32: Bryce Petty/ Christian Hackenberg
Does anyone really know who will be the starter? Will one of these two start more than 10 games in 2017? Dead last describes the Jets quarterback situation.
Don’t be surprised if Watson is named the starter for week one. Tom Savage has two starts in the league, which is only TWO more than Watson who is coming off two spectacular seasons in college. The competition level is certainly higher, and coming from a spread offense, he’ll be behind the curve It is unclear if he will get the opportunity, so for that we rank the Texans situation at 31.
30: Bryan Hoyer
Hoyer comes in at 30 simply for the fact that he has experience in the NFL, specifically 31 starts. Obviously not the long-term solution for San Francisco, but will be able to win a few games.
29: Cody Kessler/ Brock Oseweiler
Most people would believe the Browns should be ranked number 32 on this list. An argument could be made for that, but Kessler wasn’t exactly a dumpster fire, and Oseweiler has done something in this league. It wasn’t good, but it was something.
28: Mike Glennon
It seems Glennon will play the role of the empty suit behind the Bears offensive line to start the season. Glennon isn’t good, but has something to play for – another job. So when it comes to next season, expect his best. The problem is, his best is pretty awful.
27: Trevor Siemian
A rookie season that didn’t start off too bad behind a top-tier defense came tumbling down and back to reality. Siemian is not awful, but also not a starting QB in this league…unless he is with a team who doesn’t have a starting QB.
26: Jared Goff
Goff didn’t do any special in 2016 and didn’t even crack the lineup until week 9, so he’s still a mystery. Just on the number one pick stamp alone, he’s ranked higher than those previously mentioned.
25: Blake Bortles
We’re still waiting for Bortles to take the next step. Jacksonville has decent receiving options for Bortles to play with, but we’ll have to see what happens in 2017. He could be a top half quarter back in the next few seasons…or out of the league period.
24: Tyrod Taylor
Taylor has honestly been impressive after being deemed a career back up. He’s fought for the opportunity to become a starter, but just isn’t a good one. He’s inconsistent, but still a better option that some others.
Palmer really slid off the map in 2016. Approaching 38, father time has made an imprint on Carson. One last opportunity for him and Larry Fitzgerald to compete, but the team is in trouble. His upside in 2017 is roughly top 15, we expect him to have another (and possibly final) down year.
22: Sam Bradford
This isn’t going to be a hate fest on Sam Bradford, because statistically, Sam had a good season with a 71.6 completion percentage and 20-5 TD/INT ratio last year. The problem with ranking Bradford higher is that much like Daulton, he hasn’t even gotten to a playoff game let alone win one. He just doesn’t scream franchise QB, or even a leader.
21: Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill, Bradford, and Palmer are all in the same range. Given Ryan is younger, his upside in 2017 ranks him at 21. He was a big reason the Dolphins snuck into the playoffs last year as he did most of the work early. Coming off an injury that ended his season, he still has very good wide outs and a running back to lean on.
20: Alex Smith
The drafting of Patrick Mahomes should tell you all you need to know about Alex Smith. His own franchise doesn’t believe in him. Yes the Chiefs are a good team, but Alex Smith is an average player when he is at the top of his game. He rounds out our top 20.
19: Andy Daulton
Still looking to win a playoff game, Daulton has the offensive weapons to do so. Until then, he shouldn’t be considered a top half starter in the NFL. He is a talented player but coming up on 30 years old, we wonder if his best years are behind him, and his window will close quickly.
18: Joe Flacco
Both Daulton and Flacco seem to be even. One has better regular seasons, but Flacco has playoff experience and a proven track record. Flacco has the better arm strength, but the Baltimore offense has looked ‘different’ since their Super Bowl.
17: Kirk Cousins
It’s probably time Cousins gets an extension of some sort. In 2016, he was a fringe top 10 QB on most power rankings, and ESPN has him ranked #6 at the end of the season (which is too high). If we’re talking stats, Cousins does have some very solid games. But under further review, he just doesn’t scream “legitimate playoff QB.” With new wide receivers to gel with, Cousins will take a step back in 2017.
The way the Eagles have gone out and provided weapons for Carson (at least on paper) should spring him into the top half of the league. At the end of last season, Wentz ranked consistently in the mid 20s as the Eagles struggled on the road (1-7 record) and the wide receiving core was awful. Looking to make big strides in his second season, Wentz has the highest upside in the NFC East.
15: Cam Newton
A rough go for Cam and the Panthers last season after a loss in the Super Bowl previously. Expect Newton to have a bounce-back season with his shiny new toy (Christian McCaffrey). Again, not the greatest wide receiving core, but you can’t deny Cam’s ability to run the option. He’s a dominant force in the redzone and short yardage situations.
14: Eli Manning
As Eli begins his exit, the Giants have tried to surround him with a plan that has worked before. Ride the defense, and captain the offense well enough to compete. The addition of Brandon Marshall to the offense will be huge in 2017. Eli has always struggled with mis-timed interceptions. However, another year with McAdoo coming off a playoff appearance leads me to believe Eli has one more season in him.
13: Dak Prescott
Dak deserves to be the top QB ranked out of the NFC East because of the situation he is in. The Cowboys should have been 14-2 last year. When we look towards 2017, Prescott may take a step back although not big enough to completely ruin a season. Hell continue to improve, but is probably already close to his ceiling.
12: Marcus Mariota
Mariota had a fantastic season with a lack of wide outs but a newly designed run game. We can put to rest that Mariota couldn’t translate to the NFL and now that he has a promising rookie to grow with in Corey Davis, look out. Mariota has the potential to be a top 10 QB but will have to show it off the late season leg injury.
11: Matt Stafford
Stafford was tough to rank. However, 11 seems like a fair spot for him. He literally carries the Lions on his throwing shoulder on a count of the running back carousel that changes not only year-to-year, but week-to-week. He’s overlooked and could be a top 10 option for 2017, but unfair or not, the loss of Calvin Johnson has bumped him down.
10: Phillip Rivers
Rivers rounds out our top 10. Much like Brees, he continues to get older but the passion hasn’t stopped. It’s a shame Rivers hasn’t been able to contend the way he hoped. His talent gets wasted on a team that hasn’t been legitimate since LT left.
How can you not be high on Jameis Winston heading into 2017? He’s changed since coming into the league. Most believed Winston would continue to be a punk and ruin the Tampa franchise with his bad attitude. Well, the exact opposite has happen. Jameis has become humble and the franchise leader the Bucs desired. Adding Jackson and O.J. Howard to his arsenal will greatly benefit him in 2017.
8: Drew Brees
Brees always puts up the stats but his team hasn’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 2010. That includes four 7-9 seasons in the past five seasons. He’s still a very very good QB but time is running out and his team around him is being patched together.
7: Derek Carr
Carr took really big strides in 2016. Some have made the case that he was a top 5 QB last season thanks to the way Oakland looked for a majority of the season. A late season injury left the Raiders fans feeling empty after an early exit in the playoffs. Carr might need the first quarter of the season to return to form, but still has offensive weapons galore.
6: Andrew Luck
The last season or so hasn’t been what the Colts expected, but Andrew Luck is still the best young quarterback in the game. His team hinders his ability, but if protected, hell take over the league in 2017 and can catapult into the top 3 by the prime of his career.
5: Ben Roethlisberger
Retirement rumors in the offseason might show a dip in his commitment and production in 2017. Given Big Ben being one step away from the Super Bowl last year, you still have to consider him a top 5 QB with the offense Pittsburgh continues to put out there.
4: Russell Wilson
Wilson doesn’t seem like he is a top 5 QB when you watch him, but honestly, the way he is under-sized but leads the offense makes me consider him as upper echelon. He rarely makes mistakes, is smart with the football, and does it without the league’s top options – being that Doug Baldwin out of the slot is his best option.
3: Matt Ryan
A ton of hate came Matt Ryan’s way before the 2016 season started, but the addition of Taylor Gabriel, Mohammed Sanu, and a budding tight end makes him a top 5 QB heading into 2017. Oh yeah, he’s also got one of the most dynamic backfields in the league and this guy named Julio Jones.
Rodgers fell short of another Super Bowl appearance yet again, but he’s the magic man. Consistency is a huge feather in his cap that ranks him higher than Ryan and Wilson in the NFC. Rodgers now 33, must be itching for another shot at a Lombardi trophy.
1: Tom Brady
Fresh off yet another Super Bowl win and one of the great comebacks in history, Brady claims the throne yet again heading into 2017. He stays in tip-top shape year-round, and now has Brandin Cooks with a returning Gronkowski. His career is coming to an end, but the difference is he’s going out still at the top of his game and will retire when he feels like it.