NFL Draft 2019 Preview: Mock draft, DOs, and DON’T DOs

The 2019 NFL Draft will begin tonight in a few hours. The hype surrounding the draft is crazy, as it is every year. But before the draft starts, I want to give a preview. Here is my mock draft…This mock draft is my GUESS on what each team will do with their first round pick(s), not what I think they should do. Afterwards, I’ll give a few takes on what teams should focus on…For now, here is my mock draft:

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Now that you have looked at my mock draft, I also want to give an overview on the DOs and DON’T DOs for some of the big headline teams in the draft.

 

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals must draft Kyler Murray. Josh Rosen is clearly not the Cardinals’ guy for the next 10-15 years. Considering the likely tension that has grown between Rosen and the Cardinals franchise due to trade rumors, the team should trade Rosen, even if a second round pick is the best they can get.

 

New York Giants

I am a Giants fan, so I am super passionate about the Giants’ two picks this year. First off, the Giants must not choose Daniel Jones. Second, the Giants must choose their QB at pick #6, if they are planning on taking a quarterback. Third, they must pick Dwayne Haskins or Drew Lock if they are planning on choosing a QB.

Why, you ask? It’s simple. If the Giants truly want to take Eli Manning’s successor, they MUST take him at #6 because leaving the QB pick until #17 is risky and stupid. If they are truly confident in their decision to take the QB of the future, the Giants should not be worried about the other player they will be drafting in the first round.

 

Wide Receivers

No team should take a WR at the top half of the first round. Great WRs in the NFL come from a variety of different rounds in the draft, and to waste a top-16 pick on a player whose success in the NFL is so difficult to predict, is plain stupid. Just look at John Ross, Kevin White, and Devante Parker as recent examples of top-half first rounders who have failed to prove themselves in the NFL. This is not to say that great WRs don’t come in the first round. They do. A lot of them do. HOWEVER, plenty of great WRs come in later rounds, so even if talents like D.K. Metcalf, Marquise Brown, and Parris Campbell seem like great picks, the risk is not worthwhile.

Just look at things this way…Some of the best WRs in the game were not drafted in the first round, yet are superstars, including Antonio Brown (195th pick, 2010), Tyreek Hill (165th pick, 2016), and Adam Thielen (Undrafted FA, 2013). Furthermore, wide receivers are not the core pieces of a roster, but rather, skill positions that should be considered after filling up other positions.

Patriots

The Patriots should seriously consider drafting Daniel Jones. Will they? probably not. I think Brady still has 2+ years in him, but drafting a high-IQ QB like Daniel Jones to learn behind Brady would be a very wise decision.

 



Featured image from:

https://www.newyorkupstate.com/buffalo-bills/2019/04/2019-nfl-draft-todd-mcshay-hearing-buffalo-bills-want-to-address-dl-in-round-1.html

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The 2019 Super Bowl was terrible, and here’s why

The Patriots won AGAIN (congrats to the Pats for the 6th win though, seriously), but that’s not why Super Bowl 53 was terrible. The commercials were mediocre and the highly revered halftime show was atrocious. Mainly though, the game itself had very little offensive action. The scoreline was 3-0 at the half! We heard analysts and commentators predict a high scoring game, yet the outcome was not close to that, as this Super Bowl was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in the history of the NFL!

I’ve heard people ranging from the average football viewer to NFL commentators claiming that people should complain about the Super Bowl. This is a bad argument. Why shouldn’t we expect the Super Bowl to be the most exciting game? Do these people expect us to act all jolly about the lowest scoring Super Bowl game ever, and put up a nice face? For what? Some say that “we sat through the game, so we shouldn’t complain.” Again, just because we watched the whole game and enjoyed a few plays, does not mean that we can’t argue that this Super Bowl didn’t live up to its hype and that it was terrible in comparison to previous Super Bowls. With those counter arguments out of the way, after sitting through hours of bad football, here are my 8 reasons for why this game ended up becoming such a boring Super Bowl contest.

 

1) Both defenses were absolutely stacked

I’ll get into more detail about the specific aspects of the defenses that made the game so offensively stale, but overall, the defense in this game made the offenses extremely stagnant. Again, 3-0 at the half, with 8 out of 8 drives ending in punts for the Rams is absolutely atrocious. The Pats weren’t much better with Brady’s early INT and lack of drive consistency.

2) Jared Goff

Goff was awful. Let’s say it as it is. He took sacks that he should not have. He overlooked a great slant pass seven minutes into the 2nd quarter which he instead flung it dangerously to Cooks for a bad 50-50 ball that luckily fell incompleteHe mistimed another long ball to Cooks in the endzone with 3:40 left in the 3rd; He took forever to pass to wide-open Cooks, giving Jason McCourty a boatload of time to knock it incomplete. He threw a terrible interception to Gilmore with 4:19 left in the 4th quarter; a ball that didn’t even reach the endzone. To top it all off, he completed only half of his throws. This year, Goff’s postseason TD-INT ratio was 1-2 in three games, so one could question his standing as the Rams’ future. Personally, this bad playoff series should not define his career which has seen a lot of regular season success, but his atrocious performance in the Superbowl surely does not help his case.

3) Patriots’ secondary

The Patriots’ secondary was on fire. Honestly, the four sacks the Patriots had could be mainly attributed to the Pats’ secondary. The Rams’ offensive weapons were clearly locked up, and Goff was unable to throw on any of his looks. Furthermore, the Patriots’ lockup secondary caused Goff to throw away a good amount of passes. The Patriots’ secondary really limited the offensive action for the Rams. Less Rams offense means less entertainment.

