Note: An original version of this article appeared over at our friends at BellyUp Sports. Read more of their stuff here.

We’re all familiar with Chris Simms of NBC Sports, right? Every year he comes up with these lists ranking the top 40 NFL QBs, and every year they suck. It appears every fan of the league unites quickly to take a giant crap on the concoction that probably took Simms four seconds to create. It’s my mission now to create my own top 40 list. Hopefully, one that appeals to the NFL’s fanbase at large and accurately represents their views. So, without further delay, bring out contestant number 40…

#40:Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

(AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Well, things didn’t go as fans of the former Jet would have hoped. Sam Darnold looked like he had some promise in the first handful of weeks as the Carolina Panthers shot out to a 3-0 start. He tossed for 888 yards and 3 touchdowns and was looking like maybe he wasn’t a total bust. And that Adam Gase had just held him back. He followed up that impressive start by winning just one more game the rest of the season, and eventually getting hurt and ending up in a quarterback competition with the corpse of Cam Newton. Darnold saw dead people again, and it shoved him to the bottom of this list. There are certainly third-stringers and suckbags worse than him, but he probably won’t ever start in the NFL again on his own merit.

#39:Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

(AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

Jacoby Brissett has had quite the NFL career. Starting off as a 3rd stringer in New England behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, even making an appearance in his rookie season in their absence in a quite memorable matchup versus the Texans. Then a totally forgettable one versus the Bills. The next season he was flipped to Indianapolis and saw some quality playing time in the absence of Andrew Luck. In 2021 he signed with the Miami Dolphins and saw some meaningful time, throwing for 225 yards and five scores in 11 appearances.

Brissett now looks to be the interim starter for the Cleveland Browns as Deshaun Watson faces at least a multi-game suspension following his antics over the past year. He’s another player who hasn’t shown too much capability to be anything more than an okay backup plan. He’s not the guy you want to run the show, but if there’s faith that Watson will play in 2021, he might be able to squeak out a couple of wins. Not the best insurance policy to have, but there’s certainly worse.

#38: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

It’s so hard to judge quarterbacks who haven’t seen the NFL field. Kenny Pickett, the only first-round quarterback of the 2021 draft, was arguably the best of a weak class. Pittsburgh took him out of a necessity at the spot, only having Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph on the depth chart otherwise. I think Pickett has some potential. Solid arm strength and accuracy and a bit of mobility. Plus, he’s got a home field advantage. After playing all his college years at Pitt, he’s got some experience with the field he’ll be playing at in the NFL. He may just beat out Trubisky, but the rookie doesn’t get a high ranking until we see more.

#37:Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The legend of Heinicke began just a short two seasons ago when he came in for an injured Alex Smith and took on the eventual Super Bowl champions in Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played his ass off. Delaying his college finals to go play NFL football is probably the coolest story I’ve heard come out of Washington in a long time. But Heinicke still doesn’t grace much more than the “really solid backup” label. As a QB2 he’s a guy that you can comfortably rely upon in a pinch. He’s done his job well for Washington, passing for 3,556 yards and 21 scores in 17 games.

Do you want Heinicke to start the full season? Probably not. But he’s a solid bet to not screw up the process if there’s an immediate need. With Carson Wentz ahead of him on the depth chart, there’s a good chance he’s called upon again in 2022. And maybe we revisit him in 2023 as a quarterback competing for a job elsewhere!

#36:Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Tyrod Taylor is a guy who plays well when given the opportunity, but fate does not want him to succeed. Usually getting hurt both on, and off (looking at you, Chargers training staff) the field before he can stake a viable claim as a starter. In New York, Taylor looks at a depth chart with just Daniel Jones ahead of him, who’s been less than impressive since being drafted sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Ownership and the coaching staff seem intent on giving Danny Dimes a fair shake though. They hired former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll in the off-season and the Mara’s have said “we’ve done everything to screw (Jones) over”. So, Taylor isn’t coming in as the 1-B starter. But if Jones sucks and there’s a window for the Giants to compete after a great off-season, don’t be shocked if a move is made and Taylor is taking starter reps in practice.

#35:Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith talks to reporters after NFL football practice Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Remember that time when Geno Smith had his jaw broken at a Jets’ practice by a linebacker, who was then signed to the Bills by his former head coach Rex Ryan, who made that same linebacker a captain at their next meeting? 2015 was a simpler time. Anywho, Smith most of the time looked like a serviceable starter in Seattle when Russell Wilson was dealing with a broken thumb. The 2013 2nd round pick passed for 702 yards and five scores completing 68.4 percent of his passes in Wilson’s absence. He’s certainly earned the right to compete for the starting job now with Wilson in Denver and Drew Lock coming in. Geno Smith might just be the best backup in the league, but he’ll also be taking on somebody with similar merit.

