NFL positional pecking order: Ranking all 32 QB rooms from worst to best

NFL positional pecking order: Ranking all 32 QB rooms from worst to best

With NFL training camps on the horizon, theScore’s football editors rank all 32 teams by their total talent at each major position group. Depth charts are projections of teams’ post-training camp rosters.

We begin with the quarterback rooms.

Position Group Rankings
QB
| REC (June 28) | RB (June 29)
OL (July 5) | FRONT 7 (July 6) | DB (July 7)

Bottom tier

32. Washington Commanders

QB1
QB2
QB3

Sam Howell
Jacoby Brissett
Jake Fromm

The Commanders – who’ve started an NFL-high 12 different QBs over the last five years – are now turning to Howell. Brissett is a top backup, but Washington’s ceiling at the position is very limited due to Howell’s inexperience. He started one game as a rookie after falling to the fifth round in 2022. The North Carolina product has reportedly shown improvement this offseason, but it remains to be seen if he can be a reliable starter.

31. Atlanta Falcons

QB1
QB2
QB3

Desmond Ridder
Taylor Heinicke
Logan Woodside

Atlanta also has an unproven sophomore QB1 with a solid backup behind him. Ridder – a third-round pick last year – started the team’s final four games in 2022, winning two contests and completing 63.5% of his passes for 708 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Though he showed signs he deserves the starting role, we need to see more from him before ranking the Falcons any higher.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Baker Mayfield
Kyle Trask
John Wolford

Following Tom Brady’s retirement, we don’t know who’ll start Week 1 for the Buccaneers, as Mayfield and Trask are competing for the role. Regardless, Tampa Bay will have question marks. Mayfield joined the Bucs hoping to revive his career after playing for three different teams in the last two seasons, and Trask attempted only nine passes since being drafted in the second round in 2021.

29. Indianapolis Colts

QB1
QB2
QB3

Anthony Richardson
Gardner Minshew
Sam Ehlinger

We can’t put the Colts in a higher tier until we see how Richardson will perform in Year 1, but the Florida product’s sky-high potential can strongly change the direction of a franchise that’s struggled to find consistency at quarterback since Andrew Luck retired. The Colts drafted Richardson fourth overall and signed Minshew – a solid backup who made two starts in 2022 – this offseason.

28. Green Bay Packers

QB1
QB2
QB3

Jordan Love
Sean Clifford
Danny Etling

There’s a lot of pressure on Love to start for the Packers – a franchise used to having all-time great QBs – now that the Aaron Rodgers era is over. The No. 26 pick in 2020, Love made his only NFL start in 2021 and attempted just 21 passes last season. If the Love experiment fails, Green Bay’s current Plan B doesn’t look promising, with fifth-round rookie Clifford being the next option.

27. Houston Texans

QB1
QB2
QB3

C.J. Stroud
Davis Mills
Case Keenum

The Texans needed to improve their quarterback room, and that’s why they drafted Stroud second overall in April. The expectations for the Ohio State product – renowned for his arm talent – are as high as they can be. Houston doesn’t roster another option with Stroud’s upside, but Mills started 26 games in the last two seasons, while Keenum is still above average among backups.

Below average

26. New England Patriots

QB1
QB2
QB3

Mac Jones
Bailey Zappe
Trace McSorley

The Patriots are entering Year 3 of the Jones era despite the offseason trade rumors. This is a make-or-break year for Jones, who took a step back last season after a solid 2021 rookie campaign. The former first-round pick finished 2022 with 2,997 passing yards and 14 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Not all is lost if he struggles in 2023, though, as Zappe went 2-0 with a 70.7% completion rate and five TDs in two starts as a rookie in 2022.

25. Las Vegas Raiders

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Jimmy Garoppolo
Brian Hoyer
Aidan O’Connell

With Derek Carr gone after nine seasons, Las Vegas is turning to Garoppolo, who’s a decent starter and knows coach Josh McDaniels’ system well. However, availability is an issue, as Garoppolo missed 30 games from 2018-22. Signing Hoyer was a smart move due to the 37-year-old’s familiarity with McDaniels, but he hasn’t really done much in recent years. Maybe O’Connell – whom the team drafted in Round 4 this year – has more in him than his pre-draft evaluations suggested.

24. Carolina Panthers

QB1
QB2
QB3

Bryce Young
Andy Dalton
Matt Corral

After starting three different QBs in 2022, the Panthers can make a big jump up this list when the regular season gets underway. Size could be an issue for the 5-foot-10, 204-pound Young, but it didn’t prevent him from widely being considered the top prospect of his class following an outstanding career at Alabama. Carolina also rosters arguably the league’s top backup in Dalton, who has 162 starts under his belt to help with Young’s NFL transition.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers

QB1
QB2
QB3

Kenny Pickett
Mitch Trubisky
Mason Rudolph

The Steelers are bringing back all their quarterbacks from last year. The difference is who headlines the depth chart, as Pickett – not Trubisky – will start Week 1. Pickett, a first-round pick in 2022, started 12 games as a rookie. With 2,404 yards and seven TD passes against nine interceptions, his stats in were far from impressive. However, the Pitt product had flashes and managed four game-winning drives.

22. San Francisco 49ers

QB1
QB2
QB3

Brock Purdy
Trey Lance
Sam Darnold

San Francisco could jump a few spots if Purdy fully recovers after suffering a complete tear of the UCL in his throwing elbow in January. The last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy won all of his regular-season appearances last year and threw 13 touchdowns against four picks en route to leading the 49ers to the NFC title game. If he misses time during the regular season, the Niners will have to go with Lance – who has only four starts since being drafted third overall in 2021 – or Darnold, now on his third different team.

21. Tennessee Titans

QB1
QB2
QB3

Ryan Tannehill
Malik Willis
Will Levis

The Titans have a lot of question marks. Tannehill, 34, has led the team to the playoffs three times but is coming off his two worst seasons in Tennessee and missed five games in 2022. Then there’s a pair of young QBs who weren’t drafted nearly as high as expected in their respective classes. Willis posted a 42.8 passer rating in three starts as a third-round rookie last season. No wonder Tennessee added another quarterback this year, ending Levis’ slide in the second round.

20. Arizona Cardinals

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Kyler Murray
Colt McCoy
Clayton Tune

When Murray is at his best, Arizona has one of football’s most electric players under center. But not only did the 2019 No. 1 pick underperform last year, but he also suffered a torn ACL in December and isn’t expected to be available for the first few weeks of the 2023 campaign. McCoy, who tossed one touchdown to three interceptions in four appearances last year, will start as QB1, with fifth-round rookie Tune as the backup.

19. New York Giants

QB1
QB2
QB3

Daniel Jones
Tyrod Taylor
Tommy DeVito

The Giants are fully committed to Jones after giving him a four-year, $160-million extension. The oft-criticized QB reduced his mistakes and posted his best single-season passer rating (92.5) last year in coach Brian Daboll’s first season with the team. Combine that with his rushing potential, and New York finally seems to have some stability under center. Taylor – a Pro Bowler in 2015 – is one of the league’s most experienced backups.

18. Chicago Bears

QB1
QB2
QB3

Justin Fields
PJ Walker
Nathan Peterman

Fields broke out as a runner, and the expectation now is that he’ll take his passing game to another level, too. The 2021 first-round pick ranked sixth in turnover-worthy plays and only 23rd in big-time throws, according to PFF. If he shows greater improvement in the passing game, he can put Chicago on a different level, as few quarterbacks are as dangerous as Fields running the ball. The Bears also signed Walker this offseason, adding a QB2 who made five starts last year and has an absolute cannon.

17. Denver Broncos

QB1
QB2
QB3

Russell Wilson
Jarrett Stidham
Jarrett Guarantano

Was Wilson’s disappointing 2022 season an indication that he’s on the wrong side of his career, or was it just another subpar campaign in a Broncos team that strongly underperformed? We’ll have answers soon, as the nine-time Pro Bowler enters Year 2 in Denver with new coach Sean Payton. If Wilson’s struggles continue, the Broncos would have to turn to Stidham, a fourth-round pick in 2019 who made his first two career starts in Las Vegas last season.

