Ranking every NFL quarterback drafted in first round since 2000
The 2018 NFL Draft is drawing closer, and that means a few NFL franchises are about to bring in a quarterback with a first-round pick.
A total of 48 quarterbacks have been selected in the first round since 2000, and the results have varied. A team might wind up with a bust like JaMarcus Russell (first overall) or a two-time MVP like Aaron Rodgers (No. 24 overall). This year's draft features a half-dozen quarterbacks who might be drafted in the first round. That list includes Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph. They could join this list of QBs.
Sporting News ranked those QBs from 1-48. Here is a closer look.
1 Patrick Mahomes (2017-present)
Drafted: Kansas City (No. 10)
Stats: 284 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
Why he's here: Mahomes showed enough last season that the Chiefs were willing to move on from Alex Smith. He's the quarterback of the future in Kansas City, but there is a lot to be decided. Check back next year for a better ranking.
2 JaMarcus Russell (2007-09)
Drafted: Oakland (No. 1)
Stats: 4,083 yards, 18 TDs, 23 INTs
Why he's here: He’s arguably the biggest bust in NFL Draft history, and he only lasted through half of his ridiculous six-year, $68 million deal. Russell had only one full season under center in 2008. The fact that Oakland spent a No. 1 pick here clinches it.
3 Paxton Lynch (2016-present)
Drafted: Denver (No. 26)
Stats: 792 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INT
Why he's here: Lynch is 1-3 as a starter and hasn't done enough to take hold of the Broncos' starting job long term. This will be a pivotal year for the former first-round pick.
4 Brady Quinn (2007-13)
Drafted: Cleveland (No. 22)
Stats: 3,043 yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs
Why he's here: Cleveland rescued Quinn from the Green Room but never really gave him a chance over three seasons. Quinn never took hold of the starting job, then bounced around as a backup for four other teams before retiring in 2013.
5 Johnny Manziel (2014-present)
Drafted: Cleveland (No. 22)
Stats: 1,675 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs
Why he's here: This has been a disaster from the start. Manziel’s off-field issues have trumped anything he’s done on the field, and the Browns let him go after two seasons. The former Heisman Trophy winner is on the comeback trail in the Spring League, but he will need to earn a spot at a NFL training camp.
6 Jake Locker (2011-14)
Drafted: Tennessee (No. 8)
Stats: 4,967 yards, 27 TDs, 22 INTs
Why he’s here: Locker played four seasons, but injuries derailed his career every time it got started. He showed a knack for scrambling and had some talent, but he unexpectedly decided to retire in 2014.
7 Tim Tebow (2010-12)
Drafted: Denver (No. 25)
Stats: 2,422 yards, 17 TDs, 9 INTs
MORE: Tebow's 10 greatest moments
Why he’s here: He’s arguably the greatest quarterback in college football history, but he had to wait until his second NFL season to get a start. He took the Broncos on a wild, memorable playoff run capped with a walk-off win against the Steelers in the 2012 AFC wild-card game, but he became more of a gimmick player with the Jets before brief stints with New England and most-recently Philadelphia. Tebow now is a minor-league baseball player in the New York Mets organization.
8 EJ Manuel (2013-present)
EDrafted: Buffalo (No. 16)
Stats: 3,767 yards, 20 TDs, 16 INTs
Why he's here: Manuel started in one game last season, and he was signed by Oakland in 2017. He started in one game for the Raiders last season and continues to trend as a career backup.
9 Brandon Weeden (2012-present)
Drafted: Cleveland (No. 22)
Stats: 6,462 yards, 31 TDs, 30 INTs
Why he’s here: Like Brady Quinn and later Johnny Manziel, the Browns drafted Weeden with the No. 22 pick in the first round. Like Quinn and Manziel, it didn’t work. Weeden started his rookie year before losing the job in Year 2, and he’s served as a backup at Dallas and Houston since leaving Cleveland. He's still with the Texans heading into 2018.
