In this article I’ll take a stab at ranking the top 10 quarterbacks for the upcoming 2020-2021 NFL season. The rankings only consider how the quarterback will fare during the 2020-2021 season, and not the total body of work. I’ll also try to predict each quarterback’s statistics for the upcoming season. Let's get to it!
*All projected stats are based on a full 16 game season
Honorable Mentions: Kyler Murray, Kirk Cousins, Josh Allen, Ryan Tannehill
#10: Carson Wentz
Projected 2020 stats: 4,350 yards, 29 total tds, 11 ints
While the Eagles should have never been in the playoffs to begin with, Wentz was impressive. He didn’t hit his peak in 2019, but he did keep a struggling offense respectable. I mean at one point his only weapons were tight ends and a former quarterback. Wentz should get Jeffery back along with a 1st or 2nd round pick in this year's draft. If Ertz can continue to produce at an elite level and Goedert can continue his ascension, Wentz will get back to MVP like numbers. His main caveat is he can’t stay on the field most seasons. If it were possible to be confident in seeing him suit-up every game, he’d probably be higher on this list.
#9: Dak Prescott
Projected 2020 stats: 4680 yards, 34 total tds, 12 ints
Dak has proved he's capable of producing at an elite level with the right pieces around him.
Although Kellen Moore’s pass happy offense may have inflated Dak’s 2019 stats, 4902 yards is still an incredible number. While he will lose Randall Cobb (Texans) and Jason Witten (Vegas) next season, he’ll still have his two top weapons in Cooper and Gallup to throw too. It is reasonable to think that Dak’s yardage could decline but with McCarthy retaining Moore as his OC, we should see a similar offensive game plan that should lead to more great numbers for Dak and Co. Most importantly, Jason Garrett is gone so the Cowboys won’t be punting on 4th and 1 from the opponents 42 in overtime...
#8: Tom Brady
Projected 2020 stats: 4240 yards, 28 total tds, 8 ints
It’s time to concede the fact that Brady isn’t the same quarterback he was even two seasons ago. He doesn’t have to be to take the Bucs to heights they haven’t seen since the Gruden era. Brady is still an accurate passer and will take full advantage of his shiny new weapons. Godwin is a better version of Julian Edelman and Mike Evans is hoping to become Brady’s Randy Moss. If the Bucs can find a capable running back in the draft to pair with Ronald Jones, the Bucs offense will be a freight train in 2020. TB12 probably won’t put up Winston-like yardage, but he won’t throw 30 interceptions either. Brady’s impact reaches far beyond the stat sheet, and his IQ and leadership earned him a spot on the list, even though his stats may not be “elite” in 2020.
#7: Matt Ryan
Projected 2020 stats: 4575 yards, 31 total tds, 12 ints
“Matty Ice” will likely forever be haunted by the unfortunate events of 2017, but he’s still amongst the best pure pocket passers in the league. The Falcons underwhelming 2019 isn’t indicative of Ryan’s play. Ryan is one of 10 QBs ever to eclipse 50,000 passing yards in his career, which demonstrates his consistency. Even with the loss of pro bowl TE Austin Hooper, the Falcons will be returning their top weapons in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. In addition, the Falcons added Hayden Hurst via trade, former first round pick Laquon Treadwell, and hometown favorite Todd Gurley. IF the Falcons can get improved O-line play in 2020, Ryan could get back to MVP-like numbers.
#6: Deshaun Watson
Projected 2020 stats: 4190 yds, 495 rush yds, 30 total tds, 11 ints
Watson has the talent to be top 3 on this list, but a multitude of factors pushed him down to 6. Watson has the rare ability to escape from almost any pass rusher, but he also tends to take too much time that leads to needless sacks. Watson lost his main man Deandre Hopkins due to the stupidity of Bill O’Brien, and now is left with Will Fuller as his top target. Fuller is a very good player when healthy, and with the addition of Randall Cobb, the Texans should still have decent weapons. With 2 second round picks, the Texans should be looking to grab one of the top WRs in a loaded draft class. If David Johnson can rejuvenate himself as a passing game option, and Watson gets protected by his O-line, he could still produce top 5 numbers at the position.
