This fall, the Carolina Panthers will face all sorts of quarterbacks. They'll see future Hall of Famers, elite young stars, guys looking for a second chance, and some who are still trying to prove their worth.
So, without further ado, here are my rankings for the this year's opposing quarterbacks that will square off against Carolina.
14. Jacoby Brissett - Cleveland Browns
I think it's safe to assume that Deshaun Watson will not be suiting up for the Browns in Week 1, potentially at all in 2022. Baker Mayfield isn't going to play for Cleveland either, so that leaves us with Jacoby Brissett who does have some experience as a starter in the league. He's not going to wow you by any means but can get the job done. With a backfield that consists of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, he won't have to do much.
13. Geno Smith - Seattle Seahawks
It's Geno vs Drew Lock and it appears that Smith has a bit of a lead on the newly acquired quarterback. Baker Mayfield could end up in Seattle before the season starts and if that's the case, he would probably be No. 8 or so on this list. As for Smith, this is the first time he's getting a chance to be "the guy" since 2015. He looked decent in his three starts a year ago, which is why I don't have him at 14.
12. Marcus Mariota - Atlanta Falcons
Over the years we've seen some success stories with quarterbacks getting a second chance at starting, but I don't get that same feel with Mariota in Atlanta. Part of that stems from being on a really bad team who doesn't have a true No. 1 receiver and no, I'm not counting Kyle Pitts.
11. Mitch Trubisky - Pittsburgh Steelers
Mitch Trubisky didn't have much of a leash in Chicago and I actually think landing in Pittsburgh was the best situation for him. Will he be QB1 for the next 6-8 years? Meh, maybe not but he's clearly QB1 for 2022.
10. Jared Goff - Detroit Lions
Look, I know Jared Goff hasn't had a ton of success in the NFL, but I do think he catches a lot of unnecessary flak. He's not a terrible quarterback at all. He's a serviceable starter and would be an upgrade at the position for a few teams, including Carolina.
9. Daniel Jones - New York Giants
I was never a big fan of Daniel Jones and thought New York was absolutely out of their mind taking him as high as they did in the draft a few years back. That said, there are some tools to work with. If Brian Daboll can get him to take that next step, there's a chance he could be the guy for New York.
8. Jameis Winston - New Orleans Saints
For the first time in his NFL career, Jameis did a really good job of protecting the football in 2022. It looked as if he had put the turnover issues behind him but he was unable to complete the season due to an ACL injury. He is expected to be 100% for the season, but there is still some concern about how he will perform coming off that ugly injury.
7. Jimmy Garoppolo - San Francisco 49ers
Until he's no longer a 49er, I'm rolling with Jimmy G as the starting quarterback. Considering that we are just a few weeks away from the start of training camp, it's becoming less and less likely he'll be moved. Honestly, I don't think that Trey Lance is quite ready anyway, so holding on to a guy that has a 33-14 career record seems to be the best scenario for them.
6. Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals
I felt like Murray could be higher on this list but he has struggled with consistency throughout his career. I also thought about dropping him to No. 7 but his dual-threat ability presents a bigger challenge for any defense.
5. Matthew Stafford - Los Angeles Rams
Ball security can be an issue for Stafford at times, but that's just a factor of being a true gunslinger. Stafford is going to take his chances with the big arm he has and when you have receivers like Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, who wouldn't?
4. Russell Wilson - Denver Broncos
Are the Broncos automatic contenders with Wilson? No. In fact, I think they're the fourth-best team in the AFC West. There will be some ups and downs in year one with Denver, but he's such an intelligent quarterback that he can overcome some of the issues that may arise.
3. Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens
I went back and forth on who to put at this spot, but when I look back on it, Russell Wilson was the beneficiary of an elite defense and physical running game. Lamar Jackson can single-handily win you a game. Russ is a good quarterback, but doesn't scare defenses like Lamar does.
2. Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals
I don't buy this "Cincinnati will never get back" to the Super Bowl talk. It may not happen in the next year or so, but as long as Joe Burrow is around they have a chance in a loaded AFC. With a significantly improved offensive line, this might be a record-breaking year for Joe Shiesty.
1. Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He may not be the most talented quarterback in the league anymore but even at the age of 44, I'm not taking anyone over him. The fact that Carolina has to see him twice makes it even worse.
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