For a second straight year, I'm attempting a quarterback power ranking as a teaser before Week 1. (We're so close to actually having football back, you guys.)
As a quick reminder, here are two qualifiers:
A.) I purposely avoided looking at the rest of the internet's quarterback rankings to help keep this more authentic. If you think any of my rankings are insane, you're probably right. (I had Derek Carr 12th in 2018!) But at least they're mine.
B.) I used the premise of, "If there were to be a hypothetical draft of the league's starting quarterbacks, who I would be most inclined to select regardless of the talent that might otherwise exist on my team to lead the group for this season (only)?" So in other words, this is a super serious, very realistic premise, and you should show me the proper respect as such.
* Indicates player was ranked alongside another quarterback last year.
Here are my 2019 preseason NFL QB Power Rankings:
He's a wizard. If he was a fast food chicken sandwich, you'd drive to 15 different locations until you found one that wasn't sold out and you'd wait in an hour long line to get one. He's the obvious choice.
2. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (1)
Until Mahomes does this for a few more years, Rodgers remains the most talented quarterback in football history, just slightly edging out Jimmy Clausen.
3. Patriots QB Tom Brady (3)
Someone would argue that in our hypothetical "draft a quarterback for a year" scenario, Brady would be separated from head coach Bill Belichick and wouldn't deserve to be quite this high on the list.
Someone would also argue that we don't need pumpkin flavors in August. We don't have to listen to the opinions of stupid people.
4. Saints QB Drew Brees (5)
Me: "I just feel like at some point Brees will have to show signs of aging."
5. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (2)
Presumably the team that drafted him would even think to themselves, "Say, we have this very good quarterback, perhaps we should occasionally have him throw the ball!"
6. Texans QB Deshaun Watson (4)
7. Eagles QB Carson Wentz (10*)
I searched "Carson Wentz" on Twitter to see if there was anything interesting happening with Carson Wentz recently and the first Tweets I was directed to were from Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd, so I suspended the search and traded in my computer for some magic beans.
8. Chargers QB Philip Rivers (11)
9. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (9)
The guy is only coming off a near 5,000-yard, 35-touchdown, seven-interception season in which ... he didn't really even seem to play all that well.
10. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (7)
So to recap, four of my top 10 quarterbacks (Brady, Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger) are old enough for us to have to wonder if at any moment it might just all be over. I'll predict that one of them has a "Peyton Manning final season" type of drop-off this year.
11. Panthers QB Cam Newton (8)
This represents the line of demarcation this year. There's the first 10, then there's the next group. Newton is arguably still a top-tier quarterback when he's healthy. But when exactly is he healthy?
12. Rams QB Jared Goff (13)
How painfully uninteresting is Jared Goff? He's good but not THAT good. He's good looking but not even as much as his head coach. He
you wouldn't even want to purchase if your initials were "JG." His favorite food is probably bread.
13. Browns QB Baker Mayfield (unranked)
Meanwhile this dude is the polar opposite of Goff. He calls out other quarterbacks, he hangs out with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He's like a football Matthew McConaughey. I debated sneaking him higher on the list, but I'll let him go through another season of proving that being the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns won't suck the life out of him.
14. Jaguars QB Nick Foles (10*)
I don't know if he's really a top-15-caliber quarterback, but I know he's performed when pressed into duty and probably deserves this chance to make me look stupid for thinking so highly of him.
15. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (23)
I haven't been fair to Prescott in the past. He's a good quarterback. But if I'm a betting man, he's probably never a quarterback we think is deserving of being in the top tier.
16. 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (6)
It's probably unfair for me to drop a guy 10 spots because he got hurt, but this is my list, Dad, and I'm sick of you always grilling me about everything. I'll mow the lawn later. God, why do you always have to actually ruin my life?
17. Lions QB Matthew Stafford (15)
You can't spell Matthew without "meh."
18. Bears QB Mitch Trubisky (21)
Yeah, I think he might be good but I'm just not all hot and bothered about him. He is to football what the band Spoon is to music.
19. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (19)
Kirk Cousins is so milquetoast that he'll probably be the 19th-best quarterback on my list every year for the next decade.
20. Jets QB Sam Darnold (31*)
If you put a gun to my head and forced me to pick a quarterback in the bottom half of my list who would somehow end up in the top 10 next year, I'd probably say ... there's just no need for you to have that gun to my head. But also Darnold.
21. Titans QB Marcus Mariota (22)
It's that thing where you wanna trash the guy because he's supposed to be better than he's been, but you actually think he might be decent. I was trying to come up with a comparison to make here but instead I spent 20 minutes looking over the hashtag #InternationalDogDay. So I can get back to making that comparison or you can look at
. Your call.
22. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (unranked)
It's impossible to rank Lamar Jackson, so I literally decided to just put him one spot ahead of where I put Joe Flacco because I was looking for a navigational beacon. I'm as confused about where he belongs on this list as I am when I attempt to watch the VMA's. How did Jamiroquai do?
23. Broncos QB Joe Flacco (17)
There's a small part of me that thinks he can prove a lot of people wrong. There's a bigger part of me that just sort of thinks things are over for him even if it isn't entirely his fault.
24. Raiders QB Derek Carr (12)
You'd want to draft him in this hypothetical scenario because of his talent but you just wouldn't because ... I mean ... because you wouldn't. You know you wouldn't. I shouldn't have to explain this. This is a quarterback power ranking, not
The New Yorker.
25. Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (30*)
Just repeat what I just said. It's the same thing and I've already surpassed a reasonable word count for a project like this.
26. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (unranked)
Did you guys know he was also drafted to play baseball?
27. Dolphins QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick (30*) and Josh Rosen (unranked)
It's sort of unfathomable that you'd trade a second-round pick for a quarterback only to not start him in Week 1. He'd have to be an unmitigated disaster. They have to play Rosen.
28. Bills QB Josh Allen (32*)
If you put a water gun to my head because you realized how totally inappropriate it was to use a real gun in the previous scenario and then asked me to name a quarterback I think a team might be forced to move on from far earlier than you'd expect them to, I'd say ... wow, I don't really feel that much pressure to answer your question because you only went with a water gun. Oh, and Allen.
29. Giants QB Eli Manning (18)
If he makes it to Thanksgiving, I'll eat my hat. I'll cover it in cranberry relish. I'm actually hoping that he makes it to Thanksgiving because I'm looking for a reason to smother something else in cranberry relish.
30. Bengals QB Andy Dalton (24)
I don't expect him to make it to Thanksgiving, either. But I only have so many hats.
31. Redskins QB Case Keenum (26)
I mean, I don't know if he'll make it to Week 2.
32. Colts QB Jacoby Brissett (unranked)
Maybe he'll be decent. We just don't have much to work with right now.