Ranking the top 10 quarterbacks ahead of the 2021 season

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers' contract situation might be messy, but he's still among the best quarterbacks in the league. Photo from CBS Sports.

From now until the end of time, there will be no more important position in sports than the quarterback position in football. If you find the best quarterbacks, you usually find the best teams. That’s why we wanted to look into ranking the best quarterbacks in 2021.

This may seem like it’s the same list year after year, but there’s no doubt the hierarchy of quarterbacks has changed over the past year. The best quarterbacks this season aren’t necessarily the same as the best heading into 2020.

Best Quarterbacks for 2021

To be honest, we made some tough decisions with this list, because there are a few that didn’t make the top-10 but had a strong argument for making the cut. Of course, that’s life in the NFL. After selecting only the best of the best, here is our list of the best quarterbacks in 2021. 

10. Dak Prescott

It was tough to place Dak Prescott on our list because he has a chance to be much higher by the end of the season.

It’s fair to be a little skeptical of him coming back from a serious injury. On the other hand, the Dallas offense was one of the best in the league before he got hurt last year. If he can get anywhere close to that level, he’s undoubtedly a top-10 quarterback.

9. Matt Ryan

Age is still just a number with Matt Ryan. He hasn’t gotten a ton of help around him in recent years, especially from Atlanta’s offensive line. But it’s hard to argue with the numbers that he’s putting up.

Even since his MVP year, Ryan is averaging around 4,500 passing yards per season, and that’s coming from a guy who’s been sacked 40-plus times in back-to-back seasons.

8. Kyler Murray

One can debate where Kyler Murray belongs in the quarterback hierarchy, but there’s no denying that he’s moving up the list quickly.


His athleticism and running ability are surely important to what he brings to the table. But Murray is a more accurate passer than people realize, and he’s only going to get better moving forward.

7. Deshaun Watson

If you put his off-field behavior aside and forget about Houston’s terrible record last year, you can’t deny that Deshaun Watson is among the elite quarterbacks in the league.

He put up monster numbers last year, over 4,800 yards and 33 touchdown passes, despite a dreadful offensive line that allowed him to get sacked 49 times. He’s actually had a horrible offensive line throughout his career. Yet, he has the athleticism to run away from trouble and the arm to create plays down the field.

6. Lamar Jackson

It’s impossible, not to mention harsh, to judge Lamar Jackson based solely on his passing skills.

Obviously, he’s not the most gifted passer in the league. But how can you ignore the fact that he’s run for over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons? That skillset gives opposing defenses headaches, which has to count for something.

5. Tom Brady

Yes, he wins more than any quarterback in history and he’s still winning in his mid-40s, but there are still a few quarterbacks who are better than Tom Brady. You have to admit that most quarterbacks would kill to have the skill players that Brady had last season in Tampa.

Of course, you play to win the games, and Brady keeps winning games, so even if his skills have declined slightly and he’s immobile in an era of mobile quarterbacks, he’s still worthy of being a top-5 NFL quarterback.

4. Josh Allen

It’s not just the 2020 season that has shot Josh Allen close to the top of the quarterback hierarchy.

You could see in his first two seasons that he had incredible arm talent and the athleticism to make things happen with his legs. It just so happened that he managed to put everything together last year and start living up to his immense upside.

3. Russell Wilson

Don’t even pretend that Russell Wilson isn’t one of the elite quarterbacks in the league.

He put together an MVP-caliber season in 2020 despite his offensive line being terrible and his team letting him down. He’s proven what he can do over an extended period of time as a passer, a runner, and arguably the smartest quarterback in the NFL.

2. Aaron Rodgers

The reigning MVP is coming off arguably the best season of his career, as he prepares for what could be his final year in Green Bay at age 37.

Look at the roster the Packers have had in the past two seasons. There’s no way that team should have gone 13-3 in back-to-back seasons. Aaron Rodgers is the only reason why the Packers won all of those games and had any chance in the playoffs. With just one exception, he’s as good as it gets, and it’s not even close. 

1. Patrick Mahomes

Forget about the Super Bowl when his offensive line literally collapsed in front of him. In a one-game situation, Patrick Mahomes is still the person you want playing quarterback.

The Chiefs star can make all of the throws you expect a quarterback to make and a bunch of plays that you think nobody can make. He also makes it look so easy.

Mahomes may not win MVP honors every year, but for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to imagine a quarterback who’s better than Mahomes.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 67 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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