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Ranking all 32 starting quarterbacks: Volume 2

It's hard to believe that's already been over a year since my last I ranked all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL. It was one of my first big pieces for TDT Media and I'm happy to be back for Volume 2.

There has been a lot of movement in the quarterback position this off-season. Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Garoppolo are in the AFC, Derek Carr is now in New Orelans and Tom Brady retired. No for real this time, Tom Brady is staying retired. After another hectic off-season, 13 teams will have a new starting quarterbacks compared to last season. Regardless, there has been so much change in the quarterback position over the last year and I can't wait for the NFL season to begin.

As always, this where I think these guys rank heading into the season, rather than how I think they will perform. With all that said, here is my ranking of all 32 starting quarterbacks for the 2023-2024 NFL season.

1. Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs

For the second year in a row, Mahomes takes the top spot on my list. For anyone who thought that Mahomes would have a down year in his first season without All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill, they were sorely mistaken, with Mahomes taking home league MVP. The Texas Tech alum is now two-time league MVP had his best season since his first year as a starter, throwing for 5,250 yards, 41 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. Mahomes topped off that incredible regular season by leading the Chiefs to their second Super Bowl title in four years while also winning Super Bowl MVP.

"Kermit," maybe the most talented quarterback the NFL has ever seen. He can throw passes 50-60 yards down field, he's incredibly accurate and he has enough mobility to annoy defenses who are trying to sell out for the pass. Mahomes will probably be the best quarterback in the NFL (barring injury) for the next 10-12 years, if not longer. Good luck to the AFC.

2. Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals

While figuring out who the No. 1 quarterback in the NFL was very easy, deciding on who No. 2 should be was a very different ordeal. There was the MVP runner-up in Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen or if you really wanted to get crazy, you could have said Justin Herbert. In the end, the choice became clear that it was Joe Burrow who deserves to be in this spot.

The way that Burrow has been able to turn around the Bengals franchise in just two played seasons is nothing short of staggering. The Bengals had only made the playoffs once in the five seasons before Burrow arrived in Cincy, with a division title in 2015. In the two years that Burrow has been able to finish as a starter, the Bengals have made the AFC Championship twice and have a Super Bowl appearance in 2021.

Burrow finished this past season with a career high 35 touchdowns and a full season low of 12 interceptions to go along with 4,475 yards at a 68.3 completion percentage. "Joe Sheisty," has the full package at the quarterback position and has done something that the next two quarterbacks on this last haven't done: beat Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs.

I'm excited to see what Burrow does this season for the Bengals in what is expected to be the toughest AFC North in a while. The Ravens and Browns could be playoff contenders and the Steelers are always a tough game with Mike Tomlin at the helm. Despite all of that, with Burrow and the rest of that roster I expect another deep playoff run for him and the Bengals.

3. Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills

The bulldozer of a quarterback in Josh Allen comes next on this list. Allen had another incredible seasons since he broke out in 2020. The former No. 7 overall pick going for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns through the air, while going for another 762 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. His season was so good that Allen did receive one first place MVP vote in his third place finish behind Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.

What knocks the former Wyoming Buffalo down to No. 3 is split into two reasons. The first is the turnovers. Part of what makes Allen such a dynamic players is his willingness to take big risks to make big plays, including throwing a 45-yard strike to Gabe Davis from his own end-zone, which turned into a 98-yard touchdown.

However that also comes at the cost of some bad interceptions, like this one against the Chicago Bears. On the year Allen finished second in the league with 14 interceptions thrown behind Davis Mills and Dak Prescott.

The other main reason is playoff success. While the Bills have made it to the playoffs each of the last four years, making it to the divisional the past three years, Buffalo has only one deep run in the playoffs in their loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. I am not squarely placing the blame on Allen for any of these losses, but with the postseason he put up last year of three touchdowns and three interceptions in two games, it's hard not to.

Allen is a great quarterback, there is no denying that whatsoever, but if he wants to become a Hall-of-Fame quarterback then he needs to have more postseasons like he did in 2021, rather than 2022.

4. Jalen Hurts - Philadelphia Eagles

This was a leap that many in Philadelphia were hoping for coming into the 2022 season. A year after Hurts took over for the eternally frustrating Carson Wentz and making the playoffs as a Wild Card team, the Eagles exploded last year as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Much of that was due to the extreme breakout from the former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback.

GM Howie Roseman added former Titans receiver A.J. Brown to a core that already had Miles Sanders, Devonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and the best O-line in all of football. Thanks to that, Hurts was finally able to add a major passing dimension to his already incredible running ability as a QB. The former second round pick racked up 4,461 total yards and 35 total touchdowns on 66.5% completion percentage and 4.6 yards per carry.

Behind one of the best defenses in the NFL, Hurts led the Eagles to the Super Bowl to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Hurst played well, scoring four total touchdowns, while throwing for 304 yards and rushing for another 70. The one blemish was a fumble he had in which Nick Bolton returned for a touchdown for KC. If not for a controversial defensive holding call, Hurts might have had a chance to lead the Eagles to their second Super Bowl title in six seasons.

The main sticking point for Hurts with me is if he can continue to keep up this level of play. We have seen one-year wonder quarterbacks before, most famously in Phildelphia with Wentz. I don't think that Hurts will end up like Wentz, but if Hurts can stay healthy and put up the improving numbers he's had already, I think he will be a staple of this top five of NFL quarterbacks for years to come.

5. Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens

The other big quarterback drama off the off-season also came to an end with "Big Truzz," finally getting paid. The former league MVP got a five-year $260 million deal to stay in Baltimore. There were some tense moments for Ravens fans as they waited for some sort of announcement of him deciding to return. It was made all the more complicated by Jackson not choosing to have an agent and do the negotiation himself. Well, Ravens fans can partially thank Jalen Hurts for signing his $255 million contract a few days before Jackson and Baltimore came to terms.

Despite missing five games for the second year in a row, Jackson was still a winning player for the Ravens. He went 8-4 in his 12 games played and had 20 total touchdowns to go along with 3,006 total yards. He missed those games due to a sprained PCL he suffered against the Denver Broncos in week 12. Without Lamar, the Ravens went 2-3 with Tyler Huntley before losing in the Wild Card game against their division rival Bengals.

Despite what some may say about Jackson being a running back or that he can't throw have a an old understanding of what it means to be a quarterback in today's NFL. The former Heisman winner has proven to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league with his dual-threat ability. Even with the time he missed this past season, Jackson is still a top-five quarterback.

With new receivers in Odell Beckham Jr and Zay Flowers, Jackson could remind a lot of people why he won the MVP back in 2019 and lead the Ravens to their first AFC championship game in 11 years.

6. Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers

If not for a few other guys, Justin Herbert would be talked about a lot more. Heck he would be the best quarterback in almost every other division, including his own if it weren't for Patrick Mahomes. Herbert has been an automatic 4,000 yard passer since he took over for Tyrod Taylor in 2020. He has the record for most passing yards through three seasons at 14,089 and already has 94 touchdowns to 35 interceptions.

With all of that said, the reason he did drop one spot from last year for a couple of reasons. The first part is the drop of in stats from last year, Herbert threw nearly 400 less yards (4,739) and 10 less touchdowns (25) and had no rushing touchdowns to complement that.

The other main issue was the lack of playoff success some of the other quarterbacks had. Herbert had plenty of blame for what happened in the Wild Card meltdown against the Jaguars. While he didn't turn the ball over, he was sacked three times and only went 25-for-43 (58.1%) in the 31-30 loss to Jacksonville. Herbert couldn't even help the Chargers offense find the endzone once in the second half to stave off the upstart Jags.

Herbert no doubt is a great regular season quarterback, but if he wants to be in that true upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL, he needs to start performing in the post-season. Otherwise, the Chargers will have essentially drafted Phillip Rivers 2.0.

7. Aaron Rodgers - New York Jets

Thank goodness this man is finally out of the NFC North. As a Bears fan since I was eight years old, Aaron Rodgers ruined so many of my Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. To this day the only sporting event I've shed a tear over was the 2011 NFC Championship, where Rodgers and the Packers ended my hopes of seeing the Bears for the first time in my life (I did not watch the 2006 Super Bowl between the Bears and Colts). I am eternally thankful to the New York Jets for ending the suffering for myself and and two other fan bases in the NFL.

Rodgers, after taking basically an entire season to decide he wanted to be traded out of Green Bay, he finally got his wish to fulfill his Brett Farve cosplay by being shipped off to the Jets for a swap of first round picks (Packers would draft Lukas Van Ness, the Jets Will McDonald IV) and a smattering of mid-round picks. The second round pick the Packers got in 2024, will turn into a first round pick if Rodgers plays 65% of the snaps this upcoming year.

It was clearly a down year for Rodgers in 2022, with him throwing 12 interceptions, one less than he had thrown in his previous three seasons (13). It was also the first time (in which Rodgers played a full season) that he threw for less than 4,000 yards and had his lowest QBR since 2015 at 91.1. It was difficult for him to adjust with Davante Adams leaving for Las Vegas, David Bakhtiari being a shell of his former self. I think a lot of this had to deal with a mix of Rodgers failing to build a lot of chemistry with his young receivers and Rodgers not being the best leader of a locker room at times.

While there was a fall-off with Rodgers this past season, I think with a new energy and a new team, Rodgers will be closer to his normal form. I don't think he'll be a league MVP candidate anymore, there are two many guys in the league ahead of him at this point for that to happen. The great thing for the Jets is that they don't need Rodgers to be at that level for them to do great things. As long as the former Packer can play at a top-10 to 12 level, they can do damage in the playoffs. Personally I'd hate it as a Rodgers hater, but at least he won't be doing it as a Packer against the Bears.

8. Trevor Lawrence - Jacksonville Jaguars

Lawrence is yet another one of the quarterbacks who took a massive leap from the start of last year. After one of the worst rookie years under Urban Meyer, the former No. 1 overall pick lead the league in interceptions with 17 and just threw 12 touchdowns. From week eight to week 15, Lawrence only threw one touchdown to five interceptions, with the one touchdown coming in Week 11 against the Falcons.

After starting 2022 with just 10 touchdowns and six interceptions through eight games, Lawrence finally turned a corner for the final nine. He went off for 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while also having a quarterback rating of 104.6. The game that sealed the development of Lawrence for as a top-10 quarterback (for this list) was his game against the Dallas Cowboys in week 14. After falling behind 27-10 with 5:21 left in the third quarter, Lawrence tossed three touchdown passes, including a 59-yard pass to Zay Jones to start the rally. While the game was ended by a pick-six from Rayshawn Jenkins in overtime, this game proved that with T-Law having a good roster and good coach in Doug Pederson behind him, he can reach the sky-high potential many gave him.

Jacksonville was able to take the momentum from that game with three more wins as part of five game winning streak to win the AFC South. It was the first time since 2017 that Jacksonville made the playoffs and it came after the Jaguars had the No. 1 overall pick two years in a row.

