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NFL Quarterback Rankings For the 2023 Season

With the regular season a few months away, there is no better time for an NFL quarterback rankings of all 32 projected starters.
NFL Quarterback Rankings

The most important position in the game of football is quarterback, and if you don’t have a good one, you don’t really have a chance of competing for a Super Bowl. These NFL quarterback rankings break down every projected starter in the league, separating them by tiers and identifying just what makes them so special – or maybe not so special.

2023 NFL Quarterback Rankings: Every Projected Starting QB

Tier 1: Who Else?

1. Patrick Mahomes

The best quarterback in the NFL sits alone atop the rankings. It truly is Patrick Mahomes’ world, and we’re all just living in it. The reigning Super Bowl MVP put together arguably the most impressive season of his career, leading the league in just about every passing category despite losing Tyreek Hill in the offseason. The rest of the league will never rest easy as long as he and Andy Reid are in Kansas City.

Tier 2: Elite Quarterbacks

2. Josh Allen
3. Justin Herbert
4. Joe Burrow
5. Jalen Hurts

Josh Allen was just as good as Mahomes, if not better, before an elbow injury took him from unbelievable to just really good. If he can stay healthy, he could end up winning MVP in 2023. Justin Herbert overcame arguably the worst scheme in football to lead the Chargers to the playoffs last year, and he should be even better now that he has a great offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore and the help of a strong Chargers draft class.

Yes, Joe Burrow has a great supporting cast, but he’s the guy that makes it all click. While he doesn’t have the same rocket arm as the previous three quarterbacks, his accuracy is second to none and he has the mobility and athleticism to extend plays. Jalen Hurts, meanwhile, has steadily improved each and every year and has gone from a fringe starter into one of the best in the league.

Tier 3: Really, Really Good

6. Trevor Lawrence
7. Lamar Jackson
8. Deshaun Watson
9. Aaron Rodgers
10. Dak Prescott

It’s amazing what real coaching will do for the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Trevor Lawrence started playing up to his potential in 2022, and if he takes a similar leap in 2023, he should be up in the elite tier at this point next year. Lamar Jackson is definitely elite when healthy, but he hasn’t been able to shake off the injury bug. Is this just bad luck, or is his style of play starting to catch up to him?

Deshaun Watson was bad last year, but I’m not going to overreact to a six-game sample after two years away from the game. If he doesn’t improve in 2023, it’s time to panic, but for now, there is nothing to worry about. Aaron Rodgers isn’t his old self, but he should look better in 2023 now that he has a stronger supporting cast. Dak Prescott threw a lot of interceptions last year, but he was mostly the victim of bad luck. His turnover-worthy play rate wasn’t notably different from years past, so he should go back to being his old self in 2023.

Tier 4: Quarterback Purgatory

11. Kirk Cousins
12. Derek Carr
13. Tua Tagovailoa
14. Geno Smith
15. Jared Goff
16. Ryan Tannehill
17. Kenny Pickett
18. Justin Fields
19. Daniel Jones

Kirk Cousins isn’t going to singlehandedly win you a Super Bowl, but he’s a lot better than any other quarterback you’re likely to find on the open market. Ditto for Derek Carr, who can hopefully find success with a more competent organization. Did Tua Tagovailoa break out in Year 3, or did he just have the luxury of throwing to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle? Only time will tell for sure, but chances are, it’s a little bit of both.

Geno Smith came out of the gate hot in 2022 but cooled off as the season progressed. He’s still a starting-caliber quarterback, but there’s a reason Seattle contemplated taking Anthony Richardson. As always, Jared Goff was a perfectly adequate pitching machine that can keep the offense moving as long as you don’t ask too much of him. Ryan Tannehill’s best days are behind him, and while he can still start, he probably shouldn’t be starting for a team like the Titans that is clearly entering a rebuild.

After a bumpy start, Kenny Pickett came alive down the stretch. Was this just a random flash, or is he the real deal? Justin Fields had his moments over the past two years while playing in some truly awful situations, so it should be fascinating to see how he does with actual NFL-caliber support. Daniel Jones was fine last year, but he’s going to have a hard time playing up to his new contract.

Tier 5: Are You Alive?

20. Matthew Stafford
21. Kyler Murray

Healthy versions of Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray would be higher on this list, but both players could spend 2023 battling through serious ailments. Murray suffered a serious knee injury in December of 2022, and if he is back on the field, he probably won’t play like his old self. Stafford, meanwhile, is battling a back injury, which is just the latest in a series of serious hits he’s taken over the years. Until we see both of these guys back to their old selves, it’s fair to wonder just how effective they’ll be in 2023.

Tier 6: You’re In Trouble

22. Baker Mayfield
23. Russell Wilson
24. Jimmy Garoppolo
25. Mac Jones

Baker Mayfield has had moments where he’s looked like a true franchise quarterback, but they’re too few and far between to justify a higher spot on the NFL quarterback rankings. Russell Wilson, meanwhile, was an unmitigated disaster that desperately needs a bounce-back campaign. The only reason he’s not lower on this list is because the Seattle version of Wilson has to be in there somewhere, right?

Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer in quarterback heaven, and his underwhelming arm strength, inability to produce out of structure, and refusal to acknowledge linebackers in coverage will be an issue in Las Vegas. After a decent rookie season, Mac Jones imploded last year. Matt Patricia’s terrible scheme certainly didn’t help matters, but it doesn’t explain Jones’ terrible accuracy, subpar arm, and lackluster playmaking ability.

Tier 7: Too Early to Tell (No Particular Order)

26. [Insert 49ers Quarterback Here]
27. Bryce Young
28. C.J. Stroud
29. Anthony Richardson
30. Jordan Love
31. Desmond Ridder
32. Sam Howell

No, that’s not a typo with the 49ers. Brock Purdy is the starter when healthy, but he’s only played half a season, and nobody knows if he’ll be ready for Week 1. If he’s not, either Trey Lance or Sam Darnold will start. Lance has even less on-field action than Purdy, and if Darnold wins the job, then he’s firmly in the “You’re In Trouble” tier.

For the sake of this exercise, we’re going to assume that all of the first-round quarterbacks from the 2023 NFL Draft win their respective starting jobs in Week 1. Anthony Richardson has the highest ceiling, C.J. Stroud has the highest floor, and Bryce Young has the best combination of the two.

Jordan Love, Desmond Ridder, and Sam Howell are all untested, but they’re good enough that each one of their respective teams feels comfortable having them enter the season as the unquestioned starters. We’ll see if that faith is justified when the season actually gets here.

Main Photo: Jay Biggerstaff – USA Today Sports


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