#34: Drew Lock, Seattle Seahawks

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The reason I put Lock ahead of Smith on this list isn’t necessarily because he’s significantly better, I just think the upside is higher. Lock, if nothing, is a firecracker of a quarterback. Either he’ll be making insane throws and just playing his heart out, or he’ll look similar to a Trevor Siemian type who just never looked the part of a NFL starter. Lock has big play ability, and if you dust him off and he can make some plays, Seattle might just be a sleeper squad in 2022. Lock isn’t the safe option, but dammit he sure is a fun one.

#33: Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Ruined by the expectations of being taken second overall, in possibly the best quarterback draft class of the last decade, as well as being coached by Matt Nagy, Trubisky has a chance to redeem himself in the Steel City of Pittsburgh. I think Trubisky comes in as the starter after signing there as a free agent this past off-season and will have the inside track on being the guy come week one.

Lots of NFL higher-ups believe something is there with the former Tar Heel. A lot of teams were interested in the off-season and the Steelers scooped him up on a two-year deal. We’ll see what he looks like with a competent coaching staff and a solid roster of talent ahead of him. I like his situation, and I think there might be something there. The uncertainty is warranted. No question. Which is why he sits at 33, but there’s potential.

#32:Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

If injuries didn’t exist, there’s a good chance Teddy Bridgewater is starting for the Minnesota Vikings right now. But that would also mean Robert Griffin III is a superstar in Washington instead of giving us juicy tik toks and analysis on ESPN. Anyways, Bridgewater is quarterback purgatory. You can win games with him, maybe even look like a wild card team for a little while like Denver did last season, but you’re not really a threat. Nor are you trash enough to go and get that high draft selection to take your quarterback of the future.

So just at face value, Bridgewater is a nice quarterback to have on a good roster. He’ll play adequately and keep you in it. But you can certainly do better. He’s in a great situation in Miami where Tua Tagovailoa is comfortably the better player, but certainly a risk and if things go sour, you don’t lose a whole lot of ground going to Bridgewater. Teddy two-gloves is at the very back of NFL starters, but you take that if you’re the Dolphins all day.

#31:Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Marcus Mariota was in a very similar position to Mitch Trubisky. Plenty of off-season suitors and showed flashes of capability when filling in for Derek Carr. Mariota might’ve been a one-year wonder in his years with Tennessee, but he looked like a totally different quarterback in Vegas. Sure, it was in a limited capacity, but Mariota still had it. The Falcons saw enough to give him a shot at taking control of a starting quarterback job again. It didn’t come without its insurance policy though in Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder. I think there’s hope for Mariota with his athletic ability, and if he’s improved any as a passer of the football, he could prove to be a viable bridge option as Atlanta works on finding the next guy.

#30:Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The third pick of the 2021 NFL Draft has finally taken charge of the 49ers quarterback depth chart. Trey Lance is now the guy at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California. I personally don’t love him as a talent. I think he’s got athleticism but through the air, I wasn’t overly into him as a prospect, but Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch saw enough to trade up and get him to be their guy for years to come. He’s only so low because you don’t know what to expect with him. We saw him for one game in Jimmy Garoppolo’s absence in 2021, and in 2020 he played just one game for the North Dakota State Bison, and he wasn’t very good.

Lance is a true unknown that could either bust out or take the league by storm in an offense that seems dummy proof. Jimmy G was able to run this squad to two NFC title games while not being much better than an average joe most days. If Lance has superstar potential, things could really be scary out in the bay.

#29: Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

It would be a hard sell to get me to believe Carson Wentz ever left Philadelphia after his borderline MVP season in 2017. A season he wouldn’t see through as he tore his ACL late in the year and watched from the sidelines as Nick Foles stepped in and carried the Eagles’ momentum to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Wentz never returned to form again. He struggled after coming back from injury, then was dealt to Indianapolis for a 2021 third round pick and a 2022 second.

He wasn’t great under his former offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Throwing for just 3,516 yards and 27 scores. The Colts finished 9-8 and missed the playoffs after losing to a joker Jaguars team. Wentz was so bad; the Colts didn’t let him come out for the encore. They shipped him to Washington for nothing. Where he’s the clear starter throwing the ball to Terry McLaurin and first round pick Jahan Dotson. Wentz hasn’t shown me anything in five years that says he’s a top tier starter in this league. So, he’s comfortably at the backend of this list.

