#11 Derek Carr
Derek Carr regressed last year after a 2016 season that saw Oakland reach the playoffs. His connection with Jon Gruden and whether he progresses will likely determine how he is viewed gong forward.
#12 Cam Newton
Newton won MVP three years ago, but has averaged less than 7.0 yards per attempt. The team added WR D.J. Moore in the first round this year, and we’ll see if he can rebound to the heights he reached in 2015. He’s still one of the league’s most unique weapons with his running ability, particularly in the red zone.
#13 Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins couldn’t get paid in Washington, so now he gets to throw to Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in Minnesota. Cousins has been over 7.5 yards per attempt in each of his three full seasons as a starter.
#14 Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson took the league by storm before tearing his ACL, throwing 19 touchdown passes in 7 games. If he can rebound and be fully healthy by opening day, he should exceed this ranking.
#15 Jared Goff
Jared Goff rebounded from an awful rookie year and really excelled in Sean McVay’s offense last year. Is he a star in the making, or a decent quarterback bolstered by a great offense design and Todd Gurley’s dynamic running and receiving?
#16 Andrew Luck
My colleagues are far more confident in Andrew Luck returning fully healthy than I am. No doubt that if you guaranteed his healthy return he would be higher on this list, but he still hadn’t thrown a football in April, more than 15 months after he last played in an NFL game.
#17 Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott regressed in 2017, and will have some new receivers this year. We’ll get to see whether the truth is closer to 2016 or somewhere in between how things went a year ago.
#18 Marcus Mariota
The Titans reached the playoffs last year, but Mariota’s numbers took a downturn and he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. 2018 is a key year in determining whether he can be a star or just a guy.
#19 Alex Smith
Alex Smith is now in Washington, after producing career-best numbers of 8.0 yards per attempt and 26 touchdown passes. Can he come close to duplicating that success again?
#20 Jameis Winston
My colleagues were far more down on Jameis Winston than I, with four having him outside the Top 20. He’s still only 24 and averaged 7.9 yards per attempt while the Bucs finished 2nd in passing first downs in 2017.