#5: Aaron Rodgers
Projected 2020 stats: 4220 yards, 27 total tds, 5 ints
Each of the past few years the media tries to tell us that Aaron Rodgers is in decline. In seasons that Rodgers played in all 16 games, he failed to reach 4,000 yards just once. He also has thrown fewer interceptions (27) in the past 5 seasons than Winston threw last year alone (30). Furthermore, when you look at his weapons the past few seasons, his team has failed him. Davante Adams is an incredible talent, but he’s the only successful Packer WR draft pick since 2014. Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are the other “starters” at WR, with the latter racking up a whopping 452 yards in 2019-- just 5 more than the broken Jimmy Graham. After the solid but unspectacular addition of Devin Funchess, Rodgers should be able to put up even better numbers in year 2 of Matt LaFleur’s system.
#4: Drew Brees
Projected 2020 stats: 4490 yards, 34 total tds, 9 ints
After considering retirement following another disappointing playoff exit, Brees now returns with the best weapons of his career. I don’t think I need to explain just how good Michael Thomas is, but just in case: MT caught 80.5% of passes thrown his way (1st amongst WRs) while leading the NFL in targets by almost 30. That’s absurd. Part of this is a reflection on just how accurate Brees is. Brees has now completed at least 70% of his passes in 4 consecutive seasons, which should result in a juggernaut offense once again. This season though, the ageless wonder will get to throw to Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook, and Alvin Kamara. With weapons like that, Brees should feast in 2020.
#3: Lamar Jackson
Projected 2020 stats: 3880 pass yds, 1035 rush yards, 39 total tds, 8 ints
A year ago at this time, putting Jackson at #3 would’ve been laughable. Now, putting him at #3 seems low. if the playoffs went differently in 2019, Jackson could’ve made it to one of the top two spots. The reigning MVP showcased abilities and flash we haven’t seen since Mike Vick in 2019. He’s not a running back or a wide receiver, he’s just the league’s most dynamic quarterback. Jackson has two young playmakers to throw to in Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews, but a big bodied wideout could really help Jackson’s progression. The Ravens have 5 picks in the top 3 rounds of this year's draft, so they should add at least one of the top WRs. When it comes to rushing, teams may try to stack the box on Jackson and Ingram in 2020, but Baltimore has one of the best coaching staffs in the league and should adjust schemes themselves. With teams adjusting and Jackson continuing to progress as a passer, we should see a new personal best in passing yards set in 2020.
#2: Russell Wilson
Projected 2020 stats: 4205 yds, 32 tds, 6 ints
All things considered, Wilson might be one of the greatest athletes of this generation. He continually makes the best out of whatever situation he is put in. Wilson has had to deal with incompetent playcallers and a terrible O-line for the better half of a decade now. In 2019, Wilson finally got some help. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and Josh Gordon formed one of the league's best WR trios, and it resulted in an MVP-worthy season for Russ. Wilson eclipsed 4000 yards for the first time since 2016, while adding 31 tds to just 5 ints. The Seahawks were a roller coaster ride in 2019, and Wilson won games in spite of his coaching-- a league leading 5 game winning drives in 2019. Bringing the focus back to the upcoming season, Wilson shouldn’t see a slip in production whatsoever. The Seahawks added Greg Olsen and will get Will Dissly back from another season ending injury meaning the Seahawks can play an actual tight end this year. Metcalf should make a leap in year 2, providing Russ a true #1 option to play alongside Lockett and Olsen/Dissly. 2020 should be another great stop on the Russ Bus.
#1: Patrick Mahomes
Projected 2020 stats: 5015 yards, 42 total tds, 11 ints
No one should be surprised. Mahomes is the best QB in the league, and it’s not particularly close. Mahomes is a freak of nature equipped with heavy artillery. In 2019, Mahomes fought through a knee injury, missed 2 games, and still passed for over 4000 yards. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson along with the resigned Sammy Watkins should once again wreak havoc on the league. As long as Mahomes is on the field, whatever team he’s playing for will be a superbowl favorite. He’s just a complete anomaly—there's not much else to say. Enjoy Mahomes while we have him; he’s a once in a lifetime talent that we’ll be talking about for decades.
*Statistics referenced found at pro-football-reference.com