Despite all the good vibes in Duval heading into their Wild Card matchup against the Chargers, the first half was a rude awakening for Lawrence in the first half of his playoff debut. Lawrence threw four interceptions on his first six drives of the playoffs, allowing the Chargers to take a big lead at halftime, 27-7. I stopped watching this game at that point, figuring the Chargers would take care of business in the second half.

Though to my surprise when I checked my phone a couple of hours later to find that the Jags had done the unthinkable. Once again the former Clemson Tiger came through in the clutch in the second half, throwing four touchdowns and running in a two-point conversion to get the Jaguars back within two points. After forcing the Chargers to punt on their last drive, Lawrence would help put together the game winning drive for a Riley Patterson field goal.

We will have to see if Lawrence can continue to improve moving forward. It's hard year-over-year to keep up what has been deemed to be a good season, especially from a quarterback. Lawrence was good last year, but to be great we need to see the same type of production in 2023. I think Lawrence can do it, he just has to hit the field to do it.

9. Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins

Speaking of another quarterback who saw tremendous growth in 2022, Tua Tagovailoa was my second biggest riser from a year ago, jumping up from 24 to a top 10 quarterback. Much like another quarterback who played college in the south (more on him later) the idea of Tua becoming this good of a quarterback was not a possibility I had strongly considered. I thought the former Alabama QB would improve with having Tyreek Hill and a second year Jaylen Waddle to throw to and a revamped offensive line, but not to this extent.

The first game that put Tua on my radar was week two agaisnt the Baltimore Ravens. After being down 35-14 at the start of the fourth quarter Tua went off, throwing four of his six touchdowns passes and ended the day with 469 yards passing while completing 72% of his passes in the Dolphins 42-38 comeback win.

However a lot of that progress was derailed due to several concussions that Tagovailoa, including a terrifying one against the Bengals in week four on Thursday night. After suffering yet another concussion in a 26-20 loss agaisnt the Green Bay Packers on Christmas day, Tagovailoa was shut down for the rest of the year and missed the Dolphins Wild Card game against the Bills.

Tua still finished the year with 3,548 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and led the league in passing touchdown percentage at 6.3%. If Tagovailoa can stay healthy for an entire season, I think not only that he will keep this ranking, he could lead the Dolphins to a division title over the Bills. It won't be easy, but as long as the offensive line improves and the Dolphins medical staff is more careful with Tua, he can lead the Dolphins to places they haven't been in a long time.

10. Geno Smith - Seattle Seahawks

The surprises keep on coming in this list, with Geno Smith coming in as a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. Not the CFL, not the XFL, not the USFL, but NFL. It's hard to argue that he's not, the story behind his ascension is deserving of his ranking alone. The fact that he was tossed away by the Jets after under-performing and then becoming the back-up to Russell Wilson to where he is now is incredible.

Smith in his previous eight seasons threw for 34 touchdowns and reached the 3,000 passing yard mark once in his rookie year. In his first season as the starter in Seattle, Smith threw for 30 touchdowns alone and put up career highs in passing yards (4,282), yards per attempt (7.4), quarterback rating (100.9) and led the league in completion percentage at 69.8%. Through all of that and leading Seattle to the playoffs, Smith won Comeback Player of the Year award.

I know it was hard to see this coming, but I personally feel bad for not putting more respect on Smith's name. I didn't even have him starting for Seattle this past year, thinking that former Broncos QB Drew Lock would win the starting job. Smith proved a lot of people, myself included, wrong with his performance last year. There are people already who are projecting a regression from the soon to be 33-year-old quarterback, but, if I've learned anything from Geno it's to never write anybody off.

11. Jared Goff - Detroit Lions

To say that Jared Goff's first year in Detroit was a rough one is the understatement of the decade. The former No. 1 overall pick had his worst statistical seasons since he was a rookie, throwing for just 3,245 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. It also came with seeing his former team in the Rams win a Super Bowl for the guy they traded him to get in Matthew Stafford. There were many doubts about Goff and that the Lions should look to move on from him soon.

One thing that I think isn't quite talked about enough is the change the Lions made ahead of this past season, with moving on from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn to promote Ben Johnson to the position. That single move may have changed the fortunes of the Lions future for a long time. With Johnson now leading the offense, Goff finally found his old form from 2017 and 2018 and helped lead the Lions to one of their best seasons in almost a decade.

The "Goffense," put up 4,438 yards, 29 touchdowns, had a 99.1 QBR and tied a career low in interceptions with seven. Despite the offensive production the Lions had early in the season, it wasn't enough to get the Lions some wins, as they limped to a 1-6 record heading into their week nine game at home agaisnt the Packers. That game would prove to be a turning point in the Lions season, as they picked off Aaron Rodgers three times on their way to a 15-9 win. From that point on the Lions would go 6-2 and averaged 30.6 points per game.

That record put the Lions at an overall record of 8-8 and in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Detroit also had a chance to knockout the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in Week 18. It was the Lions first time on Sunday Night Football since week 3 of the 2018 season against the New England Patriots. However, due to the Seahawks beating the Rams earlier in the day in overtime, the Lions were officially knocked out of the playoffs.

However, with Dan Campbell at the helm you knew that the Lions were going to do anything they could in order to make sure that the Packers didn't make it either. In what would become Aaron Rodgers final game in as a Packer, behind a winning performance from Goff, the Lions denied the Packers one more run with Rodgers in the post-season. As a Bears fan, I salute Goff and the Lions for their service to the rest of the division on that cold January night.