4) Pats’ 3rd down defense

On top of their great secondary, New England’s 3rd down defense was on point. The Rams looked absolutely static on 3rd downs, as they had to punt on their first NINE drives. Every single one of their drives in the first half resulted in a punt! In the first half, I honestly thought Hekker was going to be named MVP. The Pats defense played extremely well on third down to force those punts.

5) Great punts

Continuing on from my previous point, this game had a lot of punts. The abundance of punts is a meme at this point, but it definitely played a major role in the lack of entertainment in the game. Rams’ punter Hekker kicked nine punts averaging 46 yards, also kicking the Superbowl’s longest punt ever at 65 yards. Ryan Allen of the Patriots didn’t have a record breaking day, but he still kicked five punts averaging 43 yards. These great punt plays forced the Rams and Pats to start inside their own 20 yard-line three times and five times, respectively. Starting near their own goal line observably limited both teams’ play-calling options, as we saw some static offenses after punts.

6) Aaron Donald and the Rams’ D-line

Aaron Donald played like a beast. As fun as he is to watch, his run-stopping in the trenches and the many early throws he forced Brady into created inconsistency in the Pats’ offense. Ndamukong Suh also looked pretty dangerous. In the end, Belichick and the Pats found a way to build a game-winning drive with big plays from Sony Michel and Gronk, but that offense was not buzzing as it usually is in the Super Bowl. This lack of Patriots offense caused by the Rams’ lockup D-line didn’t help the game in terms of entertainment.

7) Brandin Cooks

It seems like I’m just naming all the Rams stars, but the fact is, Cooks missed two huge TD opportunities. One on the not-so-perfect pass from Goff in the 3rd quarter, and one on the perfect deep pass from Goff with 4:24 left in the game. While the first pass was contended by Jason McCourty and was a difficult ball to catch that was thrown late, the second opportunity was clearly a missed chance by Cooks. Both plays were pretty difficult and could have went either way, but a top-10 WR with Super Bowl experience should make those clutch plays.

8) Lack of redzone play

You could argue that the lack of redzone play is the result of the things listed above, but either way, this factor made this game so boring. In the first half, there was not a single snap played in the red-zone by either team. That fact shows us how strong both teams’ defenses were, but also how boring it could be when two talented defenses with great head coaches clash in the biggest stage.

Conclusion

While Brady and the Patriots had a good amount of yards, they couldn’t translate it to many points. The Rams on the other hand, lacked severely in both yardage and scoring. We saw great defensive plays, many special teams appearances, and multiple missed opportunities throughout the game that created a boring Superbowl. While any Superbowl game is worth watching til the end, this game was not a fun one to sit through. Let’s all hope for a step up next year. I mean, there is no way but up after a game that literally broke a record for its lack of points scored.



Sources:

“Jared Goff.” NFL.com History. Accessed February 04, 2019. http://www.nfl.com/player/jaredgoff/2555334/gamelogs.
“Johnny Hekker.” NFL.com History. Accessed February 04, 2019. http://www.nfl.com/player/johnnyhekker/2535663/gamelogs.
“Ryan Allen.” NFL.com History. Accessed February 04, 2019. http://www.nfl.com/player/ryanallen/2539640/gamelogs.
Breech, John. “2019 Super Bowl: Patriots’ Win over Rams Becomes Lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL History.” CBSSports.com. February 04, 2019. Accessed February 04, 2019. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2019-super-bowl-patriots-win-over-rams-becomes-lowest-scoring-super-bowl-in-nfl-history/.

Featured image from:

https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2019/2/3/18209722/super-bowl-2019-punting-record-johnny-hekker-ryan-allen

 

How the NFL Rookie First-rounders have Fared so Far

In today’s NFL, the average career length of a first-round draft selection is 9.3 years, nearly three times longer than that of an average NFL player. Naturally, expectations are high for any first-round draft selection, as teams look to find the next hall-of-famer. The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft contained a plethora of surprises. Five weeks into the season, some of the top rookies have separated themselves from the bunch, while others have under-performed their first-round status.

The biggest excitements of the 2018 Draft were the quarterbacks, but among the five first-round QBs, none of been outstanding. Darnold was a top prospect entering the NFL Draft. Many NFL analysts and experts have viewed Darnold as the most “sound” rookie QB. Josh Allen was drafted as an ongoing project rather than a polished NFL starter. He was drafted in the first round mainly due to his wildly strong throwing arm rather than his technique. Josh Rosen was drafted as the cleanest passer in the Draft. While all three quarterbacks are still getting into the rhythm of the NFL, they are yet to record good numbers. Sam Darnold, who threw an interception on his first NFL play, has recorded a poor TD-INT ratio of 7-6. Josh Allen has been terrible in the NFL so far. His completion percentage has been an atrocious 53.3%, and he thrown only two TDs in four starts. Josh Rosen has been affected by the Cardinals’ terribleness on both sides of the ball. Despite playing behind a terrible o-line, Rosen has won a game in his second start. That doesn’t excuse his 49.2% completion rate. The first overall draft pick Baker Mayfield took the League by storm in his first game. Baker Mayfield impressively led the Cleveland Browns to their first NFL win in over a year. He recorded a high 73.9% completion rate in 23 attempts. Since then, he’s thrown 3 TDs and 3 INTs.

