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Who can come close to his production?
Jarrod Thurman @JarrodChiefsFCS
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I don’t think the player’s I list on this will equal Patrick Mahomes accomplishments. What I mean by this article is these are the players that I think are set up to have success early in their careers including winning lots of games, playoff wins, and Pro Bowls. My requirements for this are the player has to be a rookie or they have to have been a starter for either one or two seasons.
One popular pick is Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert was the rookie of the year in 2020. He was the youngest quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards when he accomplished the milestone in 2021, however, he did it in 17 games. His numbers through two years as a starter does rival Mahomes. He’s a solid quarterback however the biggest knock against him appears to be his 15-17 career record and lack of playoff appearances despite a solid offense around him. Critics blame the defense, but Mahomes had a statistically worse defense in 2018 than the Chargers have had the last two years and Mahomes made the AFC Championship. At the risk of sounding cliché, close but no cigar.
Tua Tagovailoa may not be getting talked about in this conversation much, but he should. Tua has Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, arguably one of the best receiving duos in the NFL. The Dolphins head coach is also a young up-and-coming head coach too. This team has a shot to do well this year depending on Tua’s development, but can he accomplish what Patrick Mahomes has? Honestly, probably not despite what Tyreek Hill has said in his podcasts.
The Jaguars are building a solid team leading off with Trevor Lawrence. Head coach Doug Pederson won a Super Bowl with the Eagles and started multiple games in his career as a quarterback. The Jaguars also spent a lot of money (probably too much money) on Christian Kirk. They’ve got some solid pieces on defense too but this is about quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence wasn’t terrible as a rookie but wasn’t all that great too. Can he be like Mahomes? Maybe eventually, but not anytime soon just to be honest. Too much more development is required for him to be a high-level quarterback.
The Patriots have had pretty good luck with quarterbacks the last 30 years. Drew Bledsoe had several good years, Tom Brady is well Tom Brady, and now Mac Jones. Mac Jones was probably the best offensive rookie in 2021 not named Ja’marr Chase and became the first Patriots quarterback not named Tom Brady to lead them to the playoffs since Drew Bledsoe took them to the playoffs in 1998. However, Bill Belichick is getting older and they’ve lost Josh McDaniels who’s one of the best quarterback developers in the game. The Patriots don’t have much around Mac Jones either. It does appear the Patriots dynasty is over because I’m not super confident Jones has a Super Bowl in him.
Jordan Love is the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers. He made his first start against the Chiefs last year after Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19. In that start, he only threw for 190 yards. He’s got a little developing to do before he’s ready to start but could do good. Rodgers did well replacing Brett Favre, can Love do the same thing? Probably not just to be honest.
I’ve said who all I think isn’t, but who actually is though? The quarterback I think is already has played in a Super Bowl and has had quite a bit of success already. That is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. He led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since before I knew what football was. The only reason they lost was the Bengals’ horrible attempt at an offensive line going against one of the best defensive linemen in NFL history. The Bengals improved their offensive line this offseason. Burrow might be a dark horse MVP candidate.
These quarterbacks all may have bright futures and it’s really hard to match what Mahomes has done but Burrow has the best chance to come close to matching his accomplishments just based on accomplishments so far and the team around him.