Ranking Every NFL Team's Backup QB Situation

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJune 23, 2019

Ranking Every NFL Team's Backup QB Situation

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    If you're smart, you've purchased insurance for your most valuable items, such as your home and car. And in the NFL world, most teams view their quarterback as their most valuable item. 

    Problem is, not all NFL quarterback insurance policies were created equal, and some teams are much better insured than others at the sport's most important position. 

    With training camps set to begin next month, let's break down how all 32 NFL franchises stack up when it comes to their backup quarterback situations, taking a combination of potential, experience and past accomplishments into consideration.


32. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Tanner Lee
    Tanner LeeJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Starter: Nick Foles

    Backups: Tanner Lee, Gardner Minshew II, Alex McGough

    The Jacksonville Jaguars had better hope Foles holds up, because no other quarterback on their depth chart has thrown an NFL pass. Lee, Minshew and McGough were all drafted in either the sixth or seventh round the last two years. 

    There's no indication that any of those guys are capable of starting games, and they're all 24 or younger, so they bring practically no experience to the table. 

    The Jaguars could wind up regretting their decision to release experienced backup Cody Kessler, but at least executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin has expressed confidence in a young group that he has handpicked.

31. Dallas Cowboys

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    Cooper Rush
    Cooper RushBob Levey/Getty Images

    Starter: Dak Prescott

    Backups: Cooper Rush, Mike White

    It's hardly any prettier behind Dallas Cowboys starter Dak Prescott. Rush is a 2017 undrafted free agent with one completed pass on three career attempts, while White has yet to make an impact as a 2018 fifth-round selection. 

    The two appear to be in a close competition for the primary backup spot, and they did appear to practice well as the Cowboys closed out minicamp last week. But longtime NFL scout Bryan Broaddus also asked why it took "13 practices for them to have a good one."

    "The current backup quarterback is not on this roster," said Broaddus, who added that the Cowboys "cannot sacrifice this season if something happens to Dak Prescott, and they’re playing with these two guys. It’s just not going to work out that way."

30. Arizona Cardinals

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    Brett Hundley
    Brett HundleyMatt York/Associated Press

    Projected starter: Kyler Murray

    Backups: Brett Hundley, Chad Kanoff, Drew Anderson

    Hundley at least has the experience to potentially avoid complete disaster as a spot starter, but the 2015 fifth-round pick can't be relied upon to hold things down for an extended stretch.

    He didn't throw a single pass last season with the Seattle Seahawks, but the 26-year-old generally performed terribly during a nine-start stretch in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers in 2017, and he's got all the markers of a bad NFL quarterback: sub-60 completion percentage, more interceptions than touchdown passes and a sub-70 passer rating. 

    But if Murray isn't the Week 1 starter, the Arizona Cardinals won't have a choice but to roll with Hundley.

    Who the hell are Chad Kanoff and Drew Anderson? Did the team make those names up? 

29. Buffalo Bills

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    Matt Barkley
    Matt BarkleyTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Starter: Josh Allen

    Backups: Matt Barkley, Tyree Jackson

    At least the Nathan Peterman era is over for the Buffalo Bills, but this is a reminder that Barkley is still in the NFL. He doesn't inspire much more confidence with his 10-to-18 touchdown-to-interception ratio, his sub-60 completion percentage and his 68.3 passer rating. 

    The former USC star did at least perform well in his only appearance last season (15-of-25, 232 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks in a blowout victory over the New York Jets), but that looks like an outlier, and Buffalo would be in trouble if it had to use him for an extended stretch. 

    Jackson is a long-term project as an undrafted rookie, so his presence counts for almost nothing if we're focusing on 2019. 

28. Detroit Lions

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    Tom Savage
    Tom SavagePaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Starter: Matthew Stafford

    Backups: Tom Savage, David Fales

    Stafford hasn't missed a start since 2010, but the veteran reportedly played with a serious back injury last season, and the Lions have to consider that the 31-year-old is mortal. 

    Right now, they don't look prepared for life without him.

    In the last 18 months, Savage has been on five different rosters. He's a relic of a quarterback who has thrown five touchdown passes since coming into the league as a fourth-round pick in 2014, and he probably shouldn't be viewed as a No. 2 at this point. 

    Fales is also a journeyman on his fourth different team, and he's done nothing as a pro outside of one semi-impressive showing with the Miami Dolphins in 2017 in which he went 29-of-42 in a loss to the Buffalo Bills. 

    They could still bite and bring back 37-year-old 2018 backup Matt Cassel, but the 14-year veteran looks to be shot after posting a 47.4 passer rating the last two seasons in Tennessee and Detroit. 

    It's not pretty.

27. Cleveland Browns

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    Drew Stanton
    Drew StantonRon Schwane/Associated Press

    Starter: Baker Mayfield

    Backups: Drew Stanton, Garrett Gilbert, David Blough

    Stanton is 35, he didn't throw a single pass last season, and he's completed just 47 percent of 232 attempts since 2015. He's living off a quality season as a backup with the 2014 Cardinals, but he shouldn't be a No. 2 these days. 

    But on the surface, neither should Gilbert, who has attempted three passes since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in 2014. And there's no way they'll hand real responsibilities to Blough as an undrafted rookie, even if he's been praised by head coach Freddie Kitchens. 

    They really need to hope Gilbert gained confidence with a strong showing in the AAF and can supplant Stanton in training camp. Otherwise, they'll lack reliable insurance for Mayfield. 

26. Green Bay Packers

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    DeShone Kizer
    DeShone KizerMike Roemer/Associated Press

    Starter: Aaron Rodgers

    Backups: DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle, Manny Wilkins

    Kizer was a mess as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns in 2017, and he wasn't any better in three spot appearances last year with the Green Bay Packers. The 2017 second-round pick completed fewer than half of his pass attempts and posted a 40.5 passer rating. He now has an atrocious career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 11-to-24. 

    The Packers might be better off handing the No. 2 job to Boyle, who occasionally impressed in practice as an undrafted rookie last summer but didn't see the field in the regular season and put up poor numbers in the preseason. 

    Still, Kizer is just 23 and a couple years removed from a big collegiate run at Notre Dame, and Boyle is 24. There's room for both to develop, but the Packers would likely be screwed if either had to play for an extended period in 2019. 

    Oh, and don't expect to see Wilkins anywhere near the field as an undrafted rookie out of Arizona State.

25. Carolina Panthers

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    Will Grier
    Will GrierNELL REDMOND/Associated Press

    Starter: Cam Newton

    Backups: Will Grier, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen

    The Carolina Panthers ranked dead last on this list last offseason, and prior to the 2019 draft, that might not have changed much based on a poor 2018 performance from Heinicke (he threw three interceptions in a Week 16 loss) and a decent one from Allen (he posted a 111.3 passer rating in a Week 17 victory). 

    But then Carolina drafted the intriguing Grier in the third round, immediately bolstering the talent behind Newton. The West Virginia product might be a little wild and in need of substantial development, but he could still throw defenses off in short stretches early in his career if needed. 

    And for what it's worth, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera praised Heinicke's offseason at minicamp.

    It'd be nice if the Panthers had more experience behind Newton, who is coming off shoulder surgery. But this quarterback group looks better than it did a year ago.

24. Oakland Raiders

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    D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

    Starter: Derek Carr

    Backups: Mike Glennon, Nathan Peterman

    Yes, Peterman remains in the NFL despite 12 interceptions to three touchdown passes and a 32.5 passer rating two years into what's been an abysmal career. But as a third-stringer, that's not a problem.

    The issue is that the only other non-starting quarterback on the Oakland Raiders roster is Glennon following the release of Landry Jones. 

    Glennon isn't a bad backup. He completed all but six of 21 passes last season in Arizona, he's got plenty of starting experience, and he should be in his prime at age 29. But it's worth noting he's on his fourth team in as many seasons, and that Peterman was taking second-team reps during the late stages of the offseason program. 

    These backups have a relatively high ceiling but also a fairly low floor.

23. Baltimore Ravens

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    Gail Burton/Associated Press

    Starter: Lamar Jackson

    Backups: Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley

    Griffin scores some points for the fact he's a former Offensive Rookie of the Year who should theoretically be in his prime at age 29, but the man has completed two passes in the last two years, and before that, he looked like he had completely lost his touch as a member of the Cleveland Browns. 

    It's easy to see him suddenly excelling in a pinch, but it's just as easy to envision him bombing.

    And the problem is Baltimore doesn't have a lot else. They're getting creative with the versatile McSorley, but there was plenty of predraft chatter saying the sixth-round rookie would have to play another position in the NFL. Regardless, he'll require plenty of development and probably can't be counted on if something happens to Jackson this season. 

    The Ravens simply lack steadiness behind their developing franchise quarterback. 

22. Minnesota Vikings

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    Kyle Sloter
    Kyle SloterJim Mone/Associated Press

    Starter: Kirk Cousins

    Backups: Kyle Sloter, Sean Mannion, Jake Browning

    Two years ago, Sloter crushed the preseason as a member of the Denver Broncos. He's yet to throw a regular-season pass, but there's some hope for the 25-year-old.

    Meanwhile, Mannion spent the last four years limiting his mistakes but failing to stand out in limited action with the Los Angeles Rams. But he is a former third-round pick in his backup prime at age 27, and he's got a decent career completion rate of 62.3. 

    On their own, both are mediocre No. 2 quarterbacks. But at least the Vikings have options. As an undrafted rookie, Browning faces a tall task this summer. 

21. Seattle Seahawks

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    Paxton Lynch
    Paxton LynchElaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Starter: Russell Wilson

    Backups: Paxton Lynch, Geno Smith

    The Seattle Seahawks look like they realize it's Wilson or bust in 2019. That's meant literally, because both Lynch and Smith are busts who failed to reach their potential as former premium draft picks.

    The former was out of football entirely last year after two miserable seasons with the Denver Broncos, while the latter is joining his fourth team in as many years after completing just 55.6 percent of his passes the last three years with the New York Jets, New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers. 

    They at least have some pedigree and experience, but that might not be worth a lot at this point. Still, the fact that Seattle has two relatively talented options behind Wilson keeps the team out of the bottom 10.

20. Houston Texans

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    AJ McCarron
    AJ McCarronUncredited/Associated Press

    Starter: Deshaun Watson

    Backups: AJ McCarron, Joe Webb

    The shine has come off McCarron, who was considered to be one of the top young backups in the league before signing a free-agent contract that was supposed to give him a chance to start for the Bills. But he didn't play a single game in Buffalo before the Bills traded him to Oakland, where he lasted just one season and completed just one pass before being released in March.

    It's never a good sign if both the Bills and the Raiders move on from you in a seven-month span. 

    McCarron is just 28, and his career numbers—64.0 percent completion rate, six touchdowns to two interceptions and a 92.4 passer rating—remain solid. But Webb is hardly a quarterback these days, which means the Texans are gambling big that Watson will stay healthy, and/or McCarron can rebound if needed. 

19. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Jeff Driskel
    Jeff DriskelGary Landers/Associated Press

    Starter: Andy Dalton

    Backups: Jeff Driskel, Ryan Finley, Jacob Dolegala

    Driskel saw plenty of action in his first full season as Dalton's backup, and he proved that strong preseason showings in 2017 and 2018 weren't flukes. The 2016 sixth-round pick threw six touchdown passes to just two interceptions in nine games (five of which were starts), and he added 130 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. 

    He's a dual-threat passer who could have a bright future as a backup in this league, but the Bengals should also benefit from the competition Finley is expected to bring to the table as a rookie fourth-round pick. The polished NC State product fulfills all seven of Bill Parcells' rules for drafting a quarterback, and he probably has a higher ceiling than Driskel. 

    Though Finley reportedly has struggled this offseason, Dolegala has turned some heads as an undrafted rookie.

    The point is, the Bengals have three intriguing options behind Dalton. Keeping just one might be a risk, but if they go with Driskel and one of the rooks, they could be in decent shape.

18. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Starter: Patrick Mahomes

    Backups: Chad Henne, Chase Litton, Kyle Shurmur

    As the clear-cut top backup for the Kansas City Chiefs, Henne is a well-established incumbent. But he turns 34 this offseason, and he's thrown just five passes the last three years. 

    The Chiefs smartly have added two other arms to the fray via the UDFA pool the last couple years. And while Litton and Shurmur are long shots to supplant Henne, there's plenty of young talent there for Kansas City to find a potential successor for Henne. 

    This backup group has a nice mix of experience and youth but lacks overall talent. It's as "middle-of-the-pack" as they come. 

17. Atlanta Falcons

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    Matt Schaub
    Matt SchaubTim Warner/Getty Images

    Starter: Matt Ryan

    Backups: Matt Schaub, Kurt Benkert

    Schaub turns 38 this month and has thrown just 10 passes the last three seasons combined. The Atlanta Falcons could use a fresh young arm to push him this summer and then stashed on the practice squad if needed. It's not ideal that the only other quarterback currently on the roster is Benkert, a former undrafted free agent who has never seen regular-season action. 

    Still, we're talking about a former Pro Bowler who has the wisdom and experience to fill in nicely if anything happens to Ryan. 

16. New York Jets

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    Mark Brown/Getty Images

    Starter: Sam Darnold

    Backups: Trevor Siemian, Davis Webb, Luke Falk

    Siemian was in over his head as a starter in Denver, but the 27-year-old can use that experience to become a solid backup.

    He never got the chance behind Kirk Cousins last year in Minnesota, and that might not be any different behind Darnold on the New York Jets roster. But he has decent career passing numbers, including a 30-to-24 touchdown-to-interception ratio. With some upside, he's at least a middle-of-the-pack No. 2.

    The Jets also gets some credit for possessing two sub-25-year-old drafted quarterbacks on the roster. Even if Webb and Falk have their limitations, they're worthy of competing for backup or third-string jobs. The former was a third-round pick just two years ago. 

    The Jets' backup group has a nice combination of experience, potential and talent. 

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Blaine Gabbert
    Blaine GabbertChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Starter: Jameis Winston

    Backups: Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin, Nick Fitzgerald

    Winston is no longer threatened by the streaky Ryan Fitzpatrick on the Buccaneers quarterback depth chart, but the Tampa Bay offense can still take solace in the fact two veteran backups are there to provide insurance under center. 

    Gabbert has often been a punchline in recent years, but as a backup/spot starter in Tennessee last season, he completed 60.4 percent of his passes and threw as many touchdown (four) as interceptions. In other words, he was serviceable. And with offensive mastermind Bruce Arians now running the show in Tampa, Gabbert can probably hold it down for a week or two in Winston's stead. 

    Of course, it's also possible that in an emergency, they'll go to Griffin, who has never thrown a regular-season pass but posted a 105.3 passer rating with four touchdowns to zero interceptions last preseason. The 29-year-old has been kicking around in Tampa since 2015 and has been in the league since 2013. He's a strong No. 3, maybe even a decent No. 2. 

    Fitzgerald might be more than a camp arm. He's a dual-threat QB who could be used in multiple ways as an undrafted rookie out of Mississippi State. But even if that doesn't pan out immediately, the Bucs look to be covered if Winston is out of commission for a short period. 

14. New York Giants

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    Starter: Eli Manning

    Backups: Daniel Jones, Alex Tanney, Kyle Lauletta, Eric Dungey

    Jones might have been drafted too high as the sixth overall selection this year, but he was still viewed as a first-round pick by many, and that should be enough for him to earn at least the No. 2 job as a rookie. The problem is Jones' slow delivery speed at Duke would leave him in big trouble in the NFL. Nobody knows if he'll develop enough to produce in 2019, but the Giants don't have any other proven options. 

    Manning's four backups have completed a combined 10 NFL passes, all of which belong to the 31-year-old Tanney. But Tanney's last pass came way back in 2015, and there's no reason to believe the journeyman can be relied on for anything more than mop-up duty. 

    Lauletta was a fourth-round pick just a year ago, but he might already be on thin ice after a disastrous rookie season on and off the field. And as an undrafted rookie who has also been listed on the depth chart as a tight end, Dungey isn't a factor yet. 

13. New England Patriots

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    Brian Hoyer
    Brian HoyerSteven Senne/Associated Press

    Starter: Tom Brady

    Backups: Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham, Danny Etling

    Hoyer has generally struggled since putting up strong numbers with the Bears in 2016, and he might be fading at age 33. But his experience and familiarity with the New England Patriots' offense make him a critical part of the operation there. 

    Besides, his career 48-to-30 touchdown-to-interception ratio was made for New England. 

    But the really good news is the Patriots finally have an exciting alternative in Stidham. The rookie fourth-round pick is a smart quarterback with tremendous touch who isn't ready to play a major role in the NFL but looks tailor-made for the Patriots offense. 

    Those two should form a strong backup duo that brings a lot of different facets to the table. 

    That'll make it almost impossible for Etling to make the 53-man roster, which is probably a good thing.

12. Denver Broncos

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    Drew Lock
    Drew LockDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Starter: Joe Flacco

    Backups: Drew Lock, Kevin Hogan, Brett Rypien

    As a rookie second-round pick, Lock might not be ready to excel as an NFL starter right off the bat. But the Missouri product passed for more than 12,000 yards in 50 games in the SEC, throwing 99 touchdown passes to 39 interceptions, only eight of which came in a superb senior season in which he completed 63 percent of his passes. 

    He should enter the league as a high-end backup.

    It'd be nice if the Broncos could at least support Flacco with one other backup with substantial pro experience, but Hogan is a decent veteran alternative who threw 101 passes with the Browns in 2016 and 2017. He's started just one game since coming into the league as a fifth-round pick three years ago, but at least he knows the Denver offensive personnel after spending the 2018 season on the roster. 

    "He looks much improved from what I remember," Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said of Hogan last month, per Mike Klis of 9News. "I think he's done well. I think he's an improved quarterback from my last look at him which was a couple of years ago."

    There's a lot of mystery surrounding this group of backups, but throw in intriguing UDFA Brett Rypien, and you've got a few strong options behind Flacco.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Starter: Ben Roethlisberger

    Backups: Josh Dobbs, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges

    The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to lack NFL experience behind Roethlisberger, but there's plenty of what we'll call "backup upside" there. In other words, it'd be surprising if both Dobbs and Rudolph failed to become solid No. 2 quarterbacks, and there's even a chance one or both recent middle-round picks will climb higher than that. 

    Both Dobbs and Rudolph performed relatively well last preseason, and an expected competition between the two this summer should only help bolster the credibility attached to whoever wins said battle. The loser will be a talented No. 3 (Hodges has almost no shot to supplant the top three quarterbacks), giving the Steelers a formidable quarterback stable that only loses points for a lack of pro reps behind Big Ben. 

10. San Francisco 49ers

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Starter: Jimmy Garoppolo 

    Backups: Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard, Wilton Speight

    Mullens and Beathard have both at least been test-driven. They've made a combined 18 starts the last two seasons, and both have enjoyed some nice moments.

    In fact, Mullens was actually the talk of the league when he went 16-of-22 for 262 yards and posted a 151.9 passer rating in a blowout victory in his first career start last season. He obviously didn't come close to sustaining that, but his 90.8 first-year passer rating is enough to give the 49ers confidence if they have to use him for a short time in 2019. 

    Beathard's numbers aren't as impressive, but he's a strong No. 3 at the very least, and Speight isn't likely to pose much of a challenge as an undrafted rookie. 

    Both Mullens and Beathard appear to be making progress this offseason, and the competition between the two can't hurt. 

    "These guys have both proven that they can play in this league," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this month, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, "and we're going to have to make a tough decision at the end of preseason to which one we want to give that No. 2 job to."

    That's a good sign. 

9. Chicago Bears

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    Nam Huh/Associated Press

    Starter: Mitchell Trubisky

    Backups: Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray

    Nothing's changed since we said this last year: The Chicago Bears' backup quarterback tandem isn't sexy, but it's reliable. 

