Best QBs To Build Around

December 22nd, 2016


Interesting story here typed by longtime NFL executive and father of the Cowboys dynasty of the 1970s, Gil Brandt, now a part-time NFL employee.

Brandt identified the best young quarterbacks in the NFL to build an offense around. He doesn’t have America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, at the top of the list, but near the top at No. 4.

Evaluation: Not as athletic as Mariota or Prescott, but very smart and has good work habits. Had a 4.0 GPA out of high school, choosing Florida State over Stanford. Won a national title and Heisman Trophy in college. Great leadership skills. Good, plus arm strength. Has mental toughness. Made Pro Bowl as a rookie. Has led the Bucs to 14 wins over first two seasons.

Personally, Joe would have Jameis no less than No. 2. Why? Aside from Mike Evans, Jameis has nothing around him. Give Jameis another decent receiver as his No. 2 option and a decent, consistent running back, and man, the sky is the limit with the Bucs offense!

That’s why Joe is almost as excited about the offseason as Joe is about a potential playoff berth. Just what kind of late Christmas presents can Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht get Jameis with the sackful of Team Glazer loot he will have available.

62 Responses to “Best QBs To Build Around”

  1. Gilhealy Says:

    Give it another season or two. He’s been the best of these guys since high school, and it will follow suit in the pro’s. They’re all good, but our guy will be the best.

  2. Gilhealy Says:

    I would like to see Light build a wall and make the Glazers pay for it. Keeping #3 healthy will pay dividends, with compound interest, for yrs to come. Make the investment starting next April.

  3. J 2.0 Says:

    That list is a joke.

    Jameis is #1. Bottom line.

  4. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    See now? This is the positive Joe.


    I wanted Carr the year he came out. Wanted him so badly.

    Putting Mariota above Winston? Other than passing percentage, he doesn’t beat Winston in any stats. I suppose he’ll always be considered better until Winston beats him soundly in return for the past defeat.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    So far as ranking? I Think he is better than Dak and Mariota…so I guess that would put him at #2.

    Dak is having a good year, but a QB should be on his second year starting at least before the word Franchise is used.

  6. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @J 2.0

    Not even. Maybe to Tampa fans, but the reality is, as he is currently playing THIS YEAR, he isn’t #1. Carr is. And rightfully so.

    That might change by the end of next year, but for now, Carr wins it.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I want to see another Bucs vs Raders Superbowl. And I want the Bucs to win.

    There would be a certain poetic justice to it.

    And while we are setting Winston goals…I want to see the Winston-led Buccaneers slaughter Mariota’s team as payback. Soon.

  8. lightningbuc Says:

    Decent, consistent running back? LOL. Joe can’t go one article without disparaging Doug Martin.

    Doug Martin yearns for a decent, consistent Offensive Line.

  9. Gilhealy Says:

    It’s gonna take a few more years for the suits at and ESPN as well as most of the other sports affiliates to bury their narrative they sold so voraciously. They already know they had it all wrong, but aren’t ready to admit it. Actually, they never will admit it, but will soften, and give Jameis his due. This kid is having to prove himself ten fold what the other guys have to. And, by the way, Antonor Winston posted on his FB page that the “devil” didn’t get any of their funds. She wanted his suit dismissed because she was gonna be exposed in hers. So, he actually called her bluff and succeeded. The worm will turn.

  10. Bob in valrico Says:

    so does Jameis, and a lot of buc fans.personally I think we still keep SWeezy
    because the line has not been good.

  11. salish_seamonster Says:

    He’s not in my top 5 after watching the Cowboys game. Missed wide open throws probably cost the game.

  12. Gilhealy Says:

    just your opinion Bonzai. Jameis is my number one. No contest. Carr’s good, but he’s no Jameis. That’s my opinion. Check Elway’s stats vs. Manning, Marino, Brees, etc. Stats don’t make a QB.

  13. Supersam Says:

    Mariota number 2…. ouch.

  14. Cat Says:

    Dak #3 is funny

  15. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I think to a man everyone would take Winston to start a franchise

  16. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    In the end he will be the best of the bunch

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    The fact that Dak is even on the list nullifies the list. “Best QB to BUILD around”! It’s already there in Dallas and with Romo as a back-up no less. Take Jameis, Marcus or Derek and give them a seasoned back-up to learn from, an offensive line beyond reproach, and weapons like Dez and future TE HOF’er Jason Whitten and they too would be extremely successful in year 1.
    Other than Dak, I don’t have a problem with the list. I would argue that the Raiders have done the best job of building so far with the Titans and Bucs close 2nds. If the Bucs had addressed WR in the draft, that might’ve changed. Give the kid some weapons!

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    There’s not 1 QB in the entire league I would take at this point in their career over Jameis Winston. Especially considering Winston is only 22 y.o – has almost 2 full years of experience taking every snap in NFL games under his belt – and is also very inexpensive for a franchise QB at only $5M per year for the next 2 years.

  19. Tampa Tony Says:

    Really depends on how you judge QB’s. Cant replace Carr as he’s just lethal and improves every year.

    Dak is hard to evaluate as he’s surrounded by Pro Bowlers and is in a great position to succeed for a long time.

    Mariota is more accurate and makes better decisions than Jameis but lacks his leadership and pocket presence.

    Jameis would’ve gotten tons of national praise if he was able to upset Dallas on Sunday. Not being accurate with his throws and losing his poise doesn’t help him when it comes to national recognition. Once he becomes more accurate he’ll get all the attention the FSU homers already give him

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    how in the hell is blake bortles on this list?….has he seen him play this year?…the kid has completely forgot how to throw the ball…..GO BUCS!!!!

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    @813- What the heck has happened to Bortles?! Fans were clamoring for him a few years back. He has looked downright awful this year.
    I still can’t get over the fact that Dak’s on the list. Really?!

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One stat that doesn’t get measured is heart…it doesn’t matter to me how other young QBs lead their team. What matters is how Winston leads ours. Our team (perhaps it’s the losing culture) needs Jameis’ heart and leadership. It remains to be seen if that will outweigh his inaccuracy which concerns me. He must improve there….he simply can’t continue to miss open receivers.

    The need to get him some weapons is too obvious to ignore……I think Licht wil be run out of town if he doesn’t respond to this, and soon.

    Jameis needs some improvement with the line…..RT, C..
    He needs 2 WRs…hopefully both with great speed.
    He needs another Pass-Catching/Blocking TE
    and, perhaps a RB (not certain here, at least for next year)

    We have all our draft picks and a ton of cap space to make all of these moves. That would be 4 starters on offense…..let’s get it done!!!

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    @bucsfanman…..I hear you regarding dak….he is good no doubt but damn #2….carr deserves it because he went through some struggles and has progressed from year to year….I get that….but if you put dak behind our oline or the jax oline will he still be “DAK”….I think he would flash but everyone would be able to see he’s just a rookie…..

    look at the 3 young qb’s that some people say are better than Winston…dak, carr and mariota….what do all three have in common….a very good oline….and the cowboys and titans both have a lethal ground game….if we can “FIX” the oline and not patch it up in the offseason, Winston will be #1….GO BUCS!!!!

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    If Winston had Dak’s Oline in front of him – there would be no question who the #1 young QB is.

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan….the only young qb that “MAY” have the heart like jameis is carr….I’ve watched him play several games this year and he refuses to lose… toughness is a different story….I know for a fact that jameis is the toughest most passionate young qb in the league….GO BUCS!!!!

  26. Jim Says:

    Only Evans to throw to? What about Cameron B.??

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    #1 help Winston needs is at WR & O-line

    Most GMs would probably say O-line is even greater need than WR.

    For years Brady has dominated with sorry WRs & sorry RBs. Why? Because Billicheck stresses the trenches and Brady usually has great protection.

    Seahawks won their SB with a bunch of sorry WRs.

    Broncos won their SB because of Defense – not because of DT / Sanders / etc. They were terrible on offense.

    Defense & building the trenches & a solid QB = pathway to super bowls if you look at what’s happened the last decade.

    All the best teams in the league right now have either a very solid O-line or a dominant defense or some mix to that degree:

    Pats – great line & Tom Brady & solid D

    Cowboys – one of the best O-lines

    Raiders – amazing O-line

    Seahawks – bad O-line; but #1 defense in NFL the last few years. Mediocre weapons.

    Falcons – solid O-line & OK weapons. Who ever heard of Taylor Gabriel before this year? Improved defense and protection >>> their RBs. Those same RBs were on last year’s team. But Alex Mack wasn’t.

    NY Giants – one of the best defenses in the league lately. Have weapons but Eli still Eli.

    Steelers – solid O-line; and resurging Defense. Have Brown & Bell but after that not many heralded weapons.

    Chiefs – one of the best defenses. Better O-line. Meh weapons

    Meanwhile – there are tons of bottom feader teams with great weapons available –

    Jacksonville (Robinson, Lee, Hurns, that TE they signed from Dnever last year)

    NY Jets – Brandon Marshall / Eric Decker / Robby Anderson / Quincy Enunwa

    Hell – Cleveland has better WR depth than us.

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    @lord….that’s a great post….sounds like we’re on the same page….GO BUCS!!!!

  29. loggedontosay Says:

    There are a lot of people making comments based on stats and not the conditions the stats are obtained. Take anyone of those QB and put them on the Bucs. Do they have success? Marion’s is not more accurate than Winston. Mariota is asked to make the same throws over and over. He has a monster running game. Numbers only make sense if all things are equal. Hence the equal sign. When Marion’s is asked to make the throws Winston make every week, he does not do as well. The bucs are building a team, and they are winning in the process. I choose Winston. I

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    @lord….you could throw the colts in that list of bottom feeders….great qb with weapons but no oline….I believe he’s the most hit qb since he entered the league….not only does he not have an oline but he has no run game….GO BUCS!!!!

  31. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Change all the hypothetical variables you want with those QB’s and their teams, to suit your argument all you want in favor of Winston. But bottom line is the QB’s that the article has ranked ahead of Winston all turn the ball over less. High level, consistent play with less turnover’s is higher with the other three right now.

  32. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:


    Everyone here no the uniqueness of our QB based on the quality of his supporting cast.

    At least EVERYONE except one!

    And JW is still the youngest out the crew and played the fewest years in college


  33. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:



  34. Bucnut2 Says:

    JOE mamma said it best. JW has heart but little common sense, (see headbutt)poor accuracy and is turnover prone. The fact that ANY NFL fan can argue against these rankings is laughable.

  35. ben Says:

    Most if not all nfl guys on tv say M.M. has more upside then Winston..How many people would take the qb for dallas over Winston? Be glad for what the bucs have with players but be honest with yourself.

  36. salish_seamonster Says:

    He’ll never be a top QB without becoming lethally accurate every game with most of his throws. You can’t start a game, first play, overthrowing a wide open receiver. It’ a tone-setter. I have concerns that he’ll never be accurate enough. I don’t think he has very good control – I’ve almost never seen him throw a tight spiral. With the most accurate QBs, the ball fires out like a bullet. He has small hands, which is a detriment. I hope he can find a way to remedy his deficiencies.

  37. Pickgrin Says:

    GTFOOH Bucnut. If you ain’t on board with Winston at this point – then you are not worthy of calling yourself a Buccaneer fan. Jameis, 14 games into his 2nd year, is far and away the best QB that has ever played for this franchise in over 40 years.

    You never liked nor wanted Winston and our penance will be spending the next 10-15 years listening to you bitch about the imperfections you perceive in our franchise quarterback. Just leave and don’t come back – and take Tampa Tony with you….

    Sick of you loser “fans” that stick to your hatred of the most important Bucs player despite all the evidence to the contrary that he is exactly what this team needs to succeed.

  38. cmurda Says:

    Should be Carr 1 and Jameis 2 and that could end up flip-flopping.

  39. cmurda Says:

    Lord C. Good post. I agree all the way. The NFL is won in the trenches, period. Look at the successful teams and they do 2 things well. Protect the QB, and on defense rush the QB. The rest simply comes together. JW is no different than any other good QB, give him time and he is lethal.

  40. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Lol all of those guys are on teams with, A better offensive line than Jameis, More Weapons than Jameis, and a better running game than Jameis.
    Give it 2 years and Jameis will be Atop of this list.

  41. Rojas Says:

    Give him a better C, RT. another WR, and one more TE to compliant Brate and Jameis will do wonders.

  42. PRBucFan Says:

    Hump and Brate are amazing weapons for Winston.

    Brate will be a top end TE in this league before long if he hasn’t already proven his worth.

