As a feature in the 2023 Sharp Football Preview Book, the Sharp Football Analysis team ranked positional units across the league for the 2023 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, offensive line, defensive front seven, defensive secondary, and head coach.
Next up: 2023 NFL quarterback rankings.
These insights are an excerpt from Warren Sharp’s 500+ page book “2023 Football Preview” which is now available for download.
2023 NFL Quarterback Rankings:
|Anthony Richardson and Gardner Minshew
|Ryan Tannehill and Will Levis
|Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask
|Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett
Score based on 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. Ties are broken by the highest vote on any ballot.
What team has the best quarterbacks in the NFL?
32. Washington Commanders – Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett
The Commanders know they have a capable starter at quarterback in Jacoby Brissett but, given the state of the roster, Sam Howell should be given an opportunity to prove himself. This was the only quarterback room ranked in the bottom three on every ballot.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask
The Bucs’ downgrade from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask led to a 29-spot free fall in the quarterback rankings, the second-largest drop of any unit across the league. Though Mayfield had some positive moments in Los Angeles late last season, we’ve seen enough to know his ceiling is low.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Ridder
Atlanta checks in at number 30 in quarterback rankings for the second year in a row, although there’s more reason for optimism this year after a decent showing by Desmond Ridder in his four starts. Ridder’s ability to avoid negative plays was his best asset. He generated -1 EPA or worse on just 17% of his dropbacks, ranking 19th out of 45 qualifying quarterbacks.
29. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Love
The Packers tumbled 26 spots in our quarterback rankings, but such is life when you swap out a four-time MVP for someone with one career start. Jordan Love will take the reins after throwing 21 passes in 2022 across four different relief appearances. Rookie fifth-round pick Sean Clifford is next on the depth chart after spending four seasons as the starter at Penn State.
28. Tennessee Titans – Ryan Tannehill and Will Levis
The presence of Ryan Tannehill likely saved the Titans from having our lowest-ranked quarterback room, but Tannehill’s declining skill set gives the team a low ceiling at the position even if he’s healthy for a full season. At some point, we’ll likely see second-round pick Will Levis. At that point, Tennessee may have the league’s worst quarterback situation, at least in the short term.
27. Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Richardson and Gardner Minshew
Votes for the Colts’ quarterback situation ranged from 23rd to 32nd. If Gardner Minshew starts, there should be some short-term stability at the position, but at some point, we’re likely to see Anthony Richardson. When facing pressure at Florida last year, Richardson generated positive EPA on just 24% of snaps, which ranked ninth in the SEC. So while his long-term future is exciting, there’s no reason to believe he’s ready to lead an NFL offense in 2023.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kenny Pickett
Despite showing some signs of promise, Kenny Pickett didn’t do enough to burst out of the cellar in 2022. Only four quarterbacks in the NFL completed at least 100 passes and tossed more interceptions than touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Steelers, Pickett and backup Mitchell Trubisky make up half that list.
25. New England Patriots – Mac Jones
The Patriots lost faith in Mac Jones last year, and so did we. Their quarterback ranking dropped three spots. Through his first three starts last year, 39% of Jones’s attempts were at least 10 yards downfield, but that rate dropped to 29% for the remainder of the season 一 a sure sign the team lost confidence.
24. Las Vegas Raiders – Jimmy Garoppolo
Votes for the Raiders’ quarterback situation ranked from 18th to 28th. There’s clearly an acceptable floor with Jimmy Garoppolo, but without the support of Kyle Shanahan’s friendly offense, what’s the ceiling?
23. Carolina Panthers – Bryce Young
Carolina has its quarterback of the future in Bryce Young, but we’re still not expecting much from him as a rookie. The Panthers’ quarterback situation ranked in the bottom half of the league on every ballot.
22. Houston Texans – C.J. Stroud
The addition of C.J. Stroud bumped Houston’s quarterback situation up six spots from a season ago. Clearly, Stroud’s talent elevates the ceiling for Houston’s quarterback play, and with Davis Mills and Case Keenum relegated to second and third-string duties, the depth is also strong.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Geno Smith
After being tied for dead last in 2022, the Seahawks’ quarterback situation jumped 10 spots in our rankings from last year. Our confidence in Geno Smith grew significantly, though he still landed no higher than 16th on any ballot.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray
Votes for Arizona’s quarterback situation ranged from 12th to 25th. The high end of that spectrum likely anticipates a fully healthy Kyler Murray returning early, while the low end represents a scenario where we’re forced to watch Colt McCoy and/or rookie Clayton Tune for most of the season.
19. San Francisco 49ers – Brock Purdy
San Francisco’s worst unit is quarterback, the only unit in which their ranking landed in the bottom half of the league. The good news is there is strong depth with Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, and Sam Darnold, but it’s certainly less than ideal for a title contender to be unsure of its starting quarterback. Kyle Shanahan will need to work his magic again.
