As a new feature in the 2022 Sharp Football Preview Book, the Sharp Football Analysis team ranked positional units across the league for the 2022 season.
The ranking guidelines were up to the specific voter with the only requirement that the focus is on the upcoming season only, not the future outlook.
With a combination of numbers, film, and projections, the rankings were averaged for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers/tight ends, defensive front seven, defensive secondary, and head coach.
Next up: 2022 NFL quarterback rankings. The entire unit was considered, not just the starters.
Which team will have the worst quarterbacks in 2022? Which team will have the best quarterbacks in 2022? We’ve got all your answers covered.
2022 NFL Quarterback Rankings, by Unit
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||97|
|2||Green Bay Packers||90|
|2||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||90|
|4||Los Angeles Chargers||89|
|6||Los Angeles Rams||78|
|12||Las Vegas Raiders||61|
|19||San Francisco 49ers||43|
|21||New England Patriots||36|
|23||New Orleans Saints||26|
|25||New York Giants||23|
|27||New York Jets||19|
Score based off average ranks of positional unit (on a 100 point scale) for all 32 teams, from Sharp Football staff voters. If all voters had a team at #1, that score would be 100.
What team has the best quarterbacks in the NFL?
32. Carolina Panthers
The voting here was done before the Baker Mayfield trade, which would probably boost the Panthers up some, but maybe not by too much. The quarterbacks previously on the roster don’t inspire much confidence (a reason for the Mayfield trade). When kept clean for at least 2.5 seconds, Sam Darnold ranked 28th (out of 32) in EPA per dropback 一 among non-rookies, only Andy Dalton was worse.
31. Seattle Seahawks
While playing with comparable weapons and behind a much better offensive line in Denver, Drew Lock failed to demonstrate any traits worth building around. Over the last two seasons, Lock ranked dead last in catchable pass rate on throws 15 or more yards downfield (52.6%). Between Lock and Geno Smith, Seattle has two backups competing for a starting job.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Entering his eighth year, there’s little reason to be optimistic about Marcus Mariota, who reunites with his former offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, in Atlanta. Rookie Desmond Ridder is likely the only reason this unit didn’t rank dead last, as Ridder’s upside at least gives Atlanta an intriguing prospect to develop.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are one of four teams that ranked in the bottom five on every ballot at quarterback. Maybe Kenny Pickett can develop into a quality starter, but our rankings are focused solely on expected production in 2022.
28. Houston Texans
Davis Mills looked surprisingly competent at times during his rookie year, especially considering the supporting cast. For Mills to establish himself as the long-term answer, he must learn to handle pressure. Among the five rookie quarterbacks who saw significant action, Mills ranked fourth in positive EPA rate when under pressure.
27. New York Jets
When Zach Wilson was kept clean for at least 2.5 seconds, he averaged -0.1 EPA per dropback, the league’s worst rate. His lack of production in a clean pocket underscores just how much development is still needed. We’re not giving up hope though. BYU’s cupcake schedule in 2020 did not prepare him for the NFL; a difficult rookie year was expected.
26. Detroit Lions
Jared Goff doesn’t have a high ceiling, but he’s capable. When kept clean for at least 2.5 seconds, Goff ranked 16th in EPA per dropback 一 that’s certainly good enough to keep the Lions competitive if they can protect him.
25. New York Giants
Relative to what Daniel Jones has shown us through three years, this could be considered a generous rank for the Giants quarterback room 一 and possibly an indication of our expectation of progress with a more competent coaching staff.
24. Washington Commanders
The addition of Carson Wentz didn’t improve our opinion of Washington’s quarterback situation. In fact, the Commanders rank four spots worse than last year (although that was based on the assumption of a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick). When Wentz was not under pressure, he ranked 30th out of 37 quarterbacks in on-target rate last season.
23. New Orleans Saints
With minimal changes to the quarterback depth chart, the Saints only improved one spot from a season ago. We’ve seen enough of Jameis Winston to know his propensity for drive-killing plays will hold back the offense. 23% of Winston’s dropbacks resulted in -1 EPA or worst last year, which ranked 34th out of 39 quarterbacks.
22. Chicago Bears
Led by Justin Fields, the Bears quarterback room received votes ranging from 17th to 25th. Fields hasn’t shown enough to earn a spot in the top half of the league, but with Matt Nagy out of the way, we expect him to make some positive strides this season.
21. New England Patriots
After an impressive rookie year from Mac Jones, the Patriots have climbed two spots in our quarterback rankings and are now tied with Chicago, but still trail Jacksonville, among teams with second-year starting quarterbacks. New England was very cautious with Jones, as only 13.6% of their plays were passes of 10 or more yards downfield in a one-score game, the league’s third lowest rate.
20. Philadelphia Eagles
After his first full year as the Eagles starter, we’re not quite sold on Jalen Hurts. His tendency to hold the ball too long 一 he led the league with an average time to throw of 2.97 seconds 一 raises some concerns about his ability to lead this offense.
19. San Francisco 49ers
Votes for the 49ers quarterback situation ranged from 14th to 21st. That range seems fair considering the uncertainty with Trey Lance potentially primed to take over, but Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the roster. If Garoppolo keeps the job, our ranking is probably spot on. If Lance takes over, the ceiling is higher, but the floor would be lower too.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence’s rookie year went about as poorly as possible, but hopefully a more stable environment sets him back on track. When he was not under pressure, Lawrence’s boom-bust ratio (ratio of plays generating +1 EPA to -1 EPA) ranked 31st out of 35 quarterbacks. He’ll need to demonstrate some competency in a clean pocket before we can fully buy into the pre-draft hype again.
17. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts’ upgrade from Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan led to an eight-spot jump in our rankings, but still wasn’t enough to push this unit into the top half of the league on any ballots. When Ryan was kept clean in the pocket, he generated +1 EPA or higher on 27% of his dropbacks, ranked 13th, indicating a strong performance level is still achievable behind a better offensive line.
16. Miami Dolphins
Miami’s quarterbacks land in the middle of the pack, but this is the year Tua Tagovailoa needs to take his game to another level. When Tagovailoa was blitzed, his boom-bust ratio (ratio of plays generating +1 EPA to -1 EPA) ranked 28th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks. If he can improve his ability to make quick decisions in those scenarios, this Miami offense could take off.
15. Tennessee Titans
We’ve lost some faith in Ryan Tannehill, as Tennessee’s quarterback room falls five spots in our rankings from a season ago. Tannehill is serviceable, but relies heavily on play action to set up his passing game. With play-action, Tannehill averaged 8.7 yards per attempt, compared to 6.4 without.
14. Cleveland Browns
Quarterback remains an area with significant concerns due to Deshaun Watson’s uncertain future. Watson has yet to be suspended, so we attempted to account for the uncertainty as best we could. If he were expected to play a full 17 games, it’s safe to assume this would be a top-10 unit. Due to questions about his availability, however, votes ranged from 12th to 17th.
13. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota landed at 13th or 14th on every ballot at quarterback. There’s a strong consensus that Kirk Cousins is slightly above average, but not in the top tier of quarterbacks. As always, with a good supporting cast he’ll be productive, but he’s probably not the type who is going to carry the team to victories.
12. Las Vegas Raiders
Votes for Derek Carr and the Raiders quarterbacks ranged from 10th to 14th. With an improved receiving corps, it’s certainly reasonable to hope Carr repeats his peak performance from his memorable 2016 season.
11. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona’s quarterback room was our 10th-ranked unit a season ago but slid just outside the top 10 this year. There’s still optimism around Kyler Murray, but there just hasn’t been enough consistency. During Arizona’s 7-0 start, Murray ranked third in the league in EPA per dropback, but ranked 15th out of 33 through his final 10 games.
10. Denver Broncos
Denver jumped from 31st to 10th in our quarterback rankings, thanks to the addition of Russell Wilson. However, our opinion of Wilson has shifted slightly, as we ranked the Seahawks tied for third overall in 2021. Wilson’s tendency to hold the ball too long is one reason for the slight decline. Wilson took 20 sacks on dropbacks on which he held the ball for three or more seconds 一 given his experience and mobility, he must cut down on those avoidable drive-killing plays.
9. Dallas Cowboys
Despite a slight drop in production, Dak Prescott remains a top-10 quarterback. His ability to handle pressure sets a high ceiling for his production. Prescott’s adjusted net yards per attempt while facing pressure (4.8) ranked second in the league. On dropbacks versus pressure, Prescott was also sacked at the eighth lowest rate.
8. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow’s ascension to top-10 quarterback lays a strong foundation for Cincinnati’s future. When the Bengals’ offensive line protected Burrow for at least 2.5 seconds, he averaged .29 EPA per dropbacks, the league’s second-highest rate. With a more complete supporting cast, Burrow has MVP potential.
7. Los Angeles Rams
With a year under his belt in the Rams’ system, our confidence in Matthew Stafford grew slightly as the quarterback room climbed from eighth to sixth. If Stafford handled pressure better, perhaps he could climb into the top five 一 but he ranked 22nd in the league with 22% of his dropbacks under pressure resulting in a sack or interception.
6. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore’s quarterback room ranks sixth overall, but received votes ranging from sixth to 11th. Obviously, the success of this unit hinges on Lamar Jackson returning to full health. With Jackson on the field, Baltimore’s offense generated 10.1 EPA on dropbacks, but -6.7 EPA on dropbacks from Josh Johnson and Tyler Huntley.
5. Buffalo Bills
Although Josh Allen’s production dropped off slightly, the Bills jumped from seventh to fifth in our quarterback rankings. Votes ranged from third to sixth, but Allen is now entrenched in that top tier of quarterbacks.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Led by Justin Herbert, the Chargers quarterback room ranked in the top five on every ballot, and even received one second-place vote.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
At the age of 45, Tom Brady somehow rises in our rankings this year. Brady was tied with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks for third last year, but is now tied with the next team in second place.
2. Green Bay Packers
For the second consecutive year, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ quarterback room ranks second behind only Kansas City. It was not a unanimous selection, however, as votes ranged from second to sixth.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were a unanimous selection for the top quarterback room for the second consecutive season. Patrick Mahomes would need to fall off considerably to relinquish that title.
Ranking each NFL Unit for 2022:
For all of the team-by-team unit rankings and full team chapters, including a dozen more visuals & info-graphics, defensive breakdown, and detailed Fantasy football implications — plus the other 31 team chapters — pick up a copy of Warren Sharp’s new ‘2022 Football Preview’ book