There are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL divided into eight divisions.
Legendary quarterbacks Alex Smith, Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees retired after the 2020 season so between draft picks, trades, and their retirements, the quarterback group looks very different from last year.
Selecting the division with the best set of starting quarterbacks is not an easy task because the talent and experience at the quarterback position within each division runs the gamut.
Without further ado, the NFL division with the best set of the starting quarterbacks is the AFC North.
AFC North Quarterbacks this season in a nutshell pic.twitter.com/bmM2glL7KG
— 𝘾𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙎𝙕𝙉 🌟 (@GoatedBaker) July 27, 2021
Here is why.
3. Three Out Of Four Won NFL Playoff Games
On top of that, these same three led their teams to the playoffs at the end of 2020 proving how deep and competitive the AFC North division is.
2. Three Out Of Four Won Heisman Trophies
The AFC North has three quarterbacks that won the Heisman Trophy — Lamar Jackson (#Ravens), Baker Mayfield (#Browns) and Joe Burrow (#Begals). The other — Ben Roethlisberger (#Steelers) — is a lock for the Hall of Fame.#RavensFlockhttps://t.co/AWLcXULHqz via @toddkarpovich
— Todd Karpovich (@toddkarpovich) July 15, 2021
While the Heisman Trophy is an award recognizing excellence at the college level, it is still remarkable that three out of the four AFC North quarterbacks are Heisman Trophy winners.
They are Jackson (2016), Mayfield (2017), and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow (2019).
The lone non-Heisman winner in the division, Pittsburgh’s Roethlisberger, is a future Hall of Famer.
He once joked about how he planned to handle this situation.
Roethlisberger on playing against other AFC North QBs – all Heisman winners:
"I'm going to have a fake Heisman made so all four of us can have them."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) October 14, 2020
1. One Is A Two-Time Super Bowl Champion
Roethlisberger is clearly the most accomplished in the division.
He was the No. 11 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft for the Steelers, and he hit the ground running quickly earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Roethlisberger is also a two-time Super Bowl champion and a seven-time Pro Bowler.
It is hard for the other three to compete with his resume because he has accomplished everything possible during his NFL career and is already a legend of the game.
Most seasons in NFL history with at least 3,500 passing yards and fewer than 15 INTs:
1) Tom Brady – 18
2) Aaron Rodgers – 11
3) Matt Ryan – 9
4) Peyton Manning – 8
5) Philip Rivers – 8
6) Drew Brees – 7
7) Ben Roethlisberger – 7
— Jimmy Gs burner (@JimmyGsBurner) August 1, 2021
The AFC North just barely edged out the NFC South and AFC West divisions.
If Brees had not retired, this would have been the division to beat in terms of quarterback talent.
As for the AFC West, it is hard to ignore the division that contains two young quarterback stars who could dominate the NFL for years to come.
This angle 🤯
Justin Herbert’s arm was built by NASA pic.twitter.com/Qtc4loT06d
— PFF (@PFF) July 31, 2021
It will be interesting to revisit this discussion a year from now when we have the benefit of seeing what the 2021 rookie quarterbacks accomplish this year; those include Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Mac Jones, and of course, the No. 1 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence.