Aside from the immortal and everlasting Tom Brady, the 2019 NFL season's primary concentration and attention grabber is the young quarterback revolution taking place right in front of our hopeful eyes. Finally, the rest of the league has something to look forward to if they don't have a Brady, Rodgers, Brees, or Wilson as their signal-caller. As the Ben Roethlisbergers and Eli Mannings of the world descend into injury limbo and deserved backup roles, the modern generation of young gunners are taking advantage of their first time in the brightest of spotlights.
This past Sunday featured 21 starting quarterbacks under the age of 27, and a lot of these young field generals performed as if it was their 100th start opposed to their tenth, or even first in some magical circumstances.
Below is a ranking of the league's best young quarterbacks which will be updated semi-regularly throughout the rest of the NFL season.
The 27 Club
22. Luke Falk (24 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 296 YDS, 0 TD/1 INT, 76.2 QBR
Honestly, I feel bad for both myself, you (the reader), the Jets, and Luke Falk for having to include him on this list. Poor guy. He probably just wanted to be a backup quarterback for his entire young adult life, make his money, and retire happily with a few M's in the bank account. But because Darnold and Siemian have experienced rather odd injuries (mono, and an ankle fracture), his number has been called and he's had to play for one of the worst franchises in football.
For more on the Jets, scroll down to #17 on this list (if there are any of you out there who actually enjoy reading about the Jets aside from my dear friend Connor Lagrone).
21. Josh Rosen (22 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 302 YDS, 0 TD/2 INT, 45.3 QBR
Remember when Josh Rosen dropped to like the middle of the first round of the NFL Draft last year, and he came out with this public statement that basically said everybody's going to regret passing up on him with their draft pick? Yeah, me too. And now look at him, he's throwing the football for a team named the Dolphins. If you haven't heard, the most embarrassing thing about the Dolphins isn't even the fact that their team name is the Dolphins, but is the fact that they've lost their first three games by a total of 133-16.
Rosen got his first career start as a Dolphin on Sunday, and he honestly didn't have the worst game ever. He wasn't good by any means, but some of the balls he tossed looked relatively decent in comparison to the rest of the football franchise located in Miami. He has some good velocity on a fair share of his balls, and I think it's fair to say that he probably won't be playing there next season when they have the first pick in the draft and presumably draft Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama.
20. Jameis Winston (25 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 782 YDS, 5 TD/4 INT, 85.5 QBR
There isn't much to say about Jameis Winston anymore at this point in his career. In fact, I don't think I have anything substantial to say about him, but there is definitely something that I would like to say to him:
THROW THE BALL TO MIKE EVANS EVERY TIME. LITERALLY EVERY TIME. IF THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CALLS A RUN PLAY, THEN AUDIBLE WHEN YOU GET TO THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, AND THROW THE BALL TO MIKE EVANS. HE'S BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ATTEMPTING TO COVER HIM, AND HIS CATCH RADIUS IS LIKE TEN FEET. SO JUST THROW IT IN HIS GENERAL VICINITY, AND HE'LL CATCH IT. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.
19. Marcus Mariota (25 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 706 YDS, 4 TD/0 INT, 99.3 QBR
Marcus Mariota is the definition of an average NFL quarterback. He's not a very good thrower at the quarterback position, and it seems as if there's a relatively decent throw up his sleeve for every time there's a disgusting incompletion. He's a mobile quarterback who doesn't seem to have the best feel for his own agility, and acceleration which resulted in him being sacked NINE times against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 'He Just Needs More Time' Guys
18. Mason Rudolph (24 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 286 YDS, 4 TD/2 INT, 86.0 QBR
I like Mason Rudolph. I don't know how much there is to say about Mason Rudolph aside from the fact that I don't mind watching Mason Rudolph play football. So, I like Mason Rudolph. I definitely don't love Mason Rudolph, but it's safe to say that I do like Mason Rudolph.
17. Sam Darnold (22 years old)
2019 Season Stats (1 game): 175 YDS, 1 TD/0 INT, 84.9 QBR
I'm one of the few people who believed in Sam Darnold going into the 2018 NFL Draft. I thought his performances at USC were inspiring, and demonstrated that he had an NFL-caliber arm that would benefit a team with fast, explosive receivers. Luckily for him, that's exactly the kind of team he ended up with. The Jets have one of the most explosive receivers in the league in Robby Anderson, and acquired a top five running back in the league in Le'Veon Bell this offseason.
As far as Darnold's career trajectory goes, it's tough to say considering we haven't had a good glimpse of him this season due to him being sidelined with mono. Once he returns towards the middle of the season, we'll have a better grip on him as a starting quarterback in the NFL for the next decade.
16. Josh Allen (23 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 750 YDS, 3 TD/3 INT, 83.4 QBR
To me, Josh Allen is a combination between Ben Roethlisberger, and Cam Newton. He's big (6'5", 237 pounds). He's fast for a QB (4.7 40 yard dash time). He has a quality leadership ability, and is not afraid of putting his body on the line for his team (Allen was named a captain this season, and rushed the ball nine times against the Bengals on Sunday).
With all that being said, the kid is wildly inconsistent. His highs are as high as some of the best young players in the league, and his lows are as head-scratching as some of the Bills Mafia's decisions after a win. The Bills's franchise quarterback has one of the strongest arms in the league, and only needs to improve on his accuracy and decision-making throughout the rest of his career. Two things that are not easily acquirable, but come with hours and hours of hard work and persistence.
15. Kyle Allen (23 years old)
First Game Stats: 261 YDS, 4 TD/0 INT, 144.4 QBR
Here's a fascinating statistic for you:
In Cam Newton's last four games as the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, he has scored 0 touchdowns.
In Kyle Allen's last two games as the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, he has scored 6 touchdowns.
Newton, a former number one overall draft pick, has declined into one of the most inconsistent, inaccurate quarterbacks in the league. While Kyle Allen has proved himself to be accurate, and potentially franchise-altering in not just one, but two games. I really hope that Allen continues to play at this level over the course of the season while Cam Newton rehabs his injury, because Cam is too self-absorbed to sincerely believe that Allen could take his spot. It's time for a reality check in Carolina.
14. Mitchell Trubisky (25 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 579 YDS, 3 TD/2 INT, 81/3 QBR
Trust me, I know, as a Bears fan it is hard to watch Trubisky at times. You can see the flourishes of dazzling potential while he's scrambling around like 80% of Michael Vick, and then he chucks a duck into the dirt five yards away from his intended target. Especially when Patrick Mahomes is transforming the game of football itself, and Deshaun Watson is making miracles happen both behind, and in front of the line of scrimmage in Houston.
But then again, it's important to remember the highlights of his young career. Like the time he threw six touchdowns in a single game. Or when he threw three touchdowns in one quarter against the Washington Redskins (last night). Trubisky has the arm strength, charisma, and talent to be one of the ten best quarterbacks in the league at some point in his career, but the best part about being a Bears fan is he doesn't even need to be a Top 10 QB for us to win a Super Bowl. He just has to be an above average quarterback, and that's it. As long as he can keep improving within Nagy's offense, he'll more than likely secure a few more playoff wins in the near future.
The Average's Average
13. Teddy Bridgewater (26 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 342 YDS, 2 TD/0 INT, 91.4 QBR
Teddy Two Gloves: the highest paid second quarterback in the league (I heard something this past weekend that good teams don't refer to their second quarterback on the depth chart as the "back-up quarterback" but rather the "second quarterback" and I really liked that anecdote) proved to New Orleans that he can keep them in contention for the NFC South while Drew Brees heals his injured thumb on his throwing hand. Although Teddy was merely treading water against the Rams and Seahawks, he demonstrated that he's more than capable of making quality NFL throws against very talented NFL defenses.
All Teddy has to do in order to keep the Saints above .500 is feed the ball to Alvin Kamara, the hardest-to-tackle running back in the NFL.
12. Baker Mayfield (24 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 805 YDS, 3 TD/5 INT, 70.3 QBR
These are the search results that come up when you search "Baker Mayfield highlights" on Google. In case you weren't aware, this isn't a good sign. Typically when you search "Fill in the Blank Name Highlights" on Google, the most recent week of highlights will pop up. Go ahead, try it out yourself right now. Type in "Lamar Jackson highlights" on Google and you should see three videos from Weeks 1, 2, and 3 from this season. Baker doesn't have that yet, and that's incredibly upsetting considering he has perhaps the most devastating and talented crew of skill players on his team in Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and David Njoku on his team.
I don't think it'd be appropriate to give up on the 2019 AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year this early in the season, but what we've seen out of him so far has been depressing to say the least. It isn't all his fault though, his offensive line hasn't been great, but then again Baker is second-to-last in the league in time to throw at 3.03 seconds ahead of only Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins who both have talented sets of linemen in front of them. He's also fifth-to-last in expected completion percentage (60.1%) ahead of only Mason Rudolph, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kirk Cousins, and Jameis Winston.
