Top 10 Black Quarterbacks in NFL History
Ranking the greatest Black Quarterbacks of All Time in honor of Black History Month
The Black QB
In this edition of the Fan Rankings Black History Month series celebrating Black excellence in sports, we will look at the best black QBs in National Football League history. There was a time when black players were blocked from playing the quarterback position.
Now, black players can play the position but still face those racist stereotypes. Still, these players, from the past to the now, overcome whatever is in front of them to play and excel in the position they love. Without further ado, we will get to the list.
Team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, & Baltimore Ravens
Career Stats: 77 TDs, 14746 Yds, 55.8 Cmp%
Stewart was a do it all weapon for the Steelers who led the team to two AFC championship appearances in 1997 and 2001. Stewart was the best quarterback that the Steelers had between Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger.
Team(s): Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, & New York Jets
Career Stats: 89 TDs, 16003 Yds, 61.6 Cmp%
Garrard was a good quarterback that led the Jaguars to playoff appearances in 2005 and 2007. The Jaguars have not found a long-term solution for him since he left Duval County.
Top 10 Black Quarterbacks
10. Daunte Culpepper
Team(s): Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, & Detroit Lions
Career Stats: 149 TDs, 24153 Yds, 63 Cmp%
Culpepper was one of the most prolific passers in the early 2000s when he made three Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2000. He led the league in passing yards in 2004 and was on his way to having a Hall of Fame Career before he suffered a knee injury in 2005, and he was never the same after Stops in Miami, Oakland, and Detroit.
9. Doug Williams
Team(s): Tampa Bay Buccaneers & Washington Redskins
Career Stats: 100 TDs, 16998 Yds, 49.5 Cmp%
Williams is a trailblazer in the NFL with being the first black quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Williams completed18 for 29 for 340 yards and four touchdowns all in the second quarter. He won Super Bowl MVP and made history.
He also had success earlier in his career in Tampa Bay leading the Buccaneers to their first-ever playoff appearance as they advanced to the NFC Championship game where they lost to the Los Angeles Rams 9-0.
8. Lamar Jackson
Team(s): Baltimore Ravens
Career Stats: 84 TDs, 9967 Yds, 64. 1 Cmp% *Still Active
Jackson has not quite gotten back to his MVP level from 2019, but he is still making plays and still winning games. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2019 and 2020. He was injured for the last four games last season and that could be a concern moving forward in his career with his style of play. This means it is paramount that he further develops his pocket passing game. Baltimore is going to have to change the way they construct the team after he gets his big contract.
7. Michael Vick
Team(s): Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, & Pittsburgh Steelers
Career Stats: 133 TDs, 22464 Yds, 56.2 Cmp%
The Michael Vick experience was the most captivating experience that I witnessed since I started watching football. I not unlike many fans, I used to use Vick all the time in Madden 2004. Vick made four Pro Bowl and won the 2010 Bert bell award which is presented by the Maxwell Football club player of the year in the NFL.
Vick could have been on top of this list had he played a little bit smarter by not running so recklessly, playing out of the pocket, as well as being involved in the dogfighting scandal that almost destroyed his career.
6. Patrick Mahomes
Team(s): Kansas City Chiefs
Career Stats: 151 TDs, 18991 Yds, 66.1 Cmp% *Still Active
Mahomes is the best young quarterback in the NFL right now, he is this low on this list because he has only played in the league for five years, and a black starting quarterback in all four of them. Mahomes already has a Super Bowl ring, an MVP, and has led the Chefs to four consecutive AFC championship game appearances.
However, the last two seasons have ended in disappointment. He will need to win another Super Bowl or two and maybe win another MVP award or two and in ten years he will be on top of this list.
5. Steve McNair
Team(s): Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans, & Baltimore Ravens
Career Stats: 174 TDs, 31304 Yds, 60.1 Cmp%
McNair is one of the toughest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. His ability to not practice much during the week, and come out of the trainer's room to come out and still make plays while taking a punishment was amazing.
He shared an MVP award with Peyton Manning in 2003. He led the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl 34 and nearly led them to a miraculous comeback in which they came up one yard short of tying the game against the St. Louis Rams. McNair was a three-time Pro Bowler and led the league in passer rating in the 2003 season.
4. Donovan McNabb
Team(s): Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, & Minnesota Vikings
Career Stats: 234 TDs, 37276 Yds, 59 Cmp%
McNabb led the Eagles to five NFC title game appearances and one Super Bowl appearance in 2004. McNabb was a six-time Pro Bowler that was the forerunner of the dual-threat quarterback of the early 2000s and had he finished the comeback in Superbowl 39 that he may be wearing a Gold Jacket right now.
3. Randall Cunningham
Team(s): Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, & Baltimore Ravens
Career Stats: 207 TDs, 29979 Yds, 56.6 Cmp%
Cunningham was the most exciting player to watch in the league in the late eighties and early Nineties. He was the predecessor for mobile quarterbacks such as Jackson, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick. He rushed for 978 yards in 1990 while throwing for over 3,400 yards and 30 touchdowns. He was the quarterback of the legendary 1998 Minnesota Vikings team who set the then single-season points scoring record with 556.
2. Russell Wilson
Team(s): Seattle Seahawks
Career Stats: 292 TDs, 37059 Yds, 65 Cmp% *Still Active
Wilson is a nine-time Pro Bowler that has been the most consistent, the most clutch quarterback in the league in the ten seasons that he has been in the league. It is a shame that he has not gotten one MVP vote in his entire career playing behind a consistently leaky offensive line and the running game has not been quite the same since Marshawn Lynch left the Seahawks. With one more Super Bowl, he will be on top of this list. The question is will it be in Seattle, or will it be in another city.
1. Warren Moon
Team(s): Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, & Kansas City Chiefs
Career Stats: 291TDs, 49325 Yds, 58.4 Cmp%
Warren Moon, the only African American quarterback who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, threw for 49,325 yards in his career with 291 touchdowns in his 17-year NFL career, while making nine Pro Bowls, and winning the 1990 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Moon is not only on the top of his list just for his NFL accomplishments. He is here because of his accomplishments in the Canadian Football League. Moon won five consecutive Grey Cups for the Edmonton Eskimos from 1978-82 while leading the league in passing touchdowns three times, and winning the CFL Most Outstanding Player in 1983. He was great both in Canada and in the NFL.
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