Quarterback is the most important center in the sport.
Without a caller’s signal, the NFL franchise would never be successful, but a franchise quarterback could turn the fortunes of an entire city. However, let’s take a look at the quarterbacks across the league entering the 2022 season.
***Noticeable: These are levels, not ratings. Therefore, the players at each level are pitted against each other, not every midfield player. For example, we don’t compare Matt Ryan (Tier A) with Patrick Mahomes (Tier B). ***
Level A: Golden Ancient Music – Elite level play over the age of 30
Over the past five seasons, both Brady and Rodgers have ranked first and third on average war (wins over replacement) per season at 4.39 and 3.14, respectively. Rodgers’ 2020 season is the highest tiered season between the two over the past five seasons (95.1), but Brady holds the next four spots.
|Rank||player, season||PFF . grade|
|1||Aaron Rodgers, 2020||95.1|
|2||Tom Brady, 2017||94.0|
|3||Tom Brady, 2020||93.3|
|4||Tom Brady, 2021||91.7|
|5||Tom Brady, 2018||90.6|
|6||Aaron Rodgers, 2021||89.3|
|7||Aaron Rodgers, 2018||89.0|
|8||Aaron Rodgers, 2019||83.7|
|9||Aaron Rodgers, 2017||79.2|
|10||Tom Brady, 2019||79.0|
3. Russell WilsonAnd Denver Broncos
4. Matthew the employeeAnd Los Angeles Rams
5. Matt RyanAnd Indianapolis Colts
A case can be made to rank these three players in any order. Wilson has the highest average WAR per season out of three over the past five seasons. He barely beats Ryan’s 3.04 WAR per season with 3.07. Stafford was a little lower (2.51) but it was his best season (3.93).
Wilson has the first three seasons in a PFF score between the three seasons with the 2019, 2020 and 2018 seasons coming with elite grades. The five-year break removes Ryan’s 2016 season (92.2) which will be the highest. Before Wilson’s injury in 2021, he was flirting with the number one spot in the PFF’s score of the season before returning and seeing his score drop after the injury.
Stafford’s highest sample score is 86.1, but he’s up while Ryan might be going down. That’s why Stafford expects to be barely above Ryan.
Level B: Shooting Stars – Best under 30
1. Patrick MahomesAnd Kansas City Chiefs
2. Josh AllenAnd buffalo bills
The gap between these two top-tier quarterbacks narrowed a bit in 2020 after Allen exploded into a MVP candidate after two poor years to start his career at Buffalo. The gap narrowed again as Allen continued to play at the elite level in 2021 while Mahomes suffered the worst season of his career. Mahomes’ score of 80.4 in 2021 was the lowest in an entire season by just 10 points. Allen has now posted over 90 consecutive Elite seasons tiered while Mahomes has scored three consecutive seasons from 2018-2020.
3. Justin HerbertAnd Los Angeles Chargers
4. Joe BorroAnd Cincinnati Bengal
5. Lamar JacksonAnd Baltimore Ravens
Every quarterback on this list has had one elite season over 90 runners-up, and Jackson’s 2019 season was crowned MVP. Since then, Jackson has scored just 79.3 and then a 70.2 overall score over the past two years, respectively. That’s why Jackson slips to fifth in this level. Both Herbert and Borough published solid starter campaigns before coming out on sophomore seasons. Herbert has a slightly higher rating because when looking at their entire career so far, his 3.25 WAR per season beats Burrow’s 2.98.
Level C: Mixed Bag – Most Polarized Players
1. Duck PrescottAnd Cowboys in Dallas
2. Keeler MurrayAnd Arizona Cardinals
3. Derek CarrAnd Las Vegas Rider
Here’s the group of players who one hemisphere thinks are elite while the other half thinks the opposite. Obviously, there are no middlemen.
Prescott is perhaps the most consistent of the bunch, and his overall score over the past five years has outperformed both Carr and Murray. However, if we remove Prescott’s 2020 injury short campaign, Carr and Murray have produced their top three tiered singles seasons during that time.
