Colin Cowherd dropped his rankings of the top 10 quarterbacks in the AFC after the New York Jets completed their trade with the Green Bay Packers for Aaron Rodgers, and had a very notable exception from his count down.
Colin had the usual suspects in his top 5— Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence, followed by Rodgers at no. 6, but it was his 7-10 picks that were the most contentious.
Russell Wilson was the legacy pick at no. 7, but is coming off a season in which he commandeered one of the most disappointing seasons in league history his first year in Denver, accounting for just 16 touchdowns through the air in 15 games, and probably ending Nathaniel Hackett’s chances of ever becoming a head coach again.
Tua Tagovailoa was Colin’s no. 8 ranked QB in the AFC, fresh off a career season leading the league in passer rating and yards/attempt, but one that also saw him miss four games from jarring head injuries, and make many around the league wonder if Tagovailoa's petite stature coupled with his lack of elusiveness will make him vulnerable to more career-ending hits.
Deshaun Watson was Colin’s no. 9, as despite his off-field issues effectively taking two prime years off his career, Watson is still only 27 years old, and at one time was considered one of the four or five best players in the league.
Then Colin’s most divisive pick was Jimmy Garoppolo at no. 10, having just signed with the Las Vegas Raiders. Garoppolo is 40-17 for his career as a starter with a career completion percentage of 67.8, but has never thrown for more than 4,000 yards, was often schemed out of playoff game plans by his own coach Kyle Shanahan, and whose win/loss record doesn’t seem as impressive given the effortless 5-0 record posted by ‘Mr. Irrelevant’, Brock Purdy in Garoppolo’s absence last season.
Check out the full countdown below as Colin explains why Jackson wasn’t in his rankings, saying he ‘doesn’t know what Lamar is’ at this point in his career, as Jackson appears to have peaked as a physical specimen.
1. Patrick Mahomes
“He's got the smartest offensive coach in football, the best tight end in football, an above average offensive line, and they are rolling. That's a locker room with confidence in him playing from a lead or from behind. Nobody plays from behind better in the NFL than Mahomes. He is the best quarterback in football.”
2. Joe Burrow
“He is the only other quarterback in the AFC that situationally I feel can go toe-to-toe with Mahomes. He's not quite as talented but they have an offensive coach, that matters, an elite star number one receiver, and a very highly productive number two receiver and running back. They also added Orlando Brown at left tackle.”
3. Josh Allen
“Say all you want, the kid is wildly productive. Thirty-five touchdowns and he's running for almost 1,000 yards a season. Aaron Rodgers has stopped running. He's 6’6”, he's 250, he leaps over linebackers , and he's done it with a bad o-line and no run-game. He is still wildly productive with the best arm, along with Mahomes, in the NFL.”
4. Justin Herbert
“I've said I think this is the pop year for Herbert. They get Rashawn Slater the elite left tackle back. Good weapons, Kellen Moore— offensive coordinator, and by the way, Herbert, with a lot of stuff to deal with— most passing yards and total touchdowns by any player in league history, including Mahomes with Andy Reid, through three years. This year he pops.”
5. Trevor Lawrence
“They are no longer a rebuilding team. The best acquisition nobody's talking about is Calvin Ridley. They added Calvin Ridley to this team after the gambling issue. Lawrence was 7-2 over his last nine games. They are no longer a rebuilding franchise. Most of their money is on the offensive side."
6. Aaron Rodgers
“Defensive head coach, incredibly young offensive weapons— Breece Hall ,Garrett Wilson, Mecole Hardman, so I do think there's potholes. I also think he's not as committed in the off-season as the previous five quarterbacks, and he's older. I think he's out of his athletic prime, he doesn't run anymore.”
7. Russell Wilson
“With Sean Payton. They have upgraded the offensive line. They've already had good tight ends, star young running back, Sean Payton next to Andy Reid is the sharpest offensive guy in football. I think Russell goes back to doing some basketball on grass and moving better.”
8. Tua Tagovailoa
“Is he going to be healthy? I don't know but when he is he's got a brilliant young offensive coach, and the best speed weapons in the NFL with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Offensive line is okay. I don't know, if you tell me he plays 15-16 games I think they make the playoffs. He probably plays 11 and they don't but I'd put him eight.”
9. Deshaun Watson
“They've got a very good offensive line, an offensive coach, and veteran weapons. Deshaun wasn't terrible last year but he was rusty. He won't be rusty again. They add Elijah Moore but he's not really ‘the guy.’ This team has a veteran wide receiver group and a better o-line than Aaron Rodgers does.”
10. Jimmy Garoppolo
“I don't have Lamar Jackson in it because I have no idea what Lamar Jackson is. Garoppolo is 40-17 with a 68% completion percentage. Jimmy's confident, played in big games, great in the locker room, not terribly durable but I would put him over a Mac Jones, barely. I don't know what to do with Lamar Jackson so I left him out of the list.”
Check out the FULL segment above.