Rating All The NFL’s Starting QBs In Tiers And Doing It Better Than Good Morning Football

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My friends (not really) at Good Morning Football on the NFL Network did a fun exercise this week in which hosts ranked all the NFL’s starting quarterbacks in tiers.

It was interesting.

And fun.

Even though they got it wrong.

So in the interest of correcting the record where necessary, I present to you OutKick’s NFL quarterback tiers.

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs onto the field before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Patrick Mahomes Best In The NFL


Tier 1: Patrick Mahomes — He was the regular-season and Super Bowl MVP and has proven it’s not necessarily about his receivers, or defense, or even his running game. It’s about him all the time with the Chiefs. And no one is better.

Tier 2: Joe Burrow, Josh Allen — Burrow is actually tier 1.5 but for our purposes here he’s tied with Allen. “Burrow is an assassin,” one NFL coach told OutKick last year. He’s not alone in that opinion. And after two consecutive trips to the AFC Championship game, it’s hard to argue. Last offseason, Allen was actually right there with Mahomes but stuff happened. Elbow injury. Different offensive coordinator. A loss of fundamentals at times. His position here can be temporary because he’s a stud.

Tier 3: Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert — One guy headed down and another climbing. You know which is which. With Rodgers, the knowledge and experience complement the the arm which is still great. With Herbert, the utter physical prowess and perhaps most dynamic deep passing ability in the NFL is what needs more experience and perhaps better coaching.

Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars warms up prior to a game against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on January 07, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Light Bulb Turns On For Trevor, Tua

Tier 4: Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Lamar Jackson — Trevor and Tua burst onto the scene last year under the tutelage of better offensive coaches and offensive systems. We need to see more and Tagovailoa needs to overcome durability issues. Jackson also has durability issues but he’s the league’s best running QB who can also do extensive damage with his arm.

Tier 5: Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo — Watson was a couple of rungs higher in 2020 but his off-field problems, missing a season and subsequent suspension took a toll. Can he recover? Wilson seemed to age last season while Garoppolo is a more than solid QB who is too often injured and so unreliable.

Tier 6: Kenny Pickett, Ryan Tannehill, Mac Jones — All of these are not the same. This is what Tannehill is and where he belongs. Ten seasons and much playoff failure says that. Jones is an enigma because the Patriots fed him to the wolves with poor coaching and little surrounding talent last season. Pickett’s rookie season suggests he’s going to be climbing tiers starting in 2023.

Tier 7: Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud — Stroud is immature, probably a little too sensitive and the process issue his S2 test suggested did show up on tape at Ohio State. So can the Texans coach him up and can time and experience help? Richardson is a bigger, stronger, faster, better-armed Lamar Jackson. Except he’s not thrown his first NFL pass so he starts here.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams scrambles and looks to pass during an NFL football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Los Angeles Rams won 20-12. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Surprise! Matthew Stafford Tier 1


Tier 1: Matthew Stafford — One quarterback in this conference has won a Super Bowl and thrown 41 TDs in a season twice. Yeah, Stafford. Bad year last year? Yes, without a left tackle, running game, No. 1 receiver getting hurt, and new No. 2 receiver not fitting in, yes it was rough.

Tier 2: Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott — Eagles fans will throw cheesesteaks at me and I get it. Hurts helped their team get to the Super Bowl. Who said he has to stop here? This doesn’t suggest this is his ceiling? Even he agrees he hasn’t yet arrived and if he doesn’t something’s wrong. Prescott had turnover problems last season which the Cowboys must think had to do with coaching and the system because the OC is gone.

Tier 3: Derek Carr, Jared Goff, Daniel Jones — It feels like these are all the same guys to some degree. Solid most of the time. Good sometimes. Even great on occasion. But none have shown they can carry a team. They’re all playoff-caliber QBs. Can any be Super Bowl winners?

Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Levi’s Stadium on January 14, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Seahawks 41-23. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

Questions About Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, Kyler Murray

Tier 4: Kirk Cousins, Kyler Murray, Geno Smith — Smith had an amazing epiphany in which he threw 30 TDs and led the Seahawks to the playoffs. But those TD numbers are an outlier until he does it again because he’d thrown 34 TD passes in his previous six seasons combined. Maybe he’s a late bloomer? The Vikings declined to extend Cousins because they probably think they might be able to do better eventually. And Murray bring a lot of electricity but not enough production and wins. This entire group is a big question mark.

Tier 5: Justin Fields — He’s obviously still developing and the ceiling seems much, much higher given his improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. This season he gets some offensive line help and more talent around him. Exciting times ahead.

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Must See More From Brock Purdy

Tier 6: Brock Purdy, Baker Mayfield, Desmond Ridder, Jordan Love — 49ers fans are going to freak because Purdy did nothing but win when he took over the team late last season. But the 49ers arguably had the NFC’s second-most talented roster around him and the sample size is extremely small. Do it some more. Mayfield is getting one final chance to be a starter in Tampa Bay and has a lot of talent around him, so no more excuses. Ridder showed some promise when he finally got in the lineup as a rookie, but got to see more. Same with Love, who has been in the league since 2020 but has attempted all of 83 passes.

Tier 7: Bryce Young, Sam Howell — The only thing that will keep Young from climbing after this year is his reported 5-foot-10 size that raises durability questions. The Washington Commanders fully trust Howell to become a fine quarterback so they’ve turned the offense over to him. The same team trusted Carson Wentz, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and drafted Dwayne Haskins.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero


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