YouRulz’s Aaron Bland and Jason Walker rank their top 20 Quarterbacks for the 2021 season. They certainly don’t agree on everything, but that’s half the fun. The only thing that’s certain is that whoever is more right will hold it over the other’s head all year – it’s tradition.
- There is a significant drop-off after the top eight QBs, so if you are waiting on QB1 in our draft, then you should note when the sixth QB on your list comes off the board and be ready to pull the trigger, else you will either have to be an excellent streamer of QBs throughout the year, or take a shot at some higher upside QBs as your backup.
- While I have Kyler Murray fifth among QBs, I am slightly lower on him than his current ADP. Part of the reason is that his 11 rushing TDs are so tough to predict/replicate that coming in under that number is likely. For reference, Cam Newton only scored over 11 TDs twice, his rookie year and last season. The other reason is that for all the talk about Kliff Kingsbury’s dynamic offense, they were very average in terms of efficiency, finishing 19th in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).
- Unlike Murray, Lamar Jackson did not have a spike year in rushing touchdowns, despite a 1000 yard rushing season. He also was missing a key piece the offensive line (LT Ronnie Stanley) and has two new wide receivers to throw to (Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman). He also has JK Dobbins at running back to take the focus slightly off of him. Huge ceiling QB week to week.
- On the practice field and on paper, I like Joe Burrow. However, behind the Bengals offensive line, which probably has a ceiling of average if all breaks well, I can’t get too excited about seeing him drop back 30-40 times a game and crossing my fingers he stays healthy all year. Burrow has the tools to be a top 12 QB, and the receivers and running backs to make it work, but the offensive line, which was 24th in Adjusted Sack Rate last year (per Football Outsiders) has a long way to go to hit even that modest ceiling.
- Trey Lance is here because I believe he will end up starting for the 49ers and, when he does, he will score a lot of points per start. When you are looking at QB20-QB25 in Start 1QB leagues, you should draft someone with huge upside that you think will have a chance to be a QB1 by the end of the year - aka a top 12 QB. With the 49ers top 10 caliber offensive line and their ease of schedule, Lance should have a very positive impact when he gets the call this season. If you waited too long and missed on one of the top eight QBs, then you should take a shot at upside with a pick like Lance as your QB2 for the draft.
- Obviously, I’m still really high on Kyler Murray. While I agree with Jason that his rushing totals will drop, 8 TD’s on the ground seems more than realistic. However, I expect his passing numbers to get better with another year in the system. He has weapons coming out of his ears (A.J. Green added in the offseason), and I foresee him adding significantly to his 26 TD passes of a year ago.
- I’ve been pretty vocal that I think Lamar Jackson is over-ranked. He’s going to run less than ever, and I believe his passing will continue to regress. After his MVP year two seasons ago, defenses got the tape on Jackson and started to figure him out. He finished around 10th among QB’s last year, and 8-12 is a safe bet for this season. I expect to see a lot of articles this year titled, “What’s wrong with Lamar Jackson?”
- Tua Tagovailoa has a lot going for him in 2021, assuming the Dolphins don’t swing a deal for DeShaun Watson. Miami has continued to put a lot of weapons around him (added Jaylen Waddle in the first round) and seem to be putting a new emphasis on throwing the ball downfield for once. I also think he’ll run in 4-6 TD’s. He’s a sneaky pick late in drafts.
- It looks like Carson Wentz will be recovered enough after surgery to start at the beginning of the season. Frank Reich loves to throw the ball, and Wentz could have a career rejuvenation in Indianapolis. Last year, Philip Rivers managed an impressive season in this system with half an arm; Wentz doesn’t have a problem getting the ball down the field. He’s got an enormous chip on his shoulder and I think really wants to show the Eagles that they made a big mistake.