As this season of college football starts to come to a close, it also marks the close of the decade. Throughout the week, some of the writers here at PFN will be ranking who we believe are the players most deserving of being named to the All-Decade team. For this edition, we’ll be talking about the All-Decade Team: Quarterbacks.
What a loaded position to try and narrow down. If I eliminated single-season performances, I would eliminate some of the most dominant players in Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Kyler Murray, and Joe Burrow. If I went off of accolades alone, Andrew Luck wouldn’t make the list. To narrow it down, I used a combination of team success, accolades, production, and pro potential to narrow it down.
There are a ton of talented names on this list, so someone is bound to be left out of this list. If you disagree with me, find me on Twitter @AJDraftScout or respond in the comments below. If you’d like to read about our other All-Decade teams, click the links below.
- College Football All-Decade Team: Running Backs
- College Football All-Decade Team: The top 5 ILBs of the 2010s
- College Football All-Decade Team: Myles Garrett leads group of pass rushers
#5. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
We’re kicking off this list with one of the most electrifying players in college football history. Lamar Jackson shattered records and expectations with the Louisville Cardinals, earning himself the Heisman trophy in 2016. He ended up finishing his collegiate career with 42 Louisville records and is the only player to win ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year in two consecutive seasons. He was eventually drafted at 32nd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft and is playing himself into MVP consideration in the NFL. Jackson changed the college football landscape and is changing the NFL as well.
#4. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Watson did not win the Heisman like the other quarterbacks on this list, but his accomplishments in college football make him just as deserving. He became the first player to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 2015 and guided Clemson to back-to-back National Championship appearances with a title in 2016. He won the Davey O’Brien Award twice and was a Heisman Trophy finalist for two straight years. His high level of play established Clemson as a national powerhouse and modern dynasty.
Watson finished his collegiate career with 10,168 yards with 90 touchdowns and rushing for 1,934 yards plus another 26 scores during his three seasons at Clemson. Watson was drafted 12th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. His achievements definitely earn him a spot in the All-Decade Team: Quarterbacks.
#3. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
There should be no doubt that Baker Mayfield is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game at the collegiate level, so it was a no-brainer to put him on this list. He and Tim Tebow are the only two quarterbacks to finish as Heisman finalists three times and Mayfield finally won it in 2017.
He set the FBS passing efficiency record twice and led Oklahoma to two playoff appearances. He was a two-time Burlsworth Trophy Award winner for best walk-on, a two-time First-Team All-American, two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, and added the Davey O’Brien, Maxwell, and Walter Camp Trophy to his resume in 2017. He went on to be the number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
#2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Johnny Football was the most polarizing player of the 2010s, but his greatness at the collegiate level can’t be denied. Manziel was the first player to win the Heisman Trophy as a freshman after a record-setting season with 4,600 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. His freestyle play made him one of the most exciting players in college football history, and Johnny Football became a national sensation after a massive upset over #1 Alabama. Manziel went on to be the number 22 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
#1. Cam Newton, Auburn
Cam Newton had the most dominant season by any quarterback of the 2010s and deserves the #1 ranking on this list. He amassed 51 total touchdowns in one single season and carried Auburn to a national title win on his back. He played on an Auburn offense that had only one other player make an NFL start, and still put up insane records.
Newton won the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien, and Maxwell, as well as the AP Player of the Year in 2010. Cam was one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks of all-time in college football and with his numerous achievements, I couldn’t put him any lower on my list of the All-Decade Team: Quarterbacks.
Honorable Mention: Andrew Luck, Stanford; Marcus Mariota, Oregon, Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama