The quarterback position is arguably the most important position in all of sports. If you love quarterbacks, or if you just love football, you’re in the right place. Our NFL writers got together to compile a starting quarterback power rankings heading into the 2022 NFL season. Each writer submitted their rankings, and this is the final product.
Before we get into the final rankings, I would like to preface it with a few quick notes:
- We ranked all of the presumed Week 1 starters. Since no rookies are presumed to start Week 1 for their teams, no rookies are on this list.
- That being said there are 33 quarterbacks on this list. No one knows what the heck the 49ers are doing, so both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo are ranked.
- Given the parameters of the rankings, Deshaun Watson is not ranked. It is widely believed that Watson will not be available for Week 1. The presumed starter is Jacoby Brissett.
Without further ado, here are our rankings.
33. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Trey Lance is currently the biggest question mark in the NFL. Although he wasn’t the one to lead his team to an NFC championship in 2021, he is expected to be the team’s starter this year. This isn’t for sure though, as the 49ers have a quarterback that the Fantom Sports Industries football writers ranked 15 spots ahead of him in Jimmy Garoppolo. There is no doubt he has the physical skill set to be successful. He has size, speed, and arm strength. The questions around Lance are whether he has the surgical mindset to be able to pick defenses apart for years to come. Some argue he doesn’t have it and never will. Patrick Mahomes just started to figure out how to truly manipulate defenses in Lance’s defense. So, we could probably cut the kid some slack and give him a few starts. (by Ronan Summers)
32. Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns
Coming in at 32 on this starting quarterback ranking is Jacoby Brissett. Albeit, probably not the full-time starter just filling in until the air is cleared for Deshaun Watson. Probably one of the better backup QBs, if not the best in the league. Record wise does not prove it but he has been at the helm for some teams in hard situations. At 14-23 as a starter, things are left to be desired for him. But he is a very serviceable backup. He has career totals of 60.2% completion rate, yard on average for him is about 6.4. 36 touchdowns to 17 interceptions and a total of 7,742 yards. Brissett will be more than capable of filling in for Watson on a limited basis. (by Maquis Appling)
31. Drew Lock, Seattle Seahawks
Drew Lock hasn’t lived up to expectations, but I still think that Seattle has become a much better place for him than Denver. You have two star wide receivers, a very talented tight end room, an improved offensive line, and a few good backs in Carson, Penny, and Walker III. Drew Lock will not be at the bottom of this list after the season is over. (by Shane Davis)
30. Daniel Jones, New York Giants
The hope is that Giant’s head coach Brian Daboll works a miracle on Daniel Jones as he did for Buffalo Bill’s Josh Allen. Jones had one of the worst throwing rates of his career last season. He was also out for some of the season with a neck injury. With Jones already struggling to stay healthy over the course of his career, one has to wonder if he can stay healthy for the upcoming season. Coming in at #30 on the presumed starting QB list definitely suffices. (by Shelly Rose Sherman)
29. Zach Wilson, New York Jets
We won’t delve into his whole relationship saga, but we will delve into his play and how I see him going forward. Wilson had a shaky rookie season, with 9 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. I think the Jets are doing a great job of building a team around Zach, and are putting him in a great position to succeed. We could see his development cycle take a little longer, but I do believe that Wilson will improve in 2022. That is really what the Jets are looking for this year – improvement all around. That all starts with Wilson. Do I think the Jets are going to win a ton of games in 2022? No, but I do think that Wilson and the Jets will be much more competitive in games this season and their record will improve or decline based on Zach. Time will tell. (by Branson Smith)
28. Davis Mills, Houston Texans
Mills is an enigma. He strung together some good performances last year despite not starting until later into the year and having a bad roster around him. I don’t think Houston acquired enough to win many games this season, but I can easily see Mills improving. You could argue that David Culley shouldn’t have been fired and that it could hurt Mills, but I think that new head coach Lovie Smith will figure something out to help what appears to be their future franchise guy to succeed. I think going into 2022, he is my favorite sophomore quarterback and I think he will build on a solid rookie campaign. (by Branson Smith)
27. Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
After two years of stepping away from being a starter, Marcus Mariota is ready to go. When Mariota was drafted by Tennessee, he was supposed to be their QB of the future. After having four different head coaches and four different offensive coordinators throughout his time with the Titians, how can you build off that? Mariota left for Vegas where there was more stability and he was able to learn behind Derek Carr. Now the former Oregon Quarterback is ready to start. As of now, it is uncertain if he will start and how long he will start in Atlanta as the Falcons also drafted Desmond Ridder. I’m sure the Falcons would like Mariota to help the rookie grow into the NFL.