#28:Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Obviously, Goff isn’t the absolute future for the Lions. He and Matt Stafford are the price of multiple first round picks they received in a trade with the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. All that said though, Goff isn’t a bad bridge quarterback. He’ll keep the Lions afloat, as much as they can be anyways, and that’s all the coaches need.

#27:Zach Wilson, New York Jets

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Zach Wilson didn’t show all that much promise on the field in his rookie season. Off it he might’ve become a legend, but the Jets are going to need a lot more from him in year two. They’ve built a nice stable of weapons in Garrett Wilson, Elijah MooreCorey DavisBraxton Berrios, and Breece Hall. They made a big addition at tight end in CJ Uzomah, the offensive line looks better, and the defense is much improved. Wilson is going to have to prove he’s built for the NFL in year two. If not, this could take a major turn for the worse and the Jets will be looking elsewhere.

#26:Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

If you’re looking for a fantasy football quarterback, Jalen Hurts is your guy. He’ll get you a ton of points rushing the football and getting some garbage time scores. But he’s not exactly a quarterback you want running the show in the NFL. He’s got some horrible accuracy issues, and just looks raw as a talent. He like Wilson has a lot to prove in 2022 if he’s going to be the guy for Philly moving forward. They did add A.J. Brown to an already solid receiving core, so there’s no excuses for him not to succeed this season.

#25: Daniel Jones, New York Giants

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Danny Dimes hasn’t been the Eli Manning successor the Football Giants have been hoping he would be. Though it’s not totally all his fault. He’s dealt with three different coaches and three different offensive coordinators in his young career. The Giants have given him no chance to succeed with that and a bad roster surrounding him. New York cleaned house and opted to give Jones another opportunity, bringing in former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll into the picture, and have a pretty solid draft in 2022. If Jones is going to stick around in this league as a starter, he’s going to have to show the Giants what he can do with real talent around him.

#24:Davis Mills, Houston Texans

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Listen, I’m not quite sure what Houston sees in Mills. He was a mediocre quarterback in 2021, with some shines of capability here and there. I don’t think he’s the guy you want for the next 4-5 years as your starter, but they opted to roll with him anyways. So that has some value. But it doesn’t push him any higher because it’s the Houston Texans. One of the most dysfunctional organizations in the NFL. The former Stanford signal caller hasn’t been handed an easy situation, but they made the most of it. I think there’s some potential to be an adequate starter in 2022, but I’m not betting on it.

#23: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

What a weird spot for Jimmy Garoppolo to be in, huh? You must be some type of quarterback to be able to still be shipped off after taking your team to two NFC championship games. But what do I know? Garoppolo probably peaks at the league medium of NFL starters, but usually ends up comfortably in the upper back half. He’s better than any backup you put him up against, comfortably. And there are some teams in this league who should probably be calling John Lynch for his services. But if you’re looking to tank? Stay away.

His health has obviously been a huge detriment to his value. Going under the knife yet again this off-season and just now getting clearance to practice as training camp is underway. Who knows what the future has in store for Jimmy G, but he’s better than a backup. A competitive team should look his way if there’s an emergency at the position.

#22:Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

This is it for Baker Mayfield. If he’s terrible in Carolina, the prophecy for which Colin Cowherd had foretold will come true. Was he done dirty by the Cleveland Browns? 100 percent. But if he wasn’t a mid-tier quarterback who at his most polarizing is terrible, this wouldn’t have happened. He never lived up to the expectations of being taken first overall, and ultimately wasn’t the reason Cleveland won. Deshaun Watson, when he’s not being a miscreant, is a top-13 quarterback in the NFL. Baker Mayfield was lucky if he graced the median of starters.

I don’t have high hopes for him in that dumpster fire the Panthers have going on. And he’ll be dealing with yet another coach as I project Matt Rhule to be fired by week eight. Mayfield was an upgrade over the number 40 quarterback on this list in Darnold, but this guy isn’t taking you to the promised land either.

#21: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Tagovailoa has no excuses to prove us all wrong this year. Mike McDaniel has come in from San Francisco becoming the new head coach of the team. The former Passing squad coordinator of the 49ers can play to Tagovailoa’s strengths as Garoppolo is such a similar style quarterback. Quick throws, nothing too crazy, get him some chances off play action. They also got him some burners at wide receiver drafting Jaylen Waddle last off-season and trading the house for superstar Tyreek Hill. If the former Alabama product is the guy of Miami’s dreams, it’ll happen this year.