    Daniel rarely plays but has been a high-quality No. 2 quarterback for nearly a decade. His last three preseasons (in Philadelphia in 2016, in New Orleans in 2017 and in Chicago in 2018) have been strong, and he has an established connection to Matt Nagy's offense. 

    In that offense last season, Daniel completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and posted a 90.6 passer rating in two spot starts, with Chicago generating 50 points in those outings.

    Bray also has plenty of familiarity with Nagy's system and has been kicking around long enough to be considered at least a typical No. 3 with limited regular-season experience.

8. Indianapolis Colts

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    Jacoby Brissett
    Jacoby BrissettDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Starter: Andrew Luck

    Backups: Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly

    Brissett is a good No. 2 whom the Indianapolis Colts obviously value dearly. His roots are tied to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, he's a dual-threat quarterback who limits his mistakes, and he could still have room to grow at the age of 26.

    The 2016 third-round pick didn't look like a franchise-caliber quarterback when he subbed for Luck for the entire 2017 season: He completed fewer than 59 percent of his passes, threw just 13 touchdowns in 16 games and was the league's 11th-lowest-rated passer. But the Colts can confidently turn to him if Luck goes down again for a short period.

    They might also have a healthy competition brewing for the No. 3 job between the familiar Walker and the embattled Kelly, who was a star in the SEC in 2015 and 2016 but couldn't cut it in Denver partially due to off-field issues

    All together, the Colts have every reason to be satisfied with the talent they have behind Luck.

7. Miami Dolphins

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    Josh Rosen
    Josh RosenBrynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Projected starter: Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Backups: Josh Rosen, Jake Rudock

    If Fitzpatrick starts, the Miami Dolphins will have a backup with as much upside as almost any No. 2 quarterback in the NFL. Rosen struggled last year in Arizona, but let's not forget he was a top-10 pick in 2018 after a tremendous run at UCLA. If he doesn't become even a low-end starter, he'll likely always be at least a top-end backup. 

    If Rosen starts, he'll be insured by one of the most established and capable backups of this era. Last season in Tampa, Fitzpatrick averaged an NFL-high 9.6 yards per pass attempt while also becoming just the 14th player in league history to post three qualified passer ratings of 140 or higher in a single campaign. 

    Rudock is a 26-year-old former sixth-round pick with experience in a No. 2 role and a small but successful pro sample in both the regular season and the preseason, making him a top-end No. 3.

    Bring it all together, and this is a top-10 backup group. 

6. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Nate Sudfeld
    Nate SudfeldMatt Rourke/Associated Press

    Starter: Carson Wentz

    Backups: Nate Sudfeld, Cody Kessler, Clayton Thorson

    The Jaguars strangely dumped one of the league's best backups when they released Kessler, who went 2-2 as a starter while completing 64.9 percent of his passes last season. The Philadelphia Eagles, who coincidentally lost the league's best backup to Jacksonville when the Jags signed Foles to be their starter, were smart to pick up Kessler in support of Wentz and Sudfeld, who is the presumed No. 2. 

    The important thing is the Eagles now have multiple options. Kessler has been around, Sudfeld has a triple-digit passer rating and an 80.0 percent completion rate in a limited career sample, and Thorson is a rookie fifth-round pick coming off three big seasons at Northwestern. 

    The Eagles seem to love Sudfeld, and he probably has the edge right now. But considering Wentz has failed to make it through each of the last two seasons, Philly is in a good spot with three talented passers in the stable.

5. New Orleans Saints

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    Teddy Bridgewater
    Teddy BridgewaterGerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Starter: Drew Brees

    Backups: Taysom Hill, Teddy Bridgewater, J.T. Barrett

    The New Orleans Saints continue to successfully stash a 26-year-old first-round pick and former Pro Bowler on their quarterback depth chart. They know Brees will eventually hang 'em up, hence why they're paying Bridgewater $7.25 million, which, according to Spotrac, is more than any other backup in the NFL.

