The 2020 NFL Draft showcased some top-end talent at multiple positions. Justin Jefferson has changed the way teams utilize their rookie wide receivers. Chase Young and Tristan Wirfs headline some of the elite trench fighters that could dominate for years to come. But which quarterback is the best from the 2020 draft?
Who is the Best QB From the 2020 Draft?
First Round Performers
The first round featured four quarterback selections:
Joe Burrow (1st overall/Cincinnati Bengals)
Tua Tagovailoa (5th overall/Miami Dolphins)
Justin Herbert (6th overall/Los Angeles Chargers)
Jordan Love (26th overall/Green Bay Packers)
Love still hasn’t gotten his shot, so he is exempt from this discussion. Between Tagovailoa, Herbert and Burrow, there is a Pro Bowl (point Herbert) a Super Bowl appearance (point Burrow), and an Offensive Rookie of the Year award (another point for Herbert). Tagovailoa’s performance pales in comparison to the other two, despite looking good in 2022 before his concussion. That makes Tagovailoa the third-best quarterback from the first round, but he is the fourth-best quarterback from his class.
Eagles Struck Gold
Jalen Hurts was projected to go in the late second to early third rounds, but the Philadelphia Eagles took to leap and drafted the signal caller 53rd overall. Projected as a project quarterback, Hurts was supposed to be a backup for the almost MVP Carson Wentz. The Eagles’ struggles in 2020 led to the benching of Wentz in week 13, and Hurts took the job and never looked back. Hurts took a struggling team to playoffs in his first full year as a starter and has made visible improvements in his throwing and decision-making every year. Is he the best quarterback from the 2020 draft?
The top numbers to examine when comparing quarterbacks are passer rating, team wins, and rushing ability.
Jalen Hurts through five games:
67.9 completion percentage
97.4 passer rating
1.359 passing yards
266 rushing yards
10 total TD
MVP-caliber play pic.twitter.com/MFPACmUpoY
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) October 10, 2022
Over their careers, Burrow and Herbert are tied at a 98.4 rating while Hurts lags at 87.5. For context, Hurts’ passer rating has gone from 77.6 in 2020 to 87.2 in 2021, and in 5 games in 2022 his passer rating is 97.4. To put that in perspective, he’s in front of Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, and some guy named Tom Brady. Herbert is the highest of the group over his career and this year, so point Herbert.
Each of these teams was struggling before their quarterback took over, whether that was the reason they were able to take a quarterback top ten (Chargers and Bengals) or their team just imploded (Eagles). Given that each team started in about the same place, including playoff records, there is only one quarterback of the three with a winning record. Herbert comes in last of the three with a record of 17-19. Despite all the young talent in L.A. Herbert can’t seem to take them over the top. Burrow dragged the Bengals to the playoffs and boasts a 17-17-1 record, but is suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. Hurts is 14-11 in a smaller sample size, but has the Eagles on an absolute tear this year and is looking like an MVP candidate. Point Hurts.
If it were 2002 and everyone was lining up under center to do a five-step drop every play, there would be no need to look at rushing ability. But it’s 2022 and 6 of the top 50 rushers are quarterbacks (7 if you count whatever Taysom Hill is). Being a dynamic player with your legs is part of the job description now, and Hurts dominates. He has more rushing yards than Herbert and Burrow combined in fewer starts. Somehow he has gotten more dangerous as a runner in 2022 and is second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns. Not second for quarterbacks, second for all positions. This one is easily a point for Hurts.
Bengals, Eagles, and Chargers fans rejoice. Regardless of which quarterback is headlining their team, they are excellent options. If a GM prefers gusto and arm talent, Burrow is their guy. If they prefer maneuverability and sound decision-making, Herbert is a great choice. But if they want a gym rat with a love for football, all the intangibles you could ever want and a nose for the end zone Hurts is the clear choice. Time will tell who was the best quarterback from the 2020 draft, but defenses better watch out for Jalen Hurts.
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