Drew Brees is now the NFL's all-time leader in both passing yards and completions
As much as the NFL changes, one thing seems to stay the same — quarterback remains the most important position. After all there's a reason that 11 of the past 12 league MVPs have been quarterbacks.
However, what has changed is the fact that's there's a new face for the position. All Patrick Mahomes did last year was put up eye-popping numbers, pull off improbable play after improbable play, and take home MVP honors in his first season as Kansas City's starter. So it's no surprise he's now considered the standard-bearer at the quarterback position.
But don't feel too badly for the "old" guys. Tom Brady (41) won his sixth Super Bowl ring, Drew Brees (40) became the game's all-time passing leader last season, and Philip Rivers (37) set a new record for consecutive completions in a game. All three join Mahomes in Athlon Sports' top 10 at the position as well as Aaron Rodgers (35), Ben Roethlisberger (37), and Matt Ryan (34).
That's not to say there aren't more "young" guys in the top tier. If anything, it's more indicative of how the latest wave of talented signal-callers has added even more depth to the position. Consider that Cam Newton, an MVP in his own right, didn't even make the top 10.
While not every team is set at quarterback entering the 2019 season, there certainly appear to be plenty of teams that are in decent shape at the position.
Athlon's player rankings are just one of the features that appear in the 2019 NFL Preview magazine.
2019 NFL Quarterback Rankings
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City
So much for the expected growing pains from a first-year NFL starter. His ridiculous arm talent was on display throughout a 2018 campaign in which Mahomes joined Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only QBs ever to throw for 50-plus touchdowns in a single season.
2. Tom Brady, New England
The greatest QB in NFL history continues to pad his Hall of Fame resume with Super Bowl victories (six and counting after last season's win over the L.A. Rams). His 30 postseason victories individually are more wins than all but four entire franchises have earned in their history.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans
Breaking the NFL's all-time passing record was just one of the things that made 2018 special for Brees. He also set new standards for all-time completions (6,586) and single-season completion percentage (74.4) on a Saints team that reached the NFC title game for the first time in a decade.
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
A down 2018 season for him is the equivalent of a career year for most other QBs. But now playing in a different offense under new head coach Matt LaFleur, Rodgers will be looking to lift his completion percentage (62.3) and improve his lowest touchdown total (25) in a season in which he started 16 games.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
His prowess as a team leader has come into question, but there's no denying what Big Ben provides on the field. The NFL's 2018 passing leader (5,129 yards) has thrown at least 15 touchdown passes in each of his first 15 NFL seasons, which no QB has ever done before.
6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
His 2018 comeback from major shoulder problems couldn't have gone any smoother as Luck instantly meshed with new head coach Frank Reich. Set single-season career highs in completions, attempts, completion percentage and passer rating while leading the Colts to wins in nine of their final 10 games to reach the playoffs.
7. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
"Old Man Rivers" shows no signs of slowing down at age 37. Among his highlights in 2018 was completing an NFL-record 25 consecutive passes in a rout of Arizona.
8. Russell Wilson, Seattle
Now the highest-paid player in NFL history, Wilson has enjoyed more wins (75) in his first seven seasons than any other starting QB in league history. Thrived in new coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s offense last season with a career-high 35 touchdown passes.
9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta
Extended the NFL's longest active streak of 4,000-yard passing seasons to eight in 2018. He has set 21 franchise passing records during his 11 years in Atlanta.
10. Dak Prescott, Dallas
Coming off the best season (statistically) of his three-year career while raising his regular-season win total to 32, which ranks second behind New England's Tom Brady (35) for most among any QBs since 2016. The key to continued improvement in 2019 — better red zone efficiency.
11. Cam Newton, Carolina
12. Deshaun Watson, Houston
13. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
14. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland
15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit
16. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia
17. Nick Foles, Jacksonville
18. Derek Carr, Oakland
19. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago
20. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
21. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota
22. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco
23. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee
24. Josh Allen, Buffalo
25. Eli Manning, New York Giants
26. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
27. Joe Flacco, Denver
28. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati
29. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore
30. Case Keenum, Washington