    That alone gives the Saints a highly favorable backup situation, but they also have a dynamic weapon in Hill, who is more of a runner and receiver but frequently takes snaps at quarterback and throws the occasional pass. 

    They'll likely try to keep Barrett on the practice squad again, but his presence doesn't change the fact this is one of the top quarterback groups in pro football. 

4. Los Angeles Rams

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    Blake Bortles
    Blake BortlesMarcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Starter: Jared Goff

    Backups: Blake Bortles, John Wolford, Brandon Allen

    Bortles was not a good starter in Jacksonville, but the 27-year-old is a No. 3 overall pick with 103 touchdown passes to 75 interceptions and 73 starts under his belt. He has big-game experience, too, having helped the Jaguars upset the Steelers in a thrilling divisional playoff game in 2017. 

    He has the talent to not only hold it down but also excel in a pinch if Goff isn't available for L.A. But for good measure, the Rams also have two-time AAF Offensive Player of the Week John Wolford and 2016 sixth-round pick Brandon Allen. 

    The former is worth a shot in case that now-shuttered startup league helped him reach a new level of play,  while the latter at least knows Sean McVay's offense well, having been with the Rams since 2017. 

    The Rams are extremely secure behind Goff. 

3. Los Angeles Chargers

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    Tyrod Taylor
    Tyrod TaylorChris Carlson/Associated Press

    Starter: Philip Rivers

    Backups: Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, Easton Stick

    Taylor probably should never have been viewed as a starting-caliber quarterback, at least on a competitive team. But he's a careful passer with great mobility who, at a bare minimum, is a top-tier backup. He has a winning record as a starter and a 53-to-20 touchdown-to-interception ratio in eight seasons, and as he approaches age 30, he's got a good blend of experience and remaining potential. 

    He alone gets the Los Angeles Chargers into the top three, while former Ohio State standout Cardale Jones is a solid No. 3 option, and Stick is a rookie who might have some Taysom Hill in him

2. Tennessee Titans

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    Ryan Tannehill
    Ryan TannehillMark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Starter: Marcus Mariota

    Backups: Ryan Tannehill, Logan Woodside 

    Like Bortles, we've never really seen Tannehill in a backup role, but you'd think a 30-year-old with a career completion percentage of 62.8, touchdown-to-interception ratio of 123-to-75 and passer rating of 87.0 on nearly 3,000 pass attempts would be exactly what a team is looking for in a No. 2. 

    Fact is, the 2012 No. 8 overall pick is good enough to be a starter in several offenses, and it's entirely possible he'll actually wind up in Mariota's role if the Titans part ways with their current No. 1 following a looming walk year. 

    Mariota has also lacked durability, which means there's a good chance Tannehill will get some chances this season. And with his future on the line on a one-year deal, he'll be highly motivated if and when that happens. 

    Whether or not Woodside makes the roster as a second-year seventh-round pick who may have ignited his football career in the AAF, the Titans are in tremendous shape behind Mariota. 

1. Washington Redskins

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    Case Keenum
    Case KeenumManuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

    Projected starter: Dwayne Haskins

    Backups: Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Josh Woodrum

    With three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith likely to miss the 2019 season as a result of the gruesome leg injury he suffered last year, the impressively proactive Washington Redskins have given themselves several strong options under center. 

    Assuming Haskins wins the starting job, Keenum is a top-of-the-line No. 2 who was the league's seventh-highest-rated passer in 2017 and completed 62.3 percent of his passes as a starter in Denver last season.

    Ditto for McCoy, who has a 93.6 passer rating in his four years as a backup in Washington. The 32-year-old is also recovering from a broken leg, which is probably why they traded for Keenum, but NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay reported the Redskins coaching staff is not counting McCoy out in the quarterback competition that is sure to take place during training camp. 

    It's possible Haskins won't win the starting job right away, in which case, the rookie first-round pick would have to be considered either a top-end No. 2 or the best No. 3 in the league. For what it's worth, he's already drawn rave reviews this offseason

    Regardless of the order they're in, you won't find a 1-2-3 quarterback punch like Haskins, Keenum and McCoy.