Birdfeed: Vol. 22.3; Jalen Hurts and QB Rankings

Jalen Hurts again looked outstanding (for one half, at least), and the Eagles offense continued to look dominant (for one half [again]).

Instead of dissecting why the Eagle offense has disappeared in the 2nd half, let’s just assume it’s because they’re bored. With that solved, let’s assess the quarterback position across the NFL.

I recall thinking as recently as last year that the NFL was in a great place with all the capable quarterbacks throughout the league. Through three weeks this season, it appears competent quarterbacking is in short supply. Let’s go through and classify the current crop of NFL quarterbacks.

Please be advised, these rankings are based entirely on what has been accomplished to date in their respective careers and does not consider age, contract or injury history. While I tried to rank them in descending order, the players were separated more by class than from top to bottom. Finally, these rankings are 100% official. “As immutable as gravity.”

The Elite.

Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady – Despite new cast members and injuries, they are still the two best to ever do it. Even in the twilight of their careers no one else is doing it better.

Patrick Mahomes – The armor has taken some hits over the past year, but there’s no one scarier at the position right now.


Almost there.

It’s not a matter of “if” these guys will reach elite status but rather “when.”

Justin Herbert – Despite Keenan Allen’s absence, Herbert was off to a great start. Then his ribs broke and his coach decided to let him get assaulted for the next 72 minutes of game time.

Lamar Jackson – The most dynamic player in the league. Despite his outstanding play he remains dogged by postseason struggles. It’s not entirely fair but the business is winning in the postseason.

Joe Burrow – Though his season has gotten off to a bumpy start and fallen short of expectations, I doubt you could find one person worried about his future (outside of being David Carred by his offensive line).


Jack Nicholson Nod.gif

Trevor Lawrence – Gets better every week. Makes every throw. Moves well. Great hair.


Didn’t See That Coming.

Jalen Hurts – I thought he was a homeless man’s Lamar Jackson. Turns out he’s almost as lethal as Lamar and maybe even a better passer. I was 20/80 on Hurts as a franchise QB entering the season. I’m 90/10 right now. It’s only been three weeks but wow. Philadelphia may have its franchise quarterback AND a treasure chest of draft capital.

Baker Mayfield – The complete opposite of Hurts. I never thought he would be Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, but Tony Romo or an upgraded version of Jeff Garcia was a pretty safe bet. It didn’t work out in Cleveland. It happens. But Mayfield hasn’t looked good in Carolina either.


Mixed Signals.

Kyler Murray – When he’s engaged, he’s every bit as electric as Mahomes and Jackson. Unfortunately, he rarely plays to his potential for a full 60 minutes. I don’t entirely blame Murray for this because his coaches do him no favors. Hopefully he has a new boss next season.

Dak Prescott – He’s good. He’s bad. He’s fine. It’s year 7. Time for Dak to figure this out.

Tua Tagovailoa – You are welcome to crown him as Miami’s savoir. I’m going to enjoy the moment and wait patiently.


Fading Fast.

Derek Carr – Carr is fading from hype and heightened expectations. Maybe it’s the new offense and coaching staff, or maybe he’s just not very good and Tom Brady was right.

Russell Wilson – He has all the weapons and is no longer “tied down” by Seattle’s ground approach. No more excuses and still the play is a far cry from the glory days. It’s not even the rough start in Denver. The last season in Seattle wasn’t great.

Matt Ryan – Ryan can’t even muster the heroic 4th quarter backdoor cover anymore. I don’t know that he was the wrong choice over Carson Wentz, but I think Indy’s ceiling was higher with Wentz.



We know who these guys are. For better or worse, we know what we’re getting and that’s okay. We can’t have 32 Tom Bradys running around. There are different roles in life and decent quarterbacks who can fill out the rosters are always in demand. There’s no Brady if there’s no one for him to beat.

Matthew Stafford – His Ceiling is the highest of this group, as we saw in the postseason, but he’s not getting there on a weekly basis.

Kirk Cousins – Keep him out of prime time and he’s probably a top ten quarterback.

Jared Goff – It’s early, but Goff is trending toward a career year. A more than adequate NFL quarterback for a playoff contender. If he were a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick we would all think more highly of Mr. Goff.

Carson Wentz – He’s never coming back. 2017 Wentz is gone. We know what Wentz is now. He’s going to make plays. He’s going to take unnecessary sacks and commit mind-numbing turnovers.

Jimmy Garoppolo – Don’t ask him to win you any games and you’ll love him. Need him to win you a shootout? Ugh.


Shoulder Shrug.

Mac Jones – Maybe he needs more talent on the outside. Probably needs a better offensive coaching staff. It could happen. Or maybe he’s Trent Dilfer.

Trey Lance – We have to wait another year to figure out… everything.

Davis Mills – It’s a been a disappointing start to Mills’ sophomore season. Some said he’d have been the first quarterback taken in the 2022 draft. As of right now, that’s not saying much.


Need Time, but Probably a No From Me Dawg.

Cooper Rush – The Dallas offense scores two touchdowns in consecutive weeks and everyone falls in love with the QB? When did 14 points become so enticing?

Justin Fields – I want to like Fields, I really do. But he’s attempted less than 18 passes in every game this season and has still managed to throw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns.



Jameis Winston – Bill Simmons is right. 30/30 Winston was way more fun. Be you, Jameis.

Ryan Tannehill – The career resurgence kinda/maybe/definitely happened in Tennessee before it came crashing down over the last nine months. Now he’s just playing out the string before Malik Willis or a 2023 draft pick takes over.

Daniel Jones – Never really made sense from the jump. Doesn’t make sense now. Won’t make sense this week against the Bears.


You’re Still Here?

Joe Flacco – Injury replacement. Excused.

Mitch Trubisky – I love Mike Tomlin. No idea why he hasn’t seen enough of Trubisky yet. Week 1 was more than enough. It’s only gotten worse.

Geno Smith – Always looks competent in that first appearance each season then it’s not great. Maybe alternate starts with Drew Lock?

Marcus Mariota – Most entertaining of the group and it’s not close.

Jacoby Brissett – Awkward situation replacement. Excused.


Thursday Night Pick; Bengals -3.5

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