Despite generally disappointing performances from the first-round quarterbacks, many other rookies have played well so far. On the offensive side of the ballgame, Saquon Barkley (RB, 2nd overall) and Calvin Ridley (WR, 26th overall) have shone brightly. Barkley has scored 4 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving touchdowns in six games, while also displaying highlight-reel runs every game. Calvin Ridley has been a great #2 receiver for the Falcons. Ridley is on track to have over 60 receptions this year, not to mention the 6 TDs he has already scored for the Falcons.

Many of the defensive rookies have also played very well. Denzel Ward (CB, 4th overall), Tremaine Edmunds (LB, 16th overall), and Derwin James (S, 17th overall) have fared well so far. Denzel Ward, the star cornerback for the Browns, has wreaked havoc all over the football field. He had two interceptions in his debut against offensive powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers. He also had a crucial forced fumble against the Jets, and without such a play, the Browns may have never come back to win. He had another INT in the Browns’ win against Baltimore. Tremaine Edmunds has also beat up NFL offenses so far, recording 38 tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles in five weeks of football. The final standout first-rounder is Derwin James. He recorded three sacks and an interception so far. His ability to defend against top offensive teams is a positive sign for the young safety.

While some rookies have played well in an ever-growing League, others have not gotten many opportunities yet. Vita Vea (DT, 12th overall), Billy Price (C, 21st overall) and Hayden Hurst (TE, 25th overall) have experienced injuries early on in their careers and have not made impacts on the field. We are only six weeks into the season, and we are yet to see some of these future stars integrate with their teammates and get used to the hard-hitting NFL stage. There is still a lot of football to look forward to for these young first-round picks.



Bibliography:

“2018 NFL Draft.” Sporting News. Accessed September 24, 2018. http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/draft/2018/draft-results/round/1.

 

“Pro Football Statistics and History.” Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed September 24, 2018. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/.
Featured image from:
Beer, Jeff. “This Is Where Top NFL Rookies Go on Their First Business Trip.” Fast Company. May 22, 2018. Accessed October 13, 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/40576033/this-is-where-top-nfl-rookies-go-on-their-first-business-trip.

The Cleveland Browns Right Now

Jeez.

The Browns have played decently in the opening two weeks of the 2018 season, despite playing against two Superbowl contenders, the Steelers and the Saints. HOWEVER, like always, they’ve found a way to NOT WIN.

Their rushing offense has looked above average, with Carlos Hyde and Tyrod Taylor leading the rushing core in terms of ypg. Nick Chubb has made some plays here and there too.

The passing game has been mediocre, partly because of some atrocious mistakes by Tyrod Taylor. However, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Antonio Callaway has looked pretty dangerous.

The offense has been average. The defense has been where the Browns have shone. The defense may have conceded many yards, but thanks to INTs and forced fumbles, the Browns turnover differential is a +6 in only two weeks of football. That stat goes to show the Browns defense’s success. Denzel Ward has especially played well.

Despite an average offense and good defense, Zane Gonzalez, the Browns’ placekicker, has greatly cost Cleveland. He had a game-winning field goal blocked by T.J. Watt in week 1 which he couldn’t control. Putting that aside, he subsequently missed an extra point in week 2 against the Saints, and went on to miss a game tying 52 yard FG. If not for those crucial misses, the Browns would’ve won for the first time in a year.

I slightly feel bad for this guy. He seemed heartbroken after the Saints game, where he sat on the Browns bench, tearing up, before being consoled by a Saints player. But we can’t forget that kicking IS HIS JOB. He was DRAFTED as a kicker, yet, he has only made 2 out of his 5 attempted FGs, costing the game against the Saints. The Browns need to find a solution quickly.

Overall, the Browns have come neck-and-neck with two TOP-TIER football teams. Cleveland seems like an 8-8 record team, but they need to fix up the ugly kicking situation.



Citations:

“Cleveland Browns Stats at NFL.com.” NFL.com. Accessed September 17, 2018. http://www.nfl.com/teams/statistics?team=CLE.
“Zane Gonzalez.” ESPN. Accessed September 17, 2018. http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/3043234/zane-gonzalez.

Featured image from:

“Internet Explodes after Browns Miss Kicks vs. Saints.” SI.com. Accessed September 17, 2018. https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/09/16/zane-gonzalez-missed-field-goals-browns-loss-saints.

Akira’s Reaction to “Colin on Brady cutting his radio interview short”

I honestly enjoy watching Colin Cowherd’s show “The Herd.” I usually like watching his NFL lists, rankings, interviews, etc. However, I disagree with Colin’s recent comments about Brady.

Here’s the video clip I’m reacting to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpuQMiSiIn8&t=121s

Well, first, I agree with one thing. Brady is being somewhat selfless by “taking pay-cuts.” Brady has shown his class by putting his team’s needs before his own contract needs. Of course, that selflessness comes with a cost; he doesn’t get to sign the HUGE money contracts that’s other QBs (Jimmy G, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford) get to.

Now, I’m going onto what I disagree with Colin on.