If the Falcons allow Mariota to scramble and use his legs a little more, they’ll be in good hands. The former first-round draft pick (#2 overall in 2015) is not a pocket passer and plays better when he’s able to move. (by Dacota Haynes)
26. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
It was certainly a rookie season to forget for Bears Quarterback Justin Fields (3-8, 59% completion, 1,870 yards, 7 TDs, 10 INTs). With a porous offensive line, Fields spent much of the season running for his life (36 sacks in 11 games). The supporting cast appears to be even worse this year with a now depleted wide receiver room. That said Fields showed flashes of both his passing and running ability last season. If he can build on that, he should climb up the rankings in 2022 despite the poor team around him. (by Simon Shortt)
25. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Lions quarterback Jared Goff is entering a make-or-break season. The Lions are almost destined to take a quarterback in this next class. Yet Goff can still manage to have a starting gig in 2023. If he can perform well, he has a chance to be a starter after this season. I think there has been a misconception that Jared Goff is just downright awful. That’s not necessarily true. I think it’s fairer to say Jared Goff is gun-shy. He does have the talent to make magic happen. That Monday night Chiefs game was not all thanks to the scheme. Look at his Rams tape. Goff just often lacks the confidence to pull throws off.
The Lions have rebuilt their team quite well, and their offense should improve from last season. With solid overall offensive line play, Goff should overperform his current ranking. Comfortability is key with Jared Goff. (by Ronan Summers)
24. Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers
The last time we saw Mitch Trubisky as a starting quarterback was the season he was getting benched for Nick Foles. Since then he’s been a season-long backup, signed a modest two-year contract, and has his new team draft a quarterback in year one. Trubisky isn’t bad, but his story over the last two and a half years reflects his standing in the league. (by Simon Shortt)
23. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Grading Tua Tagovailoa’s first two years as starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins is not easy. His hip injury at Alabama made it difficult to understand why he played much his first year. Miami went all out this offseason to see if Tua is the long-term answer at quarterback, trying to fix issues on its offense. Signing free agents Terron Armstead and Connor Williams, who are both solid veterans, improves the offensive line. Miami upgraded its backfield, picking up Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Raheem Mostert. New receivers Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson, both with excellent speed, form an exciting trio to go with Jaylen Waddle. New head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense runs to set up the pass, taking some pressure off Tua.
Tua’s stats say he deserves to be #23 in the rankings, but this year, given what’s around him, he should move up to at least the top half of the league’s quarterbacks. If not, the Dolphins use their draft picks next year to move on from him. (by Lee McManus)
22. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence couldn’t have had a stranger start to his professional career. As the number one overall pick in last year’s draft, Lawrence had high expectations going into his rookie year. It was quickly derailed by a coach that was fired after only 13 games into his NFL career. I believe that the surrounding environment plays quite a large role in a player’s development and overall success. Fans better hope that new head coach Doug Pederson can bring some stability to Lawrence’s environment so he can take a step forward after an overall disappointing rookie season. (by Robertson Viar)
21. Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
Wentz finds himself as part of a franchise that goes through quarterbacks like toilet paper. Here in Washington, they’re used for wiping up messes by taking a chunk of the blame for the organization’s or coaching staff’s pitfalls. Their careers are effectively flushed down the toilet. Not a great place for a guy who is one bad season away from most likely never having a full-time starting gig again in the NFL. Wentz will be the 27th quarterback to start a game for this franchise since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999. Washington does seem to have stability in its coaching staff for the first time since the Gibbs 2.0 era. There are some nice pieces on offense for Wentz to work with. He has the talent and ability to succeed here in Washington. All I can say; is good luck. (by Robertson Viar)
20. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston was playing very well before his injury last season: over 1,100 Yards with 14 touchdowns to only three interceptions. Definitely not the 30 for 30 meme he once was. I expect a somewhat similar season for him. Hopefully, he can make it all the way to the end this time. (by Shane Davis)
19. Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Mac Jones was by far the best rookie quarterback in last year’s class. That’s not saying much, though, due to the class’s overall weak performance. Jones played like an average, middle-of-the-pack quarterback in his rookie season. That’s not at all meant to be dismissive, that’s quite impressive for a rookie. It was enough to even make the Pro Bowl. However, Jones doesn’t have a unique skill set to separate himself from the others. His game isn’t very special and is becoming obsolete. Some even think his ceiling isn’t much higher than what we’ve already seen from Jones, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we see Jones in the top 12 of next year’s list. (by Robertson Viar)
18. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
This ranking defines what Jimmy Garoppolo is as a quarterback. He has what it takes to be in the conversation as a top 10 guy; he wins a lot of games. However, he has his limits. He has never really put it all together and has choked in some big moments. Hence why he’s in the middle of the pack. I don’t feel like Garoppolo has peaked yet though, which I think is because he’s injured too often to ever get into a consistent rhythm and string together multiple productive seasons. At this point, a team would have to already have a great roster (and a great backup) for Jimmy G to lead them to the playoffs and to make a run once they’re there. He had that with the 49ers and, unfortunately, I doubt he gets another chance like that again. (by Robertson Viar)
17. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
With Hurts now preparing to enter his second season as the Eagles starting quarterback, the young leader will be equipped with some massive upgrades in terms of the offensive weapons placed around him. I believe that Hurts has as much of a chance as any other quarterback in the league to take a big leap forward during the 2022 season. Spanning back through his time at both the Universities of Alabama and Oklahoma respectively, Hurts has demonstrated noticeable progressions with each of his last five seasons (both in the NCAA and the NFL). It’s also worth mentioning that in all five of these aforementioned seasons, Hurts never spent consecutive years running the same offense. Having said as much, Hurts will undoubtedly benefit greatly from a second consecutive year running the Sirianni and Steichen offense.
In my opinion, Hurts’ current ranking of 17th is a bit too low. I see the young field general as being more in the 11-15 range. I don’t know if Hurts will ever be an elite NFL quarterback, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against him for the reasons I just listed above. At the very least, I expect Hurts to rank within the top 12 slots on this very list entering the 2023 NFL season this time next year. (by Chase Hontz)
16. Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers
Everyone knows the Mayfield saga. I don’t want to focus on that. I think Baker could rebound in Carolina in a big way, especially with a healthy shoulder. He’s not a guy who is going to carry your team, but when he’s playing well, he won’t single-handedly lose you games either. The question is whether or not he can step up in big situations. He had opportunities in the fourth quarter last year to will the Browns to victory, and he couldn’t. He could have the clutch gene, but we’re waiting to see it still. Regardless, he’s going to beat Sam Darnold in Carolina’s QB competition. I think with D.J Moore and Robby Anderson, in addition to a (hopefully) healthy CMC, Baker could regain his 2020 form. (by Branson Smith)
15. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill is exactly where he should be in these rankings. Tannehill is the quarterback that the group had a consensus on. He played very well last year. He was finishing in the top 10 or near it in many statistical categories. There were even some rumblings at one point in the season that he could be considered an MVP candidate. When Derrick Henry went down with an injury, many expected Tannehill to fold like a lawn chair. However, he did not falter and led the Titans to the top seed in the conference. It was only when he got to the postseason that that happened. Against Cincinnati in the Divisional Round, Tannehill threw three back-breaking interceptions. Had he won or even just played better in that playoff game, I guarantee you he would be a few spots higher on this list. (by Robertson Viar)
14. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
Matty Ice, while being on a bad Atlanta team, still managed another solid season to add to his resume. I think that we’re back in the era where Ryan is a lock for 20+ touchdowns and 4,000+ yards with a rejuvenated set of weapons better than he has had in years. Jonathan Taylor will be able to lift the load off of Ryan in ways no back in Atlanta has since 2016. Pittman and CO will help Ryan to regain his form. I don’t think he’s going to go out and win another MVP award, but look for him to recapture some life we haven’t seen from him in years. With a more consistent Ryan behind center, the Colts could vault themselves into the postseason in a rather weak AFC South, because I don’t trust the Titans this year. (by Branson Smith)
13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
I think at this point, we can say that Kirk Cousins has pulled off one of the greatest heists in NFL history. After two franchise tags in Washington that totaled $49M, the Vikings gave him $84M fully guaranteed over three seasons in 2018. In 2020, Cousins signed a two-year, fully guaranteed extension worth $66M, to keep him signed through 2022. Now, this offseason, he signed a one-year extension, again, fully guaranteed, worth $35M, to stay with the Vikings through 2023. If my math is correct, by the end of the 2023 season, Cousins will have taken $185M from the Vikings over six seasons ($234M between Minnesota and Washington over eight seasons). In return, the Vikings have gotten one playoff win. What was once a really good roster is now depleted of depth and elite-level talent at key positions. Their chance to make any kind of substantial noise in the NFC since Kirk arrived has essentially been wasted.
