BATSBY Sports takes its first crack at the quarterback-starter rankings for 2021, a listing that comes with a few notable caveats:

a) Let’s assume the embattled Texans (currently no 1st- or 2nd-round picks in the upcoming draft) wisely pit the Jets and Dolphins against one another leading up to Draft Day, as both New York and Miami move heaven and earth to land QB Deshaun Watson in a trade.

As luck would have it, both teams boast top-3 picks this April and possess a robust amount of draft capital over the next three years.

Hence, new Texans GM Nick Caserio should have an easy bidding war on his hands … with the Jets eventually winning the Watson Sweepstakes.

b) Let’s assume the Lions maintain Jared Goff for their Week 1 roster, even though exploratory trade talks with Indianapolis and Washington would be the smarter play.

(Neither playoff team’s likely to corral QB prospects Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance or even Mac Jones in the April draft, short of a monumental pre-draft trade.)

c) The Cowboys stick to their publicly professed word and re-sign Dak Prescott to a long-term contract (something in the AAV range of $40 million).

d) The Niners throw us a curveball sometime in February or March by trading for Kirk Cousins, who has a pre-existing relationship with San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan.

e) The Saints re-sign Jameis Winston and promote him to full-time starting quarterback, in the wake of Drew Brees’ presumptive retirement.


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  1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
  2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
  3. Josh Allen, Bills
  4. Lamar Jackson, Ravens
  5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
  6. Justin Herbert, Chargers
  7. Kyler Murray, Cardinals
  8. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (re-signs with the club)
  9. Deshaun Watson, Jets (presumptive offseason trade with HOU)
  10. Matthew Stafford, Rams
  11. Ryan Tannehill, Titans
  12. Tom Brady, Buccaneers
  13. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
  14. Derek Carr, Raiders
  15. Matt Ryan, Falcons
  16. Kirk Cousins, 49ers (presumptive offseason trade with MIN)
  17. Baker Mayfield, Browns
  18. Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers
  19. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vikings (free-agent signing, after Cousins trade)
  20. Jameis Winston, Saints
  21. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
  22. Drew Lock, Broncos
  23. Joe Burrow, Bengals
  24. Zach Wilson, Texans (No. 2 overall pick; presumptive offseason trade)
  25. Jared Goff, Lions
  26. Jacob Eason, Colts (ready to lead the win-now Colts in Year 2)
  27. Sam Darnold, Washington Football Team (presumptive offseason trade)
  28. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
  29. Daniel Jones, Giants
  30. Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots (free-agent signing)
  31. Jalen Hurts, Eagles
  32. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins