Top 5 Most Underrated NFL Quarterbacks
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Making it big in the NFL, especially as a quarterback, is extremely difficult to do. There are only a select few that are consistently praised and get the respect they deserve. The rest, however, are either busts, poor quarterbacks, or “just average”.
Often, the ones that are “just average” or mediocre either have a poor supporting cast surrounding them, or the main game plan of their team does not revolve around them.
In no particular order, below are my top five most underrated NFL Quarterbacks.
Underrated NFL Quarterbacks
- Ryan Tannehill
The former 8th overall pick for the Miami Dolphins in the 2012 NFL Draft, entered a rocky situation and was expected to put the entire franchise on his shoulders.
After an average rookie campaign, Tannehill quietly improved year in and year out on a team with very little help surrounding him. In 2014, Ryan completed 66% of his passes while throwing for 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions (passer rating: 92.8). Despite his improvement, many labeled him as a bust during his time in Miami.
In 2019, Tannehill was traded to Tennessee where he took a backup quarterback role to Marcus Mariota. Mariota however struggled immensely, and Ryan finally got his chance.
Tannehill threw for a passer rating of 117, and led the Titans to the AFC Championship game. Last season, he threw for 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions all year. The reason Tannehill does not get as much recognition as he deserves is because of his All-Pro running back Derrick Henry.
After all, Henry ran for over 2,000 yards in 2020. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with, but Tannehill is too in his own right. If Tannehill was not under center, it is very likely to assume that the Titans would not be one of the prohibited favorites in the AFC heading into this year.
- Matthew Stafford
For over a decade now, Matthew Stafford has seemingly been one of the only reasons why the Detroit Lions have been considered relevant. Before his arrival in 2009, the Lions were the laughing stock of the league.
He has had very little help around him, especially on the defensive side. To make matters worse, head to deal with a handful of head coaches coming in and out of the building. Despite the instability around him, he has thrown for over 45,000 yards with 282 touchdowns during his time with the Lions.
Just recently, the Rams essentially gave up on former first overall pick Jared Goff and even gave Detroit a few more first-round picks to acquire Stafford. It was a large price to pay but it may pay big dividends for Los Angeles.
I see Stafford having a breakout year this season with a much more improved team surrounding him. Thus, he will finally start to get some of the recognition he has deserved throughout his entire career.
- Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott is someone who has immense pressure solely because he is the quarterback of “America’s Team”. Due to the pressure, he gets blamed much more often than he gets praised. Before breaking his leg last season, he was putting up phenomenal numbers.
In week 2 against the Falcons, he threw for 450 yards in an incredible comeback victory. The next game he threw for over 470 yards and three touchdowns, and against the Browns in week 4, he threw for 500 yards and four touchdowns.
Yes, most of these games came in a loss, but Prescott is definitely not the one to blame as he was playing with an all-time historically poor defense.
Before last season, most of the praise came to star running back Ezekiel Elliott which is also some of the reason why Prescott does not get a lot of love. After all, he was the quarterback that led them to the postseason multiple times.
In fact, after Prescott went down, Elliott’s numbers declined rapidly, because teams were able to stack the box more against Dallas.
It will be interesting to see how Prescott responds not only physically, but mentally coming back from this devastating injury. Usually, someone coming back from a season-ending injury gets the benefit of the doubt heading into the next season. After Prescott signed his new $164M contract, however, I only see the pressure mounting even higher than before.
- Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray for the Arizona Cardinals is arguably the most dangerous player in the entire league with the highest upside. In what is often known as a “sophomore slump” season for quarterbacks, Murray was putting up MVP-like numbers when he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns while putting up a 67% completion percentage.
Not only is he an electric passer, but his mobility is arguably just as dangerous. His quickness and speed is something that defenses cannot simulate in practice. In fact, he ran for 819 yards and a whopping 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Heading into his third season, I only see him improving even more especially with Deandre Hopkins entering his second season in Arizona. If this is the case, I see Arizona having a great chance to win the NFC West which should hopefully draw more praise to Murray.
I would not be shocked at all if Kyler ends up being a frontrunner for MVP next season if he gets the credit he deserves.
- Josh Allen
Playing in a city like Buffalo, it is hard to generate much buzz as it is. Josh Allen however relishes the underdog mentality. This past season, Allen put the league on notice with his phenomenal numbers.
With his incredibly strong arm, Allen threw for over 4,500 yards, 37 touchdowns, while completing nearly 70% of his passes. Remarkably, he put up an average passer rating of 107.2 for the season. On the ground, he ran for 631 yards and eight touchdowns as well. Despite all this, he did not win MVP.
Let us not forget, he led the Bills to the AFC Championship Game; something the franchise has not done since 1994.
If Allen can replicate the same type of performances he put up last season, it will be hard to ignore his incredible talent even in a place like Buffalo.
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