Who is the best AFC South quarterback?
By: Jake Rajala
The AFC South may have the most complex group of quarterbacks in the league. With that said, I’m going to simply rank the AFC South quarterback bunch and untwine the outlook for each mysterious AFC South signal-caller.
The former Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan is unequivocally the top QB in the AFC South. Ryan has averaged 4,338 passing yards per season over the last three seasons. Aaron Rodgers lost his best friend in Davante Adams, while the veteran Ryan gained Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr, and Alec Pierce. The former NFC Champion honestly has a strong chance to return to the Super Bowl in the near future in my opinion. Ryan is also 37 years old, so he could absolutely play for 4-5 more seasons.
I really believe the 22-year-old Trevor Lawrence will have a monster sophomore season. Lawrence will have a wiser head coach in Doug Pederson — who won a Super Bowl trophy with Nick Foles. T-Lawrence will also have Christian Kirk, who ousted career numbers in receptions (77), yards (982), and catch rate (74.8) in 2021. He will also have the underrated Evan Engram — as Pederson will look to utilize in a similar way that he incorporated Zach Ertz. Last but not least, Lawrence will enjoy witnessing a healthy Travis Etienne exploit defenses. To be honest – Lawrence could edge out Ryan in passing yards and/or passing touchdowns, but I feel like Ryan will be more efficient and likely have more victories than Lawrence in 2022.
It may be very hard for Ryan Tannehill to return to Pro Bowl form in 2022 — as he won’t have A.J. Brown and a potentially Top-3 performance from Derrick Henry. Yet, he still should make occasional magic happen with Robert Woods — as the former Rams WR averaged 1,096 yards a season from 2018 to 2020. Furthermore, I expect him to take care of the football and have more success than Davis Mills (who is in a worse situation).
The Houston Texans second-year quarterback Davis Mills was one of the biggest surprises last season. Mills only had two wins, but he certainly stood out amid the rookie QB class. He had a 66.8 completion percentage and 16 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in 11 games. It may be quite difficult for him to keep pace with fellow AFC South and AFC teams, but I trust that the Mills-Brandin Cooks connection will be electric in 2022.