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Who will be the next quarterback to win his first Super Bowl?

Maybe it’ll be a veteran like Matt Ryan or Philip Rivers. Or it could be a young gun like Patrick Mahomes or Baker Mayfield.

Baker Mayfield, Matt Ryan celebrating
Baker Mayfield and Matt Ryan hope to deliver the first Super Bowl in their franchise’s history.

It’s all about the quarterback this week at SB Nation. We’re talking past, present, future at the league’s most important position. If you’d like to check out the entire series, we’ve got everything related to our NFL quarterbacks week all in one place.

Many believe Dan Marino is the greatest quarterback to never win a Super Bowl. While he still made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Super Bowl wins are tied to quarterbacks more than any other position. And getting that championship is a huge boon to a quarterback’s legacy.

In today’s NFL, there are only eight current quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl as a starter. Tom Brady obviously jumps to the forefront of the conversation with six titles, but he can’t win all of ‘em. Neither can Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, or Aaron Rodgers. With a ton of talented quarterbacks in the league, we’re going to see some first-time winners in the near future — especially with guys like Brady and Brees getting up there in years.

So who will be the next one to win his first Super Bowl? We take a look at some of the younger and veteran options below.

The Young Guns

Patrick Mahomes

Considering he only has a season of high-level play under his belt, it might be tempting to pump the brakes on the Mahomes hype train. But where’s the fun in that? I prefer the NFL where Mahomes just keeps getting better and better, until he is a literal football deity and has to be forcibly removed from the sport in the interest of fairness.

In his second season and first as a starter, Mahomes completed 383 passes for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns. He was ridiculous, hitting deep passes with regularity while annihilating defenses on his way to the NFL MVP award. And he came incredibly close to making to Super Bowl 53 — his Chiefs were a coin flip and/or a penalty away from a trip to Atlanta.

Provided Mahomes continues to develop — or heck, even if his next few seasons aren’t quite as exceptional as his 2018 — then the Chiefs will be in a good place to win the Super Bowl in the next few years. What the Chiefs need is for their younger defensive players, like Breeland Speaks and Derrick Nnadi, to step up. Mahomes and the offense will be great. If the defense shows up, the Chiefs have to be a favorite to win it all next season, or very soon.

Baker Mayfield

I thought it would take Mayfield more time to be ready for the NFL stage. I was wrong. In 13 starts, Mayfield completed 310 of 486 passes (63.8 percent) for 3,725 yards and a new rookie record of 27 touchdowns. His numbers really starting improving once Freddie Kitchens, who is now the Cleveland head coach, took over as playcaller.

Mayfield looked primed to do big things in the NFL — he just needed more help.

This offseason, he got that help. The biggest addition was the trade for receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham is probably the most dependable target in the entire NFL, and if Mayfield can’t develop a winning connection with him, then the Browns will be out of contention. But if the pairing works as anticipated, the Browns will be dangerous.

I still have my doubts they’ll be winning it all in 2019, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it happened sooner than later.

Jared Goff

It was easy to be skeptical of Goff, who was thoroughly underwhelming as a rookie. But then the Rams hired Sean McVay as head coach and Goff made enormous steps in his second and third seasons.

After throwing five touchdowns and seven interceptions as a rookie, Goff followed that up with 28 touchdowns against the same number of picks the following year. Last season, he threw for 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions while completing 64.9 percent of his passes. He made the Pro Bowl in both of the past two seasons and took his team to the Super Bowl, though they fell short against the Patriots.

Stars like Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, and Robert Woods are there to assist Goff and McVay on offense. On the other side of the ball is a world-class defense headed by Aaron Donald, perhaps the single best player in the league. Although the defense lost Lamarcus Joyner and Ndamukong Suh in the offseason, the Rams re-signed Dante Fowler Jr. and brought in free agent veterans Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews III, moves that help them immediately and could extend their window.

Even if the Rams didn’t deliver a Super Bowl win last season, they have a good mix of veterans and young players — and most importantly, a quarterback — to remain contenders for a while.