10 Matt Leinart (2006-12)
Drafted: Arizona (No. 10)
Stats: 4,065 yards, 15 TDs, 21 INTs
Why he’s here: Leinart had a 37-2 record as a starter at USC, but that didn’t carry over in the NFL, where he spent four seasons operating in Kurt Warner’s shadow in Arizona before stints as a backup in Houston and Oakland.
11 Christian Ponder (2011-present)
Drafted: Minnesota (No. 12)
Stats: 6,658 yards, 38 TDs, 36 INTs
Why he's here: Ponder led Minnesota to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth in 2012, but an injury prevented him from starting the wild-card game against Green Bay. He's been mostly a backup ever since. Ponder was signed by San Francisco in 2016 and remains a free agent.
12 Mitch Trubisky (2017-present)
Drafted: Chicago (No. 2)
Stats: 284 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
Why he's here: Trubisky is the Bears' franchise quarterback, and incoming coach Matt Nagy should speed up that development. Treat the rookie season as a practice run. We'll see what Trubisky can really do in the next two seasons.
13 J.P. Losman (2004-11)
Drafted: Buffalo (No. 22)
Stats: 6,271 yards, 33 TDs, 34 INTs
Why he’s here: Losman was a late riser in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he sat behind Drew Bledsoe as a rookie before splitting starts with Kelly Holcomb in his second year. Losman started 16 games in 2006, and the Bills finished 7-9. He never held down a full-time starting job again.
14 Blaine Gabbert (2011-present)
Drafted: Jacksonville (No. 10)
Stats: 8,437 yards, 44 TDs, 43 INTs
Why he’s here: Gabbert went 5-19 in his first two seasons in Jacksonville before being relegated to backup duties and later traded to San Francisco, where he started eight games in 2015 and five games in 2016. Gabbert played with Arizona in 2017 and is signed with Tennesse now.
15 Patrick Ramsey (2002-08)
Drafted: Washington (No. 32)
Stats: 5,930 yards, 35 TDs, 30 INTs
Why he’s here: It’s almost the same story as J.P. Losman. Ramsey was a late-riser out of Tulane, but he didn’t fit into Steve Spurrier’s offense or Joe Gibbs’ system over four seasons with the Redskins. He stuck as a backup with the Jets and Broncos over the next three seasons.
16 Kyle Boller (2003-11)
Drafted: Baltimore (No. 19)
Stats: 8,931 yards, 48 TDs, 54 INTs
Why he’s here: Boller spent his first three seasons battling Anthony Wright for the starting job, and in his lone 16-game season in 2004 compiled a 9-7 record. When the Ravens brought in Steve McNair in 2006, Boller spent the rest of his career as a backup with later stints in St. Louis and Oakland.
17 David Carr (2002-2012)
Drafted: Houston (No. 1)
Stats: 14,452 yards, 65 TDs, 71 INTs
Why he’s here: Carr was given the impossible task of leading a new franchise, and he took an NFL-record 76 sacks as a rookie in 2002. Carr never had a winning record in five seasons as the Texans’ starter, and he spent the second half of his career as a backup.
18 Joey Harrington (2002-07)
Drafted: Detroit (No. 3)
Stats: 14,693 yards, 79 TDs, 85 INTs
Why he’s here: Harrington took over a 2-14 franchise and didn’t have much around him, and he simply threw too many interceptions. He had 48 TDs and 50 interceptions through three seasons, and Detroit moved on after four. He played two seasons as a backup in Miami and Atlanta, respectively, before retiring.
19 Josh Freeman (2009-present)
Drafted: Tampa Bay (No. 17)
Stats: 13,873 yards, 81 TDs, 68 INTs
Why he’s here: Freeman looked promising in his second season when he passed for 25 TDs and six interceptions in leading the Buccaneers to a 10-6 record. That unraveled over the next two seasons, however, and he was released in 2013 after being benched. He’s played as a backup for the Vikings, Giants and Colts. Freeman is attempting a comeback with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL in 2018.
