All-Decade: Ranking the top QBs from the 2010s
The decade is coming to an end and the classes from 2010-19 were loaded with talent. Here’s how we rank the top quarterbacks of the last 10 classes based on how good they were out of high school.
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1. TREVOR LAWRENCE, 2018
There’s a reason why Lawrence was the only quarterback ranked No. 1 overall in the decade, he’s that special. Lawrence and Justin Fields (No. 3 on this list) had a memorable battle at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and while Fields won the 7-on-7 title, Lawrence never lost his No. 1 status throughout the year. He’s already won a national title and will be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2. JOSH ROSEN, 2015
Before Lawrence, Rosen was the best high school quarterback I had scouted and he became known for his cocky attitude and his stellar fourth quarter comebacks. Rosen had an up and down career at UCLA but was a first-round pick in the NFL Draft as expected. He was No. 1 in the country at one point, but skipped Under Armour week and we fell in love with Byron Cowart as our No. 1. Time will tell who has the longer NFL career.
3. JUSTIN FIELDS, 2018
Fields was outstanding and his mobility brought something to the table that many others on this list lack. Would he have been No. 1 overall in Rosen’s year? That’s an interesting debate, but I put him behind Rosen on this list even though it could be 2A and 2B. Fields didn’t get a fair shot at Georgia and is flourishing at Ohio State. He’ll be the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft behind Lawrence, but he could easily be No. 1 as well.
4. SHEA PATTERSON, 2016
Patterson hasn’t lived up to the hype overall, but his resume coming out of high school was stellar. He was a star in Louisiana and then had a very good year at IMG Academy at Florida. He reminded me of a more mobile Rosen, although he lacked the same pocket presence. He showed flashes at Ole Miss but has been a disappointment at Michigan overall. It will be interesting to see how the NFL views him.
5. JT DANIELS, 2018
Daniels would have battled Derek Stingley Jr. in 2019 for the No. 1 overall spot in the rankings but he re-classified late and was put in the 2018 class behind Lawrence and Fields. Daniels threw one of the best long balls I’ve seen at the high school level and teamed up with star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in high school, but the two haven’t connected much at USC. Daniels missed most of this season due to injury so the jury is still out regarding his future.
6. JACOB EASON, 2016
Eason reminded me a lot of former five star quarterback Matthew Stafford even before he committed to Georgia. He had great size, a cannon arm and good pocket presence and I love his field vision. Like many quarterbacks these days, Eason had to transfer to find his fit after a solid freshman season at Georgia. He’s now the man at Washington and some have him as a late first-rounder if he enters the NFL Draft this upcoming April.
7. KYLE ALLEN, 2014
Allen is the first on this list who had to earn his fifth star during the rankings process rather than starting off as a five-star. He did so with a dominating summer including a near flawless performance at the Five-Star Challenge. Allen had excellent accuracy and he was very good at everything, although he wouldn’t wow you physically. Yes, he was ranked ahead of DeShaun Watson, who doesn’t make this list, because he was a more polished passer. Allen had very little success in college at Texas A&M and Houston but has now become the new quarterback of the future for the Carolina Panthers in the NFL.
8. JAMEIS WINSTON, 2012
Winston was a five-star quarterback for us back in 2012 after a two-year five-star drought at the position. We had him as a dual-threat quarterback because back then he was a tall, skinny kid with a live arm who could extend the play. He bulked up in college and led Florida State to the national title and became the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL. He’s quietly having a very solid year for Tampa Bay this season, but it appears he’s not the franchise's quarterback of the future.
9. MAX BROWNE, 2013
This is perhaps the most puzzling name on the list because Browne has so little success at USC and then as a transfer at Pitt. As they say hindsight is 20-20 and now we can see the lack of mobility and slower release we saw in camp settings but on film he was remarkable in his offense at Skyline High School in Washington.
10. DAVIS MILLS, 2017
Mills has been fighting for the starting job at Stanford for what seems like forever and recently broke the Cardinal's record for passing yards in a game with 504. We liked a lot about him coming out of high school including his toughness and ability to fight back from injury. He was a big, fluid quarterback who could make all the throws but he haven’t seen him put that all together yet in college.