3rd & 3 Podcast Quarterback Rankings: Agree, Disagree or Agree to Disagree?
Nikki, Damian and Jason's QB Rankings Heading Into the 2022 Season
Ranking Quarterbacks is never an easy task. Sure, you can fill in the top and bottom tiers pretty easily, but it starts to get really tough in the middle of the pack. In fact, I would say there is more hair splitting in the mid-tier than any other tier. So much hair splitting that you must come up with your own criteria to justify your ranking. Now, I did ask my co-hosts for their rankings, and we will go into more detail on their ranking criteria on this week’s show (Wednesday at 7pm) but for now I have complied all of our rankings in one big article and I can assure you that Jason and Damian probably have a much more professional approach to their rankings where as I, well if you know me by now you know I just make up my own rules!
I would like to thank Dak Prescott for being the inspiration for this article because I see so many rankings floating around that have Dak ranked as high as 5! (you know who you are) and I thought to myself “ranking Dak at #5 is just as ridiculous as the Cowboys fan base” so on my way to lunch last week I was talking with a friend and we came up with quite a few QB’s ahead of Dak which lead me to ask my co-hosts if they would be up for doing a QB Ranking and because they are the best co-hosts anyone could ask for they of course agreed.
So here we go I will list my QB Rankings and then we will see if Jason and Damian agree or disagree with me!
1. Pat Mahomes
Despite all the headlines about what was “wrong” with him last season he didn’t have a bad season. He had a little bump in his interception rate but his physical talent is unmatched. Mahomes arm talent and ability to throw anything to anyone in any situation cannot be taken away from him. Find me another QB that sees the field and processes coverage the way he does. Go ahead. I’ll wait,
Damian: Disagree - QB #1: Aaron Rodgers (Damian making things difficult already)
2. Aaron Rodgers
Personal feelings aside for Rodgers getting back-to-back NFL MVPs is an amazing feat. One that should probably put Rodgers in the top spot but Rodgers is 38 and less athletic than Mahomes. Still, Rodgers is one of the best to ever step foot on the field and his natural ability to just be straight up lethal in his passing game is something I will never get tired of watching.
Jason: Disagree - QB #2: Josh Allen
Damian: Disagree - QB #2: Pat Mahomes
3. Josh Allen
Sometimes you just have to marvel at the athleticism some guys have and even more so when they are built like a tank. At 6’5 240lbs Josh Allen’s athletic ability is downright impressive and it’s often what helps carry his team to victory. And I mean literally carry as he averaged 6.25 yards per carry on 122 rushes which was just behind Rashaad Penny for the league lead. Not to mention Josh Allen isn’t even done developing as a passer yet so I could see him easily jumping up in my rankings in the near future.
Jason: Disagree - QB #3: Tom Brady
4. Tom Brady
Never bet against Tom Brady. I know so many people say they hate to hear that but the saying exists for a reason…..because it’s true! The few times I have bet against Brady I got burned pretty bad and I am not one to keep putting my hand on a stove thinking I won’t get burned. I also don’t see Brady slowing down or losing any juice. In fact over the past 2 seasons nobody has been more productive when you look at the traditional counting of numbers like yards and touchdowns. You know what saying I hate? “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” because this dog doesn’t let age stop him and he’s already seen every trick in the book.
Jason: Disagree - QB #4: Aaron Rodgers
5. Joe Burrow
Burrow is the real deal. I know I sound like a broken record, but I truly believe that if you watch football long enough you can start to spot the real deal QB’s pretty accurately and within a reasonable amount of time. I don’t like the knock on Burrow that he’s cocky. So what? I don’t think he’s anymore cocky than ANY wide receiver out there and he’s got the talent to back it up. Burrow produced the highest CPOE in the league last season and his chemistry with Ja’Marr Chase will only continue to strengthen over time. Burrow is a polished QB who is accurate and manages the pocket really well.
Jason: Disagree - QB #5: Russell Wilson
6. Justin Herbert
In terms of being athletically gifted I think Herbert is right there with Josh Allen. Herbert isn’t quite the runner that Allen is but he is more a of natural passer. Herbert’s arm is stupid good and he makes throws that I really have to stop and think if anyone else could make them. Unfortunately, Justin Herbert’s 65 yard TD pass against my Giants last season lives rent free in my head. Mostly because I wish the Giants had some QB talent like that. Honestly, you could probably go back and forth between Herbert and Burrow for hours on end before deciding who you should rank over the other but for the sake of sanity and because I rode hard for the Bengals last year (and was right) I will stick with Burrow over Herbert.
Jason: Disagree - QB #6: Deshaun Watson
Damian: Disagree - QB #7: Lamar Jackson
7. Lamar Jackson
7 QB’s in and this is where Lamar falls. The AFC is so stacked and it makes me so sad for the NFC. To say Lamar’s talents are unique is an understatement but I am no word smith so unique is what I will use. There is no talent like Lamar in the NFL and the closest comparison we have to him in terms of ability is Michael Vick. Their rushing abilities are on par but Lamar is a much more accurate passer than Mike Vick. Lamar was the youngest ever to win MVP and his abilities helped to make the Ravens rushing attack the most efficient in the league in 2019 and 2020. While Lamar still has to develop as a passer I do think the Ravens need to help him out and get him a true #1 WR.
Jason: Disagree - QB #7: Matt Stafford
Damian: Disagree - QB #7: Deshaun Watson
8. Matt Stafford
Other than Eli Manning being HOF’er there are very few QB’s I will fight and die on a hill for and Matt Stafford is one of them. The fact that I’ve rolled with Stafford for several in years in Fantasy Football and had great success with him helps his case a little bit too. Over the years Stafford has gotten a ton a negativity and criticism thrown his way and it continued right up until he won the Superbowl. One time someone DM’d me to tell me I knew nothing about football because I said that Stafford was a top tier QB with one of the best arms I’ve ever seen all-time. I should’ve put that troll on blast but something about me being the bigger person and all. Anyway, as we know Stafford is a gunslinging high-risk-high-reward type QB that seemed to be just fine for the likes of Brett Favre but not for Stafford. Stafford’s costly and head scratching mistakes will keep him out of a top 5 ranking but there is no question he belongs in the top 10.
Jason: Disagree - QB #8: Justin Herbert
9. Russell Wilson
If you listen to 3rd & 3 Podcast you know I am a huge Russell Wilson fan and often feel he is underrated and overlooked a majority of the time. I also love a good underdog story and Russell Wilson was the embodiment of an underdog in the 2012 draft. I also love when the underdog proves all their haters wrong and that’s exactly what Russell Wilson did. He may be short but he has one of the best deep passes you will ever see and he consistently connects with his wide receivers no matter who it is. He is a 9x Pro Bowler and a Superbowl Champ that still feels like he has something to prove. If the Broncos are smart they will just let Russ cook.
Jason: Disagree - QB #9: Joe Burrow
Damian: Disagree - QB #9: Justin Herbert
10. Deshaun Watson
Is it really fair to put Deshaun Watson at #10 when we haven’t even seen him play since 2020? Yes, yes it is especially considering that he was a top 5 QB on a Texans team that had one of the most horrid rosters anyone has ever seen. Allegations aside and strictly speaking from a football perspective we can all agree that Watson is a special on-field talent but I think what keeps him lower on a lot of lists is that he just holds on to the ball too long to try and make the play which leads to high sack totals. Let me tell ya, that ain’t gonna fly in the AFC North.
Jason: Disagree - QB #10: Lamar Jackson
Damian: Disagree - QB #10: Dak Prescott
11. Derek Carr
I really debated putting Dak Prescott here and I do think between Carr and Prescott you could easily flip them between #11 and #12. What I find funny is that on a lot of lists Dak Prescott is ahead of Derek Carr but if you look at their stats, they aren’t too far off from each other so that’s why I have them ranked a little closer together. Derek Carr is a fantastic QB who I also feel is fairly underrated and with this re-vamped Raiders roster I think Carr’s best days are ahead of him where as I think some QB’s might take a step back. Derek Carr is a baller and doesn't get nearly enough credit.
Jason: Disagree - QB #11: Matt Ryan
Damian: Disagree - QB #11: Russell Wilson
12. Dak Prescott
Speaking of taking a step back I do think Dak Prescott will take a bit of a step back which may be more due to the circumstances around him rather than his talent alone. Prescott has improved tremendously since 2018 and although he doesn’t have the best arm on this list, he is really good at attacking in tight windows. Dak is a fighter and I give him credit for seemingly being able to just will his team to a win. Of course the knock on Dak is that he just can’t win in the playoffs but that’s ok because in the minds of Cowboys fans he’s already a Super Bowl champ.
Jason: Disagree - QB #12: Derek Carr
Damian: Disagree - QB #12: Kyler Murray
13. Matt Ryan
If this was 2016 Matt Ryan would be at the top of this list. It is kind of crazy to think about just how much the league has changed in a short amount of time and the influx of talent we have seen come into the league at the QB position. Matt Ryan’s stats were down last year but I’m not going to hold that against him too much given the disastrous state of the Falcons. At age 37 a lot of people think it would be tough for him to jump into the top 10 in the years to come but I have a feeling that Matt Ryan is headed for a major bounce back with the Colts. I wouldn’t be surprised if we are talking about Matt Ryan as a top 10 QB this season.
Jason: Disagree - QB #13: Kyler Murray
Damian: Disagree - QB #13: Derek Carr
14. Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray is a tough one to figure out because he is extremely talented but he is also a bit overrated. In three seasons Kyler Murray has never thrown for over 4,000 yards in a season or over 26 TDs in a season and has a 22-23-1 record which is exactly why he’s mid-tier for me. Kyler does have almost 1,800 rushing yards but given the talent listed above that is just not enough to move him up any higher. Let’s see if AJ Green and Hollywood Brown help Murray to improve but either way you look at it, he has to start the season without D.Hop and that alone is tough to overcome.
Jason: Disagree - QB #14: Dak Prescott
Damian: Disagree - QB #14: Matt Ryan
15. Kirk Cousins
Honestly, you could put Jimmy G here too and put Cousins at #16. This is exactly the hair splitting aggravation that goes on when you start ranking these mid-tier QB’s. Both Kirk Cousins and Jimmy G are fine QB’s. They aren’t bad but they aren’t amazing either and they both make some questionable decisions and neither one has the physical traits of say a Josh Allen or Pat Mahomes. While I think Jimmy G has a better supporting cast I have Cousins one spot higher simply because he has the stats over Jimmy G (not the wins)
16. Jimmy G / Trey Lance
See above. Change out Kirk Cousins for Jimmy G and the description is basically the same. Jimmy G does have the wins over Kirk Cousins and that’s because Jimmy G is just better at finding ways to win games. Now, a QB’s ability to win games will take you far and it would appear to be the reason why the Niners keep him around but he just isn’t the long term answer for this team. We don't know yet if Trey Lance is the future but he is an unproven talent and all we have heard is that the Niners have assured him he will start sometime in 2022 so for now my ranking reflects Jimmy G as the week 1 starter.
Jason: Disagree - QB #16: Ryan Tannehill
Damian: Disagree - QB #16: Ryan Tannehill
17. Jalen Hurts
Here again, I think you could swap Hurts for Tannehill if you wanted but I’m going to edge to Jalen Hurts here. He is younger, has much more upside and so far looks like he is on the better team. Remember, the Eagles started last season 2-5 (much to my glee) but he and the Eagles slowly improved little by little last season. Finally sticking to the run game also helped out as well. I’m sick over the Bradberry signing and it kills me to say to say that I think the Eagles will be a really good team this year. I’m not going as far as “dream team” but this fan base should be excited about the upcoming season.
18. Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill is the definition of mediocre to me. All he has to do is hand it off to Henry and watch the magic happen. If only all of our jobs were so easy. Tannehill is also a predictable QB, if he doesn’t hand it off to Henry then you know a short pass is coming. If I can see this coming you know damn well the opposing defense does. Tannehill has had the luxury of Derrick Henry and AJ Brown to make him look amazing and now that Brown is in Philly I think Tannehill's glaring weaknesses will only show even more. I have said many times and I will continue to say that I truly believe Ryan Tannehill holds this offense back tremendously.
Jason: Disagree - QB # 18: Tua Tagovailoa
Damian: Disagree - QB # 18: Jameis Winston
19. Carson Wentz
I really did get stuck here; Wentz, Winston or Goff. None of them really excite me all that much but given the three QB’s I was torn about putting here Wentz came out a ahead. He’s not the best QB and he has an uncanny ability to completely forget how to play football and malfunction at the most critical times however he isn’t the worst QB either. He will often find a way to put his team in a position to win and he threw for 27 TDs and just 7 Ints last season with the Colts. I am intrigued to see how Wentz meshes with Ron Rivera or if Sam Howell will eventually take the reigns but for now I think you can count on Wentz to get the Commanders at least 8 or 9 wins.
Jason: Disagree - QB #19: Jameis Winston
Damian: Disagree - QB #19: Mac Jones
20. Jared Goff
As we all know I am no fan of Jared Goff and neither are my co-hosts for that matter. I keep harping on the fact that he has to prove he can be productive without Sean McVay and so far he’s proved that he can have a solid season. Goff threw for 3,245 yards, 19 TDs and 8 Int’s while having a 67.2 completion percentage which was 9th best in league. The Lions have positioned themselves to have an improved year and all eyes are on Jared Goff.
