For most of this century, the same group of NFL quarterbacks has ruled the league. Tom Brady was the biggest star of all time, followed by Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Breeze, while Ben Roethlisberger and (most recently) Russell Wilson compiled the top five lists of the game’s best passersby. Now that dynamic is changing, albeit slowly. Talented young QBs were the defining story of NFL In recent years – and More to come.
Both Brady (last year’s Super Bowl winner) and Rodgers (last year’s MVP) are still giants elite, and anyone expecting to fade out right away will likely be disappointed. However, the last two top players before Rodgers were superstars, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, who both rose to prominence and confirmed that they were the best in the world. With a new batch of recruiting picks entering the league and several young QBs, it looks like this season has come to reshuffle the selection order.
Here are six QBs, including Novices and other young passers-by, ranked (in person) by their chances of a breakthrough season in 2021. Anyone who’s already made a Pro Bowl doesn’t qualify for “breakthrough” considerations, because they’ It really broke out. (Sorry, Josh Allen and Keeler Murray.) So, who’s next? These are the QBs we’ve been watching this season.
1. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
First pick in the 2018 draft, Mayfield had his best season yet in 2020. He raised his QBR (an Comprehensive efficiency quarterback stat on a 100-point scale) from 54 to 72. He cuts the way in interceptions, throwing them on just 1.6 percent of his passes after hovering around three to four percent in the first two years. He also set a career high (7.7) in adjusted yards per attempt, a metric that provides added weight for touchdowns and interceptions.
Mayfield must also get a lot of help from the men around him. The Browns’ offensive line came first in the pre-season standings by the game’s trainees Focus on professional football, and Mayfield’s weapons in skill positions give him an embarrassment of fortunes: running backs Nick Chubb and Karim Hunt, receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry, and potentially tight ends as well.
2. Joe Borough, Cincinnati Bengals
Burrow, a first pick in the 2020 draft, did some great work in the junior season, but the Bengals have been so bad that they rarely materialize in the standings or on the stats sheet. Burrow had a 2-7-1 record when his ACL tear ended his season, and he wouldn’t impress anyone with an adjusted 6.7 yards per attempt. However, even as a novice, he took good care of the ball: his interception rate was 1.2 percent (five interceptions on 404 throws) which put him behind only Mahomes and Rodgers. He suffered nine failures, but those were largely attributed to Bengals’ poor offensive streak. It’s not clear how much better that streak will be in 2021, but Burrow will be a more experienced year and will reunite with his star away from LSU, number five overall Ja’Marr Chase.
3. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert 7.6 adjusted yards per attempt as a rookie much higher From tags to date for Mayfield, Borough and Murray. And his passing rating of 98.3 puts him well ahead of anyone else with NFL experience. He managed to achieve this with a simple offensive line as well. There’s plenty of reason to think Herbert would be great, especially considering that the Charger team spent a first-round pick on a left-handed tackle, Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater, who can help protect Herbert’s blind side.
Why is he low on this list then? For starters, both QBs ahead of him were #1 overall for a reason. And Herbert’s second favorite goal in 2020 will not do him any good, Hunter Henry, He plays for the New England Patriots now.
4. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Clemson’s 2021 No. 1 pick is the most polished QB player to enter the league since Andrew Luck in 2012, and probably for longer than that. As long as he stays healthy, Lawrence is so good that even a faded Jaguar would struggle to ruin his career. He’ll be making a few “wow” throws each week, giving everyone a regular reminder of why his first, no-brainer pick.
But Jaguar cars are very bad. The offensive line is likely to be below average. The broad reception pool has some talent (especially sophomore Lavesca Chenault) but no clear standout candidate. And the defense will give up so many points that Lawrence will often find himself playing from behind, when he has no choice but to take the kinds of risks that lead to interceptions. Lawrence’s day comes, but it will take incredible effort to make it this year.
5. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields real talent, a It could have been choice number 2 easily After Lawrence on draft 2021. Instead, he went to The Bears at No. 11, which was great for Chicago. It might also be great for Fields, who slips into a better position than picking No. 2 Zach Wilson with the Jets or No. 3 with Trey Lance with the 49ers.
Fields will have the chance to lead a team that played in the playoffs in 2020 and still has one of the league’s best defenses. The Bears won’t give up a lot of points, which should result in head coach Matt Nagy not claiming a lot of field straight. If the Bears can make him comfortable despite an inadequate line of attack, the Fields Rocket arm and lightning legs can take over. (He should win the primary mission over veteran Andy Dalton first, but that’s only a matter of time.)
6. Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Jones is the least proven player on this list, but he posted cartoon stats While he led Alabama to an undefeated National Championship season last year. At Bama, he tapped into the most talented pool of recipients in college football history (including two first-round picks in this year’s draft), an elite running back, and the best offensive line in the country.
How could he dispense with that pillow of talent, in a league that is so much more on par than the college level? The Patriots took Jones 15th in the draft, and that could work out great or terribly. But it would be ridiculous to let go of a player who will get first-year coaching from Bill Belichick. The Patriots also added two big narrow ends (Hunter Hunter Henry and Juno Smith of the Titans), which should help a lot.
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