It’s not a bold take to suggest 2021 is a great time to be a quarterback. The NFL continues to lean heavily on the pass, and rules protecting the QB have only been increased in recent years.
No position can rival the importance of a quarterback. The reputation of the man under center defines expectations for a franchise.
NFL quarterbacks 2021
Still, while passing records tumble and the NFL tweaks its rules to increase offense, this feels like a particularly special era of quarterbacks.
Tom Brady remains, of course, and other veterans continue to post gaudy statistics. Patrick Mahomes, though, is unquestionably the best at the position in the world and will be the face of the league for years to come.
In a sea of supreme passers, Mahomes brings x-factor in a way few can muster.
Speaking to Betway, former Pro Bowl quarterback Doug Flutie discussed Mahomes’ magic, “I was a shortstop in baseball, so I threw side-arm passes, jump passes. Just get the ball to the receiver however you can.
“But the thing that he does, that I did exceptionally well in Canada and transferred somewhat to the NFL, was when they’d overload blitz you. Everybody’s been coached all their life to get rid of the ball, but what Patrick Mahomes can do, because he’s so darn athletic, is drift and give ground.
Pass Yard leaders:
1. Derek Carr 817
2. Kyler Murray 689
3. Patrick Mahomes 680
4. Justin Herbert 675
5. Tom Brady 655 pic.twitter.com/fonWmm6tHo
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 21, 2021
“He can buy that extra second, second-and-a-half, not scrambling, but drifting away from the rusher coming at him, and still throw a corner route, still throw a post route, still throw a go route.”
“Being able to still throw the ball up the field, even though there’s an unblocked guy coming at you, it creates so many issues for a defense.”
Mahomes obviously isn’t alone in this ability. Kyler Murray is flourishing in the NFL and has exhibited his own gift for evading defenses in the early weeks of the 2021 NFL season. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are both adept with their feet to pull off improbable plays, too.
Quarterback depth this season
There’s no denying the brilliance of Mahomes. Some players reinvent a position in the NFL, and perhaps that’s what we are seeing before our eyes with his likely Hall of Fame career. Looking at the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season, though, Mahomes’ highlight reel plays should not overshadow the historic depth at the position.
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2021
Brady leads the experienced heads even with Philip Rivers and Drew Brees hanging up their cleats in the offseason. Ben Roethlisberger continues to play solid ball for the Steelers. Wilson and Rodgers are fringe MVP candidates. Kirk Cousins could yet lead the Minnesota Vikings to the postseason.
Then there’s a group hitting their peaks. Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are the biggest names right now, but Derek Carr is primed for a great year, and Matthew Stafford should flourish in south California. Ryan Tannehill has become the NFL’s Mr Reliable with the Titans. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have high hopes for 2021. There’s debate over where Baker Mayfield settles in the quarterback hierarchy, but he’s clearly established himself as an NFL starter.
Perhaps most exciting for neutrals, though, is the wealth of young quarterback talent on the way. Murray is already among the elite. Some would put Justin Herbert in the same bracket.
From Mahomes to Brady, from Rodgers to Lawrence, the 2021 NFL season is a showcase for great quarterbacks. High ceiling rookies, grizzled veterans, peaking superstars, pocket passers and mobile phenoms; it’s all on show in the NFL in 2021.