It’s not daring to suggest that 2021 is a great time to be a quarterback. The NFL continues to rely heavily on the pass, and the rules protecting the QB have only been tightened in recent years.
No position can match the importance of a quarterback. The reputation of the man under the center defines the expectations of a franchise.
2021 NFL quarterbacks
Still, as passing records tumble and the NFL changes its rules to increase offense, it looks like a particularly special era for quarterbacks.
Tom Brady remains, of course, and other veterans continue to post garish statistics. Patrick Mahomes, however, is arguably the best in the world and will be the face of the league for years to come.
In a sea of supreme passers-by, Mahomes brings the X Factor in a way few can muster.
Speaking to Betway, former Pro Bowl quarterback Doug Flutie discussed the magic of Mahomes: “I was a shortstop in baseball so I threw arm passes, jump passes . Just get the ball to the receiver as you can.
“But what they do, which I did exceptionally well in Canada and kinda transferred to the NFL, was when they blitzed you. Everyone has been trained their lives to get rid of the ball, but what Patrick Mahomes can do, because he’s so athletic, is drift and give way.
“He can buy that extra second, second and a half, without scrambling, but moving away from the rusher coming towards him, and still initiating a turn route, always a post route, always a departure route.”
“Being able to always throw the ball on the pitch, even if there’s an unblocked guy coming towards you, that creates so many problems for a defense.”
Mahomes is obviously not the only one with this ability. Kyler Murray is thriving in the NFL and showed his own talent for evading defenses in the early weeks of the 2021 NFL season. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are both adept with their feet at making improbable plays as well.
Quarterback depth this season
There is no denying the brilliance of Mahomes. Some players are reinventing a position in the NFL, and maybe that’s what we see before our eyes with his likely Hall of Fame career. Looking at the best quarterbacks in the NFL this season, however, Mahomes’ reel games shouldn’t overshadow the position’s historic depth.
Brady leads the experienced heads even with Philip Rivers and Drew Brees hanging up their boots in the offseason. Ben Roethlisberger continues to play a solid ball for the Steelers. Wilson and Rodgers are marginal MVP candidates. Kirk Cousins could still lead the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs.
Then there is a group that reaches its peaks. Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are the biggest names right now, but Derek Carr is set for a great year and Matthew Stafford is set to thrive in Southern California. Ryan Tannehill became the Mr. Reliable of the NFL with the Titans. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have high hopes for 2021. There is some debate about where Baker Mayfield settles in the quarterback hierarchy, but he has clearly established himself as an NFL starter.
Perhaps most exciting for neutrals, however, is the quarterback’s wealth of young talent on the way. Murray is already part of the elite. Some would put Justin Herbert in the same range.
Sam Darnold got off to a good start with the Panthers. Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones are all promising even if they create divisions in some circles.
Then there are the premier starlets in Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, Trey Lance and Zach Wilson. We can also throw Justin Fields in that group.
From Mahomes to Brady, from Rodgers to Lawrence, the 2021 NFL season is a showcase for great quarterbacks. High-ceilinged rookies, grizzled veterans, cutting-edge superstars, pocket passers-by and mobile freaks; everything is on display in the NFL in 2021.