#20:Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

I’ll give Lawrence some slack; he did have to deal with Urban Meyer for half a season last year. He may not have been uber-impressive in his rookie season, but how could you be with that obvious sense of dysfunction down in north Florida? The former Clemson superstar gets a chance with a Super Bowl winning head coach in Doug Pederson, and a revamped roster full of raw talent. As well as getting his old college running back in action with Travis Etienne returning from injury. I’m excited to see what Lawrence can do if an organization fails him. We saw similar blunders with Peyton Manning in his rookie campaign and look what happened there. Chill on the hate-breaks for the former National Champion. I think there’s something there.

#19:Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Oh brother. Chicago is going to ruin this kid, aren’t they? Justin Fields, similarly, to Lawrence, dealt with a terrible organization in his rookie season. Being coached by Matt Nagy and being surrounded by injured running backs and a receiver that’s wanted out for years wasn’t the recipe for success. It was disaster. Now the Bears are in even worse shape than 2021, bringing in no receivers of value. Watching their best one ride off into the sunset of Los Angeles. As well as trading their best player on the roster in Khalil Mack. Fields, despite having all the arm talent and athleticism you could want in a signal caller, is getting screwed. He might be further down on this list by season’s end, but it probably won’t be his fault. But his situation is just too bad to not push him any higher.

#18:Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Jameis might be the most polarizing quarterback in the league. He’s either tossing bombs and throwing for 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. Or he’s throwing 4 interceptions for scores to the opposing team. Regardless, he’s a fun quarterback to watch. If he’s coached up and is a little smarter with the football, he might just be higher on this list. Unfortunately, injury took him away in 2021 before we could really get familiar with him as the starter in NOLA. He’s got his #1 receiver returning in Michael Thomas, and they made fine additions in Jarvis Landry, and Ohio State’s Chris Olave in the draft. I think the Saints might be a fun team offensively to follow in 2022, and Winston is probably going to be a big part of that.

#17:Mac Jones, New England Patriots

(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

What a rookie year for Mac Jones. 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns, 10 wins, completing 67.6 percent of his passes. Shattering rookie records and establishing himself far and away the best quarterback of his class. So, what’s next? While as happy as this sounds, he’s about the best thing the Patriots got going for them behind Bill Belichick. Probably the only thing they have going for them. They have the quarterback set, and he’s surrounded by maybe one receiving option worthy of a top-10 nomination at his position in Hunter Henry. The receiving core is a rag-tag bunch.

Jones doesn’t have a lot to work with, but he didn’t last year either. The Patriots might take a step back record wise, but this is Mac Jones’s team now. He looks like he’s ready to take charge. wouldn’t be shocked if he leapfrogs himself into the top half of the league by seasons end.

#16:Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Let’s hope the veteran experiment for Indianapolis goes right this time. Since the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck, the Colts have been struggling at this position. They tried to replace him internally with Jacoby Brissett; didn’t pan out. Then signed Phillip Rivers in 2020 from the Chargers; he made the playoffs but went off into retirement after a first-round exit. They traded for Carson Wentz in 2021; we already went over how that ended.

This off-season, they gave up a third-round pick for former NFL MVP Matt Ryan. Who finally has a real team surrounding him. Michael PittmanParris Campbell, Alec Pierce, Jonathan Taylor, and Nyheim Hines probably make up the best roster he’s had around him since 2016. Plus, a stout offensive line and a defense who probably won’t blow the game for him. Matty Ice is going to have a full return to form in his twilight at Lucas Oil Stadium, and by God am I here to see it.

#15:Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

We finally get to the upper echelon of the starters on this list with the Titans signal caller. It’s no secret the clock is ticking for his time in Nashville. Not because he’s been bad, it’s just that he’s not a sustainable contract. He’s getting paid $29M a year to be a barely above average quarterback who won’t be elite. Just good enough to win a soft division and get you into the playoffs. The Titans want more, so they took a shot on Malik Willis of Liberty. But Tannehill is fine when everything goes according to plan, and he has a roster to work with. But 2022 will be a true test to just how independent he is as his best receiver in A.J. Brown got shipped to Philly and now he’s throwing to post-ACL tear Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks.