Damian: Disagree - QB #20: Carson Wentz
21. Jameis Winston
Winston did get the Saints off to a 5-2 start last season before tearing his ACL against Tampa Bay and he finished with 1,170 yards, 14 TDs and ONLY 3 Ints before his injury. The Saints appear to have faith in him, and I do too provided we get a full healthy season out of him. Of course his high TD/Int ratio is to be expected but I’m ok with the high-risk-high-reward QB’s. Eli Manning has conditioned many of us for that.
Jason: Disagree - QB #21:Carson Wentz
Damian: Disagree - QB #21: Tua Tagoaviloa
22. Mac Jones
I thought about putting Tua here but I edge to Mac Jones because he’s got Bill Belichick and if its someone else I try not to bet against it’s Bill Belichick. Mac Jones had a decent year throwing for 3,801 yards, 22 TDs and 13 Ints and while I expect pretty much the same from him this year I do think we will see slight improvements along the way. The Patriots just need to figure out their offensive coordinator situation and it looks like it’s between Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. If I’m the Patriots I’m looking elsewhere for an OC.
Jason: Disagree - QB #22: Justin Fields
Damian: Disagree - QB #22: Trevor Lawrence
23. Trevor Lawrence
I want to believe in this kid, I really do but a disappointing rookie season has left a lot to be desired. Granted, I was never really sold on Urban Meyer and I do think Doug Pederson is the right fit for this team so I expect the Jags as a whole to make vast improvements. The Jags also spent some big money this year to give Lawrence some new toys to play with. I’m not ready for a Quantum Leap here in Jacksonville but I will say Lawrence and the Jags will be leaps and bounds better than last year.
Jason: Disagree - QB #23: Marcus Mariota
Damian: Disagree - QB #23: Justin Fields
24. Tua Tagovailoa
Do you think the Dolphins organization kicks themselves every day for drafting Tua over Justin Herbert? I just don’t know what to make of Tua. If you looked u the definition of a question mark in the dictionary would there just be a picture of Tua Tagovailoa? If not, there should be. Tua is right there with Daniel Jones in terms of make it or break it seasons except there are no excuses for Tua anymore. Tua just can’t throw it deep and considering Russell Wilson is one of the best at the deep ball watching Tua attempt it is just painful. Miami has built their team to cover up Tua’s flaws but will it be enough?
Jason: Disagree - QB #24: Mac Jones
Damian: Disagree - QB #24: Daniel Jones
25. Justin Fields
I can’t put all the blame for Justin Fields underwhelming rookie performance solely on him. The Bears just don’t seem like they know what to do with him or how to construct this offense but maybe a lot of that was on Matt Nagy. Fields played 12 games last season and had a completion percentage of 58.9 but I think he’s got a lot of upside considering his sheer physicality and new slate of coaches should help him improve.
Jason: Disagree - QB #25: Trevor Lawrence
Damian: Disagree - QB #25: Davis Mills
26. Mitch Trubisky
Money Mitch! Man, if that’s your nickname that’s a lot to live up to. I’m glad mine is just NikkiNic. Keep those expectations low. Speaking of low expectations, I have pretty low expectations for the Steelers in general this season. That’s tough to say because betting against Mike Tomlin usually doesn’t work out for me but given the division, they are in it’s tough to be optimistic at the present moment. Let’s also keep in mind that the Steelers offense was built around an aging Ben Roethlisberger who struggled at life trying to throw a football so I do think in the right system Money Mitch can live up to his nickname and the Steelers might be a perfect fit for him.
Jason: Disagree - QB #26: Trey Lance
Damian: Disagree - QB #26: Trey Lance
27. Davis Mills
Surprise! That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of Davis Mills. Davis Mills certainly surprised a lot of us including the Texans organization. The Texans are sold on Mills and the solid season he had last year. The fact that the Texans didn’t even try to get Baker Mayfield after the Deshaun Watson trade went down tells you all you need to know.
Jason: Disagree - QB #27: Mitch Trubisky
Damian: Disagree - QB #27: Zach Wilson
28. Daniel Jones
Heartbreaker right here. Nothing like ranking your own QB in the bottom tier of the QB rankings but Daniel Jones deserves it. No one has a bigger make-it or break-it season than Daniel Jones. The Giants did try to build up their defense while giving DJ some weapons to work with on offense but we are 3 years into this god awful experiment and Daniel Jones just can’t seem to get anything going. I have maintained for a long time now that we have seen all we need to see out of Daniel Jones. I do appreciate John Mara FINALLY coming forward and admitting they have given Daniel Jones zero help on the offensive line so we will see if that helps matters but I’m not holding my breath. I hope Danny Dimes succeeds but if the Giants get off to another rough start I think it's Tyrod Taylor time and I wouldn’t be mad at that.
Damian: Disagree - QB #28: Marcus Mariota
29. Marcus Mariota