What Goff was able to do last year for the Lions was amazing. For a franchise that for so long had no direction, let alone any hope, is nothing short of incredible. The Lions have now become the betting favorite to win the NFC North and have a real shot at the playoffs in a wide open NFC North and NFC at large. With the Lions being able to hold onto Ben Johnson moving forward, I expect Goff to have similar type seasons with a Lions offense that is filled with play-makers across the offense.

12. Krik Cousins - Minnesota Vikings

Going with back-to-back NFC North quarterbacks as we move to a slightly older Jared Goff in the form of Kirk Cousins. The leader of the most fraudulent 12-5 team of all-time has had an up-and-down tenure since he came to Minnesota. The former Michigan State quarterback has throw for 20,934 of his career 37,140 passing yards in his five seasons up north. However, that hasn't translated to much postseason success, with only one playoff win 2019 agaisnt an aging Drew Brees and the Saints.

Cousins is still a top-15 NFL quarterback at this stage of his career, but the stigma of him being a choker has not gone away. There is a reason there are memes talking about how great "1 pm," Kirk Couisns is compared to primetime Kirk Cousins. Cousins is still a good regular season quarterback and he is someone I would rather have than quite a few guys to win me games in the regular season. He had 4,547 yards, 29 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 92.5 this season, which are solid numbers. Even with that, you expect more out of him considering the Vikings are paying him $35 million this season.

While the division is wide open for Cousins and the Vikings to repeat as "Kings of the North," it will be a much harder road with the losses they had on defense and how much the Lions have grown under Dan Campbell. Not to mention that improvements the Chicago Bears have made and what the Packers may get out of Jordan Love this year. In order for the Vikings to have any chance of doing anything big this season it will take Cousins winning some big games for the first time in his career. The problem is if that he hasn't done it now, when will he ever do it?

13. Daniel Jones - New York Giants

If you would have told me before the start of last year that Daniel Jones would be a top 15 NFL quarterback heading into this year, I would have laughed at all you before breathing to laugh even more. But hey, here we are.

Jones had the largest leap from my QB rankings last year, jumping up 16 spots from 29 to 13. For the first time in his short NFL career, Jones finally played winning football thanks in part to new head coach Brian Daboll. The former Duke QB had career highs in passing yards (3,205), completion percentage (67.2%) and rushing touchdowns (7). Despite those massive improvements, the biggest change for Jones came in his lack of turnovers. Coming into this season, Jones had a 29 interceptions and 36 fumbles in his three years in the NFL.

However, in year four "Danny Dimes," had just five interceptions and six total fumbles. Jones became was the Giants needed in order to win games and make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. In Jones' first playoff game agaisnt the Minnesota Vikings he looked poised, throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns as the G-Men beat the Vikings 31-24. It was the first playoff win for New York since 2011 when they beat the Patriots in Super Bowl 46. Things would fall off against the eventual NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles, but it was a major step in the right direction for Jones and the Giants.

For his efforts, Jones was given a four-year $160 million contract to stay the QB in New York. We will see if Jones can continue this improvement for another season. Otherwise, the Giants will have 160 million regrets on their hands.

14. Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys

Now I know I'm going to hear from a lot of Cowboys fans that it's insane that I placed Daniel Jones ahead of Dak Prescott, even if it was just by one spot. Regardless of the past receptions of both of those guys, Jones was the better quarterback in 2022 compared to Dak.

In just 12 games played last year, Prescott was tied for the lead the league in interceptions with Davis Mills at 15. No matter how you slice it, that is a truly dreadful season, especially when Prescott only tossed 23 touchdowns on top of that. I know that Prescott missed a bunch of time and that the offensive line for the Cowboys was hit-or-miss, but you can't excuse away that many turnovers in just 12 games.

That's not to say that Prescott can't have a bounce back season in 2023. He is still capable of playing some good football. We saw that in Dallas' 31-14 win over Tom Brady an the Bucs in the Wild Card game. The again he can have a game like he did in the Divisional round where he threw two interceptions in a winnable game agaisnt the 49ers. Lets hope Prescott has taken the off-season to get his body and his mind right so he can come in refreshed to lead "America's Team," to better fortunes.

15. Derek Carr - New Orleans Saints

The Derek Carr era with the Raiders came to an end after this season. After some under performance by Carr and having Josh McDaniels as your head coach, it was time for him to move on. The fact that the benching made Carr's wife cry made just too much sense for one of the nicest QBs in the NFL to leave one of the most dysfunctional teams in the league.

Carr found his way to New Orelans through more cap magic by Saints general manager Micky Loomis. After spending the year with Jameis Winston not playing well and Andy Dalton at the helm for most of the year, the Saints decided to go for the proven veteran option at QB with Carr.

The former 2nd round pick had nearly identical stats this past season as he did in 2021, with 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while racking up 3,522 yards. The interceptions aren't great considering he only played in 15 games, but I think with a more stable situation in New Orelans, I think Carr can thrive. Espically with Chris Olave, Jamaal Williams, a solid offensive line and should be even better when Alvin Kamara (probable suspension) and Micheal Thomas (injury) come back.

The Saints should be the favorite to win the NFC South, chiefly because of the rebuilding situations going with the rest of the division. The main sticking point for me and why I think Carr is barely a better than average quarterback and he's only getting older. I don't know if he can return to his form in 2020 and 2019 and those seasons are getting further away. It will be interesting to watch how he adjusts to being on a team not named the Raiders for the first time in his career.

16. Jimmy Garoppolo - Las Vegas Raiders

The quarterback with the best jaw line in the league now finds himself in a city that loves its attractive characters. Whether the Raiders fans out there will support him will all come down to what he can do on a football field.

