Editorial

We are in a golden era of NFL quarterbacks.

You can make a Hall of Fame case for nearly half of the league’s 32 starting quarterbacks. 

As was the case 10 years ago, Tom Brady (44), Aaron Rodgers (37) and Ben Roethlisberger (39) continue to play at high levels — especially impressive given their respective ages.

The next wave of franchise quarterbacks is loaded. Patrick Mahomes (26) and Lamar Jackson (24) each have MVP awards on their résumés. Josh Allen looks poised to win one himself in the near future. Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray are all under the age of 25.

There are plenty of quality and true franchise quarterbacks in today’s NFL. But who are the top 10 in the game right now? Let’s dive into it.

1. Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes has been the NFL’s best player since he took over as the Kansas City Chiefs’ starter back in 2018. Before his 26th birthday, Mahomes already had an MVP award, two AFC Championships and a Super Bowl 54 ring and Super Bowl MVP in his trophy room.

He’s a generational talent who continues to dazzle with world-class athleticism, elite football IQ and slick accuracy. He’s by far the league’s most all-around talented signal-caller.

Many of the best NFL betting sites list Mahomes as the favorite to win the 2021 MVP. Through the first two games of 2021, he racked up 680 passing yards and six touchdowns.

2. Tom Brady

Brady has been unstoppable since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 14 win against the Minnesota Vikings last year. He has maximized the weaponry around him and looks 20 years younger than his real age (44).

With Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown by his side, TB12 should continue to soundly defeat Father Time in 2021.

3. Aaron Rodgers

The reigning MVP looked rusty and sluggish in the Green Bay Packers’ humiliating 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. But slow starts are nothing new for Rodgers and company.

He’s still elite, and the eventual return of superstar offensive tackle David Bakhtiari will be a giant game-changer. Don’t forget that Rodgers missed key offseason activities because of his frustration with team management and reported desire to be traded.

He’s going to be a force again in 2021. Rookie Amari Rodgers and the return of Randall Cobb give him a better supporting cast than 2020, and that’s saying a lot.

4. Russell Wilson

Wilson has been one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks since the 2015 season. He has exceeded 30 touchdown passes in five of the last six years, and the future Hall of Famer has yet to record a losing season.

The Seahawks were wise to “Let Russ Cook” in 2020. His numbers have been nothing short of MVP-caliber. And he does it without much support from his offensive line and the defense.

5. Josh Allen

Allen was by far the NFL’s top breakout star of the 2020 season. He completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns against only 10 picks. The Buffalo Bills star also contributed 421 yards on the ground as well as eight rushing scores.

The work of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been utterly impressive. He fully unlocked Allen’s potential and looks poised for a future head coaching position because of it.

6. Lamar Jackson

Jackson isn’t close to being a top-notch passer like Mahomes, Brady or Rodgers, but he makes up for it by being the best dual-threat and rushing quarterback in the game. 

He exceeded 1,000 rushing yards in 2019 (his MVP season) and 2020. His accuracy and ability to avoid costly turnovers has made Jackson a franchise-changer for the Baltimore Ravens.

7. Matthew Stafford

It’s early, but Stafford has been better than advertised so far with the Los Angeles Rams. He is tailor-made for Sean McVay’s savvy and pass-heavy offense.

Stafford never had this great of a supporting cast or coaching staff in Detroit. It’s no surprise that he’s already doing wonders with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods as his main weapons.

8. Dak Prescott

A healthy Prescott is MVP-caliber. For all the criticism Mike McCarthy gets, you need to see just how much more potent this Dallas offense has been with him serving as the head coach in Dallas.

Prescott was averaging 371.2 passing yards per game last season before suffering an ankle fracture that ended his season. He hasn’t missed a beat so far in 2021, commanding what just might be the NFL’s highest-scoring offense by season’s end.

9. Justin Herbert

The Los Angeles’ Chargers future hasn’t been this bright in quite some time, and it all starts with the second-year quarterback.

Herbert is coming off the best rookie quarterback season in history, having tossed 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in 15 games. 

There is no reason to believe that it was a fluke. Rather, it was a sign of what’s to come on the west coast.

10. Kyler Murray

Murray may not be as elusive or dominant in the ground game than Jackson. But his elite athleticism, speed and mobility have made Murray one of the most difficult players to plan against.

Although he’s more prone to turnovers than most other top quarterbacks, Murray’s overall skill set and resilience are more than enough to put him in the top 10. His ceiling is higher than most other young stud quarterbacks, too.

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