Top 5 QBs of the last decade

So much of the news cycles right now are dominated by COVID-related headlines, including sports news cycles and honestly, it’s getting pretty tiring. Since much of the current CFL stories are connected to the pandemic, I thought I would take a stab at an all-decade list, as we reach the back half of 2020.

The QB is arguably one of the most important positions on the football field. So I wanted to look at the top 5 quarterbacks the CFL has seen in the last ten years, from 2010-2019. This was more difficult than I anticipated it to be, and the rankings switched a few times, but I still feel confident in my choices:

5. Travis Lulay: The Montana State alum and Oregon native broke into the league in 2009, and was on a BC roster that had QBs Buck Pierce, Jarius Jackson and former MOP Casey Printers. He quickly shot up the depth chart and brought the Lions a Grey Cup in 2011 at home, also taking home the Grey Cup MVP and the league MOP that season. He accumulated a little more than 21,000 passing yards during this time, which doesn’t seem like much but is still good for third in franchise history. Lulay was named a West Division All-Star twice and a CFL ALL-Star once in his championship campaign in 2011.

4. Bo-Levi Mitchell: The former Eastern Washington Eagles standout spent his first two seasons in the CFL dressing as a backup and didn’t get his first start until 2013. He broke out in 2014, starting 14 games and tying the CFL record for most consecutive wins to start a career. He took the Stamps to a Grey Cup win that year as well as taking home the Grey Cup MVP. He piled up a little shy of 28,000 passing yards and while he has never led the league in passing, he has led the league in touchdowns twice and can also boast two MOP awards and five Grey Cup appearances, more than anyone else on this list. He’s been selected as a West Divison All-Star three times and twice a CFL All-Star. The third time was the charm in 2018 as Bo captured his second championship after Grey Cup losses in both 2016 and 2017.

3. Ricky Ray: One of the best to ever play the game, he took home two of his record four Grey Cups after 2010, spending seven seasons of his 16-year career in Toronto after being traded following the 2011 season. He made an immediate impact in Canada’s largest city, winning a Grey Cup at home in his first season and another against the heavy favourite Stampeders in 2017. Between 2010 and his retirement after the 2018 season, he would throw for more than 28,000 yards and 149 touchdowns, leading the league in both categories in 2014.  In 2013, he completed a record 77% of his passes for a QB rating of 126.4, also a record. During this time he made two CFL All-Star teams, three East Division All-Star teams and was the East nominee for the MOP award three times.

2. Henry Burris: While Smilin’ Hank was a lightning rod for many fans’s heckling (I may or may not be included in that), there is no denying his greatness. He had already established himself as one of the best in the league during his time with Calgary, and he would continue his dominance into the 2010s. He would move on to Hamilton in 2012 and would take them all the way to the big game just a year later. He would add another ring to his collection in 2016 in his second of back-to-back Grey Cup appearances, of which he would win the Grey Cup MVP. Burris piled up more than 30,000 passing yards last decade and led the league in passing three times between 2012 and 2015. He added 176 TDs, leading in that category twice and to top it off, he added two MOP awards in 2010 and 2015 while being selected as a West All-Star once, an East All-Star twice and a CFL All-Star twice. He also broke Anthony Calvillo’s record for most completions in a game with 45 in 2015.

1. Mike Reilly: After starring at Central Washington, Reilly would join the Lions late in 2010 and would taste championship victory early in his career as the third-string to Travis Lulay in 2011. He was traded to Edmonton before the 2013 season and would bring the City of Champions another title in 2015 after defeating Henry Burris and the Redblacks. He became just the third QB in league history to throw more than 5,000 yards a season for three consecutive seasons, from 2016-2018, while also leading the league in passing during that stretch and accruing more than 31,500 total passing yards since his debut. He has thrown 168 touchdowns, tying for the league lead in 2017. He can include two West Division All-Star selections, a CFL All-Star selection, a Grey Cup MVP and the 2018 CFL MOP to his resume.

Honourable Mentions: Trevor Harris, Darian Durant, Anthony Calvillo, Matt Nichols


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