Jimmy G has had such a weird career, in the fact that he's only played one full season and has never thrown for over 4,000 yards in his career. Yet, he still made the Super Bowl and made the NFC Championship game twice when he nearly plays a full season. That may have to do with the fact that he was on the best run team in the NFC, but hey you have to execute in big moments to get there.

I commend Garoppolo for how he handled being benched for in San Francisco for Trey Lance before he came in for an injured Lance. Garoppolo would eventually go down with a broken foot himself later in the year, giving an opening for Brock Purdy. After that it made total sense for the former Patriot to go back to the AFC and join the Raiders, reuniting with his former offensive coordinator in McDaniels.

We'll see if Garoppolo can form a bond with his new star receiver in Davante Adams and the rest of the supporting cast in Vegas. I think Garaoppolo will perform well the Raiders, the big question comes whether he will be able to finish out the season and lead a team not named the 49ers to the playoffs. It will be a much tougher division compared to the one he left and that is no insult to the NFC West, the AFC West is just on another level.

17. Brock Purdy - San Fransisco 49ers

Mr. Irrelevant of the 2022 draft in Brock Purdy comes in just shy of the top half of NFL quarterbacks. Before I get into his season last year, I just wanted to check and see if you knew that Purdy was the last pick of the draft if you didn't already.

Now with that out of the way, lets take a deeper dive into one of the most surprising stories of the 2022 NFL season. Coming into the year, the 49ers had planned to finally let former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance take the reigns at starting quarterback after only using Lance in spots last year behind Jimmy Garroppolo. After failing to trade the former Patriots QB, they kept him as the back-up quarterback, with Purdy beating out Nate Sudfeld for the No. 3 QB spot. It was a decision that became very vital for San Fran down the road.

After Lance had an ankle fracture in week two against Seattle and Garroppolo broke his foot in the first quarter in the 49ers week 12 game against Miami, the rest of the season came down to the former Iowa State Cyclone. With the Niners sitting at 6-4, Purdy put on a show to finish out the season. After coming in to throw for 210 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins to secure the win, San Fransisco went undefeated for the rest of the regular season.

Purdy even helped the 49ers win the NFC West in style with a 21-13 win agaisnt the Seahawks in Seattle on Thurdsday night football. Purdy would put up 217 yards passing, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 117.0. "Mr. Relevant," finished the five regular season games with 1,374 yards passing, 13 touchdowns, while completing 67.4% of his passes.

Purdy, along with a stellar 49ers defense, lead the team to yet another NFC championship game appearance. after taking down the Seahawks in the Wild Card and then had their annual victory over the Cowboys in the divisional. However, the Cinderella run ended in Philly, with Purdy tearing his UCL in the first quarter against the Eagles and fourth string quarterback Josh Johnson leaving the game with a concussion. All of that forced Purdy to just hand the ball off to Christain McCaffery to either run or throw.

At the moment both Lance and Purdy are recovering from their injuries with just a few weeks before training camp. When they are both healthy, I have a hard time believing that head coach Kyle Shanahan won't go back to the guy who helped lead them to the NFC championship game.

18. Justin Fields - Chicago Bears

The first potential franchise quarterback in Bears history had quite the year in 2022. In his first full year as the starting quarterback for the Bears, Fields showed absolute flashes of brilliance against playoff caliber teams. Despite the 1-7 record agaisnt those teams, Fields had 11 touchdowns, 1048 passing yards, 471 rushing yards and threw just one interception in week one agaisnt the 49ers. His magnum opus came in week nine against the Miami Dolphins where he not only passed for three touchdowns, he broke the single game rushing record in the regular season for a quarterback with 178 yards.

While Fields had his good moments, he also had some bad moments as well. In one of the three games the Bears were actually able to win against the Texans in week three, Fields only threw for a 106 yards and had two ugly interceptions. However, most of those struggles came very early in the season and after the Thursday night disaster against the Commanders, the Bears offense changed drastically for the betterment of Fields. From week seven to week 15, the former No. 11 overall pick completed 67% of his passes on an average of 22.8 attempts per game. With those numbers, Fields was able to throw for 1,298 yards, 12 touchdowns, only had five passes picked off and added in another 729 rushing yards and seven scores.

There is reason for both excitement and reasonable expectation when it comes to Fields. Some are saying that Fields could be a dark horse MVP candidate this year, if he takes the leap that many are expecting out him with D.J. Moore now as his number one wide receiver. I can see the hype behind it, and trust me as a Fields believer I am fully on board. However, I believe we should temper expectations a bit. I don't think the Bears roster is up to snuff to where the Bills were at in 2020 and the Eagles were heading into last year. They are getting there, but it would take a massive leap for Fields to get this roster to a place where Fields is an MVP candidate.

On the other hand, there are those who say Fields shouldn't even be this high, ahead of guys like Stafford and Wilson. The lack of being able to hit the "layups," on the field with his tendency to hang on to the ball to long at times. While I can see the people who have their issues and concerns with Fields I just have to say look at the Bears outside of running back last year. At one point Ihmir Smith-Marsette was a starting wide receiver in this offense, the Bears had the worst offensive line in football and outside of Cole Kmet, a really bad group of tight ends. I'd like to see Mahomes or Peyton Manning get that team to eight or nine wins.

I expect Fields to end the year as a near borderline top-12 quarterback. He won't be close to an MVP award, but he'll be closer than a lot of people think. All Bears fans need to see out of Fields is to show consistency from start to finish to prove that Fields is the guy moving forward. Things are looking good, from minicamp at least, now all Fields has to do is go out and prove it.

19. Matthew Stafford - Los Angeles Rams

As you may have noticed at this point, there have been quite a few quarterbacks who have been able to jump up in position. With that also comes with guys who drop down the list and none have fallen more than Matthew Stafford, who was my No. 6 quarterback last year. This is not to say that i think Stafford is washed by any means. If I thought he was nearing the end of his rope he would have fallen a lot further down the list than he did.

A lot of the issues that plagued Stafford were problems that were team wide for LA, not the fault of Stafford. After being sacked just 30 times on their way to a Super Bowl run, the former No. 1 overall pick was sacked 29 times in the nine games he played after suffering a spinal cord contusion in Week 11.

What made Stafford drop so steep was not only the health issue, it was the play he displayed while he was healthy. The former Detroit Lion only threw 10 touchdowns to eight interceptions, while keeping his completion percentage at 68%. In those games as well, Stafford only had two games where he had more than one touchdown pass, including his best game against the Saints where he was injured.

Things got so bad that according to reports, the Rams kicked the tires on getting Stafford out of LA.

While I don't think Stafford's season warranted him potentially being moved, Stafford is 35-years-old and still has three years left on his contract. For his own sake and his trade value I hope the Stafford rebounds to the perennial 4,000 yard passer and 30+ touchdown season we have become accustomed to seeing.

20. Russell Wilson - Denver Broncos

Speaking of former top-10 quarterbacks falling off from the start of last year, the highest profile example came out of Denver with Russell Wilson. After forcing his way out of Seattle, Wilson found his way to Denver to finally "cook," after feeling that he was held back under Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.

Safe to say, Russ did not cook and Broncos country was taken for the worst ride that could have happened. After expecting to compete for the playoffs and the division against the Chiefs, the exact opposite happened with the Broncos going 5-12. Even with those five wins, none of them came against the Chiefs, who have won 15 games in a row against Denver. It all happened with having Nathaniel Hackett at head coach and Wilson having by far his worst season as a pro.

The former Wisconsin Badger tossed just 16 touchdowns and threw for under 4,000 yards for consecutive seasons for the first time since early in his career. While most of the season was a disaster for Wilson, three of the last four games of the season went pretty well for him. Outside for a three interception performance agaisnt the Rams on Christmas (where he got cooked by Patrick Star), he had 220 yards or more and seven of his 16 touchdowns on the year.

With Sean Payton now at the helm, I'm expecting Wilson to rebound this season. If Payton got Jameis Winston to look like a potential starting quarterback, he can do some pretty great things with a future Hall-of-Famer in Wilson. I'd love to see the Broncos make the playoffs and make it to he Super Bowl, just to refute all the hate he got last year. As a wise man once said, "Broncos Country, lets ride." Whether it's a good thing or not will be determined starting Sept. 10 against the Raiders.

21. Deshaun Watson - Cleveland Browns

For those wondering why I am choosing to rank Watson this year after not ranking him at all last year here is my reasoning. Part of it was simply from a football standpoint, the simple fact was that Watson hadn't played football at all the previous season and there was nothing to analyze going into 2022. The other reason was the numerous allegations that he was under due to his behavior in Houston female masseuses that lead to a investigation and 11-game suspension.

I still disavow what Watson did and the fact that the Browns decided to trade for him in the first place. In my own humble opinion, Watson should be out of the league for everything he did to those women. If the NFL actually cared about abusive men and sexual deviants as much as guys betting on sports inside and outside of the NFL, then this would have been much different situation.

Unfortunately as it stands, Watson is projected to be the starting quarterback in 2023 for the Browns. Safe to say it was a rough return to football for Watson, as in six games he had seven touchdowns, five interceptions. He also had his lowest completion percentage of his career at 58.2%. His best game was week 17 against the Commanders, where he went for 169 yards and three touchdowns in Cleveland 24-10 win. Outside of that it was mainly low lights from Watson from his first football since the 2020 season with the Texans.

We'll see how Watson performs with a full off-season and being able to play starting week one. I know the talent that he has a quarterback, it's just difficult to look at him as just a quarterback considering everything he has done.

22. Mac Jones - New England Patriots

Despite many saying that Mac Jones had the highest floor and the lowest ceiling out of the 2021 quarterback draft class, Jones was the best one out of the bunch in his rookie year. His 22 touchdowns passes and 3,801 passing yards led all rookies and those numbers helped the Patriots reach the playoffs for the first time without Tom Brady at quarterback since 1998. While it ended in a blowout loss to the Bills in the Wild Card round, the future seemed bright heading into 2022.

To the determent of Patriots fans, that hope did not translate as now they are now questions if Jones can be the long-term starter. Jones missed three games and was pulled in the first half of the game against the Chicago Bears in week seven Monday Night Football by Bailey Zappe. The former Pro-Bowl quarterback dropped to just 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns, with a nearly 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio. That game basically ended the Zappe hype train as Jones would finish the final 10 games of the season.

I view Jones as someone, long term, who can be a slightly worse version of Alex Smith. A very capable starting quarterback who can win you some games and also not lose you any games. For that to happen, the Patriots need to be able to build a good cast of players around Jones. While I think Jones already has the offensive line in front of him to succeed, the skill players need some improvement. There isn't one player on the Pats offense who I would put in the top 10-15 in their own position. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Hunter Henry, Devante Parker and Tyquan Thorton are all solid players, but none of them are game breaking players. If you want to win in the NFL you need guys who can change the game with one play and consistent get open.