Kirk is by no means a bad quarterback; a lot of teams would love to have him. He’s above average, produces at a high level more times than not, and has proven that he can run a high-powered offense. However, he has not delivered enough to justify the money he’s making. This season alone, his cap hit is $40M. Cousins has essentially held the Vikings organization hostage and will continue to do so for the next two seasons. (by Robertson Viar)
12. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is entering this season facing more expectations than he has ever had in his career. He has finally reunited with his former Fresno State teammate, wideout Devante Adams. We have seen how important chemistry is between quarterbacks and receivers and how dangerous it can be. Many believe that Adams is undeniably the best wide receiver in the NFL, so there are no excuses for a lack of production. Carr was a key contributor to the Raiders’ unlikely playoff push in 2021. After the constant controversy, the Raiders were still somehow able to will themselves into the playoffs. Derek Carr is within reach of the “top ten” tier of quarterbacks. He has the chance to catapult himself into that range this season. (by Ronan Summers)
11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Ranked #11 on the starting QB list is equitable. Dak Prescott delivered 1,864 passing yards and eight touchdowns in seven of his matchups in the previous season. His completion rate is at 68.8% of his career and a new high in passing touchdowns – 37. Being the quarterback for America’s Team, Dak understands the relentless scrutiny he faces season after season. He has an awesome cast in CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott. After his grueling ankle injury, Dak still found a way to rally back in the season. (by Shelly Rose Sherman)
10. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Murray was an early MVP candidate last season. It looked as if he was finally putting it all together. He had career highs in completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio, and quarterback rating. Then that playoff game happened. Both Murray and Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury looked overwhelmed and out of place in the postseason. Ten is an appropriate and fair ranking. Having recently signed a massive five-year extension, Murray, the Cardinals, and their fans can put all of their worries aside about his. However, with a big contract comes big expectations. In my opinion, he has not yet earned a top-five contract. That being said, if Murray can take another step forward and make a run in the playoffs, he for sure will be considered a top-five quarterback in this league. (by Robertson Viar)
9. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson coming in ranked #9 on the starting QB list serves as a legitimate ranking. Looking at his track record and accolades, the unanimous NFL MVP lead the NFL with 36 touchdown passes and finished sixth in the league with 1,206 rushing yards in 2019. He has the bounce-back odds that most quarterbacks lack. His rushing power gives him the overall advantage this upcoming season. On the day Tom Brady announced his retirement, he shouted out Lamar Jackson. Brady sent a message to Jackson via Instagram, saying “You’re next”. Lamar Jackson is on his way to becoming top 5. (by Shelly Rose Sherman)
8. Matt Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford earned his flowers in 2021 as he proved to be a top ten quarterback in the NFL. Stafford willed the Rams to multiple come-from-behind victories and was a massive component in the path to the Rams’ Super Bowl 56 win. He did this all in his first year with the team. Stafford was tied for the league’s high in interceptions in 2021. Yet, he was still in the MVP race for the majority of the season. Allen Robinson could help limit turnovers on 50/50 balls this year. Good news Rams fans, fewer turnovers mean even more scoring opportunities. Overall, Stafford is now expected to perform at the highest level. The pressure is on, as Stafford looks to prove that last year was anything but a fluke. (by Ronan Summers)
7. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Did everyone expect Herbert to be this good, this quick? It’s almost as if the Chargers unleashed a beast… However, to those who watched him at Oregon, he had this potential while he was the playmaker for the Ducks. Though, Cristobal and his staff liked to do little shovel passes, and not allow Herbert to use his arm. In just two seasons, Herbert has already been Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl QB. Over the course of his freshman and sophomore seasons in the NFL, Justin Herbert has broken numerous records, like throwing the most touchdown passes (69) and for the most passing yards (9,350) out of any QB in NFL history. In 2020, he broke almost every conceivable rookie record. The one thing Herbert has not been able to do yet is to lead his team to the playoffs. Now, with a better offensive line and defense, the Chargers should be able to get back to the promised land under the direction of Herbert as Captain. Last year the Chargers missed it by one game. This year, they won’t take no for an answer. (by Dacota Haynes)
6. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow led the Bengals to the Super Bowl just one season after tearing his ACL. Everyone counted him out from the get-go but he continuously proved everyone wrong. While I think there are one or two guys who should be higher and a couple of guys who should be lower, I have no problem with him at 6. (by Shane Davis)
5. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
The Broncos sent a massive package for Mr. Unlimited himself to fix their quarterback woes. Wilson is a very good quarterback with all of the tools to lift the Broncos to the post-season for the first time since 2015. The hope is he can build off of the end of his 2021 campaign. Wilson, while being injured for a month in the middle of the year, still put together a very efficient campaign despite the issues that Seattle has had over the past couple of seasons. Time will tell if he can mesh with Nathaniel Hackett and CO, but the idea is that he will finally lift what has been a lifeless Broncos offense back to relevance and the playoffs. (by Branson Smith)
4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’m just gonna come out and say it, #4 is criminally low. Brady threw for over 5,300 yards and 43 touchdowns. The Bucs were a blown coverage away from what would’ve been, more likely than not, another Super Bowl appearance. Oh yeah, he was also 44 years old last season. I’ve never vouched for, or even cheered for, Brady since so many others do it for him, but I am confounded by this ranking. He has done something no one else has done and will most likely continue to do so in his age 45 season. I’m predicting a slight drop in performance, but not in results. In a weak NFC, Brady can walk to another Super Bowl, ride into the sunset a champion and retire being considered by many to be the greatest football player of all time. (by Robertson Viar)
3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen is arguably the best QB in the NFL. I think he is the most talented of everyone on this list, just the two guys in front of him have more accolades. He is big, fast, strong, and has a cannon of an arm. I am excited to see what he does this season. (by Shane Davis)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The back-to-back defending MVP of the league, Rodgers is still one of the prolific QBs in the NFL. Of the ten quarterbacks that threw for over 4,000+ yards last year, Rodgers only trailed Joe Burrow in completion percentage and attempts but bested Burrow in touchdowns (37-34) and interceptions (4-14). His combination of production and efficiency has him at the top of the league at his position. (by Simon Shortt)
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes, even without Tyreek Hill, will be extremely dangerous this season. Still, with an arsenal of weapons, you’d be wise to take Kansas City to win it all again this year, all because of #15. I think an important component to success this year is avoiding an early season slump. The Chiefs started out cold in 2021, and I think Mahomes will need a hot start to a) build a lead in a stacked AFC West, and b) get confidence and consistency with his new core of receivers. While I think the Chiefs won’t be AS explosive, they will still be a force to be reckoned with as long as Mahomes is taking snaps at quarterback. (by Branson Smith)
Be sure to follow all of our amazing writers on Twitter and turn on notifications so you can get their latest articles on the NFL and more: Simon Shortt, Shelly Rose Sherman, Ronan Summers, Lee McManus, Marquis Appling, Dacota Haynes, Chase Hontz, Branson Smith (author page), and Shane Davis.
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