NFL quarterback rankings: Who stands on top?

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 17: Quarterback Cam Newton
CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 17: Quarterback Cam Newton /

We have the NFL quarterback power rankings. You’re welcome.

Every week, I will be going through the performances of each starting quarterback and ranking them accordingly. Keep in mind, it’s going to be based completely off this season once the real games get rolling. For now, I’m going on expectation.

Want to know who’s going to play well and who will make you chug Clorox? Look no further…

Cade McNown division

32. Blaine Gabbert

Gabbert needs his own division. How the San Francisco 49ers decided to start him is mind-boggling. Some will scream they don’t have a better option, but that seems impossible. How did San Francisco end up with a guy who has a 55.8 career completion percentage with 33 touchdowns and 31 interceptions? Gabbert is like the infected toenail that won’t go away.

Dan McGwire division

31. Trevor Siemian

Alright, we hit the first-time starters. Siemian goes the lowest because he has the lowest ceiling. He wasn’t good in college, wasn’t great in the preseason and has a weak arm. It will be shocking if Siemian doesn’t give way to Paxton Lynch by mid-October.

30. Dak Prescott

Prescott was a fourth-round pick but played like the top-overall selection in the preseason. It doesn’t mean he’s ready for primetime, but he at least showed flashes. If he plays well, the Dallas Cowboys will have quite the controversy.

29. Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo will get four starts and then be nailed to the bench. Still, he has some qualities to make you believe the New England Patriots can survive the first quarter of the season. If all else fails, throw it to Gronk.

Don Strock division

28. Case Keenum

Despite what Jeff Fisher says, Keenum isn’t good. He’s played 16 games in his career, and thrown for 3,032 yards with 15 touchdowns, nine interceptions and eight fumbles. He’s also playing behind a horrible offensive line and no receivers. Yikes.

27. Shaun Hill

After the gruesome knee injury to Teddy Bridgewater, the Minnesota Vikings are relying on Hill. Throughout his career, Hill has shown to be a decent backup. Can he step up and help Minnesota reach the playoffs? Not impossible.

26. Robert Griffin III

Griffin has actually looked really good in the preseason. Perhaps head coach Hue Jackson can get him back on the right path. Griffin has looked lost for years, but the talent in both his arm and legs remain. If he can figure it out, the Cleveland Browns might actually get lucky. Wait, what?

25. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick set career highs in both passing yards (3,905) and touchdowns (31). Don’t expect that to happen again. Fitzpatrick is a decent quarterback with flaws that aren’t going anywhere; immobile and turnover-prone.

24. Sam Bradford

Bradford is somehow regarded as a good quarterback when healthy. The reality? He has tossed 78 touchdowns against 52 interceptions and 24 fumbles. Oh, and he completes 60.1 percent of his throws. Bradford is a low-quality starter and high-quality backup.

Neil Lomax division

23. Marcus Mariota

Mariota had an intriguing rookie season. He threw for 2,818 yards and 19 touchdowns (with 10 picks) and at times, looked comfortable throwing from the pocket. With an improved running game behind him and a nice offensive line, his stock could really soar in 2016.

22. Brock Osweiler

Osweiler is going to be an incredible story to watch. He ditched the Broncos during free agency and went for $72 million and the Houston Texans. Now, the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. If he plays like he did in Denver, it won’t be pretty. He was far too inconsistent.

21. Jay Cutler

Pundits and fans alike have been waiting for Cutler to break out for years. It isn’t happening. At 34 years old, Cutler is a functioning product of what’s around him. If the team is good, Cutler will be solid. If not, he’s a wreck with bad mechanics. In related news, the Bears are bad.

20. Tyrod Taylor

Taylor signed a new contract (that really is a pay raise in 2016 unless he BALLS, then it’s a long-term deal) and has the pressure that comes along with it. Buffalo is missing a ton of high-end talent on defense, so Taylor has to carry the flag. If the Bills are going to reach the postseason for the first time since the Roosevelt administration, Taylor needs something like 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Roman Gabriel division

19. Jameis Winston

Winston is going to be a great player in this league. The only question is when does the maturation take place? Winston had a fine rookie season that led to a Pro Bowl appearance as an alternate. With Mike Evans and Doug Martin on his side, Winston should take a nice jump forward.

18. Ryan Tannehill

Here’s a guy who get far too much grief. Tannehill threw for more than 4,200 yards last season. Can you name one competent offensive lineman or receiver not named Jarvis Landry on the Dolphins? Me neither. If head coach Adam Gase can scheme correctly and the line isn’t a sieve, Tannehill will surprise this season.

17. Kirk Cousins

Is Cousins going to replicate his 2015 season, which earned him a handsome $20 million franchise tag? Last year, Cousins came off the bench and threw for 29 touchdowns, leading Washington to the NFC East crown. If Cousins does this again, he will be getting a long-term deal.