Colin’s main argument is that Tom Brady doesn’t get “the reward” for taking pay-cuts. Colin argues that while QBs like Jared Goff, Eli Manning, and Jimmy G get to throw to expensive or highly-drafted skill position players, Tom Brady “has to carry the Rex Burkheads.” My question is, “SO WHAT??” Instead of throwing resources at high-profile WRs and RBs, Bellichick and the Patriots organization has built up a smoothly running system that gets WINS. Would you rather have superstars to throw to but not reach the playoffs, or play with Julian Edelman and Rex Burkhead and go to the AFC Championships 7 years in a row? I’ll gladly take Edelman and Burkhead. C’mon, Colin. The Patriots are a balanced team with no weakness, and Brady’s “reward” is a smoothly oiled team and the best head coach in the NFL. Therefore, Colin’s argument concerning the lack of reward for Brady is completely nonsensical.

 

 

5 things I saw in NFL Preseason Week 1

Amidst the controversial new Helmet Rule, the NFL Preseason kicked off, allowing us to watch the new NFL rookies. These are the five things we learned from the first week of Preseason.

#1. The Browns  pass offense is DANGEROUS.

Baker Mayfield showed his awesome pocket presence and maneuverability as he avoided multiple pocket collapses. He isn’t a tremendous athlete, but he made some crucial plays with his feet. His connections with Antonio Callaway and Jarvis Landry also looked very promising. We know who Jarvis Landry is. Furthermore, Antonio Callaway, aside from his off-field issues, looks like an absolute BEAST on the ball. He is a tremendous athlete. We can expect Jarvis to have 1,000+ receiving yards in 2018, and I also think Callaway will have a huge year behind Landry and Josh Gordon.  The Browns’ WR core will GO OFF next year.

#2. Lamar Jackson can RUN, but his passing is poor-quality.

Both the Hall of Fame Game and Ravens vs. Rams game were packed with exciting Lamar Jackson runs. However, his throwing was pretty bad. He missed some pretty easy slant routes, and he had some pretty dangerous throws. He’s definitely very talented, but at this rate, he won’t play much next season.

#3. Skill positions are easy to fill.

Saquon Barkley looked very good on his first Preseason run. I predict he’ll have a 1,000+ yard rushing and 500 yard receiving year. However, there were MANY rookie skill-position players who shined in Preseason wk1. Ray-Ray McCloud (WR, Bills), Ralph Webb (RB Patriots). Both players are low-profile rookies, but they still made plays. Ray-Ray was a sixth-round draft pick, while Ralph Webb, who had two TDs, was an undrafted free agent.

#4. Darnold and Rosen

Darnold had the best rookie QB performance this week behind Baker Mayfield. He showed his ability to throw on the run and avoid defenders within the pocket. I was most impressed by his fast ball release. His arm looks very hard to defend against. Josh Rosen didn’t have his best day, but he was still throwing darts against the Chargers. If not for the center’s terrible snaps and the wide receivers’ drops, Rosen would have had a much better day. Granted, both QBs threw against 2nd/3rd team defenses.

#5. The Vikings are looking DIRTYY

The Vikings may have confirmed that they are the top-dogs in the NFC. They showed off their great WR duo featuring Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, a re-energized run-game with Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray. Kirk Cousins had some good connections with many of these offensive weapons. Furthermore, the Vikings’ defense SHUT DOWN Case Keenum and the Broncos’ first team offense. The Vikings looked nasty good.

 

Those were the top 5 things I saw in the first week of the NFL 2018 Preseason. There were many other topics of discussion, and I’m excited to see more in the remaining three weeks of the Preseason.

 



Featured image from: https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2018/8/10/17674610/nfl-preseason-2018-saquon-barkley-baker-mayfield-patrick-mahomes

 

Ranking Each NFL Team by QB Situation

The NFL preseason finally kicked off with the Ravens winning over the Bears in the Hall of Fame Game. The regular season is only 33 days away!

To go along with this hype, this article ranks the QB situation of each NFL team heading into the regular season (remember, this list only accounts for the upcoming season, not future ones). The rankings are based on each team’s projected starter and backup for the 2018 season.

Here are the rankings. Let’s get started!

#32. Chicago Bears

Starter) Mitchell Trubisky, Backup) Chase Daniel

Trubisky indisputably lacked offensive weapons in 2017. Still, he only threw for seven touchdowns in 12 starts, and he passed for only 2193 yards. Considering his bleak 2017 stats and lack of a phenomenal game, Trubisky is still an unreliable prospect. Having Chase Daniel, a 31 year-old who’s thrown one TD in an 8-year career, doesn’t help the Bears’ QB situation at all. The Bears are dead last due to Trubisky’s bad 2017 season and the Bears’ lack of a valid backup.

#31. Buffalo Bills

Starter) AJ McCarron, Backup) Josh Allen

AJ McCarron is just a bridge QB to prepare Josh Allen for the NFL. While McCarron had a decent 3-game stretch in 2015 during which he had a 6-2 TD-INT ratio, he’s only completed 7 throws ever since. I also think Josh Allen will be a bust. He’s overhyped and inaccurate. Don’t expect an outstanding pass offense from the Bills.

#30. Jacksonville Jaguars

Starter) Blake Bortles, Backup) Cody Kessler

The Jaguars have an average backup QB in Cody Kessler. Bortles, however, has a lot to prove. Last year, Bortles was carried by Leonard Fournette, while the defense dominated. The defensive powerhouse was called Sacksonville for a reason. Meanwhile, Bortles only recorded three 300+ yard games throughout the regular and post-season. Bortles is not a good passer, so Jags’ QB situation is clearly a weak spot on their roster.

