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2023 NFL QB Rankings

Backup quarterback is one of the most important positions that hardly gets enough love. Having a solid backup is the difference between a team being doomed when their starter goes down or a team having a chance to make something of their season still. Backup QBs are heavily influential in each team’s rankings and tier placements.

Without further ado, let’s break down all 32 quarterback rooms, rank each team’s quarterback situation and put them into appropriate tiers.

2023 NFL QB Rankings

The players are listed in order of their depth chart listing.

Tier One:

No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes, Blaine Gabbert and Shane Buechele 

No. 2 Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning 

No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota and Tanner McKee

Patrick Mahomes has made it clear he is the best QB in the NFL, and there’s no reason to think otherwise. As for the Bengals, Joe Burrow looks to be the best non-Mahomes QB in the NFL, and having a solid backup in Trevor Siemian is also a big plus, especially with Burrow potentially missing some time with a calf injury. Jalen Hurts is not the third-best QB in the NFL, but Marcus Mariota is the best backup quarterback in the NFL, in our opinion. What works so well with this duo is they both have very similar skill sets, so if Jalen Hurts misses time, Mariota can run the exact same offense with very little drop-off.

Tier Two:

No. 4 Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen, Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley

No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert, Easton Stick and Matt Duggan

No. 6 Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley and Josh Johnson

No. 7 Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence, C.J. Beathard and Nathan Rourke

No. 8 New York Jets
Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle

No. 9 Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson, Josuha Dobbs and Dorian Thompson-Robinson

No. 10 Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush and Will Greier

Tier two is a combo of some top-heavy teams mixed with some teams who have very good depth at the backup QB position. The Los Angeles Chargers and the New York Jets are the two top-heavy teams. Justin Herbert is clearly a top-tier talent, but having Easton Stick and a rookie behind him does not inspire much confidence, especially since Herbert was hurt for a sizable chunk of last season. Zach Wilson of the Jets has first-round pedigree, but when he was on the field, he was the worst QB in the NFL last season, so the Jets will have questions if anything happens to Rodgers.

CJ Beathard and Josuha Dobbs are not leading any teams to the playoffs, but they are respectable backups who are expected to have great seasons. Both the Jaguars and Browns are rated so highly because their starters are borderline elite players who should be ascending.

The Bills, Ravens and Cowboys have the benefit of having great starting QBs as well as a very solid fail-safe option. Kyle Allen has started multiple games and is a serviceable backup to Josh Allen. Tyler Huntley almost won the Ravens a playoff game, and he plays the same style of football as Lamar which is a plus for Baltimore. Finally, Cooper Rush did great during Prescott’s injury last season. The depth these three teams have at QB warrants their rankings in the second tier.

Tier Three:

No. 11 New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr, Jameis Winston and Jake Haener

No. 12 Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa, Mike White and Skylar Thompson

No. 13 Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford, Stetson Bennett and Brett Rypien

No. 14 Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall

No. 15 Seattle Seahawks
Geno Smith, Drew Lock and Holton Ahlers

This tier is dominated by teams with quality starting QBs but with limited backups. Besides Miami and New Orleans, who are here due to their depth at the QB position, every other team is ranked predominantly on their starter. Stafford, Cousins and Smith are all quality players who can be starters for playoff pushes and beyond, but none of these teams have good backup options. As for the Saints and Dolphins, both of these teams have great backups if things go awry. Jamies Winston would be a starter on a bunch of teams, while Mike White kept the Jets in many games last season.

Tier Four:

No. 16 Las Vegas Raiders
Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer and Aidan O’Connell

No. 17 Denver Broncos
Russell Wilson, Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci

No. 18 Detroit Lions
Jared Goff, Nate Sudfeld and Adrian Martinez 

No. 19 Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray, Colt McCoy and Clayton Tune

No. 20 Chicago Bears
Justin Fields, PJ Walker and Nathan Peterman

No. 21 Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph

No. 22 New York Giants
Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor and Tommy DeVito

No. 23 Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill, Will Levis and Malik Willis

All of the teams in this tier list have decent NFL starters under center, but very few teams here have much depth outside of their starter. Out of these eight teams, the only teams with depth that inspires confidence are the Broncos, Bears and Steelers. Jarrett Stidham showed he can play last season, while the Bears and Steelers have backup QBs who are very similar to their starters and can run the same offense if their starters miss any time.

Kyler Murray’s injury is a big reason why he and the Cardinals are so far down the line. He is not going to start the season under center and may not play a single snap all year, so the Cardinals will rely solely on second and third stringers. Tyrod Taylor was great at one point in his career, but outside of running a similar offense as Daniel Jones, the Giants’ QB room is not in great shape. The Lions and Titans are both hoping their starter is good enough to win them games, and neither team has a concrete Plan B if this is not the case.

Tier Five:

No. 24 New England Patriots
Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe and Trace McSorley

No. 25 Carolina Panthers
Bryce Young, Andy Dalton and Matt Corral

No. 26 Atlanta Falcons
Desmond Ridder, Taylor Henicke and Logan Woodside

No. 27 Green Bay Packers
Jordan Love, Sean Clifford and Danny Etling

No. 28 Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Richardson, Gardner Minshew and Sam Ehlinger

No. 29 San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold

No. 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask and John Wolford

No. 31 Washington Commanders
Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett and Jake Fromm

No. 32 Houston Texans
CJ Stroud, Davis Mills and Case Keenum

There are so many question marks in this tier that it is hard to rate them properly. The only teams where we have at least somewhat of an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their starter are the Patriots and the Buccaneers. For the rest of the teams here, your guess is as good as ours. By halfway through this season, half of these teams will move up, while the other half will probably stay exactly as they are.

The Panthers are the highest-rated team with a question mark under center because Andy Dalton is the best backup here by a mile. Brissett is the second-best back up here, but considering Washington will be a much tougher place for Brissett to succeed than in Cleveland, there’s no guarantee he has the same success this season. Brock Purdy looked great at times, but he is coming off elbow surgery.

2023 NFL QB Rankings – Projected Starters

  1. Patrick Mahomes
  2. Joe Burrow
  3. Justin Herbert
  4. Aaron Rodgers
  5. Josh Allen
  6. Lamar Jackson
  7. Trevor Lawerence
  8. Jalen Hurts
  9. Deshaun Watson
  10. Dak Prescott
  11. Matthew Stafford
  12. Derek Carr
  13. Kirk Cousins
  14. Jimmy Garoppolo
  15. Russell Wilson
  16. Jared Goff
  17. Kyler Murray
  18. Geno Smith
  19. Tua Tagovailoa
  20. Ryan Tannehill
  21. Justin Fields
  22. Daniel Jones
  23. Jordan Love
  24. Kenny Pickett
  25. Desmond Ridder
  26. Brock Purdy
  27. Mac Jones
  28. Baker Mayfield
  29. Bryce Young
  30. Anthony Richardson
  31. Sam Howell
  32. CJ Stroud

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