Mitchell Trubisky

Trubisky was impressive in his second season after a lukewarm rookie year in which he completed under 60 percent of his passes and threw the same number of interceptions as touchdowns (seven). But the 2017 second overall pick went ahead and made the Pro Bowl last season, while leading the Bears to an NFC North championship.

Trubisky’s passing numbers improved (66.6 completion percentage, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions) in his second year. He didn’t throw for a ton of yards (3,224), but he didn’t have to, either. The Bears had the best scoring defense in the league, led by all-world pass rusher Khalil Mack. Trubisky didn’t make many mistakes, let the defense do its thing, and scored enough to keep them on top.

Although a double-doink field goal in the playoffs dashed the team’s Super Bowl hopes last season, the future is bright in Chicago. If Trubisky keeps getting better, then the Bears will be even scarier.

The Old Hands

Matt Ryan

Ryan has often been let down by the coaching staff and by the Falcons’ defense, but his play has still been remarkably consistent over the years. Having Julio Jones to throw to certainly helps things, as does having Devonta Freeman at running back. Still, Ryan is an accurate passer (65.3 percent career completion rate) who usually makes the right decisions and has a league MVP to his name.

And almost a Super Bowl title. Almost.

Last season, Ryan threw for 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. But once again, Atlanta was lacking on defense and the team missed the playoffs. The biggest concern is that the Falcons spent little on defense this offseason, though they did stock up on offensive linemen to protect Ryan.

While Adrian Clayborn and Allen Bailey should both help a defensive line that needed reinforcements, there is still a lot to prove on that side of the ball. Smart money is on Ryan completing his end of the deal — but can the defense comply over the next few years to finally get him that ring?

Philip Rivers

Rivers’ bonafides are as strong as anyone’s on this list. He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler, making it in each of the past three seasons. Last year, he tossed 32 touchdowns against 12 interceptions and completed 68.3 percent of his passes, his highest mark since a career-best 69.5 in 2013. He’s also extremely reliable and has never missed a start in his entire career.

Rivers has consistently played at a high level despite a revolving door of talent over the years, but the Chargers are finally seeing some stability. They went 12-4 in 2018 and didn’t change much this offseason. Their biggest weakness was at linebacker, where they added Thomas Davis. Denzel Perryman and Uchenna Nwosu should both benefit from the veteran presence of Davis. The defensive lineman will also get a boost from first-round pick Jerry Tillery, who will join the formidable pair of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

The most pressing issue the team has is Melvin Gordon’s ongoing holdout. The NFL still isn’t sure it wants to pay running backs, but Gordon is fairly critical to LA’s Super Bowl hopes.

The Chargers have the team to win now, and with Rivers turning 38 later this season, the next year or two could be their best shot to win the Super Bowl.

Andrew Luck

Last season, Luck certainly didn’t look like a player who was recovering from significant shoulder surgery on his throwing arm. He completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions, guiding the Colts to a 10-6 record. They won nine of their final 10 games during the regular season, advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, and Luck was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

However, Luck still has prove he isn’t injury prone, a case that’s hurt by the fact he has an ongoing ankle injury this preseason. When healthy, though, Luck’s play has spoken for itself.

The Colts added some interesting players to assist Luck this season, including receiver Devin Funchess and running back Spencer Ware. On defense, they signed veteran pass rusher Justin Houston.

The worst thing to say about their offseason is that it felt too passive — they had loads of cap space and they weren’t linked to any of the top free agents until Houston was released. They did draft a few rookies who can contribute right away, such as cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and speedy receiver Parris Campbell. The Colts will be hoping this class can produce on the same level of last year’s class, which included Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard and Nyheim Hines.

If so, and if Luck can stay healthy, the Colts will be a strong contender to make it to the Super Bowl in the next few years.

My pick is Mahomes, hands down. None of last season seemed like a fluke. Football looks easy when Mahomes is doing it.

So if I had to guess, I’d say Mahomes is going to be the next quarterback to win his first Super Bowl, and I think there’s a good chance it will happen this season.

But enough about what I think: who do you think will be the next quarterback to win his first Lombardi Trophy?