NFL QB power rankings 2021: All 32 starters for Week 1 listed

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Bean: QB power rankings before 2021 season gets underway originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The quarterback landscape is always interesting, but this year sees over a third of the league with new starters. That includes three rookies and multiple high draft picks trying to resurrect their careers elsewhere.

Week 1 Rookie QB Power Rankings: How does Mac Jones stack up?

Getting a feel for where these guys stand is tough until the season actually begins, but here’s a preliminary crack at ranking the league’s starting quarterbacks ahead of Week 1:

32. Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans

Last season's final rankN/A

This isn’t an insult to Taylor. He’s had rotten luck the last couple of seasons. Thankfully he’s healthy, but there’s no way he’ll look impressive playing on that Texans team.

31. Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears

Last season's final rank: 21

No offense to Andy Dalton, but the sooner we see Justin Fields, the more interesting this season will be.

30. Mac Jones, New England Patriots

Last season's final rank: N/A

A lot of us were low on Jones, then changed our tune once the Patriots drafted him. I’m certainly guilty of that, as I think he can and will move quite a bit up this list as a rookie. He looked good in the preseason, even if it was against backups.

Patriots Talk Podcast: What to expect from Mac Jones in 2021, plus Kyle Van Noy 1-on-1 | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

29. Zach Wilson, New York Jets

Last season's final rank: N/A

Tony Romo says Wilson is going to be a top 3-5 quarterback before long. I respect that, but it’s so hard to be that confident in anything involving the Jets.

28. Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Last season's final rank: 31

You could guess where the Giants’ 2020 season was headed when Saquon Barkley went out, but a QB should be able to function without all his weapons. Jones didn’t exactly do that, throwing for only 11 touchdowns in 14 games. Is this his final year under center in New York? 

27. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Last season's final rank: 25

I was not impressed with Tagovailoa at all down the stretch, though some of his numbers were decent. His Total QBR ranked 26th in the league, and while he doesn’t have Ryan Fitzpatrick pushing him, Jacoby Brissett very well could be the best quarterback on that roster.

26. Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

Last season's final rank: 26

After a brutal final season in New York, Darnold will try to turn his career around in Carolina. He’ll certainly have a better supporting cast than he did with the Jets.

25. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Last season's final rank: N/A (injured)

With Trey Lance in town, it’s a matter of when, not if Garoppolo loses his job with the 49ers. The real question is if he becomes a starter elsewhere these next couple of years.

24. Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos

Last season's final rank: 23

After a frustrating season in Carolina (just 15 passing touchdowns in 15 games) Bridgewater is a Bronco. Will he be much better than Drew Lock? I’m guessing no.

23. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Last season's final rank: 18

Hurts impressed at points last season by simply not being Carson Wentz. Now the job is his, but the Eagles are about to have a lot of high draft picks -- including at least two and possibly three firsts -- in the 2022 NFL Draft.

It may be his first full season as a starter, but Hurts will have to use it to convince Philadelphia to not chase a premium QB to replace him. 

22. Carson Wentz, Colts

Last season's final rank: N/A

Wentz was an absolute disaster last season, and it’s now been quite some time since he was tearing it up in 2017. It’s possible he captures some of that magic now that he’s back with Frank Reich, but it’s hard to be particularly high on a player who just threw 16 touchdowns and 15 picks in 12 games.

21. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team 

Last season's final rank: N/A

Fitzpatrick had the Dolphins in playoff position before they switched to Tagovailoa, which still looks like a weird move. Now he’s got a new home and a better chance to last the season, though Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen are intriguing players.

20. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Last season's final rank: N/A

Is this very low for a first overall pick? Yes it is, but it’s not Lawrence’s fault. I’m just not sure about Urban Meyer’s program and that roster. Let’s see how everything fits down there first.

19. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Last season's final rank: N/A (injured)

The Rams rushed Goff out the door, leaving him with a Lions team that will likely be looking for a quarterback in the 2022 draft. The other possibility is that Goff reinvents himself in Detroit, but that isn’t exactly a franchise where players reinvent themselves.

18. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

Last season's final rank: N/A

I’ll say it: I believe in Winston. No, he won’t have Michael Thomas to begin the season, but having had a year in New Orleans to prepare for this job should do him well. Grab him for your bench in fantasy. It’s Winston, so there’s always going to be the high ceiling.

17. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Last season's final rank: N/A

As he returns from a season-ending ACL and MCL tear, Burrow could be in for an extremely exciting second season. The Bengals drafted him a stud receiver in former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase, but in doing so risked another season of an underwhelming offensive line protecting their star QB.

16. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Last season's final rank: 17

Ryan has gone two seasons without throwing for 30 touchdowns; I’m not sure he snaps that skid this year. He’s gained a fantastic weapon in Kyle Pitts, but he’ll feel the loss of Julio Jones.

15. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Last season's final rank: 10

Depending on the day, Cousins is either overrated or underrated. The stats agree with how all over the place he can be: Cousins finished sixth in the league in passing touchdowns, but was 18th in Total QBR.

14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Last season's final rank: 12

Roethlisberger bounced back nicely from a lost 2019 season, as he threw for 33 touchdowns and kept his interceptions relatively in check. His 10 picks were his lowest mark since 2014 (not counting his missed season, of course).

13. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Last season's final rank: 19

Freed from Detroit, Stafford is at long last in a somewhat stable situation. He’ll have to prove that he’s worth the multiple first-rounders the Rams gave to get him.

12. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

Last season's final rank: 13 (Under "Whoever Starts for the Raiders")

Carr might be one of the least-interesting quarterbacks to watch in the league, but he’s still one of the better ones. Hell, he got Nelson Agholor a payday.

11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Last season's final rank: N/A (injured)

Losing last season to an ankle injury didn’t end up costing Prescott, who signed a four-year, $160 million contract that’s nearly all guaranteed in the offseason. We’ll see whether that was the right move for Dallas given that Justin Fields and Mac Jones were on the board for the Cowboys before they traded down.

10. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Last season's final rank: 16

The Browns are moving in the right direction under Mayfield and Kevin Stefanski. Notably, Mayfield cut way back on his turnovers, going from 21 picks in 2019 to eight in 2020. I think there’s still another leap for him to make. 

9. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Last season's final rank: 9

Murray was a popular sleeper pick for MVP last season given that second-year QBs had won it in the previous two years. That projection proved to be a bit ambitious, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he established himself as a top-five guy in Year 3.

8. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Last season's final rank: 11

The best of the 2020 rookies, Herbert enters his second season having lost a target in the passing game (Hunter Henry), but having gained the ability to sleep at night. That’s thanks to the fact that the Chargers went and upgraded their offensive line by drafting Rashawn Slater 13th overall and signing tackle Corey Linsley from Green Bay.

7. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

Last season's final rank: 7

I feel like no one likes saying it, but Ryan Tannehill is awesome. He’s efficient and he doesn’t make mistakes. We’ve now seen enough of it in Tennessee to know this is what he actually is. Now he has Julio Jones.

6. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Last season's final rank: 6

A season can be disappointing without it being bad. That was Jackson’s 2020 campaign, as he obviously wasn’t his 2019 MVP self but still totaled 33 touchdowns. Perhaps first-round receiver Rashod Bateman will help get his passing touchdowns back up. 

5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Last season's final rank: 5

Wilson basically had two separate seasons in 2020. In Weeks 1 through 8, he was an MVP candidate, throwing for 26 touchdowns over seven games with six picks. He threw only 14 touchdowns over the final nine games, adding seven more picks. He’s clearly one of the top QBs in the league, and consistency could earn him some regular-season hardware. 

4. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last season's final rank: 8

Brady wrapped up a solid first season in Tampa by feasting on bad teams late in the regular season, performing well in the playoffs and playing great in the Super Bowl. That’s enough to land him in the top five despite probably not being a top-five QB last season (ninth in total QBR).

3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Last season's final rank: 2

There are leaps and there’s whatever Allen did last year. Going from his second to third year, Allen nearly doubled his touchdown total and finished third in the NFL in total QBR. The question is whether he can take yet another step. If he does, Patrick Mahomes might have his rival for the next however many years.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Last season's final rank: 1

The reigning MVP wasn’t traded or named "Jeopardy" host over the offseason, but his 2020 season was fascinating enough to make up for whatever didn’t happen over the summer. At 37, he’s coming off the second-best season of his career. Even if his future in Green Bay seems murky, his status as one of the best players in the league is rock solid. 

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Last season's final rank: 3

I know Aaron Rodgers was the best QB in the league last year, but Mahomes is still Mahomes. He’s also got himself an offensive line now. Mahomes is set to have another monster season.

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