We all love rankings, but what if the heart of the NFL created their own? To preview the 2022 NFL season, ESPN spoke to more than 50 executives, coaches, scouts, and players in the league to help rank the best quarterbacks.
The objective is to identify the best players for 2022. So who are the best players at the moment?
You will notice that all of the players are always the ones with the most favorable odds on sportsbooks in the USA to score points for their teams. Because spectators expect them to be the best and apparently, so does the industry.
Top 1 – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Over the previous two seasons, Rodgers‘ approach to this place has been very evident: he won the MVP award and advanced to the top 10. After two years of average performance by his standards, Rodgers finished third in 2020, behind Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes. One of the most productive two-year periods in the sport’s history followed, with 8,414 yards, 85 touchdown passes, nine interceptions, and a 69.8 percent completion rate on 1,057 pass attempts.
With four MVPs, he is now second only to Peyton Manning (five) as the most-times MVP player.
“He’s the same guy and will continue to be; he’s going to make these receivers better [without Davante Adams],” said one NFC scout. “He deserved more titles, but his defense and special teams let him down.”
Rodgers led the NFL in QBR Total (69.1) for the second straight season in 2021, and his pocket QBR of 72.2 was also the best in the league.
But an NFC coach brought up an interesting criticism of Rodgers: he plays too safe when his team needs the opposite.
“At the end of the descents, with pressure, he is not always going to take risks,” said the coach. “In certain plays where he’s making the easiest plays in a speed lane, and it’s a critical moment, you think, ‘Is he trying to win?'”
Who is on the podium occupying the 2nd and 3rd positions?
2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
This year presents a unique challenge for Mahomes, who has dropped to second place after two straight years as the sole leader in the poll. He will try to get back to the top spot without his best receiver, Tyreek Hill, traded to Miami in the offseason.
Some in the league aren’t even slightly concerned about Mahomes, citing his prior success under coach Andy Reid as proof. The Chiefs have consistently won at least 12 regular season games during Mahomes’ four seasons as the starting quarterback. And after recording a 62.2 last season, he has never finished below the Top 5 on the QBR during that period.
Mahomes has averaged nearly 300 yards per game since 2019, good for second place overall, and his 101 touchdowns during that time rank third. But he also had his problems at times in 2021. Earlier in the year, defenses did a good job covering and forced Mahomes to be patient with check downs and handoffs. After four straight seasons of 8+ yards per attempt, Mahomes averaged just 7.4 per attempt in 2021. And his passing yards per attempt dropped from 8.2 in 2020 to 7.0 in 2021. Patience isn’t always your strong.
3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Allen narrowly edged out Tampa Bay‘s Tom Brady for third place, and many broke the tie based on this thought: if you build a team and play in 2022, Allen helps you win games in more ways than one.
The fact that Allen’s completion rate increased from 52.8 percent in Year 1 to 69.2 percent in Year 3 has received much attention. Yes, this is an acknowledgment of Allen’s continuous growth into one of the best passers in the sport. However, Buffalo also succeeded in everything he put around him, from Stefon Diggs winning his matches to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s system producing simple complete throws, as other NFL offensive coaches have noted.
The concern around Allen is number 422 – his run attempts since joining the league in 2018, including 122 runs last season. The fact that Allen’s 6-foot-1, 108-pound frame can handle sprints to gain a few yards is both a blessing and a curse.