16. Detroit Lions

QB1
QB2
QB3

Jared Goff
Nate Sudfeld
Hendon Hooker

Goff revived his career and recorded one of his best seasons in 2022. The 28-year-old doesn’t belong in the NFL’s elite group of QBs but has shown he’s the right guy for coordinator Ben Johnson’s offense. Detroit also rosters Sudfeld – a veteran who’s never started an NFL game – and Hooker, whom the Lions drafted in the third round. The 25-year-old may not play at all as a rookie as he recovers from a torn ACL.

Good enough

15. New Orleans Saints

Sean Gardner / Getty Images Sport / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Derek Carr
Jameis Winston
Jake Haener

Carr’s addition improves the Saints’ QB room after Dalton started 14 games for them last year. New Orleans will hope the change of scenery helps Carr, who had an uncharacteristic 60.8% completion rate and an 86.3 rating in 2022. This depth chart also features Winston – the 2015 first overall pick who’s struggled to stay healthy – and fourth-round rookie Haener.

14. Cleveland Browns

QB1
QB2
QB3

Deshaun Watson
Joshua Dobbs
Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Watson served a suspension and played six games in 2022. He was rusty when he returned to the field after 700 days, but Cleveland is hoping the three-time Pro Bowler can find his elite play again in what will be his first full season since 2020. There are uncertainties regarding Watson’s game, but the Browns don’t really have an exciting Plan B, with Dobbs and rookie Thompson-Robinson being their other options.

13. Minnesota Vikings

QB1
QB2
QB3

Kirk Cousins
Nick Mullens
Jaren Hall

Cousins receives a lot of criticism, but few quarterbacks are as accurate as him and average 30 touchdowns and a passer rating of around 100 every year. Though his presence alone doesn’t make the Vikings a contender, he’s 46-33-1 as a starter in Minnesota. Mullens didn’t play much last year, and with Cousins potentially hitting the open market in 2024, it’ll be interesting to see how Hall transitions to the NFL. The fifth-round rookie has a long way to go, but he boasts some starter upside.

12. Los Angeles Rams

QB1
QB2
QB3

Matthew Stafford
Brett Rypien
Stetson Bennett

Stafford played only nine games last season, and the Rams’ 2022 campaign was really bad, so it’s relatively easy to forget how good he was in his first year with Los Angeles in 2021. Stafford ranked second in the league with 41 TD passes that year. If he struggles with injuries in 2023, L.A. might be in trouble again. Rypien has only three starts with four touchdowns and eight interceptions under his belt, and Bennett is a rookie.

11. Seattle Seahawks

QB1
QB2
QB3

Geno Smith
Drew Lock
Holton Ahlers

Seattle doesn’t miss Wilson at all. Smith earned the first Pro Bowl berth of his career in his 10th NFL season en route to being named 2022 Comeback Player of the Year. It might be hard for him to replicate his success, but if the 32-year-old’s late-career resurgence is for real, there aren’t many quarterbacks better than him. Lock, a former second-round pick, joined Seattle as part of the Wilson trade but didn’t play any snaps last season.

10. Miami Dolphins

Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Tua Tagovailoa
Mike White
Skylar Thompson

Tagovailoa was very good when he was fully healthy last year, posting an NFL-high 105.5 passer rating in 13 starts. His availability has been a big issue, however. The 2020 first-round pick – who considered retirement this offseason – appeared in 36 games across three NFL seasons. Though White and Thompson aren’t as good as a healthy Tagovailoa, they give Miami solid depth.