18. New York Giants – Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones elevated his game under Brian Daboll, and the Giants’ quarterback unit climbed from 25th to 18th. For Jones to further improve, he needs to cut down on drive-killing mistakes. Jones generated -1 EPA or worse on 20% of his dropbacks last season, a career worst.
17. Los Angeles Rams – Matthew Stafford
Votes for the Rams’ quarterback situation ranged from 15th to 20th. If Matthew Stafford is fully healthy, he will exceed these expectations, but we have to factor in his age and injuries. Stafford did not look like himself early in 2022 due to an elbow injury and then was knocked out of the year due to a spinal contusion.
16. New Orleans Saints – Derek Carr
With the addition of Derek Carr, the Saints’ quarterback unit jumps seven spots from a year ago. However, Carr and the Raiders checked in at number 12 a season ago, so our collective opinion of Carr has dropped a bit after a disappointing final year in Las Vegas.
15. Detroit Lions – Jared Goff
Jared Goff had a career-best season in 2022, ranking eighth among quarterbacks in EPA/dropback. As a result, he rocketed up to 15th in our rankings, even earning an 11th-place vote. When kept clean, Goff averaged 8.3 yards per attempt, threw 24 touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
14. Denver Broncos – Russell Wilson
After a frustrating season from Russell Wilson, the Broncos fell four spots in our quarterback rankings. Entering the 2021 season with Seattle, Wilson ranked third in our rankings, so it’s been a sharp decline. Sean Payton helped orchestrate some late-career magic for Drew Brees, and perhaps he can do the same for Wilson.
13. Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins
There was no change for Kirk Cousins, who was 13th last year as well. However, Cousins’ numbers took a step back in 2022, throwing 14 interceptions and posting a 49.9 total QBR. His completion percentage has gone down every year since joining the Vikings in 2018, but he will once again be productive with a strong supporting cast.
12. Chicago Bears – Justin Fields
The Bearss jumps nine spots in our rankings this year, which is the fifth-most of any quarterback room. Justin Fields became perhaps the most dangerous rushing quarterback, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and running for over 130 yards on three separate occasions. However, he needs to become more efficient as a passer and a quicker decision-maker. Only Malik Willis and Deshaun Watson held the ball longer than Fields in 2022.
11. Cleveland Browns – Deshaun Watson
The Browns jumped three spots this year at quarterback with a full season of Deshaun Watson expected despite an uneven six weeks under center in 2022. All told, Watson completed a career-low 58 percent of his passes, and his adjusted yards per pass attempt was just 6.0, a far cry from the league-leading 9.5 he had when he last played in 2020.
10. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa proved to be a good fit for Mike McDaniel’s offense, and the Dolphins quarterback unit climbed from 16th to 10th in our unit rankings this year. Lingering questions about Tagovailoa’s health had to factor into our ranking, however, as no one wants to see Mike White or Skyler Thompson forced into action.
9. New York Jets – Aaron Rodgers
No team improved at quarterback more than the Jets, who jumped 18 spots from their placement a year ago. However, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers ranked second overall last year, and the Jets rank only ninth entering this season 一 so our confidence in Rodgers has dropped significantly.
8. Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott
Dallas’ quarterback situation remains in the back half of the top 10, as votes ranged from seventh to ninth. Though Dak Prescott’s injuries in recent years are a small concern, Cooper Rush looked competent in five starts last year, aiding our confidence in ranking this unit.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence
After his breakout sophomore campaign, our view of Trevor Lawrence improved dramatically as the Jaguars’ quarterback ranking jumped from 18th to seventh and landed in the top eight on every ballot.
6. Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson makes his return after signing a hefty contract extension. Up next for the 2019 MVP is simply staying healthy through the season. He has failed to play past Week 14 in either of the last two seasons, and the Ravens have gone 2-8 in those games including a first-round playoff exit to the Bengals this past January.
5. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert
The Chargers rank fifth in our quarterback rankings for the second consecutive year. One of Justin Herbert’s underrated strengths is avoiding negative plays 一 when facing pressure, he took a sack at the fifth-lowest rate last season.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts’ breakout 2022 campaign led to a 16-spot jump in the quarterback rankings for the Eagles, the highest climb for a team not making a change at the position.
3. Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen
Led by Josh Allen, Buffalo’s quarterback situation ranks third overall, rising two spots from a season ago. The Bills ranked third on every ballot, so there was a strong consensus as to where this unit stands.
2. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow put together another stellar season and was the group’s consensus number-two quarterback behind reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes. With an improved offensive line, Burrow took 19 fewer sacks than he did in 2022 and threw 39 touchdowns for the second season in a row.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
This is our third year ranking the units and no one but Kansas City has received a first-place vote in the quarterbacks category. As long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy, that doesn’t figure to change any time soon.
Ranking each NFL Unit for 2023:
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 all 32 team chapters — pick up a copy of Warren Sharp’s new ‘2023 Football Preview’ book