#29. Baltimore Ravens

Starter) Joe Flacco, Backup) Lamar Jackson

Baltimore drafted Lamar Jackson as their QB of the future. The Raven’s shift from a big-arm gunslinger to a Mike Vick-type QB tells us something about Joe Flacco; His high-risk low-reward play style isn’t working. The 6’6 veteran will probably start throughout the 2018 season, and he’s not gonna exceed many expectations.

#28. Cincinnati Bengals

Starter) Andy Dalton, Backup) Matt Barkley

Andy Dalton had some decent years, but he was never an outstanding player. Furthermore, he’s coming off one of his worst seasons yet. Dalton completed less than 60% of his passes last year. The backup spot is also a weakness, as Matt Barkley has an atrocious TD-INT ratio of 8-18.

#27. Kansas City Chiefs

Starter) Patrick Mahomes II, Backup) Chad Henne

Patrick Mahomes II is utterly unproven. I hate how people are quick to dub more experienced QBs like Jimmy G and Tyrod Taylor as “unreliable” players, while they jump off their seats for a gunslinger like Mahomes. To be frank, Mahomes played in one 0-TD game; He hasn’t even scored yet. Personally, the Chiefs’ decision to trash Alex Smith and trust in Mahomes was hasty. I think the sophomore QB is quite overrated, but I also trust Andy Reid’s judgement. I have mixed feelings about this one, but I’m leaning towards the negative side.

#26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Starter) Jameis Winston*, Backup) Ryan Fitzpatrick

If not for Jameis Winston’s 4-game suspension following the alleged personal misconduct, the Buccaneers’ QB situation would be pretty good. Jameis has displayed steady growth throughout his first three seasons; his ability to assess risk and reward has developed, therefore his completion percentage increased from 58.3% in 2015 to 60.8% in 2016 to 63.8% in 2017.  Losing a still-maturing QB for a fourth of the season hurts, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is a provenly mediocre player.

*Jameis Winston will face a 4-game suspension starting week 1.

#25. Miami Dolphins 

Starter) Ryan Tannehill, Backup) Brock Osweiler

Ryan Tannehill is underrated. In 2016, he threw with a high 67.1% completion rate until his injury. Tannehill is consistently overlooked, despite his above-average stats. He’s also pretty young, so he can still learn from Brock Osweiler. Both the starter and backup position are covered, but the looming question for the Dolphins’ QB situation is the plausibility of Tannehill’s return following a year off the field.

#24. Carolina Panthers

Starter) Cam Newton, Backup) Garrett Gilbert

Cam Newton isn’t a top-tier thrower. His 2016 and 2017 seasons were horrendous; he had a 52.9% completion rate in 2016, while he racked up 16 interceptions in 2017. And don’t forget, Garrett Gilbert, Cam’s backup, hasn’t thrown a single ball in the NFL. However, Cam Newton is an absolute beast when he scrambles. Last year, he rushed for 754 yards, a career high. His rushing-power allows Carolina to run a diverse set of plays. Carolina’s QB room has to find stability; Cam isn’t consistent, and Garrett Gilbert is a nobody. Still, Cam’s ability to run over defenses significantly improves Carolina’s QB situation. 

#23. Denver Broncos

Starter) Case Keenum, Backup) Paxton Lynch

Case Keenum was never a terrible QB, even as a backup on the Rams and Texans. He played especially well last year, as he led the Vikings to the NFC Championships. Paxton Lynch is also a decent backup with some NFL experience. I can’t, however, rank the Broncos higher on this list because 1) Case Keenum had only one great season, 2) the Vikings had the best defense in the League last year, and 3) there are many better QBs in the NFL right now.

#22. Arizona Cardinals

Starter) Sam Bradford, Backup) Josh Rosen

I want to rank the Cardinals much higher for two reasons. 1.) Sam Bradford plays amazingly when he stays healthy, and 2) in my opinion, Josh Rosen is the best QB out of the 2018 Draft after Baker Mayfield. Rosen will be a great NFL player. I’m calling it. Contrary to all his haters, I love his confidence. He hates to lose. WATCH THAT GAME BETWEEN UCLA AND TEXAS A&M. And in a football standpoint, Rosen is such a seamless, beautiful passer. However, Arizona’s situation doesn’t rely on just that because the Cardinals’ coaching staff won’t go all out on Rosen in his rookie year. If Bradford becomes injured again, Josh Rosen, a rookie QB, might enter the NFL field prematurely. Even though I think Rosen will be a great QB in the NFL, the potential commotion doesn’t help Arizona’s QB situation.

21. Tennessee Titans

Starter) Marcus Mariota, Backup) Blaine Gabbert

Marcus Mariota regressed last season. In the regular season, he had only 13 pass TDs, while he threw 15 INTs. Corey Davis’ disappointing rookie season probably affected Mariota’s performance. To look at things positively, Mariota’s successes in the post-season probably gave him some newfound confidence. Blaine Gabbert is also a very reliable backup QB. Overall, Mariota still must find consistency in his play. Doubts still pervade the Titans’ QB situation, rendering the Tennessee QB room mid-tier.

#20. Cleveland Browns

Starter) Tyrod Taylor, Backup) Baker Mayfield

For the first time in a while, the Browns have a reliable QB. We all know who Tyrod Taylor is and what he brings to the table. He is a low-risk QB who can both throw and run. He’ll bring stability to a position that was dreadful last season. Furthermore, if the Browns see fit, they have the opportunity to start Baker mid-season. This combination of stability and bright prospect is unheard of for the Browns. While the lack of a top-tier QB bars the Browns’ situation from reaching greater heights, in Browns terms, the QB room is looking great.

#19. New York Jets

Starter) Josh McCown, Backup) Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold

The Jets’ depth at the QB position helps as the team heads towards the 2018 season. Sam Darnold will most likely not start week one. Both McCown and Bridgewater are experienced QBs who are valid options for next season. Last season, Josh McCown distanced himself from his title as a backup as he threw at a 67.3% completion rate in 13 games. Bridgewater’s circumstances are more unique. In 2014 and 2015, his play-style and stats were very similar to those of Tyrod Taylor, but he hasn’t thrown in a full game for over two years. We’ll probably watch McCown sustain his starter status, while Darnold might take over mid-season. The sheer number of options the Jets have at QB renders their situation mid-tier.

#18. New York Giants 

Starter) Eli Manning, Backup) Davis Webb

Eli Manning is a reliable starter. He’s been playing in the Big Apple for 14 years for a reason.  He has consistently thrown at around a 62% completion rate for the past four years.  He’s not a top-10 QB anymore, however, due to his age. His 2017 season wasn’t bad, considering that he had no run-game and OBJ out for a majority of the year. Having a very healthy veteran at starter, and a promising young QB in Davis Webb at backup gives the G-Men stability at the QB position.

#17. Dallas Cowboys

Starter) Dak Prescott, Backup) Cooper Rush

Dak Prescott went off his rookie season, but his sophomore year wasn’t as impressive. People questioned his declining performance as he endured a mediocre stretch of games without Zeke. Dak’s interceptions more than tripled in 2017 (4 in 2016 to 13 in 2017), while his TD rate remained nearly the same. Dak’s regression in his second season raises questions, but his talent is undeniable. We’ll probably see him get back into good form. In the meantime, the Cowboys’ plan at backup QB spot is terrible, considering that Cooper Rush, a no-name player holds down the role. Dak Prescott is talented, but his regression in 2017 and Cooper Rush at backup raises questions, so the Dallas QB situation is average.

#16. Washington Redskins

Starter) Alex Smith, Backup) Colt McCoy

Alex Smith is a pretty good QB. However, his previous successes in Kansas City were partly due to the team’s offensive weaponry. In 2017, he had a powerhouse offense that included Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill. Kirk Cousins is younger, and he’s a better QB; Cousins has performed at a higher level with fewer weapons. While Alex Smith is by no means a bad QB, Cousins was the face of the franchise and dropping him for Alex Smith was questionable. Also, the backup position needs improvement.

#15. Los Angeles Rams

Starter) Jared Goff, Backup) Sean Mannion

After his atrocious rookie season, Jared Goff found his way in the NFL in his second year. Sean Mcvay played a major role in Goff’s positive transformation. Goff’s performance was comparable to those of top-10 QBs. However, Todd Gurley played at an insanely high level, thus skewing Goff’s sophomore season stats. Also, we can’t just overlook the fact that Goff was one of the worst QBs in 2016. Plus, Sean Mannion at backup QB is very peculiar. The Rams don’t have a plan B at QB. Goff’s top-tier 2017 season, balanced out with his negative rookie year, along with the Rams’ weakness at backup QB renders the Ram QB situation mid-tier.

#14. Indianapolis Colts

Starter) Andrew Luck, Backup) Jacoby Brissett

Expected to return in 2018, Andrew Luck has had a tough stretch of injuries. He carried the Colts’ mediocre roster through three 11-5 seasons before sustaining his first injury. In his first five NFL seasons, he’s averaged over 30 TDs per 16 games. Despite his leadership, talent, and ability to endure tough hits, availability is the best ability. This notion applies especially in the NFL, so even if Luck is a top 5 QB talent-wise, if he can’t stay on the field, he’s basically useless. Jacoby Brissett helps the Colts QB situation, as he is a top-10 backup QB. Luck is a tremendous QB, and I’m excited to see what he accomplishes with the Colts in 2018. Until he’s healthy, I can’t rank the Indy QB situation higher.

#13. Los Angeles Chargers

Starter) Phillip Rivers, Backup) Geno Smith

Phillip Rivers has started every game in the last 12 years now. He still plays very well, but he’s been a bit less consistent in the past couple of seasons. Rivers has shown that he can still play, but assessing his potential decline is very difficult. He is 37 years old, so any of these next few seasons can be his final one. Geno Smith at backup QB doesn’t really help the situation because he’s a mid to low-tier backup. Rivers will probably play well again in 2018, but Geno at backup isn’t great. I rank the Chargers #13 for their high stability yet lack of superbness. 

#12. Houston Texans

Starter) Deshaun Watson, Backup) Brandon Weeden

Deshaun Watson had a phenomenal rookie performance. I earnestly predicted he would be the best QB out of the 2017 Draft. Among the three first-round QBs from the 2017 Draft, Deshaun Watson easily performed the best last year. I think his ceiling is annual Pro Bowler and Superbowler. I want to even say Watson will reach Canton, but I can’t get TOO ahead of myself. First, the sample size is very small. He started only 6 games last year. Second, his injury is still concerning. Third, he is no longer the dark horse, so people will have higher expectations. This third concern is the least important because Deshaun Watson tends to GO OFF when the lights are bright (eg. Clemson v. Alabama in the College National Championships). If Watson overcomes his injury and stays healthy, he’ll be “the one” for the Texans. Houston’s ranking would hit single-digits if 1) they find a good backup and 2) Watson completely heals. 

