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Ranking AFC quarterbacks

Where does Jimmy Garoppolo rank in loaded conference?

NFL: Super Bowl LIV Opening Night
Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo in 2020 prior to Super Bowl LIV
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been another offseason of major change at the quarterback position in the NFL and the Las Vegas Raiders were in the middle of the chaos.

After releasing nine-season starter Derek Carr (who signed with the New Orleans Saints), Las Vegas signed former San Francisco 49ers starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

Where does Garoppolo rank in the AFC quarterback landscape? Remember, this conference is absolutely loaded with premier (and young) talent at the quarterback position.

As for this exercise, we’re going to set a few guidelines. We’re stopping at Garoppolo, because that’s all that matters to this team and we’re assuming the Aaron Rodgers trade to the New York Jets happens and Lamar Jackson stays with the Baltimore Ravens.

Here we go:

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs:

There is no debate here. Mahomes is magnificent. He’s been an NFL starter for five seasons and an argument can be made that he is already a top five all-time quarterback in NFL history. He is going to be a major pain in the ass of every AFC West team for the next decade-plus.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals:

Burrow has already shown he is a special player and he is just getting going. Burrow, 26, is a winner who is just reaching his prime.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills:

Allen is wildly talented and he too is a prime player. He wasn’t perfect in 2022, but he is a top-shelf player who is going to be good for a long time.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
Justin Herbert
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers:

He has so much talent and if the Chargers can give him better coaching with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore the sky is the limit for this AFC West gunslinger who just turned 25.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens:

You know this is a deep, special group when a 26-year-old former NFL MVP is ranked fifth in the conference. That’s no knock on Jackson. He is a terrific player who affects games with his arm and legs. But this conference is that loaded at quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers, soon-to-be New York Jets:

Rodgers will be making his AFC debut at the age of 39. Yes, he may be declining some, but he will still be a factor for the next couple of seasons. He is still a top-level player.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars:

Lawrence took a major step forward in 2022, his second NFL season. He is an ascending talent and I expect him to be another young, top-shelf quarterback in this conference.

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns:

Watson struggled with the Browns after his long NFL suspension ended. But he is still an extremely talented player and at 27, he has plenty of time to continue being a highly productive player.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins:

If Tagovailoa could stay healthy, he could be a very good player. He did a lot of good things last season. If healthy, he’s a quality player.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders:

Jimmy G. fits in here. He is a decent starter, with limitations. He is efficient and he has proven he can win, but in this conference he doesn’t stand out at the position. Honestly, though, if Carr was still in the conference he’d probably fit in at the spot as well.