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Dan Marino passes during the season opener of his 15h season for the Dolphins.
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Stop routes are boring. Slants are fine. Go routes? Now we’re talking.

Every kid tells a buddy to go deep because a game of catch wasn’t made for practicing third-and-fives. It was meticulously designed to simulate Hail Marys.

Throwing a deep ball is like crushing a drive or checking in on a newly purchased car every 30 seconds. Those who have big arms are lucky enough to experience this feeling all the time.

Heaving a bomb in the backyard is one thing, but whipping it in full pads with the scariest dudes on the planet coming after you is another. It’s not a requirement to have a rocket launcher attached to your shoulder to be an NFL signal caller. It certainly helps though.

These 11 quarterbacks make the ball sing when they rip it. And, above all else, they make it look easy. It’s no wonder they’re some of the best quarterbacks ever.

The 11 Strongest Arms in NFL History, Ranked

11. Michael Vick

Michael Vick throws a pass as the Atlanta Falcons square off against the New Orleans Saints.
Don Juan Moore viaGetty Images

Let me set the stage: Michael Vick’s Philadelphia Eagles are taking on the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. On the first play of the game, Vick hits a streaking DeSean Jackson for an 88-yard touchdown. It’s one of the prettiest balls I’ve ever seen.

Vick flicked his passes and the ball would somehow jump out of his hand. He was lauded for his running abilities, but his arm was as strong as anyone’s.

10. Jim Hart

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Jim Hart’s passes allegedly left a “vapor trail.” If that isn’t an indication of his pure arm strength, the St. Louis Cardinals legend was also rumored to have completed a 98-yard pass in the air.

Hart was one of the first registered cannons the NFL ever saw.

9. Matthew Stafford

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford throws against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian Petersen via Getty Images

Matthew Stafford’s arm played a big part in the Detroit Lions selecting him first overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Watching him throw bombs to Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson was a treat. Unfortunately, those didn’t lead to many wins because they played for the depressing Lions.

Now that the NFL quarterback’s career has been given a breath of fresh air on the Los Angeles Rams, he’s dropping deep dimes to Cooper Kupp at an insane rate.

 8.  Doug Williams

Doug Williams winds up to pass against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.
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Williams is famous for leading the Washington Redskins to a 42-10 trouncing of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. A big part of his 340-yard, four-touchdown performance, which earned him Super Bowl MVP honors, was his rocket arm.

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Williams could also allegedly throw the ball from end zone to end zone in the air.

7. John Elway

Broncos quarterback John Elway sits in the pocket against the Green Bay Packers in super Bowl XXXII.
Focus on Sport via Getty Images

John Elway is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL History. A big reason why is because he could make every throw. The Denver Broncos icon had the coveted ability to throw deep balls with incredible accuracy.

6. Brett Favre

Packers quarterback Brett Favre looks to throw in a snowy game against the Seattle Seahawks.
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Brett Favre was nothing but a fastball pitcher. There are stories of his receivers breaking their fingers and getting bruises because he couldn’t take any mustard off short throws.

One of the most exciting aspects of watching “The Gunslinger” play was not knowing who would catch his heaters. His 336 career interceptions are the most in NFL history by a wide margin of 59.

5. Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert rips a first down pass against the New York Giants.
Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert may only be two years into his NFL career, but he’s already established himself as one of the league’s brightest stars.

Herbert had arguably the best throw of the 2021 season when he hit Jalen Guyton for a 59-yard touchdown milliseconds before getting hit. I could watch him sling it for days.

4. Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looks down field against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian Petersen via Getty Images

Out of all the quarterbacks on this list, Aaron Rodgers makes throwing a football look the easiest. I don’t know how he continues to light defenses up at 38 years old for the Packers. It’s ridiculous.

Rodgers is the last guy defenses want to see in Hail Mary range. He has a knack for completing desperation deep throws in clutch situations. In fact, he’s thrown three that give Lions, Cardinals and Giants fans nightmares.

3. Dan Marino

Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino drops back to pass against the Indianapolis Colts.
RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images

Dan Marino’s cannon has been referred to as a “golden arm.” The Miami Dolphins legend rewrote record books by retiring as the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, passing yards, completions and pass attempts. He’s undoubtedly one of the best passers the game has ever seen.

To top it off, Marino had a lightning quick release, which made his arm strength all the more impressive.

2. Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes loads up to throw as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Dallas Cowboys.
David Eulitt via Getty Images

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes Throwing a 90-Yard Bomb Doesn’t Look Real

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What is there to say about Patrick Mahomes’ arm talent that hasn’t been said already? Let me give it a shot: it’s definitely not leg talent. Anyway, Mahomes has set the NFL on fire since he became the starter for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018.

He can throw left handed. He can throw at absurd angles. He can throw it without looking at his target. He can throw it out of Arrowhead Stadium, and he can throw it 90 yards in the air. That’s a throw Bingo.

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1. Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen slings a pass down field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Timothy T Ludwig via Getty Images

According to “Madden 22,” Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has the best arm in the NFL. Allen sports a throw power rating of 99 while Mahomes is second with a 97. Embrace debate.

On Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast, Bills running back Zack Moss claimed Allen can sling it over 100 yards. It’s not entirely out of the question seeing how effortlessly Allen dishes it down field. Mahomes can absolutely launch it, but the ball pops out of Allen’s hand unlike anyone else in NFL history.

Honorable Mentions

  • Tom Brady
  • Russell Wilson
  • Jay Cutler
  • Jamarcus Russell
  • Jeff George
  • Johnny Unitas
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Jim Kelly

MORE: The 15 Worst Quarterbacks in NFL History Were Painful to Watch

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Joe Grobeck About the author:
Joe is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and lives in Austin, Texas. He believes Ndaumkong Suh should've won the 2009 Heisman and is an avid basketball fan.
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