#14:Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Kirk Cousins is exactly what Minnesota needs; somebody who’s not going to screw up the gameplan but being able to turn up when called upon. If not for a defense that would make the Atlanta Falcons proud, the Vikings are playoff contenders and maybe even challenge the Green Bay Packers for an NFC North title. They selected Andrew Booth Jr. and Lewis Cine to sure up the secondary. This offense is just too lethal to not succeed with second-team all-pro Justin JeffersonDalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen. Cousins himself has only 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns once in his four-year tenure in Minnesota. He’s a good quarterback and fluctuates to even getting closer to that #10 spot. He just shuts down in primetime. He needs to get that monkey off his back if he’s going to be something greater than a “better than average starter”.

#13: Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Derek Carr went berserk in his age-30 season in 2021. Passing for a career high 4,804 yards and 23 scores. Lighting the league on fire with a less than polished wide receiver core, an inconsistent stable of running backs, and an offensive line that just seemed to love letting him get whacked. Despite all this, he led the Raiders to a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance. Derek Carr is a gamer, and on his best days he creeps into the top-10 conversation. He just got the best receiver in the NFL in Davante Adams, and the defense has been sured up with the addition of edge rusher Chandler Jones. He will also have consistency at head coach in Josh McDaniels, who’s giving the job another spin with the Raiders. Carr is in for a big season, and I can’t wait to see what happens.

#12: Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

(AP Photo/Nick Cammett)

I almost didn’t want to include him on this list because he’s missed so much football, but Watson when he plays is a superstar. Like it or not. He comes to a Cleveland team loaded with talent, and a coaching staff that might just be competent. The only problem is, he’s probably going to be whacked with a hefty suspension to start the season. Watson might just be too rusty and when he gets creamed, it’ll be hard to get back up. But assuming all is normal, he’s probably going to elevate the Browns to heights they haven’t ever seen.

#11:Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

What a tumultuous off-season it’s been for the Cardinals this off-season. After a long negotiation and threats to hold out, they were able to lock up Kyler Murray to a huge five-year $230M contract extension. Making him one of the highest paid signal callers in the NFL. When he’s on, he’s crazy. We haven’t seen anybody with this kind of game breaking speed along with a special arm talent since the early days of Russell Wilson. Unfortunately for Murray, he hasn’t finished strong. Every season he and the Cardinals fall of the rails and ultimately finish disappointed. But he’s been consistently in the MVP since his second season, and that deserves credit. We’ll see how he looks now that he’s paid.

#10:Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The 2019 MVP just hasn’t caught a break since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 they suffered some brutal losses and were just a couple plays away from a AFC championship appearance, before Jackson got concussed and taken out of the game. In 2021 the Ravens were injury riddled from the jump and suffered multiple outbreaks of COVID-19. It was just a mess. But Lamar Jackson’s production hasn’t swayed in the slightest. Posting a 18-9 record in those two years and throwing for a combined 5,639 yards and 42 scores. As well as being an elite threat with his legs.

Sure, he’ll never post the numbers of an Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes, but he breaks gameplans and is a constant threat to opponents in several different ways. He’s a top-10 NFL quarterback and if everything goes to plan for the Ravens, we could see him flirting with top five if he returns to a 2019 form.

#9:Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)

Prescott came back from his devastating ankle injury hungry, and ready to show the world he was that guy. And show out he did. Tossing the ball for 4,449 yards and 37 scores, leading the Cowboys to an 11-5 record and winning the division. Unfortunately, they’d piss away a chance at a playoff win against the 49ers. Thanks Mike McCarthy. But Dak Prescott has asserted himself as one of the league’s greats. Now, this list is very fickle and it can change, but for now it’s Prescott’s spot to lose. And it doesn’t look like he’s giving it up anytime soon.

#8:Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Last year showed just how important a supporting cast is for a NFL quarterback. Even the greats need a little help. Matt Stafford certainly asserted himself as a great after packing up and moving out to Los Angeles and winning a Super Bowl in his first season with the Rams. Throwing for 4,886 yards and 41 scores, the first time he’d accomplish something like that since 2011. Stafford has found himself a new home in LA, and they’re all ready to run it back with him at the helm, and I’d say they’re favorites to do so.

#7: Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Like Stafford last year, Russell Wilson left the team he called home for the better part of a decade for greener pastures, moving from Seattle to Denver this past off-season. He enters a cast with Courtland SuttonJerry JeudyKJ Hamler, and second year running back Javonte Williams. This is probably the best core he’s had since the years Seattle were competing for Super Bowls. They also boast a stingy defense. The Broncos just haven’t figured out the post-Peyton Manning era yet, and with this deep ball aficionado teaming up with the high altitude, the possibilities are endless. The AFC West is already loaded, boasting four top-15 NFL quarterbacks. But we know Wilson is capable of throwing punches with the best of them after playing most of his career in a competitive NFC West division.