  43. JameisDungy Says:

    If Jameis played for the Raiders or Cowboys he would be the favorite for MVP right now.

    He would have 30+ Td passes already. The flaw in Jameis game is his delivery. However if you give him all day to throw he’ll destroy teams.

    I’m big fans of Carr, Mariota and Dak.

    However, I think the 22 year old Winston will be the best. He’s not performing the best because the other 3 have better run games/olines.

  44. JameisDungy Says:

    @Gilhealy do you have a link for that Antonor Winston post?

  45. Mr.Smith Says:

    Jaquiz Rodgers>Doug Martin

  46. Mr.Smith Says:

    Jaquiz Rodgers was a beast in Doug Martins Absence why coach Koeter doesnt play him no more is beyond me

  47. Mr.Smith Says:

    Jaquiz Rodgers was a beast in Doug Martins absence why coach Koeter doesnt play him no more is beyond me,was killing defenses with the screen plays

  48. JameisDungy Says:

    People are so caught in Carr throwing for a bunch of yards against the Bucs.

    For as many people complain about Jameis accuracy do you realize that his 1st years > Carr’s 1st two years?

    Also in terms of advanced statistics Jameis blows Carr out of the water his 1st two years. Mariota does the same as well.

    Those two have the most potential.

  49. Mr.Smith Says:

    If we could get a good draft pick steal lets say Dalvin Cook Leonard Fournette and Somebody like Brandon Marshall in Free Agency we a be best in the NFC

  50. Bucnut2 Says:

    good evening Pick- nice to hear from you. I will say that you are correct, JW is the best QB the Bucs have ever had, outside of Steve Young. However, we COULD have had 2 QB’s who are better than Winston, MM and Carr but we didn’t draft either of them. This is what missed opportunity looks like. Best to you.

  51. DoNUTS Says:


    You can kiss my NFL Superbowl ring of rightness anytime. I told you the Cowboys would be tough at home and beat the Bucs……I read some of your nonsense after my post last week; stop seeing everything through your pewter glasses and you will see the real game on the field.

    I think even Joe has made the transition to realizing Winston has much work to do. The head butt this week was probably the dumbest thing I have seen in the NFL this year; #3 has a lot of growing up to do on the field. He also needs to figure out how to hit wide open receivers. He has to be leading the NFL in overthrows this year.

    Re ESPN>> “They already know they had it all wrong, but aren’t ready to admit it.” Gilhealy>>> kinda like you?

    The fact you believe Winston is currently better than Carr or Mariota speaks volumes about your NFL knowledge. I hate to break it to you but they are reading Def better than Winston this year, which is the #1 for any young QB. I guess you forgot Carr came into our house this year for a W and lit us up for 30. You are are a Bucsboner waiting to erect. No need to respond; your opinion means nothing to me and Id be willing to bet most on here. Keep on writing your drivel.

    Bucs 31 Saints 24

  52. Mr.Smith Says:

    Probably not Carr but Winston is Definately better than Mariota the Running Backs on the Titans just make Mariota look good

  53. SeminolesandBucs4life Says:

    Ive been a Buccaneer fan since 82-83…. they’ve had some great QBs pass through there. Steve Young … Doug Williams … Trent Dilfer (Superbowl Winners). We had QBs like Testeverde (Who actually looked better after going to Jets shame his best years were behind an attrocious O line). One thing they always seem to have however is a mediocre, at best, O line. Even when they won The Superbowl it was because the Defense builtduring Tony Dungy’s era was a phenome. No QB will ever shine w/out the O line giving protection. Jameis is young with mad talent and giving the right coaching will get better. He needs improvement in some areas I agree … but he needs an O line that will give him time. As far as intangibles go the one you cannot measure with stats is the “Heart of Leadership” no QB in the league has more of that than him. Im still behind ya JW.

  54. tval Says:

    Why is relativity lost on stupid fball fans?? I blame

  55. JameisDungy Says:



    Here’s the interesting thing about Mariota, Carr and Winston.

    Winston has 9 more ints than Carr. 6 more ints than Carr.

    Yet Winston has a higher Total QBR than both (just barely over Mariota)

    A lot of those ints have come in games where the Bucs had ZERO running game. Dallas/Arizona/Denver

    9 of his 15 ints have come in 3 games against good defenses with no running game.

