Over the coming weeks, I’m going to compile a Top 10 list for each position across the NFL.
Time permitting, we’ll even get to the big boys on the front line who control the trenches and initiate much of what happens on both sides of the ball.
However, it only seems right that we begin with the golden boys – the quarterbacks.
For reference, the list is not a who’s best but more so a list of who I’d want entering season 2019/20.
1 PATRICK MAHOMES (Kansas City)
5,000 yards, 50 touchdowns, only a dozen picks. An MVP trophy. A possession away from a Super Bowl in your first season as starting QB. What a run Mahomes had last season and thanks to his age and the variety of offensive advantages as well as personnel options at his disposal, Mahomes lands at No. 1.
2 TOM BRADY (New England)
Brady has GOAT status, no doubt, but the end eventually comes and those who know say Brady’s play certainly dipped somewhat last season. He’s still easily able to guide his team to a Super Bowls but he’s 42 real soon and not even fellow GOATs (MJ, Kobe, Peyton) could stop father time from intervening.
Having said all that, thanks to Brady and Belichick, the Patriots are still the safest bet in all of football – so doubters beware.
3 AARON RODGERS (Green Bay)
I’m an Aaron Rodgers fan. But he needs a big season. Things seemingly got stale in Packerland with former coach Mike McCarthy and the departure of some favourites but Rodgers now has offensive guru Matt LaFleur on board and he still has stud wideout DaVante Adams to throw to. Rodgers’ skillset is almost unmatched, it’s time for him to remind us how magical he can be.
4 DREW BREES (New Orleans)
40 seems to be the new 30. We know what Tom Brady is doing but Brees is doing similarly amazing things, minus the Super Bowl rings.
With Sean Payton buzzing in the plays and Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara as friends, Brees has big advantages on most opponents. 32 TDs and almost 4,000 yards is the norm for Brees, even at age 40.
5 JARED GOFF (Los Angeles Rams)
Surprise number one. Goff is here more for his situation than his personal ability. Sure, he can hurl the rock and his timing and accuracy is pretty to watch but coach Sean McVay gives Goff options, confidence and rhythm in a sport littered with uncertainty and pressure.
Todd Gurley’s health will be crucial to Goff’s continued success as well as quality play from Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and the returning Cooper Kupp. Their defence should help things, too.
6 ANDREW LUCK (Indianapolis)
I’m always hesitant about locking Andrew Luck in for anything but his play last season was consistently excellent.
He posted better than 4,500 yards and threw 39 TDs last season but his control and safety with the ball was the highlight.
The hesitancy comes from his health concerns, as is the case right now with a ‘lower leg ailment’ that he’s dealing with as camp opens.
7 CAM NEWTON (Carolina)
Another with health issues, when healthy, Newton is like no other QB we’ve ever seen. His running capability and goal line work is a difference-maker and now he and RB Christian McCaffrey are in sync things look bright. DJ Moore and Chris Hogan will stretch the field, let’s hope Newton’s shoulder is healthy enough to utilise them because we know the rest of his game is special.
8 PHILIP RIVERS (Los Angeles Chargers)
As soon as Rivers begins to miss practice because of lower back issues we know it’s time to remove him from the list. Rivers commutes from San Diego to LA a few times per week in a pimped-out ‘office on wheels’. Seriously, Rivers play is still excellent, aided by his contingent of weapons, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon.
9 DESHAUN WATSON (Houston)
Some say Watson has the Mike Jordan factor about him – that’s a stretch in any language but he has done some pretty nifty things in his brief NFL career to date. His agility and speed is dangerous and his connection with DeAndre Hopkins is on point. The former Clemson superstar should catapult up the QB rankings this season.
10 BAKER MAYFIELD (Cleveland)
The popular pick thanks to major buzz around the Browns. The acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr to accompany Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku makes Cleveland’s offence real attractive – on paper. Forget about the weapons, whether Mayfield is that guy or not is the only true burning question in the Dawg Pound.
Some are swept up in the hype, some (like me) are expecting some sophomore struggles. Either way it will be must-see TV every time the Browns strap up their helmets.
(Most unlucky: Carson Wentz – injury worries and Russell Wilson – lack of support)