The “This guy is pretty good but not as good as Justin Herbert” tier:
3. Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott does not get the credit he deserves as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. In fact, Prescott should be considered a top 10 quarterback when healthy and is probably going to be one in the 2021 season.
Now, the big question is how he comes back from injury. Is he the same Dak that can go air-raid with his multitude of weapons? Will he be hesitant to extend plays and get out of the pocket? The Chargers play him early, so that is a plus.
4. Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is also pretty disrespected. Yes, it is funny to make fun of him because he is usually pretty bad in primetime and has not made a deep run in the playoffs but he was really good for the Minnesota Vikings last season.
Granted, he benefitted from having the ball a lot from having a bad offense as well as having the second-best running back in the league to bank on, but that is okay. We do not discredit Ryan Tannehill for having the exact same benefits.
Cousins put up similar numbers to Justin Herbert last season. I would definitely rather have Herbert as he is more athletic and the ceiling is much higher, but that does deserve credit.
5. Joe Burrow
This is a tough one to judge because we only have 10 games to work with but Joe Burrow was really good last season. He was on pace to be neck-and-neck with Justin Herbert in passing yards (with one more game started) before getting injured.
Burrow could either fall to number seven on this list if he does not rebound or could shoot all the way up to third.
6. Derek Carr
Another disrespected quarterback in this tier, Derek Carr is a solid quarterback. Is he elite? No. But he has consistently put up solid numbers despite having to play on the dumpster fire that is the Las Vegas Raiders.
He is Tyrod Taylor with a higher ceiling. Efficient, does not turn the ball over much but is better than just being a game-manager.
7. Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield is really hard to gauge as well because he really stepped his game up down the stretch last season after being rather hit or miss the rest of his career. He also benefitted from an elite running game and one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Baker has to prove it some more in 2021 to get past guys like Carr and Cousins. The highs are certainly much higher with Baker but the lows have been much, much lower.