ESPN ranks the Top 25 college football quarterbacks of the 2000s

Sam Gillenwater05/22/23
Article written by:On3 imageSam Gillenwater


Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Auburn QB Cam Newton, LSU QB Joe Burrow
Brett Deering & Don Juan Moore | Getty Images - Mark Cornelison | Lexington Herald-Leader | Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Quarterback remains the most vital position in order to succeed in football. That statement remains true at the college level and, based on a new ranking at ESPN, you can see how that position has evolved just in the last few seasons.

ESPN’s Bill Connelly recently released an article that ranked the Top-75 QBs since the turn of the century. Atop the ranking was Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield as, to Connelly, his career as a whole outweighed the special single seasons that some of the others behind him had.

ESPN’s Top-25 Quarterbacks of the 2000s

  1. Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma Sooners/Texas Tech Red Raiders
  2. Cam NewtonAuburn Tigers
  3. Vince YoungTexas Longhorns
  4. Tim TebowFlorida Gators
  5. Joe BurrowLSU Tigers/Ohio State Buckeyes
  6. Deshaun WatsonClemson Tigers
  7. Kyler Murray – Oklahoma Sooners/Texas A&M Aggies
  8. Lamar JacksonLouisville Cardinals
  9. Marcus MariotaOregon Ducks
  10. Robert Griffin IIIBaylor Bears
  11. Trevor Lawrence – Clemson Tigers
  12. Colt McCoy – Texas Longhorns
  13. Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M Aggies
  14. Kellen MooreBoise State Broncos
  15. Sam Bradford – Oklahoma Sooners
  16. Jameis WinstonFlorida State Seminoles
  17. Matt LeinartUSC Trojans
  18. Andrew LuckStanford Cardinals
  19. Bryce YoungAlabama Crimson Tide
  20. CJ StroudOhio State Buckeyes
  21. Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama Crimson Tide
  22. Phillip RiversNC State Wolfpack
  23. Carson Palmer – USC Trojans
  24. Case KeenumHouston Cougars
  25. Jalen Hurts – Alabama Crimson Tide/Oklahoma Sooners

CLICK HERE for the entire ESPN Top-75 QBs of the 2000s

The list overall features some superstar names of players that succeeded collegiately and went on to more success in the NFL. Of the Top-25, you have 14 Heisman winners, 10 No. 1 picks in their respective NFL Drafts, and 10 winners of various national championships over the past two decades.

Even so, Oklahoma comes out of the ranking as the biggest winner. You start with Mayfield at the top spot considering he threw for over 14,000 passing yards and 131 touchdowns over his career with the Sooners as well as the Red Raiders. However, Murray also made the Top-10, Bradford made the Top-15, and Hurts just made the Top-25 for the Sooners as well. It says a lot about the program to have that many selections, especially considering three of them transferred in to Norman.

Then, after that, you have to look at it from the aspect of the new wave. Of these two dozen names, over half of them have come over the last 10 years. If you extend that date to 15 years, meaning 2008, and you get all but four of these names coming in the last decade and a half. That speaks volumes about where the position has progressed and, in turn, where it could up in another decade.

More than a few quarterbacks come into college and make their marks during their careers. Still, over the last 22 years, ESPN has designated these 75, and specifically this set of 25, as the best that college football has had to offer during that span.