#11. Las Vegas Raiders

Starter) Derek Carr, Backup) Connor Cook

Derek Carr is already a three time Pro-Bowler. He played well in 2017 even though the Raiders’ rushing offense was 25th in yards per game in 2017, and their defense was 23rd in yards allowed per game in 2017. Also Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree didn’t help Carr, as they underperformed in 2017. Either way, he didn’t play as well last season, but he was still a Pro Bowler. He’s proven himself to be a top-5 QB in the AFC. Not just that, as a young QB, the level of spark Carr adds to the Raiders can’t be overlooked.  Derek Carr is a very good QB and carries the Raiders, but he doesn’t have any postseason experience. Also, Connor Cook hasn’t started an NFL game. 

#10. San Francisco 49ers

Starter) Jimmy Garoppolo, Backup) C.J. Beathard

49ers have found the QB they’ve been looking for since Alex Smith. Jimmy Garoppolo might have only seven games under his belt, but we can’t forget that he learned well under Tom Brady for a few years prior. His ability to lead the team and bring such passion and energy to the game is incredible. He’s clearly a winner. One thing we still need to see is his performance in differing circumstances. Last year before his 5-0 record, most people doubted his capabilities. Now that he’ll be starting for San Francisco, not only will Garoppolo need to play in 16+ games every season, but also expectations for him will be significantly higher. Also, the 49ers saw that C.J. Beathard was a bad backup, regardless of his rookie status in 2017. The 49ers’ backup QB isn’t good, and Jimmy G hasn’t played many games, but I trust Garoppolo is San Francisco’s future star, so I rank their QB situation at #10. I truly believe Garoppolo will be a top QB for the next 15 years.

#9. Detroit Lions

Starter) Matthew Stafford, Backup) Jake Rudock

Matthew Stafford is a competitor among competitors. He may have had a good WR core that features Golden Tate III and Marvin Jones, but he’s still a great QB. His last three seasons have been Pro Bowl caliber. His 4th quarter comebacks have saved the Lions on multiple occasions, and Detroit’s lack of wins can’t be blamed on Stafford. It’s a team sport, but the rest of the Lions are mainly to blame. In 2017, Detroit was 27th in total defense, and DEAD LAST in rushing yards per game. Yet, Stafford led the Lions to a winning record. Also, Jake Rudock, the Lions’ backup QB, has thrown five NFL balls, one of those being an INT: not ideal. Stafford CARRIES the Lions, rendering Detroit’s QB situation top-tier, but the backup position lowers their grade.

#8. Minnesota Vikings

Starter) Kirk Cousins, Backup) Trevor Siemian

The Vikings WON. They solved their chaotic three-QB situation by doing away with Keenum, Bridgewater, and Bradford. They ended up with Kirk Cousins, a top-tier QB. In each of his last three seasons, he threw for over 4,000 yards and had a QBR above 93. He was the face of the Redskins, and he’ll bring that “it” factor to Minnesota. But Cousins’ shortcoming is that he hasn’t won many games. His current record is 26-30-1, and he hasn’t won a single playoff game yet. Cousins’ lack of wins isn’t purely his’ fault, however, as the NFC East was a tough division, and the Redskins roster was below average. Cousins is clearly a good QB, but Trevor Siemian is a mediocre backup. He couldn’t prove himself on the Broncos, but he isn’t terrible. Still, Minnesota’s QB situation is very stable.

#7. Pittsburgh Steelers

Starter) Ben Roethlisberger, Backup) Landry Jones, Mason Rudolph

Big Ben is the second best QB in the AFC behind Brady. He’s been in the last four Pro Bowls. But we can’t overlook his idealistic situation. Let’s just look at the offensive weapons he’s had: Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster at WR, Le’veon Bell at RB. And don’t forget about the Steelers O-line either. He’s obviously a top-tier QB, but he’s not the sole player who’s led the team to success. Landry Jones/Mason Rudolph at backup QB isn’t bad. The Steelers QB situation is great. However, Roethlisberger isn’t the outstanding player on the Steelers’ roster, unlike the five QBs at the top who are easily the best players on the their respective rosters.

#6. Philadelphia Eagles 

Starter) Carson Wentz, Backup) Nick Foles

Carson Wentz strikes me as a hard-working guy, even among other NFL players. I don’t doubt he’ll make an epic return next season. He played at an MVP level before his injury, as he racked up 33 TDs in 13 games. He led the League in TDs, despite playing in only 13 games. Nick Foles also WENT OFF in the Playoffs, and he deservingly won Superbowl MVP. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. First, Carson Wentz might not come back week one due to his continuing ACL injury. Second, Nick Foles isn’t necessarily a starter-caliber QB. We can’t overlook the fact that his regular season QB rating was 79.5, where he completed only 56.4% of his attempts. If Wentz doesn’t recover in time, the Eagles coaching staff will have to thrown in Foles onto the field week one, and that scenario wouldn’t be ideal.