With Deandre Hopkins now in Tennessee, there will be no quick fix this season for New England to improve the offense. Hopefully, with an actual offensive coordinator in Bill O'Brien, that alone will be enough to get Jones back on track to where he was in his rookie year.

23. Jordan Love - Green Bay Packers

The Jordan Love era has finally begun in Green Bay. After drafting him in 2020 to be the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers, Love is finally getting his shot to prove he's a capable NFL quarterback. In the three seasons since Love has been a Packer, the former Utah State quarterback has only played in 10 games, starting one in 2021, because Rodgers was put on the COVID list. In that Week 9 game agaisnt the Kansas City Chiefs, Love went 19-for-34, 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 13-7 loss.

I think that the Packers are finally doing what they needed to do to move forward as a franchise. Rodgers was becoming an old, expensive, malcontent anchor. While they are taking quite a bit of a financial burden by trading No. 12 (Now No.8) it was the right thing for the Packers organization to do. With that said, we don't know what to expect from Love this season. This is the first time that Love will be getting first team reps from mini-camp all the way through training camp. So far he's faring much better than Rodgers when it comes to working with young players on his own team.

I think love has the potential to be an ok starter this year, but will nowhere near an average or above average quarterback this season. This will be, for all intents and purposes, Love's rookie year and he'll have a chance to prove how good he is early on with the season opener agaisnt the Bears. That game will say a lot about Love and where his is as an NFL quarterback. I think Love is already somewhere in low 20s based more so on where the other quarterbacks are in the league. Love is the biggest question in all of these starting quarterbacks in the league and as a rival fan, I will be paying close attention to him.

24. Ryan Tannehill - Tennessee Titans

Tannehill has had a career resurrection in Tennessee since he took over for Marcus Mariota in 2019. He helped lead the Titans to the AFC championship game in that same year and has passed for at least 3,700 yards in the years he started in 2020 and 2021. 2022 was a much different story for Tannehill and the Titans as a whole.

Besides missing five games due to injury, Tannehill suffered some big regression without A.J. Brown, throwing for just 2,536 yards, 12 touchdowns and had a QBR of 49.1. It was the lowest he's had since his final year in Miami in 2018, where it was at 33.2. Tannehill is getting older (34) and I'm not sure if last year was a blip in his four years with the Titans or if this will be the trend moving forward with him.

He should have a better year now that the Titans have won the Deandre Hopkins sweepstakes, giving the Titans a wide receiver one they desperately needed since giving up A.J. Brown to the Eagles. It will be interesting to see if the Titans can reclaim the AFC South with him now in the fold. If they hope to do so, it will come with a resurgent year from Ryan Tannehill, rising up from this No. 24 ranking.

25. Kenny Pickett - Pittsburgh Steelers

The only first round quarterback from the 2022 draft finds his way onto the No. 25 spot on this list. After the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers had to look for their quarterback of the future and so with the No. 20 pick, Pittsburgh selected Pickett. The plan was for the former Pitt Panther to sit and learn behind former No. 2 overall pick from the 2017 draft in Mitchell Trubisky. Well that went as well as the Bears signing Mike Glennon to start in front of Trubisky when he was a rookie, as it only took 3+ games for Pickett to put into action and eventually start for Pittsburgh.

It was not a good run for Pickett under center early, throwing three interceptions twice in his first four games. Pickett didn't even throw his first touchdown pass until his third career game in week six agaisnt Tampa, in which Trubisky came into the game to replace Pickett.

However after that rough beginning to Pickett's career, things started to change for him. After throwing eight interceptions to two touchdowns in his first five career games, things flipped in week 10 against the Bengals. In his best start of his career, Pickett threw for 265 yards and a touchdown in just a seven point loss to Cincy. Including that match-up with the Bengals, Pickett would finish the year five touchdowns to just one interception in the final seven games that he finished.

I don't know how well Pickett will turnout this season, but based on last year I think he can be an capable starting quarterback. My realistic expectation is that Pickett could move up to somewhere in the low 20's or high teens by the time the season is over. He does have a interesting supporting cast of Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson, Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth, that could do some damage. However, I haven't seen Pickett prove he belongs in that tier of quarterback yet, so I can't move him any higher that 25.

26. Bryce Young - Carolina Panthers

The Panthers can thank Lovie Smith and Davis Mills for having Young in the first place. Without the Bears being awful and the Texans pulling off a miraculous comeback agaisnt the Colts in Week 18, Bryce Young would be suiting up for Houston this season. The Panthers swapped picks for the Bears this year and sending a haul of other picks, two of which have turned into Darnell Wright and Tyrique Stevenson along with DJ Moore.

After trotting out guys like a declining Cam Newton, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield, it was time for the Panthers to head to the draft to find their guy. While Young is much smaller than a the typical QB that Frank Reich has worked with, I'm sure he can come up with a offensive gameplan to get the best out of Young. The former Crimson Tide star doesn't have the greatest supporting cast, with the likes of Adam Thelien, D.J. Chark and Terrance Marshall Jr. at wide receiver. However, he does have Miles Sanders at running back and Hayden Hurst at tight end as security blanket options.

Size will always be an issue with Young and whether his body can handle the punishment of a full NFL season. The best example is Drew Brees and how he was able to play 20 seasons in the NFL despite his small stature. I think Young has all the talent in the world and there was a reason he was the No. 1 pick in this years draft. This will be one of the most interesting quarterbacks to watch this coming season.

