Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL. It gets all of the credit for wins and all of the hate for losses.
Many fans were humbled after watching Netflix’s new documentary, “Quarterback.”
Quarterbacks get walloped every weekend and must recover, study, and prepare for the following weekend as if nothing happened.
So which quarterbacks are up for the challenge this year? Here are my rankings of the top 50 quarterbacks heading into the 2023 NFL season.
QB Rankings 50-41
50. Stetson Bennett, Los Angeles Rams
Bennett won multiple national championships at Georgia. He’s a winner and could end up starting in place of Matthew Stafford shortly.
49. Marcus Mariota, Philadelphia Eagles
Mariota finds himself in a system better suited for his skillset in Philadelphia. He has never played with an outstanding group of skill position players on offense.
Mariota might not get an opportunity this year, but if he does, he’ll be a great backup to Jalen Hurts.
48. Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Wilson had a disastrous campaign for the Jets last year. It was so bad that the Jets did whatever they could to bring in Aaron Rodgers.
The addition of Rodgers should help Wilson improve at every level moving forward if or when an opportunity presents itself.
47. Mike White, Miami Dolphins
White signed a two-year deal with the Dolphins in the offseason. He’s shown glimpses of stardom but hasn’t put it together for an entire season.
He’ll be Tua Tagovailoa’s backup, so he’ll likely get to play a little bit this year.
46. Jarrett Stidham, Denver Broncos
The Broncos landed Stidham on a two-year deal worth $10 million in the offseason.
- See where Denver sits in our 2023 NFL Power Rankings.
He threw four passing touchdowns last year for the Raiders and completed nearly 64% of his passes in five appearances.
45. Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Trask could start for the Buccaneers this year, but he’ll be competing against Baker Mayfield, so it’s far from a sure thing that Trask will win the job.
44. Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots
Zappe made four appearances for the Patriots last year as a rookie. He threw for 781 yards, completing over 70% of his passes and tossing five touchdowns.
43. Davis Mills, Houston Texans
The Texans will likely give the starting job to C.J. Stroud. However, Mills is one of the best backups in the NFL.
As the starter last season, Mills threw for over 3,100 yards and added 17 touchdowns through the air. His ranking will plummet until he goes somewhere else to compete for a starting job.
42. Colt McCoy, Arizona Cardinals
McCoy could be the Week 1 starter for the Cardinals if Kyler Murray (torn ACL) isn’t ready. In four games last year, McCoy threw for 780 yards but only had one passing touchdown.
41. Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers haven’t ruled out starting Dalton in Week 1. Maybe it’s a smoke screen, but Dalton was a serviceable starter for New Orleans last season and could be a role model for 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young.
QB Rankings 40-31
40. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans
A 2023 second-round pick out of Kentucky, Levis is expected to serve as the Titans’ backup to Ryan Tannehill. He has the potential to be an elite quarterback in the league, but he’ll have to wait his turn for now.
39. Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens
Huntley has backed up Lamar Jackson for the last three years and played in six games last season. He passed for 658 yards and ran for 137 more, accounting for three total touchdowns.
He’s a reliable backup quarterback.
38. Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons signed Heinicke to a two-year deal in March. He started nine games for the Commanders last season, throwing 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
He will back up Desmond Ridder this season but will be ready if his number is called.
37. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
The Saints named Winston their Week 1 starter last season. He played New Orleans’ first three games but never saw the field again after injuring his back.
He’ll return as the backup to Derek Carr this year.
36. Sam Darnold, San Francisco 49ers
Darnold will compete for the Niners’ starting job against Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. He will probably be the third quarterback on the depth chart.
- Get ready for football season: Learn how to bet NFL odds.
With all of San Francisco’s injuries at quarterback, Darnold could fill in at some point during the season.
35. Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts could start Minshew in Week 1. He will be more prepared than their rookie project, Anthony Richardson, but his time as Indianapolis’ QB1 won’t last long.
34. Jacoby Brissett, Washington Commanders
Brissett started 11 games last season in Cleveland, throwing for over 2,600 yards and 12 touchdowns. The seven-year veteran will now compete for starting job in Washington.
The Commanders will likely turn to Sam Howell as their Week 1 starter, but Brissett has plenty of experience in the league should he falter.
33. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mayfield was released by the Panthers last December after seven appearances, but he rebounded slightly (four TDs, two INTs) in four late-season starts for the Rams.
The former No. 1 overall pick hasn’t lived up to the hype but will likely start for the Buccaneers this season.
32. Sam Howell, Washington Commanders
Washington didn’t give Howell an opportunity to play until the final game of the 2022 regular season. The fifth-round pick threw for 169 yards and a touchdown and ran for another as the Commanders defeated the Cowboys 26-6.
He will likely start the year as Washington’s QB1.
31. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
I want to get excited about Love, but what’s so exciting about him?
Whenever he has been given an opportunity, he hasn’t run with it. In 10 career appearances, Love has thrown for 606 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions.
QB Rankings 30-21
30. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Lance began last season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback, but he suffered a season-ending ankle fracture in Week 2 that dropped him down the depth chart.
Brock Purdy was the third quarterback to take the field for the 49ers last year and looked like the best of the bunch. After making just four starts in his first two seasons, Lance remains a significant question mark.
29. Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons will be looking for growth out of Ridder this season. He played the team’s final four games of 2022, throwing two touchdown passes and no interceptions.
It was a mixed bag, but some of that will be cleaned up in his sophomore year.
28. Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Jones is on the hot seat this season. He threw 14 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in 14 games for the Patriots last year. That won’t get the job done.
He will be the starter for a New England squad that lacks offensive talent. Hopefully, the return of OC Bill O’Brien will help.
27. Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders
There’s no denying that Garoppolo is a winner, but his upside is also limited. He won’t turn the ball over but won’t give you many “wow” moments, either.
Raiders fans shouldn’t expect him to do any better than Derek Carr did in Las Vegas.
26. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
In 12 games last season, Tannehill threw 13 touchdown passes and had six interceptions. However, he had no legitimate weapons after Tennessee traded A.J. Brown.
Tannehill will have DeAndre Hopkins this year, which should help his prospects.
(See where Hopkins rates out in our top-50 NFL wide receiver rankings.)
25. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
I’m not afraid to put Murray this low after a difficult 2022 campaign.
The former No. 1 pick accounted for 17 total touchdowns (14 pass, three rush) in 11 games last season and completed 66.4% of passes — his lowest mark since his rookie season.
24. Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
I understand the hype around Richardson, but he couldn’t perform in the SEC at a consistent level. I have some concerns.
23. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
The Texans can only say good things about their top selection in this year’s NFL Draft. Stroud was a field goal away from playing in last year’s CFP National Championship.
22. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
Young was selected first overall by the Panthers for a reason. He’s an elite quarterback with plenty of potential.
- See where the former Alabama star ranks in our NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.
He might not start in Week 1, but he’ll get game time for Carolina before the season concludes.
21. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints
It might take Carr a few games to get comfortable with his new team, but he threw for 3,522 yards and 24 touchdown passes in 15 games for the Raiders last year.
He’s still a reliable quarterback that can win you games.
QB Rankings 20-11
20. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
Stafford may have won a Super Bowl with the Rams less than two years ago, but his days as an elite quarterback are over.
In nine games last season, he threw eight interceptions.
19. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
Sean Payton may help Wilson get back to his previous self. However, after throwing 11 interceptions in 15 games, it’s time to consider Wilson an average starting quarterback in the league.
18. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett didn’t have the best rookie season, but he showed glimpses of potential. The 2022 first-rounder can be an elite thrower in the NFL. Even if it takes time, he’ll get there.
17. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Purdy threw 13 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in nine regular-season appearances for the 49ers last year. The final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft led San Francisco into the playoffs and might’ve helped the team to the Super Bowl if he didn’t sustain an elbow injury in the NFC Championship Game.
16. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
Smith had a resurgent 2022 campaign, throwing for nearly 4,300 yards and 30 touchdown passes en route to Comeback Player of the Year honors.
(See this year’s top candidates with our NFL Comeback Player odds.)
15. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Last season, Goff proved that he still belongs in the conversation as a mid-tier quarterback option in the NFL.
Goff recorded 29 passing touchdowns and limited his interceptions to seven in 17 games for the Lions.
14. Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Jones’ career year last season earned him a four-year, $160 million contract extension with the Giants.
He’s sneaky athletic and will have more weapons to work with this season.
13. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
In 2022, Fields became the third quarterback in NFL history to run for over 1,000 yards, joining Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick. He can become a great quarterback if he improves as a pocket passer.
Also, numbers are great, but the ones that mean the most are wins. And he didn’t get many last year.
12. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Was anyone concerned with Watson’s game last season?
After serving his 11-game suspension, the former Texan completed only 58.2% of his passes and had a 7:5 TD:INT ratio. He’s not a top-10 quarterback heading into 2023.
11. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Tagovailoa set new career bests in passing yards (3,548) and touchdowns (25) in 2022, benefitting greatly from the dynamic wide receiver duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
However, his health is a significant concern after suffering multiple concussions last season. He also doesn’t have the elite arm strength of other quarterbacks in the league.
QB Rankings 10-1
10. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Cousins led the Vikings to the NFC North title in 2022.
He has been incredibly consistent, having recorded three straight seasons with at least 4,200 passing yards and 29-plus touchdown passes.
9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott threw a career-high 15 interceptions in 12 regular-season starts last season. Still, expectations remain high for the Cowboys.
If Dallas wants to win a Super Bowl, Dak must perform better. He will do a better job of limiting turnovers this year.
8. Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets
Rodgers didn’t perform up to his lofty standards last season, but that was likely due to a hand injury. He still played in all 17 games and finished as the 13th-best quarterback in fantasy.
He has more weapons to work with this year in New York.
7. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence was spectacular in his sophomore season, producing 30 total touchdowns (25 pass, five rush) and reaching 4,100 yards through the air.
The sky is the limit for the former No. 1 overall pick.
6. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
In Herbert’s defense, his receiving core was injured for a good chunk of last season.
The fact he still managed to throw for over 4,700 yards and 25 touchdowns is impressive.
5. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens realized they need Jackson to contend for a Super Bowl, so they signed him to a five-year, $260 million extension in May.
He only played in 12 games for the second consecutive season but threw 17 touchdown passes and scored three more times on the ground.
- Bet football futures with our Super Bowl 58 betting odds.
Entering the 2023 season, Jackson has more pass-catching weapons than ever after Baltimore brought in Odell Beckham Jr. and drafted exciting prospect Zay Flowers.
4. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Hurts is now a top-five quarterback in the NFL.
Philadelphia gave Hurts another top weapon last season by acquiring A.J. Brown, and the Alabama product responded by setting career bests in passing yards (3,701), passing touchdowns (22), and completion percentage (66.5%).
He also continued his efficiency on the ground, rushing for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 regular-season games.
3. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen contributed 42 total touchdowns (35 pass, seven rush) in 16 games for Buffalo last season. He also accumulated over 5,000 total yards.
He’s an elite quarterback in this league but will have a harder time against an improved AFC East this year.
2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
If any of the NFL’s top quarterbacks will improve this year, it’s probably Burrow.
Burrow threw for nearly 4,500 yards and 35 touchdown passes in 16 games last season, leading the Bengals to another AFC North title. In Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Burrow has one of the best wide receiver duos in the league and always uses their talents to his advantage.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
There’s no better quarterback in the NFL than Patrick Mahomes.
The two-time league MVP has won a pair of Super Bowls with the Chiefs despite having different targets, outside of Travis Kelce, in each victory.
Mahomes led the league with 5,250 passing yards and 41 TD passes last season, and there’s no reason to expect much different in 2023.