew Stafford has been in league for a while and he hasn’t had much success. He’s certainly not the youngest guy on this list at age 28, but he still fits the criteria. Here’s the reality. Stafford has turned a corner in the past two years. He was known as a guy who would put up huge stats, but would fail in clutch situations in games. In the past two seasons combined, he has 50 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. He has a career high 101.6 QB Rating this year. Here’s the biggest point. He’s starting to become a winner. Rather than coughing the ball up late in games, he’s now making the big plays to win them. Keep your eye on the Lions!
#5. Marcus Mariota – Titans. This guy is the real deal. Mariotta can throw the ball as well as any of the young QB’s in the game and he can also mix in a running ability which makes him a duel threat. Through his first 21 career games, Mariota has a 92.6 QB Rating. In addition, he has quickly become the leader on the Titans team that is now a playoff contender. Did anyone expect what they saw today against Green Bay? Big potential here to be the next guy.
#4. Derek Carr – Raiders. Not only is Carr in the top five on this list, he’s also quickly gaining steam to move towards the list of top five QB’s in the league overall. The Raiders are currently ranked the #2 team in the AFC and Carr is a big reason why. He’s a top three MVP candidate this year. He’s on pace to throw for almost 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. It seems as if the Raiders are turning a corner as an organization and Carr is the player leading that turn.
#3. Cam Newton – Panthers. Talent-wise, he tops this list. Newton was the league MVP last season and there wasn’t a close second. He’s a great player. The question is can he be a great winner?
#2. Andrew Luck – Colts. The jury is still out on this one, but the ceiling is higher than any other player on this list. When Luck entered the league he was charged with being the next Peyton Manning. He hasn’t exactly met those demands. However, from a pure skills standpoint, he has it all. Luck’s biggest problem is that he turns the ball over way too much. He has thrown 35 interceptions in his last 32 games. He’s 27 now. So, it’s time for him to figure it out and put it all together.
#1. Russell Wilson – Seahawks. Why is Russell Wilson at the top of this list? One reason. He wins. In fact, no quarterback in the NFL has won more games than Wilson since he entered that NFL in 2012. There are many critics who say Wilson can’t throw the ball like many of the great QB’s in the league and that he’s a system QB.. Two points on that. 1. No one in New England seemed to have an issue with a system QB from 2001 – 2006. 2. Wilson led the NFL in QB rating last year with a 110.1 rating. He threw for 4,024 yards and 34 touchdowns. Can’t throw the ball? This is the guy you would start your team with.
We’ll see how this plays out! There’s a lot of potential here. Who’s going to reach to it?