    Yet by some miracle he’s still doing better than Carr and Mariota ever so slightly.
    What does that say?

    Once our GM starts doing the job the Tennessee and Oakland are doing in terms of fixing the OLine Jameis will really thrive.

  56. BrooksBucs Says:

    This is so funny! No, I mean really funny!

    Marcus Mediocre ahead of our #3, based on stats from 31 games, hey yeah all great franchise QB’s are judged on a handful of games. The Bucs got this draft pick right because they saw the future. The future is bright and it’s red and pewter, you simply cannot put a stat on passion and leadership, JW oozes them.

    Oh yee of little faith, doubters, scaremongers and quasi realists, start to believe, believe that this young guy who inspires those around him, turns a losing team on a downward spiral into a winning one with potential will be the No 1 QB in everyone’s opinion in the fullness of time.

    Look forward to other franchises wringing their hands in envy as our JW leads the Bucs through their most successful period in their short history. I can’t believe it’s nearly Xmas and we have a genuine shot at the play-offs, this turnaround has happened sooner than I could have hoped or dreamed. Even if we don’t make them this year the foundation is in place and it’s built on JW!

    You can keep Carr at Oakland, Dak at Dallas and Mediocre at the Titans, we have the real deal here and let time be the judge!

  57. gilhealy Says:

    DoNuts, I can’t really figure out what you’re trying to say, but I’m sure it’s nonsense. What reference to ESPN are you making? You really should’ve stayed in school. You see how it’s hurting you now? Silly boy. Now, try to watch as much football as you can this week. Then, when you think you understand the game, watch it again. Do this for about a season or two, and then come back here and ask if you can post questions to us educated fans. Until then, get back in school and study. You’re on a road to nowhere.

  58. Poor Glennon Says:

    In Winston land (Florida) he’s overated. The rest of the country has watched him bomb in primetime. We’ll see in the next 2 weeks what he’s made of. His issues are very similar to Freemans…….accuracy. You simply can’t win consistently missing 5 routine passes a game. His deep ball is horrendous. That Humphries TD was 5 yards underthrown and should have been picked. Blame the O-line or the running game or the WR. It’s the defence that turned this team around. Winston just managed tight defencive games. Koeter is pressing him to play smart. But he is crawling out of his skin. Wanting to gunsling it. He needs to play like Alex Smith because he’s no Aaron Rodgers. I’d have him 6th behind Wentz and Siemien.

  59. Poor Glennon Says:

    Anyone blaming the o-line,WR and RB for Winston play. Remember the team Glennon had??? The o-line was worse. I’d take Evans, Brate, Hump over V Jax, Williams and Wright any day of the week. 2 of those guy’s are still in their 20z but out of the league. Martin was on one of his no show years. Kind of a double standard don’t you think. Dak just proved WITHOUT A DOUBT. That he is way better than Winston. Ya Mariota has a v good running game. But can you name a WR on that team??? He’s money in the red zone. It’s not even close

  60. Jimmy T Says:

    Jameis has had no running game this year. The Titans have 2 big backs in Murray and Henry, the Titans realized last year that Mariotta cannot carry a team by himself. He must have a running game or they can’t win. Marcus Marriotta would be clueless in the Bucs scheme. Derek Carr is almost 26 years old , was in College for 5 yrs. give me a break. Dallas give them credit they drafted stud O lineman every year at the top of the draft and it has paid off big time. Jameis over time will lead this team to playoff wins and back to the Super Bowl provided the Bucs don’t mess up and draft kickers in the 2nd round anymore

  61. Jimmy T Says:

    Bottom line is we have a fine young franchise QB to build around. He is durable and loves the game. Who cares where the young qb’s are ranked. They are all good and their teams are very happy that they don’t have to worry about a QB for the next 10 to 12 years . Be happy Tampa , how would u like to have a wasted talent line Brock Osweiller in Houston or an old Carson Palmer in Arizona. If Greg schiano had his way Palmer would be throwing picks here in Tampa and Jameis would be excelling somewhere else.

  62. JP4 Says:

    Excuses, excuses – pathetic. Let all these QBs play another 4 or 5 years before you crown any of them! This is just fanboy f(l)apping.