Very good

9. Dallas Cowboys

QB1
QB2
QB3

Dak Prescott
Cooper Rush
Will Grier

Prescott is coming off a subpar season in which he tossed a league-high 15 interceptions despite missing five games due to injury. However, taking care of the ball has been a strength for most of Prescott’s career, so he’ll more likely than not get his game back on track. He’s built a top-10 offense with the Cowboys and posted a 61-36 record as a starter. Dallas also rosters a solid No. 2 option in Rush, who’s 5-1 as a starter since 2021.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars

QB1
QB2
QB3

Trevor Lawrence
C.J. Beathard
Nathan Rourke

It took a bit over a year, but Lawrence finally showed why he was considered a generational prospect. The 2021 No. 1 pick put on a show in the second half of the 2022 season and passed for 15 touchdowns to two interceptions from Weeks 9-18 en route to leading Jacksonville to the playoffs. The Jaguars enter 2023 with no flaws at QB1, and Lawrence’s ceiling is extremely high.

7. New York Jets

QB1
QB2
QB3

Aaron Rodgers
Zach Wilson
Tim Boyle

Jets fans have reasons to be excited. Rodgers wasn’t spectacular last season but is only two years removed from winning his second consecutive and fourth overall MVP award. It wouldn’t be surprising if the future Hall of Famer breaks the team’s single-season records for passing yards (4,007) and touchdowns (31). Rodgers should also help Wilson as a mentor, as the 2021 second overall pick has failed to meet expectations since entering the league.

Elite

6. Baltimore Ravens

QB1
QB2
QB3

Lamar Jackson
Tyler Huntley
Josh Johnson

By keeping Jackson off the market and signing him to a record long-term extension, the Ravens remain one of football’s most dangerous teams when it comes to quarterbacks. The 2019 NFL MVP is arguably the best dual-threat QB in the game, and after Baltimore put together a solid offseason, it feels like we’ll see the best version of Jackson again. Injuries have been an issue for him, but the Ravens have a solid backup in Huntley, who was capable of running their offense when Jackson was sidelined in the last two years.

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Courtney Culbreath / Getty Images Sport / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Justin Herbert
Easton Stick
Max Duggan

Herbert has thrown for 14,089 yards – a record in a quarterback’s first three NFL seasons – and 94 career touchdowns, and it feels like he hasn’t even reached his full potential yet. Very few passers are as gifted as the 2020 first-round pick, who became the Chargers’ starter in the second game of his rookie year and has started every game since. L.A. will hope he keeps that streak going, as Stick attempted just one pass in four NFL campaigns, and Duggan is a seventh-round rookie.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

QB1
QB2
QB3

Jalen Hurts
Marcus Mariota
Ian Book

Hurts took his game to a different level. We already knew about his potential on the ground, but improving as a passer was key in helping him finish second for MVP last season. There’s no reason to believe Hurts will take a step back; he should remain a solid passer who can run for 700 yards and 10 TDs in a season with relative ease. Hurts missed three games due to injury in the last two years, so signing Mariota – a dual-threat quarterback with plenty of experience – was a smart move.

3. Buffalo Bills

QB1
QB2
QB3

Josh Allen
Kyle Allen
Matt Barkley

Josh Allen averaged 4,300 yards and 35 TD passes to go along with 700 yards and six touchdowns rushing in the last two seasons. Yes, his aggressive style of play sometimes leads to turnovers. But Allen’s ability to create a big play from essentially anywhere on the field is more than special. As Buffalo’s QB2, Kyle Allen is far from being a top backup but has 19 starts on his resume, including two in Houston in 2022.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

QB1
QB2
QB3

Joe Burrow
Trevor Siemian
Jake Browning

Burrow isn’t nearly as athletic as some other elite NFL quarterbacks, but his accuracy, combined with a killer instinct that’s helped Cincinnati reach at least the AFC title game in each of the last two seasons, make him one of the faces of the league. The Bengals brought in Siemian this offseason, adding a backup with 30 career starts on his resume, including five since 2021.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Cooper Neill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

QB1
QB2
QB3

Patrick Mahomes
Blaine Gabbert
Shane Buechele

Mahomes is the NFL’s best quarterback. He’s coming off one of the best seasons of his career after being named regular-season MVP and Super Bowl MVP while leading the Chiefs to their second title in the last four seasons. Kansas City will be a contender – and most likely the No. 1 team in any QB rankings – as long as Mahomes is around. The team also rosters Gabbert, an experienced QB2 who most recently backed up Brady in Tampa Bay.

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