16. Blake Bortles 

Bortles is the “it” guy this season. Everyone is looking for him and the Jacksonville Jaguars to break out. Last year, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. Sounds great, until you also realize he threw a league-high 18 interceptions. If he gets the turnovers down and the offensive line tries to block someone this year, Bortles will zoom up this list.

Phil Simms division

15. Alex Smith

The ultimate game manager falls right on the middle of the list. Smith is good enough to win a Super Bowl, but he needs a terrific team around him. He has just that in Kansas City. Smith’s athleticism is also underrated. He rushed for 498 yards in 2015 on the way to 11 regular-season wins.

14. Derek Carr

Carr is a quality young quarterback in Oakland, and has the weapons around him to dominate. The Raiders have Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on the outside, and one of the best offensive lines in football. Carr launched 32 touchdowns with 3,987 passing yards. If he can go through progressions more and avoid double-digit interception totals, he could be moving toward All-Pro status.

13. Andy Dalton

Yep, Dalton is middle of the pack. The Bengals need Dalton to continue making progress, something he was doing in spades last season before breaking his thumb in Week 14. Dalton threw for 3,250 yards and 25 touchdowns in his truncated campaign, but lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency. Without Tyler Eifert early, can Dalton be the motor of this offense?

Dan Fouts division

12. Matt Ryan

Ryan is a confounding player. On one hand, he finished fifth in passing yardage last season (4,591) and completed more than 66 percent of his throws. Yet he also threw just 21 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. Ryan does has great arm talent and a great target in Julio Jones. With Atlanta’s offense geared to throw early and often, Ryan should have a big year. The Falcons… not so much.

11. Matthew Stafford

Stafford is in the same boat as Ryan. Despite having thrown for almost 26,000 yards in his seven-year career, the Lions are without a playoff win. The knock has long been that Stafford needs elite receivers around him, but he can dispel that notion in 2016. Stafford has tremendous ability, and it shines through this season.

10. Eli Manning

Manning throws plenty of interceptions, but it’s hard to ignore the volume or yardage and touchdowns he amasses. Going into his 12th season, Manning is still playing at his peak. Last year, the two-time Super Bowl champ totaled 35 touchdowns, a career high. With Odell Beckham Jr. going into his third campaign and Victor Cruz coming back, the best could be ahead for Manning.

9. Joe Flacco

This is admittedly a leap of faith with Flacco. The 31-year-old is coming off a torn ACL and MCL, but he remains one of the best deep-ball throwers in the game. In addition, Flacco has talent around him and should be a perfect fit with speedster Mike Wallace. If he can stay healthy, look for Flacco to light up the AFC North.

Warren Moon division

8. Carson Palmer

Palmer may be getting older at age 36, but he is lucky enough to be surrounded by top-end talent. With Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Michael Floyd and others, Palmer could have another season like his last, which ended in 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns. While his playoff performance left much to be desired, Palmer is a top-10 quarterback.

7. Andrew Luck

If Luck plays like he did the first three seasons of his career, this ranking might be low. In that span, Luck averaged more than 4,000 yards and racked up 86 touchdowns against 43 interceptions. Getting back into his old form won’t be without challenges due to a crummy roster around him, but nobody has more natural talent.

6. Philip Rivers

While the Chargers aren’t going to be challenging for the Super Bowl, they are worth watching because of Rivers. The 34-year-old continues to string together 4,000-yard seasons, something he has done in seven of his last campaigns. Few quarterbacks have done more with less in recent seasons, and this borderline Hall of Famer will continue to do so.

Joe Montana Division

5. Russell Wilson

Wilson has long been seen as a good quarterback and a great athlete. The former Wisconsin star took the next step in 2015, topping 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns for the first time. Wilson is going to be relied upon even more with Marshawn Lynch retired, and he’s ready to take that step. Look for Wilson to be in the MVP conversation.

4. Drew Brees

Brees is aging like a fine wine. The Saints continue to surround him with quality threats and he’s taking full advantage, throwing for at least 4,300 yards in all 10 years with New Orleans. There’s no reason to think that is going to change in 2016. If the Saints are going to make the postseason, it’ll be because of Brees’ right arm.

3. Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger remains the most underrated player in the league. He is seldom talked about in the same circles as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but he absolutely should be. If Roethlisberger stays upright for 16 games, there is a real chance he throws for 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns, despite being without Martavis Bryant.

2. Cam Newton

The reigning MVP is in the prime of his career. Going into his sixth season, Newton only has a Super Bowl win left on is checklist. After producing 45 touchdowns last year, Newton is getting back his top receiver in Kelvin Benjamin. Look for the former Heisman Trophy winner to put forth another Pro Bowl season.

1. Aaron Rodgers

At 32 years old, Rodgers is about to unleash one more time. With Jordy Nelson back in the fold and Eddie Lacy losing weight, the Packers are going to have an unstoppable attack. Factor in tight end Jared Cook coming in via free agency, and Rodgers has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. It would shock few if Rodgers ends up winning the MVP this year.