#6:Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The Chargers might not be the cream of the crop in Los Angeles, but their quarterback is surefire. Justin Herbert has been electric since taking the job for the Bolts. He matched his amazing rookie of the year campaign by passing for 5,014 yards and 38 scores. Unfortunately for him, he does play for the Chargers. So they blew a chance at making the playoffs by not beating the Raiders in an epic season finale, but Herbert kept them in it. Making plays left and right and playing until his team just couldn’t do it anymore. The Chargers have a gamer at quarterback. They just have to give him a chance to shine.

#5:Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

It might be controversial to put Burrow ahead of Herbert when you compare the stats, but just hear me out. Are the Bengals even remotely competitive if you take away Burrow? Even if you still have Ja’Marr ChaseTee HigginsTyler BoydJoe Mixon, is any other quarterback going to be able to stay calm under intense pass rush every down? I think Herbert, as great as he is, probably doesn’t take getting hit all that well if he’s drafted by the Bengals fresh out of Oregon. Burrow just has “it”. He’s a leader, he’s competitive, he has a fire that few quarterbacks do.

Burrow may not throw for 5,000 yards every year and be a fantasy football destroyer, but he knows how to win and take a rubbish NFL organization to the highest level. The Bengals don’t even sniff the playoffs without him. Give me Burrow as a top-5 quarterback all day with the upside to go even higher once Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers decide to call it quits.

#4: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

What is there to say anymore? Tom Brady has done it all, and he still is out to prove something to us. He’ll be 45 this week, and his avocado ice cream-eating self is back for one more go in the NFL. After passing for over 5,000 yards and leading the league in most passing metrics, how can Brady be any lower than this? This Buccaneers roster has remained mostly the same from last seasons, and they were one play away from the NFC championship game. Mike EvansChris GodwinJulio JonesRussell GageLeonard Fournette, and Kyle Rudolph will be more than enough for TB12 to take to the promised land once again. If he wins his eighth ring, it’ll be double that of any other NFL quarterback in history.

#3:Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Remember when after his first couple of seasons everybody said Josh Allen sucked and wasn’t going to be anything more than a flashy quarterback who makes dumb plays? Bet we all feel stupid now. Josh Allen in 2020 found something in his game. And now he’s a favorite to win the NFL MVP in 2022. The Bills were a coinflip away from an AFC title game appearance in 2021, and I expect them to be in the running all 2022 thanks Allen’s ability to make plays and just wreck defensive gameplans. As a Patriots fan I know how it feels to be destroyed by this guy, and the league is starting to feel it too. With the talent the Bills roster has, they might just be unstoppable. The poor tables of the Buffalo area…

#2: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

There’s something to be said about winning two NFL MVPs in a row. Rodgers, despite being kind of weird and passive aggressive in recent years, has been nothing short of dominant. This has been the story basically his entire career. He effortlessly puts the ball wherever he wants it to go. He makes plays falling backwards and upside down and can pull miracle after miracle… Except for when it matters most. The Packers have suffered two of the most upsetting losses in recent playoff memory in each of the last two years. Falling to the first rendition of the Brady Bucs in 2020, and then basically doing nothing but watch as Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers escape the snowy Lambeau Field with a win.

If Rodgers is ever going to reclaim number one in the league, or even avoid falling down to the lower half of the top five, he’s going to have to get another ring and win when it matters most. Despite the resources around him. He had Davante Adams to work with, that time has come and gone, what’s the method now?

#1: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

It’s Mahomes until proven otherwise. Until he throws for under 4,800 yards and 37 scores and the Chiefs win less than 12 games, Mahomes is the number one quarterback in the league. There is just nobody who can make plays like him. We’ve never seen this kind of mobility matched with arm talent in the history of the NFL. If he had more hardware, he might be challenging Tom Brady for the throne already, but he’s got a ring, which is as much as the guy who precedes him on this list.

There is so much more left to do though. In a competitive AFC West and a tough schedule ahead, the Chiefs can’t be caught slipping. They just traded away Tyreek Hill to Miami, and replaced him with some not-so-great talent. How does the former MVP respond? We could be looking at a very juicy storyline as the $500M-man enters his sixth season in the league.


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