By Shakim Muhafiz, Sports Editor
The quarterback position is considered to be the most valuable and important position in football. To be a great quarterback, one must have the skills, IQ, and leadership to lead their team.
Not being mentally capable to play quarterback in the NFL has been the knock-on black players. However, it seems the stereotype is fading away in the league. The NFL recently came out with their annual “Top 100” list which was voted on by players and in the top four, three were black quarterbacks.
Surprisingly, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was not No. 1 on the list. He came in at No. 4 while the Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was No. 1. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was No. 2. And surprisingly, Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray was placed at No. 90, Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott was placed at No. 46, and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was No. 20.
The spots these Black quarterbacks are in is historical to the 101-year-old football league. There have never been this many black quarterbacks dominating at once.
Mahomes just in his third year in the league (second-year starting) has won an MVP in 2018, a Super Bowl, and a Super Bowl MVP Award after beating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. He recently signed an extension for the largest contract in NFL history with the deal being worth $503 million over 10 years. He has thrown for 9,412 yards and 76 touchdowns in his two starting seasons.
“I hate playing against him,” Jackson said during a press conference when asked about Mahomes. “And I’m not even on defense.”
Many believe by the end of his career he’ll surpass Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady for the greatest quarterback of all time. Mahomes’ talent level has been compared to greats like Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. His mobility in and out of the pocket allows for him to create big pass play opportunities down the field or run for 20 yards. To bring his skillset all together, his knowledge of football allows him to excel on the field.
Mahomes’ counterpart in the AFC, Lamar Jackson, in his second year in the league, won his first unanimous MVP award. He’s arguably the most exciting player in the NFL when he takes off with the football in his hands. Fans hold their breath as they know they’ll see something spectacular. He led his team to a 14-2 record and threw 36 touchdowns for 3,127 yards. To add to his throwing, he rushed for seven touchdowns for 1,206 yards.
“That man is a cheat code,” Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton said in the “Top 100” video.
He’s the ultimate dual-threat quarterback and keeps the defense honest as he could run for big yards. Although the Ravens had a disappointing playoffs this year against the Tennessee Titans, Jackson is only 23-years-old. He is not a complete player as of yet, but his accuracy will continue to improve and will continue to be a force in the NFL.
Wilson, who’s not as young as Mahomes or Jackson, has been a staple in the NFL for the last six years. For a player who has never received an MVP vote, he is always in the conversation for being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. In the past couple of seasons, Wilson has virtually put the Seahawks franchise on his back and has kept them competitive since winning a Super Bowl in 2014 against the Denver Broncos.
“He has everything,” Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice said. “He’s got the strong arm, but he also has the touch. He reminds me a lot of Montana back in the day.”
Wilson has been overlooked at every level of football he’s played, but he still made it to the NFL and became one of the best at his position. In the 2019 season, he threw for 4,110 yards and 31 touchdowns. In his career, he rushed for almost 4,000 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Less than a third of the NFL has black quarterbacks starting for their franchise, but a shift is happening right now. With Jackson and Mahomes becoming the face of the league, the age of the black quarterback is here.