27. Baker Mayfield - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It was a tumultuous year for Baker Mayfield last season. The former Oklahoma quarterback was traded to the Carolina Panthers once the Browns had chosen Deshaun Watson as their new QB of the future to start the season. Safe to say it was a train wreck for both sides in Carolina as the Panthers went just 1-5 in Mayfield's six starts out in Raleigh, with the former Hesiman winner completing just 57.8% of his passes while tossing six touchdowns and six interceptions.

After being cut by the Panthers, Mayfield was claimed off of waviers by the Los Angeles Rams who had already lost Matthew Stafford for the season and then back-up QB John Wolford was dealing with neck soreness as well. Then after being claimed that week on Tuesday, Mayfield came into the game on Thursday night and lead a miraculous 98-yard drive to the lead the Rams to the win over the Las Vegas Raiders, 17-16.

Through some of his performances with the Rams last season, Mayfield has earned himself another opportunity to be the starter for the Buccaneers this season. Mayfield had some good moments last year, but it's not enough to outweigh his mostly horrible performance's last year, which lands him in the bottom tier of NFL quarterbacks.

28. Desmond Ridder - Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have fully embraced their much needed rebuild after trading away former league MVP Matt Ryan and franchise star Julio Jones. Their new future offense seems to be coming together through the first round of the draft the past three years with Kyle Pitts, Drake London and Bijan Robinson creating what could be one of the most exciting young offenses in the NFL.

However, none of it will work if former third round pick Desmond Ridder doesn't develop into a starting quarterback this season. Ridder only played in four games last season after the Falcons trotted out Marcus Mariota for the first 13 games of the season. Mariota purposely stepped away from the team to become less of a distraction for the Falcons.

Ridder was up and down in his four starts as you might expect for a third round rookie, going 2-2 in that stretch. The former Bearcat had his best performance to finish the season agaisnt Tampa Bay, going 19-for-30, 224 yards and had his only passing touchdowns of the season in that game. To add on to that, 11 of his 19 passes went for first downs in that game.

While I think Ridder could become a good quarterback moving forward, there is just two little of a sample size for me to rank him any higher than where I have him now.

29. C.J. Stroud - Houston Texans

The second quarterback off the board from this past draft has kick started the next Texans rebuild phase. After toiling with 2021 third round pick Davis Mills the past two years, Houston has selected who they hope to be their next franchise quarterback. The Texans did seem to have one in Deshaun Watson, but between Bill O'Brien being a bad GM and Watson's off the field predator behavior, they shipped him off to Cleveland.

Stroud will be the latest quarterback to try and beat the "all Ohio State QBs are bad," allegations. The former Buckeye had an outstanding two-year run as the starter for Ohio State, passing for a total of 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns in those two years. Stroud is supremely accurate and has a cannon of an arm. The knock on him is that sometimes he refuses to come off his primary receiver and that can lead to interceptions at times.

I think Stroud has a great chance to perform better than some of the guys ahead of him on this list. It's just a matter of him being able to transfer his skills from college to the NFL and if he's anything like his predecessor from OSU (Justin Fields) he's got a fighting chance to prove a lot of people wrong.

30. Anthony Richardson - Indianapolis Colts

The surprise of the NFL draft comes in at the No. 30 slot in my list. It was a surprise in draft position and less about the team who picked him. It was no secret that the Colts needed a quarterback after Matt Ryan was cut and the team had only signed Gardner Minshew to be the teams new quarterback. Some people thought that Indy would select Will Levis or trade up with the Chicago Bears to select Bryce Young before the Bears shipped that pick to the Panthers.

Despite all that noise, the Colts decided to go with the former Florida quarterback at No.4. Richardson has all the athletic tools to be a good QB in the NFL as he clocked in at 4.43 40-yard dash and a 40.5" vertical jump. Richardson also has shown those abilities on tape, with 654 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

The big issue for Richardson is his success as a passer. While he did pass for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns, the former Florida Gator only completed 53.8 of his passes in his one year as a starting quarterback. The main concern in terms of accuracy was on the short to intermediate throws, rather than passes down field.

I'm not sure if Richardson will win the starting job out of camp, but it would be to his benefit that he does. Minshew is not Alex Smith, so for Richardson to potentially win the job out right would be a great start for his career. It would also allow him to get NFL reps and work on some of his weaknesses while learning to play the NFL game.

Richardson has a lot of upside, but coming into this season he is still very raw and I don't expect him to be a top 15 quarterback by season's end.

31. Sam Howell - Washington Commanders

If Desmond Ridder has a small sample size, then Sam Howell has the sample size of an atom. Howell was a fifth round pick by Washington and came in as the clear 3rd-string quarterback behind Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.

However, the former North Carolina Tar Heel would get his chance to start in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys after Washington had already been eliminated from the playoffs.

In that start, behind a great defensive performance and some solid offense, the Commanders blew out the Cowboys 26-6. Howell did put up okay numbers, going 11-for-19 and 169 yards with one touchdown to Terry McLaurin.

It's hard to say how good Howell will be with more starts, which is why he's the second worst quarterback on this list.

32. Colt McCoy - Arizona Cardinals

This is going to be a rough season for the Arizona Cardinals this season and who they will have under center is going to be a big reason why. With former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray probably out for the most of it not the entire 2023 season, it will be McCoy who will probably be QB1 in the desert.

While McCoy is a 12-year NFL veteran at this point, he is well beyond his days as a full seasons starter. That's not to say that McCoy isn't capable of starting three or four games in a season, but he isn't a guy who can carry the starting job for an entire season because of his age and his injury history.

McCoy started three games last year and while he threw for 780 yards, McCoy only found the endzone once while throwing three interceptions. McCoy isn't the worst quarterback in the world, but he is certainly the worst starting quarterback heading into this season.


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