With the retirement of Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger this year, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers last year, and Peyton Manning retiring in 2016 we've seen the end of an era in the NFL. The NFL is transitioning into a new era of quarterbacks. Starting in the 2022-2023 season the NFL will look different as this will be the first time in years that the league doesn't have a Manning, Brady, and Brees. However, I believe the league is in better shape now than it has ever been and that's due to this new era of quarterbacks.

From Patrick Mahomes to Joe Burrow to Josh Allen to Dak Prescott to Lamar Jackson and to Justin Herbert the NFL has an elite stable of young quarterbacks. So Charlie Long and I decided to compare this new generation of quarterbacks to the previous generation and see if any of these guys remind us of old.

Lynden Burton's Quarterback Comparisons

Patrick Mahomes' Comparison

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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We have to begin this conversation with the king, Patrick Mahomes. And yes I know before you comment well he's not in the Super Bowl this year how can you call him the king. Of this list, he is the only one with a Super Bowl victory, a Super Bowl MVP, an NFL MVP, and 4 AFC Championship appearances(2 Super Bowl appearances). So yes with that being said he's the top dog of this group and currently the best quarterback in the NFL

Now for his comparison. When it comes to Patrick Mahomes you must do a two-part comparison. One for his accomplishments and career trajectory and the second being his natural talent. The reason for that is because there hasn't been a quarterback with the accomplishments of Mahomes this early in their career with the talent that Mahomes possesses.

So when it comes to his talent comparison there is only one person we've seen with the arm strength, accuracy, and the ultimate confidence to gunsling and that is that bad man Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers and Mahomes have the best deep ball the league has seen. They also can change the release point of their throws at the drop of the dime. And finally when they improvise they become deadly. If the play breaks down and Mahomes has time to escape the pocket to make a throw on the run, no one does it better besides Rodgers. From top to bottom when it comes to quarterback abilities it's Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes then everyone else.

Now when it comes to his career trajectory and what I believe Mahomes will mean to the NFL as an ambassador going forward the only comparison is the GOAT Tom Brady! Like we stated earlier Patrick already has 2 Super Bowl appearances and 1 win in his first 5 years in the NFL. As of now, he is the only one in this group that I can see coming close to Brady's super bowl win record as a quarterback with 7. Mahomes has shown that he is a winner just like Brady. He also has shown a similar clutch ability like Brady. I mean just look at his divisional round playoff performance when he was able to bring the Chiefs down the field to tie the game with only 13 seconds left on the clock. The only other person that could've done that is Tom Brady. Also, Tom was the biggest ambassador of the league and Mahomes now takes on that challenge as the best quarterback in the league.

So when it comes to Mahomes I cheated a bit and gave you two comparisons; however, that is only because Mahomes is THAT special.

Joe Burrow's Comparison

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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When it comes to Joe Burrow aka Joe Shiesty aka Joe Cool aka Joe Burreaux Louisiana's adopted son there is only one guy I see as the perfect comparison. Funny enough the quarterback I'm comparing him to is also a Louisiana guy. And that comparison is Peyton Manning.

If you look at Joe's game and what makes him special screams Peyton Manning to me. Joe doesn't have the strongest arm similar to Manning. But what they both have is the ability to break down and analyze the defense pre-snap at an extremely high level. Then post-snap they go through the reads and make the right play at the right time. They also are extremely accurate. For his career, Manning had a 65% completion rate. Burrow is at 68% two years into his career but he increased his percentage this season to 70%. And for him to have that percentage with the worst offensive line in the NFL is spectacular. The ability to fit passes in such tight windows is something that both Manning and Burrow share.

But the biggest and most glaring comparison has to be the fact that when they step on the field their respective teams believe that they have/had a shot to win because they have Manning or Burrow. That ultimate confidence that they give their teams is something special. They also share a major rival. Where Manning had Brady, Burrow has Mahomes. And that is a rivalry I'm looking forward to for the next 10 years.

Josh Allen's Comparison

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images
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It's kind of crazy that if Josh Allen wins the divisional round against Mahomes maybe this story is a little different. I doubt it but it definitely would've made me consider Josh higher than Burrow. However, Burrow just has that it factor and that's not meant to be disrespectful to Allen. I just feel that Mahomes and Burrow are just a notch above Allen but Allen is right there. Now for his comparison, I feel that Josh Allen is Ben Roethlisberger 2.0.

When you look at what makes Josh Allen special it is very similar to Big Ben. They both have a cannon for an arm and the ability to stand tall in the pocket and shed defenders. Allen also has the ability to run at a high level. Big Ben was never as fast as Allen but in his prime Big Ben could scramble very well. They both also had some of the best deep-ball accuracy compared to their counterparts. Ben was always a winner just was always overshadowed by Brady and Manning. And it seems that history will repeat itself because Josh Allen will be a winner in this league; however, he just has the issue of Mahomes and Burrow overshadowing him.

Dak Prescott's Comparison

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
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This was easily my favorite comparison to make and the one that started this whole experiment. When it comes to Dak Prescott his comparison is Phillip Rivers.

Both Prescott and Rivers are very talented. Both quarterbacks have a cannon for an arm and are accurate. For his career Rivers had a 64% completion rate compared to Dak's 66% for his career so far. When you see Dak you see someone who is very talented but can never get it done when it matters and that was the same issue with Rivers. Rivers had all the talent in the world but could never win the big game. The same can be said for Prescott. He's always had a great running back in Zeke, great tight ends from Jason Witten to Dalton Schultz, great wide receivers in Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb, and Dez Bryant, and an amazing offensive line. The same can be said of Rivers. Rivers had at running back LaDainian Tomlinson, tight ends included Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, and at wide receiver, he had Vincent Jackson, Keenan Allen, and Malcolm Floyd. They both have had incredibly talented teams but just couldn't seal the deal. And that's why Dak Prescott is this generation's Philip Rivers.

Lamar Jackson's Comparison

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
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This comparison is really easy. And trust me I tried to zag instead of the typical zig; however, there is really only one legit comparison for Lamar Jackson. And that comparison is Michael Vick.

This is something that isn't new. Football fans have been making this comparison since Jackson was at Louisville. There has been no one in the NFL history to run the ball at the quarterback position like Jackson and Vick. The difference is that Jackson is a better thrower of the football. So much so that Vick has stated this multiple times. The good thing is that we will get a full Lamar Jackson in his prime, unlike Vick who lost some of his prime years to his stint in jail.

Justin Herbert's Comparison

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
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The final quarterback in this elite group is Justin Herbert. Justin is very interesting because like Mahomes I believe that he could've had two comparisons but both with talent comparisons. However, I already cheated once with that so with Herbert I will stick to just one comparison. And that comparison is Brett Favre.

Justin Herbert is a gunslinger just like Favre. Herbert isn't afraid of taking chances and that can be seen just by looking at his interception totals for his first two seasons with 10 in season 1 and 15 in season 2. But even with that Herbert still has a solid completion percentage with 66% for his career so far. And that is the only difference between the two and that is that Herbert is a tad more accurate with the football than Favre. His accuracy could be compared more to a Drew Brees; however, everything else about his game screams Favre. That is why I only made one comparison. Herbert is the name on this list that I truly believe can challenge Mahomes and Burrow for that top spot because like Favre he is a wild card.

Charlie Long's Comparisons

Patrick Mahomes' Comparison

Mahomes early in his career drew comparisons to Brett Favre, and I certainly agree with that as a player comp. Both players were known as gunslingers that loved making ridiculous throws with bold confidence. However, with Mahomes' success as the leader of a team that has now made it to four consecutive AFC Championship Games, he's going to get the Tom Brady comparison, and I can't disagree. As a passer, Mahomes reminds me of Favre, but as a winner, he's Brady. Is that cheating? Oh well.

Josh Allen's Comparison

There's already the comparison of Allen-Mahomes becoming the next Peyton Manning-Brady rivalry, and I'm buying that stock. Josh Allen is an unbelievable talent, but Manning went only 6-11 against Brady in his career. We may see something similar because Allen's arm strength and accuracy is nearly unparalleled in the entire league, but he's 1-3 vs. Mahomes so far including 0-2 in the playoffs. The one thing wrong with this comparison is that Allen is more athletic than Manning was, and that adds an entire extra facet to his game. However, as far as pure arm talent goes, Allen's comparison is Manning in my opinion. He's that good.

Dak Prescott's Comparison

This is totally cheating, but I can't help it. Lyn already made the comparison of Dak Prescott to Phillip Rivers and I can't unsee it. Each player put up really solid numbers during the regular season, but neither was able to get it done in the postseason. Rivers in his career was 5-7 in the playoffs, and Prescott so far is 1-3. This isn't even an insult, because Rivers was a really good quarterback in his own right. I think that statistically, Prescott is a very good player just like Rivers, but the playoff success hasn't been there. I agree with Lyn on this one.

Justin Herbert's Comparison

So, this one is going to sound strange but stick with me. Herbert is Aaron Rodgers for me. He makes unbelievable throws that you won't see from any other quarterback at times. He was slightly overlooked in the draft but has proved his doubters wrong so far in his career. Herbert has a bright future filled with awards like MVPs and Pro Bowls, but how many titles will he win? How will he perform in the postseason? All of that is yet to be seen from Herbert, but he's got such an electric arm that the Rodgers comparison is what I'm rolling with.

Lamar Jackson's Comparison

This is the easiest one on this list. The 2019 MVP winner is one of the best athletes to ever play the quarterback position, so I'm rolling with the quarterback that he's been compared to: Michael Vick. Both have game-breaking speed and elusiveness, but Jackson is a more accurate passer than Vick was statistically. So, give me a more accurate Vick with this comparison.

Joe Burrow's Comparison

Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending injury and is now sitting in his conference championship game the very next season. Do you know who else did that? Drew Brees suffered a torn labrum that scared teams away from signing him after the 2005 season, but the New Orleans Saints took a chance, and the rest is history. Brees made the conference championship game in his first year with New Orleans. But, if we want to go deeper and talk numbers, Burrow completed over 70% of his passes with over 4,600 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions this season. The completion percentage is reminiscent of Brees, but so are the yardage, touchdown, and even interception numbers. Early in Brees' career, his interception numbers were high, but he always had excellent accuracy and yardage as part of a Hall of Fame career.

No matter how you slice it, NFL fans are in for a treat for the next decade and a half because the league is littered with talent at the quarterback spot. There were quarterbacks that Charlie and I didn't name like a Kyler Murray a Mac Jones or a Trevor Lawerence. We just feel that it's too early to tell with those guys and if they will impact their respective teams and the league like the group above. But we have a slew of amazing quarterbacks for the next generation and we cant wait to see who puts themselves above the rest.

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