10 Best QB’s Under the age of 30

Just like the world we live in, the quarterback position is experiencing a new normal. The traditional pocket passer with the big arm, footwork and mechanics is being phased out for more athletic guys who can make plays with both their arm and legs. This new generation of talented quarterbacks has changed the way scouts, fans, and GM’s evaluate the position. Age also has a lot to do with this, as this renaissance has only happened in recent years with guys of the past like Michael Vick being considered an outlier. As we prepare for the upcoming 2020 season here is how I would rank the 10 best quarterbacks under the age of 30.

1. Patrick Mahomes: Was there any doubt he would be first! In his 2 full seasons as a starter he’s won MVP, the Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP, made the All Pro team, had one of the greatest quarterback seasons ever in 2018 and is only the second player ever to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season.

Every time he steps on the field we are witnessing greatness. He’s compiled a 24-7 career record (28-8 if you include playoffs), 9,412 passing yards, 76 touchdowns to 18 interceptions, he can make every throw, and he’s mobile enough to have 4 rushing touchdowns. Watching this guy for the next decade will be fun!

2. Deshaun Watson: “They pass on Deshaun Watson, they’re passing on Michael Jordan” – Dabo Swiney

When Dabo said this predraft it seemed like hyperbole but man has Deshaun proved him right. Deshaun has electrified the NFL like no other and has made plays where you go “how the heck did he do that”. Look no further than the playoff game vs the Bills. In overtime, to avoid the sack and make the throw that lead to the game winning field goal was amazing.

In his 2 and a half seasons as a starter he’s made 2 Pro Bowls and produced back to back double digit win seasons for the Texans. Statistically he’s been elite; 24-13 record, 9,716 passing yards, 71 touchdowns to 29 interceptions and as one of the more elusive guys in the league he’s accumulated 14 rushing touchdowns. If he’s healthy he may be the only guy in the AFC who can potentially take down #1 on this list.

3. Carson Wentz: Carson might be the most unfairly scrutinized QB I’ve ever seen. In his 2nd season he was on track to win MVP. If not for all the work he put in, the Eagles may not get to or win that Super Bowl. Look at this past season. In the face of adversity with all his skill players going down every week, he put the team on his back to win the division and who knows what happens in the playoffs if Clowney doesn’t knock him out of the game.

Carson’s last 3 seasons of 33 TD:7 INT, 21 TD:7 INT, 27 TD:7 INT while completing 64% of his passes can’t be ignored. Wentz has all the physical tools you want in a quarterback. Let’s hope the Eagles stay healthy so Carson can show everyone how great he truly is.

4. Dak Prescott: It might be a surprise to see Dak so early and so high on this list but in my opinion it shouldn’t be. Dak gets overly criticized because he has the gift and curse of being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Under Dak’s stewardship team success has alternated from good to average in his 4 years but individually he has shined.

As a Rookie he was the Offensive Rookie of the Year putting together a 23 TD 4 INT 3,667 yard season with a 67% completion rate and went toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs.

In his 2nd season the team had to deal with the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott early on and missed the playoffs. Dak’s numbers regressed from Year 1 to Year 2 and there was also a stretch from Week 8-12 where he had 4 games in 5 weeks with no touchdown passes.

But in Year 3 he returned to his rookie season form numbers wise, made the playoffs, and secured his first playoff win over Russell Wilson. Now, coming off his 4th season and auditioning for a new contract he threw for a career high 4,902 passing yards which was 2nd in the league.

Dak is an underrated scrambler having 21 rushing touchdowns to his credit. This past season was the first he did not attain 6 rushing scores in a season. His first 3 years he had 6 rushing touchdowns each year.

This upcoming season will be huge for Mr. Prescott. Will he receive the big contract he’s hoping for or could he continue to be franchise tagged similar to Kirk Cousins.

5. Lamar Jackson: MVP! MVP! MVP! That was the chant all season long. In only his second season Lamar Jackson has already entered rare air. He led the Ravens to their most regular season wins (14) ever. He’s only the 2nd unanimous MVP ever (Tom Brady 2011 was the first). He set the single season rushing record. And to his credit he improved greatly as a passer throwing 36 touchdowns completing 66% of his passes to only 6 interceptions.

The question now is why would I have the reigning MVP at 5. Let’s discuss. He has performed terribly in his 2 playoff games. Yes, there was a mini comeback vs the Chargers and yes the final stat line looks impressive vs the Titans but you have to watch the game to understand how bad he truly was. Secondly, it appears he can only win 1 way and that is by playing in close games or with the lead. When teams have made him more of a passer and limited his ability to run he hasn’t been as effective.

