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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QB-STARTER RANKINGS FOR 2021
- Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
- Aaron Rodgers, Packers
- Josh Allen, Bills
- Lamar Jackson, Ravens
- Russell Wilson, Seahawks
- Justin Herbert, Chargers
- Kyler Murray, Cardinals
- Dak Prescott, Cowboys (re-signs with the club)
- Deshaun Watson, Jets (presumptive offseason trade with HOU)
- Matthew Stafford, Rams
- Ryan Tannehill, Titans
- Tom Brady, Buccaneers
- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
- Derek Carr, Raiders
- Matt Ryan, Falcons
- Kirk Cousins, 49ers (presumptive offseason trade with MIN)
- Baker Mayfield, Browns
- Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vikings (free-agent signing, after Cousins trade)
- Jameis Winston, Saints
- Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
- Drew Lock, Broncos
- Joe Burrow, Bengals
- Zach Wilson, Texans (No. 2 overall pick; presumptive offseason trade)
- Jared Goff, Lions
- Jacob Eason, Colts (ready to lead the win-now Colts in Year 2)
- Sam Darnold, Washington Football Team (presumptive offseason trade)
- Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
- Daniel Jones, Giants
- Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots (free-agent signing)
- Jalen Hurts, Eagles
- Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins