Top Ten Overachieving NFL Quarterbacks of All Time (Part 1)

Who are the Top Ten overachieving NFL quarterbacks of all time? Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Ryan Tannehill, Deshaun Watson, Josh Freeman, and Sam Darnold all deserve recognition. However, it’s tough to make a list of overachieving players without including one star quarterback who is more underrated than another. Let’s take a look at each player’s stature, durability, and skill level.

Russell Wilson

Many people have questioned Russell Wilson’s ability to win, but he truly belongs in the conversation with the best signal-callers in the NFL. He is one of only five active players to crack the top 25 in Harrison’s list of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He is an excellent deep passer who connects with receivers well. He is able to turn negative plays into positives for the Seahawks.

But what exactly makes Wilson an overachiever? Perhaps it is his tendency to overwork himself. He plays through injuries the entire year, and when he’s healthy, he throws the ball over the middle of a field with no one to catch it. Or maybe he just doesn’t have a reliable target. Either way, the overachieving quarterback will still be successful.

In addition to being the beneficiary of a talented team, Russell Wilson is one of the top-rated quarterbacks. His team has a solid defense and he’s a top-ten quarterback with plenty of experience. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, is a more veteran quarterback who already competes at a high level after two seasons. If you have a quarterback who has flaws, it might be worth considering him. If you haven’t yet, you may want to check out Russell Wilson. And if he’s a good leader in the locker room, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how often he wins.

Wilson is another overachiever. He’s played under Bill Belichick twice and never had a losing season. He won the Super Bowl in his second season and advanced to the Super Bowl again in his third season. In April, he won the most money in the NFL. He was also the highest-paid player in the NFL. It’s no surprise that Wilson is ranked among the best overachieving quarterbacks in the league.

Carson Wentz

Despite the adversity that preceded his NFL debut, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is on the right track. Wentz, born December 30, 1992, was an exceptional football player, leading North Dakota State to five NCAA FCS national championships. Upon graduation, Wentz was selected second overall by the Philadelphia Eagles. But is he the overachieving quarterback we’ve heard about? Let’s examine his past career and the future.

There’s no doubting Wentz’s skill as a passer, but he has a low floor for an elite NFL quarterback. His passing efficiency ranks seventh in the league, and he averages one interception for every 50 attempts, which is a staggering figure. He trails only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in DVOA, but he’s still well ahead of Wentz when it comes to team efficiency.

Last season, Carson Wentz led the Philadelphia Eagles to an 11-2 record. Despite suffering a season-ending injury, he led the team to the top NFC seed and a Super Bowl title, his first in a decade. He earned second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors after the game, and he continued to lead the Eagles to the playoffs over the next two seasons. After his debut season in Philadelphia, Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz stayed with the team for a season, and he was traded again after 2021.

The Indianapolis Colts parted ways with Wentz earlier this month. The former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who also coached Wentz in Philadelphia, said Wentz’s performance in the NFL boosted his confidence and helped him land a new job. Wentz’s emergence has caused a wave of red flags around the league, and it’s no wonder that Wentz is on the move.

Ryan Tannehill

The rise of Ryan Tannehill from backup to starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans has been anything but smooth. The rookie spent the majority of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, but was traded to the Titans in January 2019 as a backup. Tannehill stepped in and has been stellar since his arrival, leading the Titans to the AFC Championship Game and earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors. His success has led to him being selected to the Pro Bowl, and he has since earned his first starting job in the NFL.

Tannehill has had a stellar start to his career, going 3-1 as the Titans’ starter in Week 7. He is a perfect 10-for-10 in the red zone, orchestrating game-winning drives in each game. His play has been praised, but he has had some rough patches, including a disappointing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week. This is one of the reasons why some fans aren’t sold on Tannehill just yet.

The NFL’s salary cap is a constant source of controversy, and it is easy to understand why Tannehill is facing so much criticism. His comments about running in a team-first environment have brought him a lot of flack, but he’s not the first veteran quarterback to take a team-first approach. In fact, Brett Favre famously refused to tutor his understudy Aaron Rodgers, resulting in his emergence as the NFL’s most dominant quarterback.

In addition to his overachieving on the field, Tannehill has also been a good mentor to rookie quarterback Malik Willis. Willis is the second overall pick in the Titans’ draft, so it’s safe to say that Tannehill’s mentorship is something he takes very seriously. When Willis says something to his face, it means he takes it seriously.

Deshaun Watson

This season, Watson has played better than ever. Even though his team is 4-8, Watson is the league leader in total passing yards and second only to Patrick Mahomes in passing yards per game. He is third in the NFL in passer rating and ranked third in yards per game, according to Pro Football Focus. With these numbers, Watson is one of the top overachieving quarterbacks.

The greatest quarterback seasons of the past 15 years have included Tom Brady’s 2007, Peyton Manning’s 2013, and Patrick Mahomes’ 2018. All of these teams had better surrounding factors, but Watson’s numbers are even more impressive. They had to overcome a number of disadvantages to be the best quarterback in the league. For example, being down in a game forces the quarterback to make more difficult passes, putting him in more ominous down and distances. Also, without a running game, Watson is forced to hold the ball. Despite these disadvantages, Watson managed to torment the league.

It’s important to note that Watson is only a young man. His age and the NFL are still determining factors for his future. It’s also possible that he’ll play for a different team in 2020. Ultimately, Watson will be a top ten overachieving quarterback. He could become a presidential candidate and wear a different color than he has been wearing in the past 15 years.

While Watson has played elite football in the absence of a running game and star receivers, his record as a starting quarterback as of 2019 is shocking. He’s only 28-25 in regular season games as a starter and won 52.8% of games. That’s not good enough. If you’re looking for an NFL MVP, the best quarterbacks win all their games.

David Johnson

It would be hard to find a player who is better at the quarterback position than David Johnson. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He has struggled in his short NFL career, registering fewer than three hundred yards on the ground in four of the last thirteen weeks. While this does not necessarily reflect the talent of the quarterback position, Johnson has a high ceiling and possesses great potential.

The first of the reasons to rank David Johnson is his ability to play so many different positions. In 2016, Johnson was the most involved back in the passing game. His average depth of target was 8.2 yards downfield, more like that of a receiver or tight end than a running back. Similarly, his volume of legitimate downfield plays was a lot higher than Bell’s. So, despite being undersized, Johnson is among the top ten overachieving NFL quarterbacks.

There are many reasons why David Johnson is underrated by PFF. His high receiving grade matched his production. His pass-catching ability also ranked him among the top 10 overachieving quarterbacks. In addition to his high PFF grade, Johnson was voted the NFL’s Best Receiver in 2016, and he has been named Best Receiver three times. This recognition reflects his versatility as a weapon in an offense.