20 Jason Campbell (2006-14)
Drafted: Washington (No. 25)
Stats: 16,771 yards, 87 TDs, 60 INTs
Why he’s here: Campbell played four seasons in Washington as a starter, but his best showing was an 8-8 season in 2008. He did the backup tour in Oakland, Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati over the next five seasons.
21 Robert Griffin III (2012-present)
Drafted: Washington (No. 2)
Stats: 8,983 yards, 42 TDs, 26 INTs
MORE: NFL schedule release
Why he’s here: Griffin led the Redskins to the playoffs as a rookie, a season in which he passed for 3,200 yards and rushed for 815. RGIII, however, hasn’t been the same since a knee injury suffered in the wild-card loss to Seattle. He bickered with coach Jay Gruden and lost the starting job to Kirk Cousins. RG3 dealt with a shouler injury in Week 1 that limited him throughout his first season with the Browns. After a year off, Griffin signed with the Ravens this offseason.
22 Deshaun Watson (2017-present)
Drafted: Houston (No. 12)
Stats: 1,699, 19 TDs, 8 INTs
Why he's here: Watson showed why he was a star quarterback at Clemson with a brilliant stretch as a rookie with the Texans, but a season-ending knee injury is reason for concern in the future. If Watson stays healthy, then he'll jump up this list quickly.
23 Blake Bortles (2014-present)
Drafted: Jacksonville (No. 3)
Stats: 14,928 yards, 90 TDs, 64 INTs
Why he’s here: Fact: Bortles led the Jaguars to the AFC championship game last season. He has decent statistics and a rough record as a starter, but he put it together at the right time and should be productive for a young-and-talented team in the future.
24 Byron Leftwich (2003-12)
Drafted: Jacksonville (No. 7)
Stats: 10,532 yards, 58 TDs, 42 INTs
Why he’s here: Leftwich struggled with injuries throughout his career with Jacksonville, but he compiled a 16-9 record as a starter from 2004-05 and helped the Jaguars reach the playoffs. Leftwich was more of a career backup, where had stints with Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay through 2012.
25 Teddy Bridgewater (2014-present)
Drafted: Minnesota (No. 32)
Stats: 6,150 yards, 28 TDs, 22 INTs
Why he’s here: The former Vikings first-round pick missed most of the last two seaons because of a gruesome leg injury, but he returned in a backup role last season and will get a new lease on his career with the New York Jets.
26 Rex Grossman (2003-13)
Drafted: Chicago (No. 22)
Stats: 10,232 yards, 56 TDs, 60 INTs
Why he’s here: Snicker all you want, but Grossman did help the Bears reach the Super Bowl with a 13-3 record in 2006. That was Grossman’s only full season as a starter, however. He played as a backup in Houston and Washington after leaving Chicago in 2008.
27 Vince Young (2006-17)
Drafted: Tennessee (No. 3)
Stats: 8,964 yards, 46 TDs, 51 INTs
MORE: Young's greatest moment
Why he’s here: Young’s record isn’t bad, but he struggled with injuries and a rocky relationship with Titans coach Jeff Fisher throughout five seasons. Young started in one playoff game and lost. He played a year as a backup in Philadelphia but simply never reached the potential he showed as a superstar quarterback at Texas. Young has attempted a few comebacks, but none have gained traction.
28 Sam Bradford (2010-present)
Drafted: St. Louis (No. 1)
Stats: 19,049 yards, 101 TDs, 57 INTs
Why he’s here: Injuries have held Bradford back. He has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee twice, and that cost him the better part of two seasons. He missed most of last season with a left knee injury that he re-aggravated. Bradford will resume his career in Arizona, and he will get a chance to start.
29 Ryan Tannehill (2012-present)
Drafted: Miami (No. 8)
Stats: 18,455 yards, 106 TDs, 66 INTs
Why he’s here: Tannehill led the Dolphins to 8-8 records in 2013 and 2014, and he has put up good numbers throughout his career for the Dolphins. Tannehill missed all of last season with a left knee injury. He must re-take control of that starting job in Miami now.
30 Jameis Winston (2015-present)
Drafted: Tampa Bay (No. 1)
Stats: 11,636 yards, 69 TDs, 44 INTs
Why he’s here: Winston stepped in with Tampa Bay as a rookie and has endured an unevven three years as the starter. Still, the former Heisman Trophy winner nearly led the Bucs to the playoffs in his second season before an off year in his third year as starter. This will be pivotal year for the franchise quarterback.
31 Marcus Mariota (2015-present)
Drafted: Tennessee (No. 2)
Stats: 9,476 yards, 58 TDs, 34 INTs
Why he’s here: Mariota battled injuries his first two seasons, but he helped Tennessee reach the playoffs in Year 3 despite throwing for just 13 TDs with 15 interceptions. The Heisman Trophy winner should move up this list, but he needs to take the next step.
32 Jared Goff (2016-present)
Drafted: L.A. Rams (No. 1)
Stats: 4,893 yards, 33 TDs, 13 INTs
Why he's here: Goff took over at midseason as a rookie and had a brutal trial by baptism, but he bounced back in a strong second season where he led the Rams to the playoffs. The future is bright for this No. 1 pick with coach Sean McVay.
33 Mark Sanchez (2009-present)
Drafted: NY Jets (No. 5)
Stats: 15,219 yards, 86 TDs, 86 INTs
Why he’s here: The Jets moved on from a year of Brett Favre with Sanchez, who took the starting job right away. Sanchez helped New York reach back-to-back AFC championship games in his first two seasons, but he threw too many interceptions. He played in Philadelphia through 2015, and has been a backup for Denver, Dallas and Chicago. He's still active.
34 Chad Pennington (2000-10)
Drafted: NY Jets (No. 18)
Stats: 17,823 yards, 102 TDs, 64 INTs
Why he’s here: Pennington spent his first two seasons sitting behind Vinny Testaverde. Once the Jets gave him a shot, he did alright. Pennington didn’t put up eye-popping statistics, but he led four playoff runs between his time with the Jets and Dolphins. He finished his career with a 66.0 completion percentage.
35 Jay Cutler (2006-present)
Drafted: Denver (No. 11)
Stats: 35,133 yards, 227 TDs, 160 INTs
Why he's here: The below .500 record kind of says it all. Cutler is a live-armed quarterback who can make the big play (or the big mistake) at any time. He has just one playoff victory in 12 seasons. Cutler is undecided about playing in 2018.
MORE: When is 2018 NFL Draft?
36 Carson Wentz (2016-present)
Drafted: Philadelphia (No. 2)
Stats: 7,078 yards, 49 TDs, 21 INTs
Why he's here: Wentz set up the Eagles' Super Bowl run and had an 11-2 record as a starter before a season-ending knee injury in 2017. Provided he stays healthy, Wentz should be a MVP candidate in 2018. He's that good.
37 Andrew Luck (2012-present)
Drafted: Indianapolis (No. 1)
Stats: 19,078 yards, 132 TDs, 68 INTs
MORE: Top 50 prospects for 2018
Why he’s here: Luck likely will move up this list, but he’ll have to get back to the form he displayed in 2014, when he tossed 40 TDs and led the Colts to the AFC championship game. Luck needs to prove he's healthy to move up this list.
38 Carson Palmer (2003-17)
Drafted: Cincinnati (No. 1)
Stats: 46,247 yards, 294 TDs, 187 INTs
Why he’s here: Palmer retired after 15 seasons as part of an up-and-down career between the Bengals, Raiders and Cardinals. Palmer revived his career in Arizona, where he picked up his first playoff win and led the Cardinals to the NFC championship game in 2015.
39 Matthew Stafford (2009-present)
Drafted: Detroit (No. 1)
Stats: 34,749 yards, 216 TDs, 118 INTs
Why he’s here: To be fair, Stafford took over a franchise that went 0-16 in 2008. He has fired away to bring Detroit back — he led the NFL in passing attempts in 2011 and 2012 — and that led to three playoff appearances. Still, Stafford has yet to win a playoff game in nine seasons with the Lions.
40 Alex Smith (2005-present)
Drafted: San Francisco (No. 1)
Stats: 31,888 yards, 183 TDs, 96 INTs
Why he’s here: Smith looked like a bust through five seasons, but he re-emerged under Jim Harbaugh and led the 49ers to the NFC championship game in 2011. He helped the Chiefs to four playoff appearances, and now will be the starting quarterback for Washington in 2018.
41 Michael Vick (2001-16)
Drafted: Atlanta (No. 1)
Stats: 22,464 yards, 133 TDs, 88 INTs
Why he's here: Vick might be the most exciting quarterback of all time, and the high point came when he led the Falcons to the NFC championship game. After missing two seasons while serving a 21-month federal prison sentence, Vick revived his career by leading the Eagles to the playoffs in 2010. He retired after the 2016 season.
42 Joe Flacco (2008-present)
Drafted: Baltimore (No. 18)
Stats: 35,780 yards, 200 TDs, 130 INTs
Why he’s here: Is he elite? That’s the tagline that continues to follow Flacco, who led the Ravens to victory in Super Bowl XLVII. Flacco never has put up big numbers, but he’s 10-5 in the playoffs. Now he needs to get the Ravens back to the playoffs after a three-year drought.
43 Philip Rivers (2004-present)
Drafted: NY Giants (No. 4)
Stats: 50,348 yards, 342 TDs, 166 INTs
Why he's here: Rivers will always be linked with Eli Manning based on the 2004 NFL Draft and the trade that followed, and the numbers are comparable. Manning, however, has the rings. Rivers has eight seasons with 4,000-plus yards, but that has come with a 4-5 record in the playoffs. He's a franchise quarterback, but will he ever get the Chargers to the next level?
44 Eli Manning (2004-present)
Drafted: San Diego (No. 1)
Stats: 51,682 yards, 339 TDs, 228 INTs
Why he’s here: Yes, the Chargers drafted Manning before one of the biggest draft-day trades in NFL history. Manning has the most passing yards and TDs of any quarterback on this list, and he took out the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl. He’s the ultimate hot-and-cold quarterback.
45 Cam Newton (2011-present)
Drafted: Carolina (No. 1)
Stats: 25,074 yards, 158 TDs, 94 INTs
MORE: Iyer's 2018 Mock Draft
Why he's here: Newton is ranked ahead of a few Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, but that's OK. He won the 2015 NFL MVP, and he’s a combination of never-before-seen-talent that should continue to keep the Panthers in the NFC hunt.
46 Matt Ryan (2008-present)
Drafted: Atlanta (No. 3)
Stats: 41,796 yards, 260 TDs, 126 INTs
Why he's here: Ryan won the NFL MVP Award in 2017 and led Atlanta to the Super Bowl. Ryan has seven straight seasons with 4,000-plus passing yards. He's an elite quarterback now.
47 Ben Roethlisberger (2004-present)
Drafted: Pittsburgh (No. 11)
Stats: 51,065 yards, 329 TDs, 174 INTs
Why he's here: Roethlisberger has earned a reputation as one of the NFL's ultimate tough guys, and he has been a perfect fit for the Steelers since Day 1. He has led Pittsburgh to three Super Bowl appearances and two championships and is 13-8 in the playoffs. That's enough to make Canton.
48 Aaron Rodgers (2005-present)
Drafted: Green Bay (No. 24)
Stats: 38,502 yards, 313 TDs, 78 INTs
MORE: All-time greatest Packers
Why he’s here: Rodgers sat for a few years behind Brett Favre, but he has developed into one of the most efficient quarterbacks in NFL history. He has two MVPs and a Super Bowl ring. Rodgers led Green Bay to the NFC championship game two of the last four seasons, too. It's about getting another Super Bowl shot at this point in his career.