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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

10 best NFL quarterbacks under 30

Patrick Mahomes

It’s no secret that the NFL is loaded with elite quarterbacks. A number of them are experienced veterans, such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, or Philip Rivers. These quarterbacks are in their mid-to-upper 30s — or beyond, in Brady’s case — and simply will not be around forever.

So who are the best of the next generation of quarterbacks? Here are the 10 best NFL quarterbacks under the age of 30 (note: Russell Wilson was left off the list because he turns 30 this season).

10) Mitchell Trubisky, Bears

The 24-year-old Trubisky is a young quarterback on the rise. He’s shown some ability as a mobile quarterback, with four rushing touchdowns to his name over the course of his young career. The flashes of a quality passer are there, too, as shown by a six-touchdown performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. He’s up to 13 touchdowns in six games so far in 2018. Those are very promising numbers for a second-year quarterback who is still learning his craft at the NFL level.

9) Dak Prescott, Cowboys

A lot of the luster has come off Prescott, especially in 2018, but there is still something to work with there. He’s still good for 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns and isn’t enormously interception-prone. The 25-year-old can also use his legs, particularly in 2018, when he’s started to be more aggressive on the ground, racking up 82 rushing yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Prescott has talent, and it’s just a matter of finding the right scheme and talent for him to blossom.

8) Baker Mayfield, Browns

Mayfield comes with the usual rookie mistakes, but it’s also easy to see the flashes of talent that may ultimately make him one of the game’s elite quarterbacks. The 23-year-old has been a bit interception-prone to start his career, but he also led Cleveland to a comeback win over the New York Jets in his first start and is coming off the best game of his career against Tampa Bay, in which he threw for two touchdowns and didn’t get intercepted once. Mayfield already gives the Browns a chance, and he has exciting playmaking ability. Expect to see him rise on lists like this as he gains more experience.

7) Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

Winston remains maddeningly inconsistent and his decision-making can sometimes be questioned, but the talent cannot be. The 24-year-old has two 4,000-yard seasons to his name in three full years in the NFL, though his suspension will likely keep him from adding another in 2018. He desperately needs to cut down on the interceptions, which worryingly have not really faded into his fourth NFL season after showing improvement last year. That’s the big issue with him, but if he can avoid those, he’s a very good NFL quarterback.

6) Deshaun Watson, Texans

Unfortunately for Watson, he’s been limited by the fact that he’s playing through some pretty significant injuries right now, although he looked great against the Dolphins on Thursday night. The injuries were limiting his pass attempts in recent weeks and his overall effectiveness. The 23-year-old has thrown for over 2,000 yards on the season already, and he’s up to 15 touchdowns thanks to his 5-TD outburst against the Dolphins. At his best, Watson is a dual threat with an arm and a flashy ability to make huge plays. Hopefully fans will continue to see that version of him.

5) Cam Newton, Panthers

The 29-year-old still looks like he has plenty of good football ahead of him. He’s not quite the MVP-caliber quarterback that he was a few years ago, but he’s still very good and arguably the league’s most accomplished under-30 quarterback. His 2018 is off to a strong start, with 11 touchdowns to just four interceptions through six games, and he has Carolina firmly in the NFC playoff picture. Another 3,000-yard season with a healthy dose of rushing touchdowns look to be inevitable in 2018, barring injury.

4) Andrew Luck, Colts

After an entire season away from the game, Luck has returned without missing a beat. The 29-year-old has thrown 20 touchdown passes through seven games, and nobody has thrown more passes in 2018 than Luck has. It’s a statement of how good he is that the Colts were so eager to readily rely on him despite the concerns about his health. He’s thrown more interceptions than he’d like, but a 30-touchdown season looks inevitable, and 4,000 yards are well within his reach. Not bad for a guy whose career looked to be hanging in the balance a year ago.

3) Carson Wentz, Eagles

Wentz may have been league MVP last year had it not been for the brutal knee injury that prematurely ended his season and kept him out of the playoffs. The 25-year-old hasn’t wasted much time finding his footing again in 2018, returning to throw 10 touchdowns and just one interception in his first five games. Wentz may be limiting his mobility a bit after the injury and understandably so, but he can still run, and nobody is doubting his passing ability. He’s already a top-tier quarterback, and it looks like he’s going to remain one for a long time to come.

2) Jared Goff, Rams

The other top quarterback from the 2016 draft class hasn’t been a lot less successful than Wentz has. The 24-year-old Rams quarterback has plenty of weapons around him and is using them perfectly, passing for 2,130 yards and 14 touchdowns through seven games. He hasn’t lost yet in 2018, and 4,000 yards looks like a very realistic goal. In just three years, Goff has developed into a remarkably complete NFL quarterback. It’s easy to envision him staying that way for at least another decade, if not longer.

1) Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

At the age of 23, Mahomes has taken the NFL by storm. Just look at his league-leading 22 touchdown passes to only five interceptions in seven games. He’s on pace to surpass the 4,000-yard mark in his first season as an NFL starter. His Chiefs are 6-1 and considered possibly the AFC’s best team and maybe the best offense as well. A lot of that is down to Mahomes. People were excited about him before, but if he can do all this at 23, it’s tantalizing to think of what he could become once he enters his prime.

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