Who are the best scrambling quarterbacks in the NFL?

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Plenty of modern NFL quarterbacks have plenty of mobility. Monday’s PFT Live took a look at the best quarterbacks from the perspective of scrambling ability.

Specifically, we drafted the best scrambling quarterbacks.

The term has plenty of wiggle room, apparently. Scrambling isn’t running. It’s running when the play as designed comes apart, and the quarterback has to buy time with his legs, whether he scrambles to run or scrambles to throw.

Simms picked three. I picked three. The six selections are in the attached video. You can (should) chime in with your own selections in the comments.

40 responses to “Who are the best scrambling quarterbacks in the NFL?

  1. As an eagles fan I think Carson MIGHT be top 5? Maybe? But Russell Wilson and mahomes should be 1 and 2. Not sure which order, but I think they’re the top 2.

  2. Rodgers is faster than he looks and readily deserves to be on this list……..when healthy. That’s the asterisk.

  3. There simply isn’t anyone in the league who can touch Russell Wilson when it comes to “scrambling”. If we’re talking about pure running QB’s (ala Vick back in the day), then you have to look at Lamar Jackson probably as the best.

    But “scrambling” to buy time, make plays on the run, extend plays, and protect his body at the same time – nobody touches Wilson. Never a concussion. Never an injury scrambling. Runs the read option incredibly well. He’s the best. But he’d be beat in a foot race by several QBs right now, no question.

  4. Opinions will vary on this one and I can see why – there are lots of QBs who can extend a play with their legs. An easier question to gain consistency on is “Who is the least mobile quarterback?” That has to be Tom Brady.

  5. As a Pats fan I say Mahomes outperformed Wilson in 2018 – higher passer-rating, 100 more comps and far more yards (5000 to 3500). On the ground Mahomes did have 100 fewer rush yards than Wilson’s 370, but also only half as many sacks and half the yards lost that Wilson (51 for 355yds) gave up, and one less fumble than Wilson’s 10. And Mahomes got further into the playoffs.

  6. Scramblers are passers that look to pass while on the run when the play breaks down. There do this in the pocket or out.

    Runners are QBs that take off running with little to no intention to pass when the play breaks down. Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are not scramblers in my opinion.

  7. In terms of scrambling/escapability, Fran Tarkenton was the best ever, with Wilson being the best now and Rodgers up there as well. The best running QBs of all time were Vick, Steve Young, and Kaepernick, with Cunningham, Steve McNair and old Tobin Rote, closely behind. Went is good now but already having injury problems.

  8. 1 Lamar Jackson
    2 Josh Allen
    3 Deshaun Watson
    4 Cam Newton
    5 Mitchell Trubisky
    6 Russell Wilson
    7 Blake Bortles
    8 Marcus Mariota
    9 Dak Prescott
    10 Jameis Winston

    This is the top ten of 2018.

  9. Josh Allen’s 7.1 ypc was far and away better than anyone else last year. But he can’t hit an open WR so he sort has to scoot to produce first downs.

    I’m of the group that says you can’t teach accuracy so….you either got it or you don’t. But the kid can sure can run.

  10. Allen is good, but a lot of his yardage came from teams simply not being prepared to consider him as a legitimate runner. He’s good at it, and should be considered as such, but I’d expect teams to be more prepared next year. A lot of that also comes from his play style, which by all logical rules should prevent him from being so successful a runner: a 6-5, 240lbs QB with a cannon that you have to defend deep, giving more space underneath. It’s not what people see when they look at him-but that’s why he’s able to hurt them. And, let’s be honest, his looks do influence people’s expectations on his skillset. Unfair, but true.

    Cam Newton and Josh Allen are actually in my opinion the two most similar QBs in terms of play style in the league. Both are 6-5 and about 240lbs with great mobility, a powerful arm, and accuracy concerns from the pocket. Of course, we’ll need to see how Cam’s shoulder turns out this year, but the only major difference I see, other than experience, is that defenses expect Cam to run. The Panthers like to use him as a runner. I don’t know if the Bills will go that far, but even though McDermott is a defensive guy, his past experiences with a similar QB might prompt him to start using Allen in full house type sets and run him more.

    All that aside, Russell Wilson is pretty definitely the best. Even if he takes a lot of hits for lost yardage, nobody seems to figure out his tricks, even though they know they’re coming-the pump fake, the ball extension going out of bounds, the spin that he does-they all still work somehow. Kind of like Brady’s quick ball extension on the sneak. That’s stuff that still works despite the defense knowing it’s coming. Based off pure scrambling ability, you’d have to put Deshaun Watson up there, and then maybe Lamar Jackson. Mahomes is good at it, but he’s not primarily scrambler, and Rodgers is very good at it as well, but both of them scramble in case of emergency, not as a primary option. Alex Smith used to be. Prescott can do it, as can Mariota.

    Wilson, Newton, Watson, Allen, and Jackson are my picks.

  11. Wilson has been in the league longer and therefore had more success than Mahomes. So I will put Wilson at #1 for now.

  12. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks at this point in the year…. At the end of the year, everyone will agree on the new kid on the block, Kyler. Just watch…..

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