#5. Atlanta Falcons

Starter) Matt Ryan, Backup) Matt Schaub

Matt Ryan is on his way to the Hall of Fame. A few more Pro Bowl caliber years, and he’ll be a first-ballot HOFer. Remember, he’s still only 33 years old. Matty Ice is very consistent. His completion percentage in the past six seasons is 67.2% (2398/3571), and his playoff record is a decent 10-10. He has a lot of experience under his belt, yet another potential 6-7 years to play. As for the 2018 season, the Falcons can definitely count on Matt Ryan to perform well. Furthermore, the Falcons also have potentially the best backup QB in the NFL. In his 13 year career, Matt Schaub has started in 92 games, and he’s recorded a high 63.9% completion rate. He’s an old-school QB, but his stats compare to a decent NFL starter. A spectacular starter in Matt Ryan and a seasoned backup in Matt Schaub puts the Falcons’ QB state in the top five.

#4. New Orleans Saints

Starter) Drew Brees, Backup) Tom Savage

Drew Brees has been in 9 out of the last 10 Pro Bowls. He’s completed over 70% of his passes in each of his last two seasons. Michael Thomas is the only Pro Bowl WR he’s ever had, yet he’s played incredibly for 17 years. With a decent backup QB and a first ballot HOFer at starter, the Saints’ QB situation is near the top of the NFL. Similar to Tom Brady, however, Drew Brees has brought up talks of his imminent retirement. This factor isn’t too notable, considering that Brees will continue to play at a high level as long as he’s on the field, but it does show that Brees is aging. The top-4 teams on this list are very close together, and the Saints aren’t in the top-3 solely because their QB situation doesn’t carry their roster as much.

#3. New England Patriots

Starter) Tom Brady, Backup) Brian Hoyer

The Patriots’ QB situation is almost interchangeable with the first place spot. The future HOFer has been the best QB of the 21st century if not of the history of the NFL. Only a once-in-a-lifetime legend like Brady wins FIVE Lombardi Trophies. However, Tom Brady himself has made comments about his impending retirement. Prior to the 2017 season, he showed a “I’m not thinking about retirement” kind of demeanor, but following his Superbowl loss, he has voiced some understandable fatigue. Also, more importantly, Brian Hoyer is a below-average backup, and Belichick’s role in the organization is equal to that of Brady, so the Pats aren’t #1 on this list. All in all, Tom Brady is still the best QB in the NFL, but 1) the Pats’ weakness at the backup spot without Jimmy G or Brissett, and 2) mastermind Belichick’s overshadowing of the QB situation render New England’s QB situation third in the NFL.

#2. Green Bay Packers

Starter) Aaron Rodgers, Backup) Brett Hundley

Aaron Rodgers is a top-3 QB in the NFL. He pulls crazy plays super often. He has proven himself to be a consistent top-3 QB every year. He can scramble, throw on the run, and make big time in-pocket plays; he’s super versatile. Rodgers’ value was on full display last year as the Packers broke apart without him. Rodgers manages to lead a mediocre team to great success even without many offensive weapons. Also, Brett Hundley now has some NFL experience, as he played decently with the help of Devante Adams. He was an average starter last year, and his responsibilities will lessen as he’ll be playing as backup in 2018. With Aaron Rodgers healthy and a good backup QB in Hundley, the Packers’ QB situation is near the top.

#1. Seattle Seahawks

Starter) Russell Wilson, Backup) Austin Davis

The Seahawks’ QB position is their only real strength. Russell Wilson has absolutely CARRIED the Seahawks over the past few years. Russell has NEVER had a Pro Bowl wide receiver, yet his passer rating has been top 10 in the NFL in five out of his six seasons. He threw for 34 TDs last year (1st among all QBs), and he ran for 586 yards (2nd among all QBs).  Without Russell’s rushing last year, Seattle’s run-game would have been dead last in the League, as he contributed to 35.9% of the team’s run-game. Russell Wilson does EVERYTHING for the Seahawks, so he’s clearly under-appreciated. Although he doesn’t pass as cleanly, Russell is the same caliber-player as Brady and Rodgers because he can throw-on-run, run, and create plays out of nothing. Russell hasn’t missed a single start, and Austin Davis’ stats aren’t bad. Russell Wilson is more valuable to the Seahawks than is any other player to any of the 32 NFL teams, and he’s incredibly consistent, so the Seahawks’ QB room is the best in the NFL.

 

AKIRA’S OVERVIEW

The Top

1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Green Bay Packers

3. New England Patriots

4. New Orleans Saints

Excellent conditions

5. Atlanta Falcons

6. Philadelphia Eagles

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Minnesota Vikings

Good situation

9. Detroit Lions

10. San Francisco 49ers

11. Las Vegas Raiders

12. Houston Texans

13. Los Angeles Chargers

14. Indianapolis Colts

Average: Some improvements can be made 

15. Los Angeles Rams

16. Washington Redskins

17. Dallas Cowboys

18. New York Giants

19. New York Jets

20. Cleveland Browns

21. Tennessee Titans

Not reliable

22. Arizona Cardinals

23. Denver Broncos

24. Carolina Panthers

25. Miami Dolphins

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

27. Kansas City Chiefs

28. Cincinnati Bengals

QB situation is looking weak for 2018

29. Baltimore Ravens

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

31. Buffalo Bills

32. Chicago Bears

 

That was my IN-DEPTH ranking of each NFL team’s QB situation. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!!

 




 

Featured image from: Benoit, Andy, and Albert Breer. “The NFL’s Top 21 Quarterbacks for the Rest of 2017.” SI.com. Accessed August 03, 2018. https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/10/18/nfl-quarterbacks-qb-rankings.

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