ESPN polled NFL Execs, Coaches and Players for Top 10 Qbs for the 2020 season

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  1. South Paw

    South Paw TrustTheProcess

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  2. South Paw

    South Paw TrustTheProcess

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    1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
    Age: 24 | Highest ranking: 1 | Lowest ranking: 4

    Nearly 30 voters were polled, and all but one picked Mahomes first overall.

    "Everything else is a grab bag," one AFC exec said. "He's the face of the league." That was evident by the Chiefs' signing Mahomes to a record 10-year, $450 million extension Monday, with a total package that can push the 12-year pact (he had two years left on his rookie deal) up to $503 million.

    It's easy to detail Mahomes' dominance statistically and anecdotally:

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    • second player to win a Super Bowl and MVP in his first three seasons

    • QB ratings of 113.8 and 105.3 as a two-year starter

    • 304 yards and 2.53 passing touchdowns per game

    • arm talent to complete passes from all bodily contortions

    • leads NFL with 22 touchdown passes of 20-plus yards downfield and 17 touchdown passes on the run since 2018
    But the biggest impact is creating big plays when he decides it's time to win -- like uncorking a 44-yarder to Tyreek Hill from deep in the pocket on third-and-long in the Super Bowl.

    "Talk to 31 defensive coordinators, they'd all say they are least excited about playing this guy," one NFL veteran assistant coach said. "Only getting better with dealing with defenses, too."

    The Chiefs rave about his relatability and leadership, as well.

    One knock is unnecessary risk-taking.

    "Our coach came in our meeting room [before a Chiefs game] and said, 'Listen guys, his model is touchdown or touchback,'" one veteran NFL cornerback said. "He's gonna launch it. You saw it in the Super Bowl. They keep airing it out. So there are chances to get him."


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    2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
    Age: 31 | Highest ranking: 2 | Lowest ranking: 9

    Wilson dominated the second-place voting as he leans into his prime years, gaining strength while his peers age. He's coming off one of his most efficient seasons with a 6.2 touchdown-interception ratio, tops for anyone who also ranked top-10 in passing yardage.

    He was the only NFL quarterback to rank top-five in QBR inside the pocket (fifth, 67.9) and outside (fourth, 82.8).

    "He can do it all: stand in the pocket, extend plays, kills you on the move, has the magic to him," one veteran offensive coach said. "Stage gets bigger, he plays better."

    Wilson thrives off unscripted plays so much that some don't consider him a rhythm-and-timing passer. Former Seahawks receivers are known to have to recalibrate their route running after years of just scrambling to get open in Seattle.

    But who really cares when Wilson is tied with Mahomes with 17 touchdowns under duress since 2018, despite having a lesser supporting cast?

    "He's never really had a top-10 receiver, his tight ends are just OK, line isn't great, and yet he keeps doing it every year," one NFC exec said.

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    3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
    Age: 36 | Highest ranking: 2 | Lowest ranking: 7

    What's shocking about the Packers' decision to draft Jordan Love is that Rodgers isn't a fringe guy. He was No. 3 on this list by a wide margin, and voters swear it's not based on reputation.

    "When he's humming, he's still Tier 1, without question," one NFL coordinator said. "The things he can do, maybe outside Mahomes, nobody can do. He's lost a little bit of athleticism. But when he can move around, and beat you inside out, holy s---, he's scary."

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    Rodgers' numbers from the past few years are just OK. The Packers looked woefully underwhelming at times in 2019. A player who used to reside annually in the 100-plus QB rating tier sagged to 95.4 last season.

    But many believe Rodgers will be much better in Year 2 of Matt LaFleur's system -- and expect a huge response in light of the Love pick. Rodgers was Mahomes before Mahomes with the arm strength, and stories of his football mind are legendary. He can still attack anywhere on the field on split-second reaction plays.

    One prominent NFL defensive coach recalled Rodgers trying to toy with him between each snap, looking his way from the line of scrimmage and saying, "Call it," knowing he's got the perfect counter for whatever the defense does. Call it justified arrogance.

    "One time our safety ran out with the running back, Rodgers checked into something to beat the safety, then proceeded to kill him all game," a veteran NFL defensive back said. "He notices matchups like no other."

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    4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
    Age: 24 | Highest ranking: 3 | Lowest ranking: 11

    Watson was engaged in a tight race with Drew Brees for much of the voting, but he was consistently in the top six because of his toughness and the dynamic plays he creates.

    "That Buffalo playoff game -- they won that game because of that guy. Nobody else," one veteran offensive coach said. "They had at least three free runs on him late and he made huge plays."

    Added an NFC exec: "He's running for his life and he's still doing some special stuff."

    That has played out in Watson's late-game consistency. Watson has 10 game-winning drives since 2018, the most of any NFL quarterback during that span.

    One NFC exec says Watson isn't an easy evaluation because his skill set isn't overwhelming and he isn't a true pocket passer, but he just "makes things happen. He's comfortable doing what he's been doing all his life."