He’s off to a phenomenal 2-year start. 19-3 career record, 4,328 passing yards, 1,901 rushing yards and 54 total touchdowns. With another leap he can definitely move up on this list, but for right now let’s just make sure this past season wasn’t an outlier.

6. Jared Goff: The Los Angeles Rams entered 2019 with a high octane offense and a perceived great chance to return to the Super Bowl. Instead, the team stumbled to a 9-7 record with an offense that seemingly came undone in some part due to Jared Goff.

Coming off back to back Pro Bowl seasons, Goff’s production declined drastically in 2019. While he finished with 4,638 passing yards, he threw 10 fewer touchdowns and 4 more interceptions on 60 more pass attempts than he had in 2018.

Rookie year aside he’s been lights out under Sean McVay. 33-14 record, 13,130 yards, 82 TD to 35 Int. The record and the counting numbers over this 3-year period are better than Dak who I have at #4. But the difference is Dak provides a little more consistency and his ability to make plays with his legs gives him another dimension to his game Goff doesn’t have. Ultimately I think 2019 was a down year and Goff can bounce back in 2020.

7. Jimmy Garoppolo: In the words of DJ Khaled and T-Pain all this guy does is “win win win no matter what.” Tom Brady starts the season suspended, no problem as Jimmy G gets his team 2 wins. He gets traded to the 49ers and instantly leads them to 5-0. In his first full season as a starter he led the team to a 13-3 record and made plays in some pivotal moments for them.

21-5 as a starter with a 67% completion rate in those 26 starts is not an easy feat.

But there are 3 major questions surrounding Jimmy G – 1) is he simply a game manager, 2) his decision-making has been questioned at times and 3) in this era of more mobile QB’s can the prototypical pocket QB work? Being coached by Kyle Shanahan can alleviate some of that and now with a full year together under their belt let’s see if these gentlemen can take the offense to an even higher level.

8. Kyler Murray: I’m sure I’m not the only one who is glad Kyler decided to bypass baseball and come to the NFL. This 5’10 dynamo was electric in his Rookie season. He improved the Cardinals by 5 wins and his numbers were good. He had more passing yards than the reigning MVP (3,722). He was in the top half of the league completion percentage wise (64%). 20 passing TD and 4 rushing TD is pretty impressive as a rookie. And now he has arguably the best wide receiver in the game in DeAndre Hopkins on the outside. Don’t expect a sophomore slump from this guy!

9. Daniel Jones: It didn’t take long for him to get a nickname. Dubbed Danny Dimes I was impressed by what I saw from the former Blue Devil. 6’5 with a great arm and good mobility. In 12 starts he wasn’t great in them all but in 4 of those games (Lions, Buccaneers, Redskins and Jets) you saw how good he can be. The potential is there, and with the team providing some offensive line help that should help with his pocket awareness and decision-making.

10. Derek Carr: Carr’s name seems to come up every year in trade rumors and this offseason was no different. It would not be surprising if his name continued to be floated around during the season depending upon how the newly named Las Vegas Raiders season starts off. I believe whoever potentially lands Derek Carr will be getting a very good quarterback. Eliminate his rookie season and he’s completing 65% of his passes over the last 5 years. He has 2 4000 yard passing seasons and 2 more seasons where he barely missed it by 13 yards and 63 yards. It’s forgotten that in 2016 when the Raiders went 12-4 Derek Carr was in MVP consideration before getting hurt.

Derek’s QBR hasn’t been great in any season and as a starter he’s below .500 at 39-55. Derek is also not the kind of guy who will elevate the talent around him like a Brady, Rodgers, or Mahomes can but if given the right elements Carr can lead to success.

The Trade Deadline

The NBA is in full swing! With only the Super Bowl remaining from the NFL, we have turned our attention to the second half of the NBA season where teams are preparing to make their respective playoff push. Both conferences feel wide open, where 1 move could potentially be the catalyst for a Finals run. Just last year, the Toronto Raptors acquired Kawhi before the season and Marc Gasol during the season which gave them the interior size, floor spacing and defense needed to make a run. As of today I believe there are 12 teams that should be examining the trade and buyout market for the missing piece to their team. Let’s examine each team and who could be available for each.

Western Conference

Los Angeles Lakers

Currently sitting at 36-9 and atop the West, the Lakers most glaring weakness is a playmaker who can get LeBron off the ball some and score. Iguodala was perceived to be their top target early this season but it now seems to be Derrick Rose. The Pistons asking price could be too high (possibly a player and 1st round pick) so the Lakers may pass. I would suggest looking at veteran Alec Burks on Golden State who’s averaging 16 points and only cost $2 million dollars or Jamal Crawford.

Utah Jazz

Utah has hit a surge having won 18 of their last 20 games, including 13 of their last 14. They are currently 2nd in the West at 31-13. Acquiring Bogdanovic over the summer, trading Exum for Clarkson earlier in the season, and having Conley back from injury has been huge. But is it enough to get out of the West? Potentially having to face LeBron, Kawhi, Harden or Luka I think the Jazz need some perimeter defense/toughness to slow these big time wings. Trevor Ariza would’ve been great here but with him no longer being available the best option would be Marcus Morris of the Knicks. He would fit small ball lineups as well as be able to play alongside Gobert.

Los Angeles Clippers

Despite the “load management” of Kawhi, Paul George dealing with injury, and not having fully gelled this team is still 31-14 and 3rd in the West. Pretty impressive! Making a trade wouldn’t disrupt the chemistry as it hasn’t rounded into form yet. The best way to sum up their weakness is interior size and wing depth with a little bit of scoring. It sounds like a lot but I think they could hope everyone gets healthy and go after Aron Baynes to fill the size need or they could try to solve it all by going after Markieff Morris. Morris is 6’8 roughly 240 pounds and would provide the necessary wing depth while also not being afraid to get in the trenches. If Memphis wasn’t in playoff contention I could see Jae Crowder being a potential target as well.


Denver Nuggets

I love this team. Denver is the kind of team you buy league pass for because there is so much talent here. Plumlee recently got hurt but should return in a month and Gary Harris just hasn’t taken the leap yet and it could be time to cut bait via trade. Enter Jrue Holiday, he would fit alongside Jamal Murray and provide veteran presence. The Pelicans may be exciting with Zion coming to action but Jrue deserves to be in contention to win and I have no doubt he could help this 30-14 team potentially leap up to the 2 seed in this tight race. Trading for Jrue, favorable seeding and the stellar play of Michael Porter Jr. could land Denver in the Finals.

Dallas Mavericks

Luka Doncic has taken one of the more unprecedented 2nd year leaps in NBA history. What he is doing with the triple doubles, being a MVP candidate and having the Mavs 5th in the playoff race in his 2nd year is nothing short of phenomenal but he can’t carry them alone. Losing Dwight Powell to an Achilles injury has hurt their size greatly. The Mavericks made a predictable move by trading for Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors to recover from the Powell lost. Now the question is, with different teams best player at the wing position can the Mavs defend it? Maybe trading Courtney Lee, who has an expiring deal, might be on the block to make a move for a defender.

Houston Rockets

The window could slowly be closing for these guys. The competition around them has increased and they haven’t made a leap forward. With no contracts that can be traded and already not owning some of their picks they will be hoping for a generous buyout market.

The Eastern Conference

Milwaukee Bucks

Having the best record in the NBA at 39-6 would make anyone say “what else do they need”. The answer could be nothing, only time will tell. The Brogdon departure may not show itself until the postseason if Bledsoe struggles shooting again. The Bucks will probably stand pact unless a small move for more shooting or defense presents itself.

Miami Heat

Miami may be the surprise team of the NBA. Adding Jimmy Butler has been a great addition for them but is this team a contender as presently constructed? I don’t think so. They need a 2nd star but the catch is who could they obtain while also staying financially flexible. Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge fit this description. But would the Spurs be okay taking back Dion Waters and another players salary…I don’t think so. The Heat are young and may have to just enjoy this moment and see what happens come playoff time.

Toronto Raptors

The defending champs are showing last year was not a fluke. They were 17-5 in games Kawhi sat and this year they are 30-14 good enough for 3rd in the conference. Siakam was named a starter for his first All Star appearance and Kyle Lowry has returned to All Star form as well. With 6 players averaging over 10 points Masai could be content to ride this thing out and see what happens but I think they should make a move for Bogdan Bagdonovic. An unselfish team player who brings 15 points a game with him. The dilemma here would be trade for him now or wait until free agency to sign him.

Boston Celtics

It is so great to see Kemba Walker on a winning team. It’s long overdue for him. But in order to complete the job Kemba and company will need Danny Ainge to get on the phone and try to acquire this team some size. You won’t make it out the East with the likes of Giannis, Embiid, Ben, and Sabonis dominating your team on the inside. You need a presence to combat that. With little financial flexibility the C’s may have to hope for a buyout of someone like Biyombo or go after Joakim Noah.

Indiana Pacers

This team as presently constructed could be a problem come playoff time. Their biggest acquisition will be getting Victor Oladipo back healthy. If Oladipo hits the ground running look out! This is a team I would suggest don’t do anything drastic but if the right low risk high reward proposition presents itself look into it.

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia was busy over the offseason giving Al Horford a big contract, Tobias Harris max money and extending Ben Simmons. A lot of money has been committed to this core so the trade options are limited. The biggest need here is guard play who can space the floor for Embiid. Derrick Rose is the hot name here again and who wouldn’t want to see that guy on a contender after all he’s gone through career wise. Maybe give JR Smith or Jamal Crawford a call.