Baker will need to step up and prove to the city of Cleveland and his teammates that he's capable of returning to the rhythm that he achieved in the second half of last season.
A Frustrated Side Note: Hey Baker, maybe take a break from all the fucking commercials you're doing and master this offense instead. Tom Brady doesn't do commercials, and he has SIX Super Bowl rings, so take a note from the greatest football player of all-time and just relax on all the fucking Hulu and State Farm ads or whatever the fuck it is that you're doing. My Fantasy team needs you. No, not you as in yourself. My fantasy team needs Jarvis Landry, and OBJ, and they can't score without you playing anywhere above average.
11. Kyler Murray (22 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 830 YDS, 4 TD/3 INT, 79.0 QBR
At first glance, Kyler Murray looks like a child who finessed the smallest set of shoulder pads, and snuck onto the field because he couldn't resist the excitement of playing in an NFL game. Once the game starts though, it's quickly understood that his playing ability is no joke.
The first pick in the 2019 Draft has energized the Arizona Cardinals franchise for the first time since Kurt Warner. As he progresses through his career, the Cardinals will try to surround him with more talented and threatening skill position players. They already have the almighty David Johnson at halfback, but their wide receivers are mediocre at best with an aging Larry Fitzgerald, and a before-his-peak Christian Kirk.
Kyler can make all the throws, scramble at will, and has demonstrated that he's a legitimate leader who commands respect in the huddle and will be able to lead the Cards to the playoffs in the near future if they make the right decisions in the front office.
10. Jared Goff (24 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 738 YDS, 4 TD/3 INT, 84.5 QBR
I'll be the first person to admit it: I don't really believe in Jared Goff. And why should I? Did you watch the Super Bowl? Did he look like someone who was capable of winning that game? I personally believe that Goff is simply a result of Sean McVay's brilliance, and the unreal skill players that surround him in Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods.
Granted, I have to give Goff some amount of credit considering he's been the quarterback who's turned around the Rams entire franchise since he was the number one overall draft pick in the 2016 Draft. I just don't know if what we're witnessing out of him right now, and what we've witnessed so far in his first three seasons, is his floor or his ceiling. I'm willing to gamble that what he achieved last year was his ceiling, and how he's performed this year is his floor. He reminds me a lot of Eli Manning in the way that he's just always going to be so outstandingly average.
The Difference Makers
9. Gardner Minshew II (23 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 692 YDS, 5 TD/1 INT, 110.6 QBR
The Mustache Maestro. The Wavy Winner. The Flowing Footballer.
Gardner Minshew II deserves to have forty different nicknames with the extravagant style and swagger that he has off the field, but it's what he's doing on the field that is making the Jaguars regret giving Nick Foles a whole lot of money. Minshew has thrown the ball accurately, and relentlessly since he's checked in for Foles during the middle of Week 1. Although he doesn't have the best weapons in the world, the eldest rookie has made the most of his first opportunity in the national football league.
8. Jimmy Garoppolo (27 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 739 YDS, 5 TD/4 INT, 96.3 QBR
Jimmy G may not be the messiah that everybody anticipated him to be when he was The GOAT's backup in New England, but he is 3-0 as a starting quarterback so far this season. Kyle Shanahan's offense is lethal, and values spacing above all else in this modern system of his. The Niners have some serious talent at the skill player positions, and as long as Jimmy can fling the ball into the bread baskets of Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Marquise Goodwin then they will be serious threats to win the division in the NFC West.
7. Daniel Jones (22 years old)
First Game Stats: 353 YDS, 2 TD/0 INT, 109.7 QBR
Well, it happened. The sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (#DukeInTheNFL), Daniel Jones, lit the league on fire with four total touchdowns in a win against the Tamba Bay Buccaneers in his first career start. Granted the Bucs's kicker missed a field goal that was nearly the distance of a PAT, but nonetheless, the New York Giants won a football game following the loss of Saquon Barkley to an ankle injury.
Jones (or Danny Dimes if you're down with that nickname) is 6'4" and surprisingly athletic for his stature. He demonstrated that he can scramble when necessary, even though his best attribute is his accuracy which was on full display on a throw to Sterling Shepard in the far right side of the end zone.
Congratulations to the New York Giants for finding their replacement for Eli Manning in Daniel Jones. He and Barkley will be fun to watch together for the next decade.
The Bonafide Weapons
6. Jacoby Brissett (26 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 646 YDS, 7 TD/1 INT, 112.0 QBR
Earlier this year, I believe it was around early August, I asked my dear friend and fellow Burbs writer Jack Martin who he thought the best quarterback in the league was, and he replied, "Andrew Luck. Duh," then I asked him who he thought the second best quarterback in the league was, and he said, "Jacoby Brissett."
Jack may have been somewhat exaggerating in his sardonic tone that I'm incredibly accustomed to, but from what we've seen out of Brissett thus far through the first three weeks, he may not have been too far off.
If I had to describe Brissett with one word, that one word would be: ACCURATE. He just doesn't miss his targets, and that has to be the one thing that fan bases would want out of their quarterback who's asked to fill in some of the biggest shoes in recent NFL history.
Jacoby is poised in the pocket, lethal in his decision making, and statistically efficient. He completed his first 16 passes on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, and has led the Indianapolis Colts to a 2-1 record through the first three games of the 2019 season.
5. Lamar Jackson (22 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 863 YDS, 7 TD/0 INT, 113.9 QBR
He's taken the league by storm, and he's done it entirely his way. Aside from 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes, there is perhaps not another player in the league who is more thrilling to watch play the quarterback position. Every play has the potential to result in either an 80-yard rushing touchdown, or a 65 yard dime on a rope to Marquise Brown.
Lamar has the ability to take a play that looks like a horrendous disaster, and transform it into a highlight that makes you wish you were a Baltimore fan. Some of his decisions are questionable, but the young man is only 22 years old and has plenty of room to improve.
4. Deshaun Watson (24 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 778 YDS, 6 TD/1 INT, 108.6 QBR
He's accurate. He's agile. He's wise for his age. And he has weapons around him that could make the Texans one of the legitimate threats to the Chiefs and Patriots in the AFC. Deshaun Watson is the ideal modern quarterback. He can improvise when the offensive line has communication mishaps, and standard breakdowns, and this innate ability of his allows him to extend plays from two-second sacks for a 5 yard loss to ten-second scrambles that result in 15 yard gains.
Watson also has an ability to alter his throwing motion depending on the distance of his throw and the proximity between him and the attacking defender(s). The versatility of his throwing mechanics are perhaps his greatest attribute because they allow him to put the ball in his receiver's bread baskets whether he's rolling out to the left, right, backwards, forwards, or standing still in the pocket.
3. Carson Wentz (26 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 803 YDS, 6 TD/2 INT, 91.2 QBR
The Philadelphia Eagles are off to an unsettling 1-2 start after losing to the Detroit Lions this past weekend. But Carson Wentz has been what Carson Wentz needs to be through the first three games of the season. In other words, it's not the quarterback's fault, Philadelphia. He's been without his two top wide receivers (Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson) for the past two outings, which both resulted in losses against the Falcons and Lions.
I think it's important to resist overreacting to their early struggles like the rest of the analysts and talking heads in the media, because the Eagles still have one of the most talented rosters in the league to compliment one of the three or four best young quarterbacks in the world.
Healthy Reminder: Carson Wentz is only two years removed from winning the MVP before his season-ending injury in 2017.
2. Dak Prescott (26 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 920 YDS, 9 TD/2 INT, 128.0 QBR
Dear Jerry Jones,
PAY THAT MAN
Dak Prescott has returned to his full form in 2019. He finally has an offensive play-caller who isn't a boring, underachieving clapper. Kellen Moore has unlocked Dak's innate ability to zip passes into tight zones, and has encouraged him to be the tremendous athlete that he is when he has to improvise outside the pocket. The Cowboys should be one of the best teams in the NFC all season long, and it's in large part to Dak's progress as a franchise centerpiece.
The Future of Football
1. Patrick Mahomes II (24 years old)
2019 Season Stats: 1,195 YDS, 10 TD/0 INT, 134.9 QBR
What is there to say about Patrick Mahomes that hasn't already been said? Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are breaking football.
If Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time, then I think it's safe to say that Mahomes is the most talented quarterback of all-time. He has Steve Young's mobility, nearly 90% of Tom's pocket presence, and Aaron Rodgers's arm talent. He is well on his way to another MVP season, and has many more in his future as long as he can remain healthy. The ultimate question is, can Kansas City's defense play well enough to compliment their offense if they want to win a Super Bowl? If they can, then, well, the rest of the league is fucked (except for the Patriots, because Tom Brady is God).