It might be way too early for NFL positional rankings, but let’s begin the run of 2023 rankings with the top 10 NFL quarterbacks right now.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 10 – Tua Tagovailoa
Tagovailoa was a legitimate MVP candidate beyond the halfway point of the season. He trended in the wrong direction in the second half, but he showed plenty of good in the first half. He’s expertly accurate, and he often puts the Dolphins in a good position to win. He thinks he’s Barry Sanders in the pocket sometimes, so he may never escape the crushing hits, but when he’s on the field, he’s legitimately good.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 9 – Kirk Cousins
Cousins gets criticized for his prime-time performance and his playoff performances, and it leads to an inordinate amount of hate. Sure, Cousins has a few stinkers every season, but every quarterback has a few stinkers. Cousins is a good quarterback more often than most, and he has good tools. He has moments of sustained good play, but many will often remember the down moments. That’s not entirely fair.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 8 – Justin Herbert
Herbert is the NFL’s version of Two-Face. In every situation, Herbert flips a coin. If it lands heads, he plays above expectation. If it lands tails, he plays below expectation. Herbert has fueled elite quarterbacks for 60 minutes one week then turned into Ryan Leaf the next. It always balances out. He is similar to a chess player. He will play some games above his ELO rating and some games below, but he always ends the tournament with the same ELO.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 7 – Trevor Lawrence
He has arrived. Lawrence’s only issue in 2022 was his fondness for fumbling. He played particularly well in tough spots including being down 27-0 to the Chargers in the playoffs and comeback wins over the likes of Baltimore and Dallas. Lawrence has all the tools to move even higher in the coming years.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 6 – Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is in a strange spot. He won the last two MVPs, but he wasn’t quite the same in 2022. He was by no means bad, but he took a step in the wrong direction. He’s still among the league’s best, but he’s not as untouchable. Rodgers still has excellent touch, a stellar deep ball, and limited turnovers, but his high-end MVP-winning days could be over.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 5 – Lamar Jackson
Think back to Lawrence’s best game from the 2022 season. He was slicing and dicing the Ravens, leading the Jaguars to a comeback victory. Lawrence was the second-best quarterback in Jacksonville that day.
Jackson is the classic volatile superstar quarterback. He has his flaws (notably the growing injury report and playoff inconsistencies), but few can match his brilliance.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 4 – Josh Allen
Allen is an even more exaggerated Jackson. When Allen is locked in, he is the best quarterback in the league. He can make all the throws, and he ascends when his confidence is high. However, the dial can turn in the other direction and send Allen into a spiral of turnovers. He can be careless when running with the football or chucking the ball into coverage. His accuracy can still be spotty.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 3 – Jalen Hurts
The only thing keeping Hurts from the top two is that he has only one season at an elite level. Hurts improved dramatically, and he’s firmly a good thrower of the football now to all three levels. He was great at limiting turnovers (unlike No. 4). The future is bright for Hurts.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 2 – Joe Burrow
Burrow has probably been the best quarterback over the last two seasons all told. The accuracy and touch are uncanny, and his movement in the pocket is exceptional. He can get Ja’Marr Chase-happy at times, but that can be an effective strategy anyways. His playoff performances are overrated, but he’s been excellent for back-to-back regular seasons.
Top 10 NFL Quarterbacks: No. 1 – Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes is the best player in the NFL. There is nothing he can’t do. Defenses can adjust as much as they want, but Mahomes finds a way to make it happen and win games. His play elevates as the season progresses, and he is the Grim Reaper of the NFL with Tom Brady retired.
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