As part of NFL preseason preparations, it’s important to have a list of the NFL quarterbacks ranked in 2023.
Everyone knows that among all of the football positions, quarterback is by far the most important. But who are the best quarterbacks in the NFL currently, who are the average quarterbacks, and who are the quarterbacks falling behind the pack?
The best way to answer those questions is with a full list of the NFL quarterbacks ranked for 2023.
NFL quarterbacks ranked 2023
Admittedly, backup quarterbacks are important too, but for our list of the NFL quarterbacks ranked in 2023, we decided to stick to just the starters. Of course, we had to predict the winner of some of the preseason position battles.
But those position battles don’t have a big impact on ranking the best quarterbacks in the NFL currently, at least those at the top. Without any further delay, here is our ranking from 32 to 1 of the top QBs in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season.
32. Anthony Richardson
It’s still up in the air whether Anthony Richardson will earn the starting job in Week 1 over Gardner Minshew. But the Colts don’t have much to lose by giving the rookie from Florida the starting job right away after taking him fourth overall.
With just 13 career starts in college, Richardson may not be ready, which is why he’s at the bottom of our list of NFL quarterbacks ranked in 2023. But he surely has the size and athleticism.
31. Sam Howell
The Commanders have Jacoby Brissett available as a veteran backup, but it looks like Sam Howell is going to be the guy in 2023. But Howell started just one game last year and has 19 career pass attempts.
That’s not enough to project how he’ll fare in the NFL despite three impressive seasons in college at North Carolina. Howell definitely has some potential, but the jury is still out.
30. Desmond Ridder
To his credit, Ridder went 2-2 in his four starts last year and didn’t throw an interception in those games. On the other hand, he lost two fumbles and only averaged 6.2 yards per pass. He’ll have a chance to build off of that, although it’s far from clear if Ridder has a long-term future as a starter in the NFL.
29. Jordan Love
After three years in the league, Jordan Love is still toward the bottom of our list of NFL quarterbacks ranked for 2023. But the fact that he’s mentioned at all means that he’ll finally be starting for the Packers this season.
Love has just 83 career pass attempts, throwing three interceptions and three touchdown passes. He’s had three years to watch and learn from Aaron Rodgers, which should have helped. But the truth is that we have no idea what to expect from Love in 2023.
28. Justin Fields
After two years in the league, it’s disappointing to see Justin Fields this far down on the quarterback hierarchy. But that’s what happens when you have a 5-20 record as a starter.
To be fair, Fields isn’t entirely at fault for his struggles. In fact, he led one of the most productive rushing attacks in the league last season. But he was also sacked 55 times and fumbled 16 times. Again, that wasn’t entirely his fault because the supporting cast around him hasn’t been good enough. But at some point, Fields needs to start elevating the play of those around him.
27. Baker Mayfield
In a lot of ways, Baker Mayfield should consider himself lucky to have found a job as a starter. Things didn’t end well for him in Cleveland and then he went 2-8 as a starter between his time with the Panthers and Rams last season.
Mayfield barely threw more touchdowns than interceptions last year and struggled with his accuracy and consistency. The silver lining is that Tampa’s receiving talent is exceptional, giving Mayfield a chance to resurrect his career.
26. C.J. Stroud
We’re willing to give C.J. Stroud a little slack when it comes to our list of the NFL quarterbacks ranked in 2023. He at least got some consideration to be the top overall pick after posting impressive numbers at Ohio State.
That will certainly be a learning curve for him. But Stroud definitely has the arm talent to succeed in the NFL while the Texans have some interesting talent at receiver around him, giving Stroud a chance to put together a decent rookie season.
25. Kenny Pickett
Even with a 7-5 record as a rookie, it’s hard to be sold on Kenny Pickett. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns and only averaged 6.2 yards per pass as a rookie.
On the other hand, Pickett had two game-winning touchdown passes in the final minute of games late last season. Those passes help to balance out the subpar numbers, creating some hope for Pickett in 2023.
24. Bryce Young
As the first pick in the draft, expectations are high for Bryce Young. Obviously, we won’t know anything about Young’s future in the NFL until the season begins.
But initial reports out of Carolina have all been positive. The Panthers also have proven players like Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen, and DJ Chark around Young. Considering his athleticism, feel for the game, and 23-4 record at Alabama, Young is well-positioned for a strong rookie campaign and has a chance to hit the ground running with the Panthers.
23. Mac Jones
There is definitely some healthy skepticism surrounding Mac Jones heading into the 2023 season. He was competent as a rookie but took a step backward last season.
The hope is that bringing Bill O’Brien back to New England to be the offensive coordinator can get Jones back on track. With DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster, he surely has the wide receivers around him to succeed. The rest is up to Jones, who could be at a crossroads in his career.
22. Kyler Murray
Murray was also 3-8 as a starter last year, posting the worst passer rating of his career. Given his ACL injury, it seems unlikely that Murray will be able to immediately return to the high level he established in the past, which is why he’s not nearly as high on this list as he could be if Murray can get back to being the Pro Bowler he was in 2020 and 2021.
21. Brock Purdy
Unfortunately, we have no idea if Brock Purdy will be San Francisco’s starter this year. He may not be fully recovered from his elbow injury to open the season as the starter. It’s possible that Trey Lance or Sam Darnold could be the starter for the 49ers.
However, if Purdy is healthy and can replicate what he did last season, the 49ers may have found a hidden gem in the draft last year. His sample size is still small, but Purdy showed the intangibles needed from a quarterback and went 7-1 as a starter last season, so it’s hard not to get a little excited about Purdy’s potential in 2023.
20. Deshaun Watson
Before his career turned sideways, Deshaun Watson went to three straight Pro Bowls from 2018 to 2020 and led the NFL in passing yards in 2020. After missing a year and a half of action, Watson was understandably underwhelming during the second half of 2022.
Needless to say, the 2023 season will determine if Cleveland’s investment in him was worthwhile or not. Watson had some brief flashes last season but also showed signs of rust. It’s tough to project how Watson will perform this season, although it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to reach an elite level.
19. Daniel Jones
Off the bat, let’s just agree that Daniel Jones isn’t worth the four-year, $160 million contract the Giants gave him this past offseason. At the same time, he helped lead the Giants to a 9-6-1 record and a playoff win last season. He’s finally stopped fumbling the ball, even while rushing for over 700 yards and seven rushing touchdowns in 2022, making Jones one of the most productive running quarterbacks in the league.
On the other hand, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he had just 15 passing touchdowns last year even if he limited himself to just five interceptions. Jones has perhaps turned into an efficient game manager, but nothing more than that.
18. Ryan Tannehill
The future is very much unclear for Ryan Tannehill. The Titans have two young quarterbacks on their roster who could potentially take his job at some point in 2023. However, Tannehill is still a better option than many quarterbacks in the NFL.
Before last season, he had led Tennessee to the playoffs for three straight years. While there’s no telling where he’ll be beyond 2023, don’t count out Tannehill from having a bounce-back season.
17. Jimmy Garoppolo
Is there a more polarizing quarterback in the NFL than Jimmy Garoppolo? The 49ers all but gave up on him this time last year. But when they needed him, he gave them what they needed.
Keep in mind this guy is 40-17 as a starter, so regardless of what the other numbers say, he’s a winner. The Raiders are hopeful that will continue to be the case in 2023 because somehow Garoppolo still has something to prove heading into this season.
16. Derek Carr
The Raiders better hope that they know what they’re doing, releasing Derek Carr following his fourth Pro Bowl selection. Granted, Carr has had some ups and downs in recent years, throwing 14 interceptions in back-to-back seasons.
But he has a solid track record and could still be considered to be in the prime of his career. With some good pieces around him in New Orleans, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Carr have a resurgent year in 2023.
15. Jared Goff
After making the Pro Bowl last year, Jared Goff is trending in the right direction, much like he did earlier in his career when he took the Rams to the Super Bowl. He’s led a surprising turnaround in Detroit and threw 29 touchdown passes last year.
Whether he can maintain that same level of play in 2023 remains to be seen. But there’s no doubt that we’ve seen Goff perform at a high level previously. He also has some good pieces around him with the Lions, potentially setting himself up for success in 2023.
14. Matthew Stafford
Surely, Matthew Stafford gets a pass for having a bad season in 2022 coming off his Super Bowl victory the previous season. Frankly, nothing went according to plan for the Rams last year, so we can forgive some of Stafford’s struggles a year ago.
At the same time, he’s 35 and led the league in interceptions in 2021. Stafford has always been turnover-prone, and it’s even more of a concern now that his age tells us that he’s past his prime.
13. Trevor Lawrence
On the heels of that epic playoff comeback last season, Trevor Lawrence has a chance to keep moving up the quarterback pecking order in 2023.
He grew by leaps and bounds from his first season to his second season. However, Lawerence still led the league in fumbles lost and still has room to grow, so he’s not quite a top-10 quarterback just yet.
12. Geno Smith
It’s still hard to figure out where Geno Smith fits into the current quarterback hierarchy. Between 2015 and 2021, he only started seven games. But then he becomes the starter in Seattle last year and immediately leads the league in completion percentage while leading the Seahawks to a surprising playoff berth.
Keep in mind that Smith threw for over 4,200 yards and 30 touchdowns, and those numbers are nothing to scoff at. With a world of confidence coming off that season and a great receiving duo at his disposal, Smith is set up to have another strong season in 2023.
11. Kirk Cousins
Even if nobody has ever accused Kirk Cousins of being a superstar, he continues to be an average or better quarterback. For what it’s worth, Cousins has been to four Pro Bowls, including three of the past four seasons.
He can be a little turnover-prone at times and certainly isn’t a dynamic athlete like so many of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. But Cousins has also averaged over 30 touchdown passes per season over the last five years and did lead the Vikings to a 13-4 record last year. Believe it or not, Cousins would be an upgrade, even if it’s just a modest one, for more than half of the teams in the NFL.
10. Russell Wilson
One dreadful season is surely enough to knock Russell Wilson down a few notches in the quarterback hierarchy. But one season isn’t enough to write him off completely. The guy is still a nine-time Pro Bowler in 11 seasons.
With a new team and a new system, Wilson has earned a pass for his 2022 campaign. Plus, with Sean Payton joining him in Denver, there is every reason to believe that Wilson can get back to being a top-10 quarterback.
9. Dak Prescott
Somehow, Dak Prescott hasn’t been to the Pro Bowl since 2018. However, when he’s healthy, Prescott is always among the best quarterbacks statistically and the Cowboys are usually one of the most potent offensive teams in the NFL.
Over the last two seasons, ball security has become a problem for Prescott, who led the league in interceptions last year despite only playing in 12 games. While there are some concerns with Prescott heading into 2023, the upside and potential are still there.
8. Tua Tagovailoa
Talent-wise, Tua Tagovailoa could potentially be a top-5 quarterback. He had the best passer rating in football last year and also led the league by averaging 8.9 yards per pass. For a while, the Dolphins looked unbeatable with him at the helm.
But it’s impossible not to factor in Tagovailoa’s injuries. They weren’t just ordinary concussions; they looked scary and forced Tagovailoa to at least consider retirement. If he can stay healthy, the sky is the limit, but there are lingering questions about his availability heading into 2023.
7. Lamar Jackson
If the Ravens had ended up trading Lamar Jackson this past offseason, it would have been one of the biggest trades in NFL history. But the two sides worked out a long-term deal to keep Jackson in Baltimore.
The trick moving forward is finding a way to keep Jackson healthy. Talent-wise, Jackson is one of the top QBs in the NFL and has MVP potential. But injuries have limited him to just 12 games in back-to-back seasons, which is why we have to be a little bullish with him on our list of NFL quarterbacks ranked in 2023.
6. Justin Herbert
The numbers tell us that Justin Herbert is among the best quarterbacks in the NFL currently. He had a brilliant rookie season and has continued to perform at a high level. The only thing that Herbert hasn’t done is win enough games.
Even when he got the Chargers to the playoffs last season, he couldn’t lead them to a win despite holding a big lead. However, there is little doubt that Herbert will be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL statistically in 2023.
5. Aaron Rodgers
It’s not easy figuring out where Aaron Rodgers belongs on our list of NFL quarterbacks ranked in 2023. He has four MVPs to his name, including two in the last three years. But last season was not his best, which is a little concerning at age 39.
He’s also going to a new team in a big market, so expectations for him and his team’s success will be among the highest that Rodgers has ever faced in his career. That creates some level of skepticism for this season. But at the same time, it’s hard to bet against Rodgers.
4. Jalen Hurts
Coming off a brilliant 2022 season, Jalen Hurts deserves to be among the best quarterbacks in the NFL currently. Obviously, he needs to put together multiple seasons like that if he hopes to keep up with the quarterbacks listed ahead of him on our list.
But he flashed great promise in 2021 and then enjoyed a breakout season in 2022, so Hurts should continue to perform at a high level. Including the playoffs, the Eagles were 16-2 last season, and a lot of that is because of Hurts.
3. Joe Burrow
Just three years into his career, Joe Burrow has already shot to the top of the quarterback hierarchy. His promising but shortened rookie season ended up being only a sign of things to come.
Burrow led the league in both completion percentage and yards per attempt during his second year in the league despite being sacked 51 times. Offensive line woes have continued to plague him, but that hasn’t stopped Burrow from throwing 69 touchdown passes over the last two seasons and completing 68.2% of his passes over three years. He’s also helped the Bengals to a lot of wins, helping to make Cincinnati a perennial contender.
2. Josh Allen
Right now, the biggest difference between Burrow and Josh Allen is that Allen has been in the league a little longer. He has two Pro Bowl selections under his belt and also set an NFL record two years ago for the best passer rating in a single postseason.
The only complaint with Allen is that he’s yet to get the Bills over the hump. But between his arm strength and his running ability, there is only one quarterback in the NFL who has more talent and potential.
1. Patrick Mahomes
It would be a criminal offense to put anyone but Patrick Mahomes at the top of this list. In five years as a starter, he has won two Super Bowls and two MVPs.
He’s proven time and time again that he’s capable of elevating the players around him and overcoming a lackluster Kansas City defense. It figures to be a long time until anyone but Mahomes is considered the best player in the NFL. In fact, Mahomes has a legitimate chance of one day surpassing Tom Brady as the greatest of all time.