    Scouts see shades of Wilson, with slightly less in the instincts and lower-body strength departments. He reduced his sacks from 62 to 44 in 2019, and finished sixth in completion percentage (67.3).

    "Deshaun needs a little more structure," one coordinator said. "Not as dynamic as Russell or Kyler [Murray] with getting it done. He plays too much streetball and they let him. I don't see him coached."

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    5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
    Age: 41 | Highest ranking: 2 | Lowest ranking: 11

    This is where the QB picture gets complicated. Brees got many top-three votes because his pocket savvy is unreal and he's working with a true guru in coach Sean Payton. He just posted a career-high 116.3 passer rating and can complete 70% of his passes without sweating at this point.

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    But more than a few people noticed when Taysom Hill had to enter a game just to throw a deep ball. Even so, Brees was eighth in air yards per attempt, at 8.8.

    "The system he's in is so ideal that I don't necessarily feel like he's dropped off that much," an AFC scout said. "I would be more concerned about Brees than Brady if I were a DC."

    It's all about anticipation and smarts at this stage, and since the ball is usually out of his hands in two seconds or less, arm strength can be minimized.

    Many expect Brees to be off this list next year, thanks to retirement.

    "I think this is it, so we should all enjoy it," one NFL veteran linebacker said. "He's got the weapons around him to win another one."
     
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  3. South Paw

    South Paw TrustTheProcess

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    6. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
    Age: 23 | Highest ranking: 2 | Lowest ranking: 12

    Jackson's wide voter range is hardly a surprise for a player facing label issues since his Louisville days.

    "I need to keep him high -- the kid played his ass off last year," one AFC exec said. "I hope he keeps doing it."

    Some passing purists have a tough time putting Jackson too high, despite his No. 2 ranking in QBR (77.5) inside the pocket, and throwing 11 touchdowns under pressure. They believe, despite playmaking perhaps never seen before and improving accuracy, that the Ravens' offense built around his skill set masks a passer who is good but not great.

    "He is who he is -- always a threat, but as more teams figure out Baltimore's offense, they won't be as caught off guard," an AFC exec said. "He'll eventually make plays with his arm, but he's not a guy you'd have a lot of confidence in doing it consistently."

    An NFC exec says the "figure Baltimore out" argument is cute -- until Jackson runs through your gap assignment. Multiple coaches admitted Jackson simply made them look "stupid" last season.

    "Defenses thought they were ready for him last year and he bludgeoned them," the AFC exec said. "He's doing things at a crazy elite level that no one has seen. They do such a good job with him, and he still wakes up a better athlete than 99% of the league."

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    7. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Age: 42 | Highest ranking: 1 | Lowest ranking: 12

    Serious questions persist about whether Brady's declining arm can drive the ball over 16 games.

    "I wasn't prepared for what I saw last year," one NFC exec said. "It's all anticipation and pre-snap ability now."

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    Added a veteran NFL quarterback: "If he was still in New England, not sure I would put him on [the list]. I put him on there because he's in Tampa, he's got weapons. He processes at such a high rate that when you have pieces around you, it still works."

    Brady posted one 300-yard game after Week 6 last season, prompting speculation about whether the New England breakup wasn't one-sided. But Brady's pre-snap wizardry is still good enough to spark a Peyton Manning late-career arc.

    "Tampa is gonna be really f---ing good," one NFL coordinator said. "Good defense, more weapons than Brady's ever had -- very similar to when Peyton went to Denver."

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    8. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
    Age: 27 | Highest ranking: 2 | Lowest ranking: 14

    We went into this exercise thinking Wentz vs. Dak Prescott would be tight, but it wasn't all that close, with Wentz holding a lead of nearly a full point over Prescott. However, Wentz is hardly a slam dunk for many. Some left him off their ballots because of the injuries.

    "Such a creator -- no play is dead," an NFL head coach said.

    Added an NFL coordinator: "It's hard to argue he's not top-10. You just wish he had a complete season. If he wins that Super Bowl in Philly, he's consensus top-five, because he's a top-five talent."

    Wentz is elite outside the pocket, where he registered an 87.4 QBR with 7.5 yards per attempt and four touchdowns, production that ranks third leaguewide. Everyone saw that outrageous throw against Washington.

    There's a lot going on with Wentz, who watched Nick Foles win his Super Bowl and has struggled to relate to some teammates. He's a nice guy who has probably isolated with his inner circle too much but is improving in that area.

    He has eclipsed 64% passing once in four seasons, which isn't ideal. But winning four consecutive games to squeak into last season's playoffs with mostly practice-squad players earned him street cred.

    "He can carry a team," one NFL assistant said. "Only a few guys can say that."

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    9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
    Age: 26 | Highest ranking: 4 | Lowest ranking: 13

    Prescott checks a lot of boxes. He averages 10 wins per season, he has never missed a game, he pushed for 5,000 yards last season and, as one NFL coordinator said after a recent film study, he has elite footwork in the pocket.