The trade deadline is set for February 6th at 3 pm this year, teams should go all in this year because next year the Warriors and Nets are expected to return healthy star players and create another obstacle to overcome in each conference. When you have a window like this year you must capitalize. The countdown is on, so hopefully your team’s GM is working the phones.

The Championship Theory

Without a doubt the Summer of 2019 will go down as the most epic in NBA history. Over $3 Billion dollars was doled out to players within the first 24 hours of free agency. Superstars such as Kevin Durant changed coast going from Golden State to Brooklyn, Jimmy Butler was signed and traded to South Beach and later in the week like a thief in the night Kawhi returned to the United States by signing with the Clippers.

And that wasn’t all, Paul George was traded from OKC to join Kawhi in LA which lead to Russell Westbrook being dealt to Houston to team up with his good friend James Harden. These moves along with countless others now have everyone wondering who will win the NBA Championship this upcoming season. For the first time in nearly a decade the NBA season doesn’t feel like a foregone conclusion. But maybe it is! After analyzing each team, their off-season moves, and using my 2 key indicators (the age of your superstar and the position he plays) I feel we can accurately predict the next champion.

When it comes to building a championship team I firmly believe that “Wings win you Rings”. More times than not the key cog that fuels a championship run will be a player listed as Small Forward (SF) or Shooting Guard (SG) and ranges from about 6 feet 5 inches tall to 6 feet 9 inches tall. Jalen Rose is famous for noting that “positions were created so that a novice can follow the game” but history has shown us that with the exceptions being Isiah Thomas and Steph Curry point guards/small guards do not lead to championships (Sorry Dame).

Yes, Magic Johnson was listed as a Point Guard and won championships but let’s note that he’s 6’9 and he walked into the perfect situation playing alongside Kareem. So Magic does fit into the wing category. It is also worth pointing out that great big men don’t win titles without an elite wing alongside them. But 2 great wing players (Mike and Scottie, LeBron and Wade) can win together.

Now let’s talk age. The most consistent themes are ages 22, 23, 27 and 32

At age 22 Shaq, Tim Duncan, LeBron and Kawhi all made their first NBA Finals. Duncan (1999) and Kawhi (2014) were victorious capturing Finals MVP while Shaq in 1995 and LeBron in 2007 were swept. 

At age 23 Kareem (1971), Hakeem (1983), Dwight Howard (2009) and Kevin Durant (2012) made their first NBA Finals. 

At age 27 Michael Jordan, LeBron, Shaq, and Isiah Thomas all captured their first NBA titles. Kawhi Leonard and Larry Bird won their 2nd ring and were selected as Finals MVP. Clyde Drexler made his first of 3 NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki also made his first Finals appearance at age 27.

At age 32 the aforementioned Clyde Drexler won his first title playing alongside Hakeem who the previous year won his first title at 32. Dirk also makes this category for defeating the highly touted Heatles in their first year together winning his first championship. Championship glory eluded Kareem for 9 years until he won again at this age.

Let’s compare this with the odds makers favorites for this season – Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Sixers and Rockets. 

LeBron will turn 35 this season. He’s playing like he’s still in his prime years but how long can he hold up. His running mate Anthony Davis will be 26 this year which coincidentally is the same age Steph Curry won his 1st title and Duncan won his 2nd title. This bodes well for the Lakers titles hopes. However, with King James’ mileage it’s possible he begins to wear down as the season goes on. 

Harden will turn 30 and Westbrook 31. I like these 2 players, they are box office but at their age, defense not being their greatest attribute and no dominant big to lean on I can’t see them winning the title. 

The Bucks have Giannis who is continuing to ascend. He’ll be 25, he’s still getting better and is arguably the best player in the East. It has been proven having the best player in the Eastern Conference can get you to the Finals. But with no costar also in his prime I think the Bucks fall to this next team.

The Sixers have Embiid and Ben Simmons who will be 25 and 23. These guys are entering their primes. With an expected ascension in their games, being motivated from how the playoffs ended for them and entering that age window where players start to win I expect the Sixers to be in the 2019-2020 NBA Finals. But who will they face….

Kawhi Leonard will be 28 and Paul George 29 respectively. Both guys have dealt with injuries throughout their careers but these ages are typically considered athletes “prime years”. Championship winners usually consist of 2 guys in their primes. Again think MJ and Scottie or LeBron and D-Wade 2012. PG and Kawhi are elite 2 way wings both coming off career years. These guys check both boxes of playing the right position and prime age. Don’t be surprised if the Clippers take home their first Larry O’Brien trophy.