Level D: Play-Action Merchants – Supported by Scheme
This tier has similar scores and WAR to the tier above but benefits from their team’s chart more. Their cousins have been the most successful in every PFF and WAR category for the past five seasons, outselling Tannehill’s 2.06 WAR per season (2.57). However, since Tannehill joined the Titans in 2019 and became a game dealer, the 3.01 WAR in the season is better than Cousins’ 2.86. He’s got the nod, but the case could be made for either one.
Garoppolo and Goff are also on the same level but because Goff’s record in the years when Sean McVay wasn’t his head coach and the playcaller wasn’t horrible, the 49ers quarterback – which may not start this year – awaits us. Goff’s WAR all-season with McVay has been 2.41, but has been called up to 0.21 since leaving Los Angeles.
Level D: Prove it or lose it – they will likely start their last year
It looks as though the Saints have reluctantly re-signed Winston this season after waiting for some other potential quarterback moves. He’s on his way to his season’s best in terms of PFF scores, as his 74.2 score before a season-ending knee injury would have lost his season of 73.7 in 2017. Winston will probably have another chance as a rookie before he becomes this generation. Ryan Fitzpatrickhis former classmate.
2. Daniel JonesAnd New York Giants
3. Galen HertzAnd Philadelphia Eagles
4. TUA TAGOVAILOAAnd Miami dolphins
5. Drew LockAnd Seattle Seahawks
The Giants have already decided not to pick Jones for the fifth year, so he may be playing in his career this season. Fortunately, the Giants gave him, probably, the best support team he’s ever played with in his career. None of the players in this group have posted a single season score of over 80.0 in their career, but Jones ranks 78.4, and has two of his three seasons staggered over 70.
Hurts has another over-70 season graded score of 77.1 last season. Lock hasn’t even surpassed a season’s score of over 65.0.
Tagovailoa has been set up for success this season because the Dolphins have created a better environment for the young quarterback. They’ll be looking for an elusive break in year three after Tagoviloa improved his 65.4-year-old’s score as a rookie to 68.3 last season.
Level E: Let’s not get high
1. Carson WentzAnd Washington leaders
2. Marcus MariotaAnd Atlanta Falcons
3. Mitchell TrubeskyAnd Pittsburgh
4. Sam DarnoldAnd Carolina mushroom
Wentz leads the group with a score of 82.2 over the past five seasons, but has been heading downhill since his season close to MVP in 2017. His score of 84.9 in 2017 was fifth overall that season and has been the high watermark so far in his career. The 2020 season was the lowest point of his career (65.0 overall score) but even with a slight rise to 70.9 last year, he couldn’t lift the Colts to the playoffs with a good group of offensive players.
Even its reserve bump to over 70.0 was likely amplified by generally unstable metrics. He ranked 73rd and 70th percentile in the class under pressure and a late class. On two major stable scales—the clean pocket score and the first degree—it was ranked 25th and 17th, respectively.
Mariota remains a suitable starting option but has not played more than 1,000 shots in a season since 2017. Trubisky and Darnold are not viable starting options.
Level (F): Sexual Antics
1. sabbatical lawAnd Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Mac JonesAnd New England sponsors
3. Justin’ FieldsAnd Chicago Bears
4. Tree LanceAnd San Francisco 49ERS
5. Zach WilsonAnd New York Jets
6. Davis MillsAnd Houston Texans
Since we only had a year in this category’s career, there are still a lot of projections to consider. The draft position and overall health of the team were taken into account.
The health of the team is why Lawrence, who was first drafted overall in 2020, remains number one at this level.
Just in terms of numbers after one season, Jones had the highest war score and overall score among the starters, but his season waned in the second half. He’s played a set of six matches with a five sub-63.0 score. This run lasted for five games as he scored at least 75.0 four times.
Fields and Lance both possessed the kind of mathematical ability that would enable them to work through the problems they encountered in their early years. However, Lance may not start until this year, and Fields is dealing with an organization that doesn’t want him to play any pretty games this season.
Wilson played most of the season and finished seventh in the overall WAR Rookie, who finished behind Ian Book. It was a disaster. Mills had some bright moments but they weren’t very good for “horrible” Texas.