    All this was enough to earn Prescott a few top-five votes, but he was mostly in the 7-to-12 range, with evaluators citing inconsistent ball placement as a core issue.

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    "He'll get paid as one of the best, but he's certainly not top-five and marginal top-10," one AFC exec said. "That great rookie season set the stage for him to hit another level that he never really was going to hit. The bar got set high and I don't know if he can reach it. Hasn't thrown it as well since [2016]."

    The numbers say Prescott deserves more serious consideration. He was among the top eight in QBR while inside the pocket (67.7), outside the pocket (78.3) and under pressure (25.7). He had the second-most deep-ball completions in the NFL.

    "The evolution of him is great," an AFC assistant coach said. "People said coming out he wasn't the most gifted rhythmic passer on timing, but he's really grown in that building. He's a pure pocket guy now with the ability to win with athleticism, and a lot of quarterbacks out there are not."

    Many cite the Cowboys' loaded offensive depth chart as a comparison for quarterbacks on lesser teams: Imagine what Player X would do in that offense. Prescott has done pretty well with it. But fair or not, one playoff win in four years isn't enough for many.

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    10. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
    Age: 32 | Highest ranking: 4 | Lowest ranking: 14

    Maybe the tightest race of the position was Stafford vs. Matt Ryan at 10. Ryan had slightly more top-10 votes, but Stafford's average overall was higher. Expanding the voting to Ryan vs. Stafford exclusively gave Stafford the edge as well. He scares opposing teams more, can score from anywhere on the field, and where he plays counts.

    "It's the Stafford syndrome -- he plays in Detroit, so he's not in a position to maximize his ability," one NFC exec said. "He's a major talent who'd probably be a top-five quarterback with an established franchise. He can score from anywhere on the field."

    Most everyone agrees Stafford's arm is top-five level. He was on pace for nearly 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns before a back injury cut his 2019 season short.

    He was phenomenal from inside the pocket, with a league-leading 82.7 QBR, 66.2 completion percentage, 8.8 yards per attempt, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions.

    The core issue with Stafford is simple.

    "What has he really done?" asked multiple execs, referring to his 0-3 playoff record.
     
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  4. Malcolmxxx_23

    Malcolmxxx_23 Let's go panthers Supporter

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    Lol watson better than lamar
    Should be
    mahomes
    Baby future baby hair
    Lamar
     
  5. Rekkapryde

    Rekkapryde GT, LWO, GGKTA, BRAVES, HAWKS, N4O...yeah UMAD! Hall of Fame Supporter

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    Yeah the talking heads were discussing this on Wednesday and Thursday on ESPN. They all pretty much had the list the same way you had it. The people who contributed to the list having Lamar at 6 still had concerns over his health and ability to pass from the pocket long term being the excuses.
     
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  6. Malcolmxxx_23

    Malcolmxxx_23 Let's go panthers Supporter

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    If you mvp...its automatic top 3
     
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  7. Chip Skylark

    Chip Skylark Superstar

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    As long as pat is 1 nothing else matters
     
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  8. Marcel pro black 510 ados

    Marcel pro black 510 ados Veteran

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    1. Patrick
    2. Russ
    3. Lamar
    4. Watson
    5. Rodgers
    6. Wentz
    7. Brady
    8. Brees
    9. Dak
    10. Jimmy g
     
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  9. Rekkapryde

    Rekkapryde GT, LWO, GGKTA, BRAVES, HAWKS, N4O...yeah UMAD! Hall of Fame Supporter

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    exactly. and they all pretty much agreed. some weren't tripping over Watson, but Brees and ARod they all were like Nah.
     
  10. Rekkapryde

    Rekkapryde GT, LWO, GGKTA, BRAVES, HAWKS, N4O...yeah UMAD! Hall of Fame Supporter

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    Not terrible but Wentz can't stay healthy and Jimmy G in the top 10 fam? Even as a Niners fan I'm like :francis:
     
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  11. South Paw

    South Paw TrustTheProcess

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    :russ:
     
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  12. South Paw

    South Paw TrustTheProcess

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    That's my top 3 as well. Probably Watson 4 and Rodgers 5 for me
     
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  13. Renkz

    Renkz Superstar Supporter

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    Undisputed first topic, why isnt brady no 1 :francis:
     
  14. BaggerofTea

    BaggerofTea Veteran

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    Kyler Murray already got a couple votes as well.

    Lamar is super overrated on this forum

    Watson is somewhat overrated.

    Id still take Rodgers over both right now. Matt Lafleur is a baby compared to what Rodgers has accomplished in the league.

    Good least. I think Jimmy G is too high :francis: Dak too
     
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  15. Marcel pro black 510 ados

    Marcel pro black 510 ados Veteran

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    Wentz is prob top 5 really if he can stay a little more healthy.

    Jimmy g

    10 a wild card i really don't think jimmy g but its no one else definitely better than him

    Stafford? Matt ryan? Ryan tannehill?

    I said jimmy g 10 off that
     
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