Expert Analysis


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Tiering the Starting QBs in the NFL 2022

Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders quarterback

With OTAs and mandatory minicamp on the horizon, here we stack the starting QBs in the NFL into 7 different tiers from Tier 1 to Tier 7. The order within the tiers are not set, as each are all in a tier together.  These are essentially the 2022 starting NFL QB “stacks.”

Tier 1:

Tier 1 is franchise starting QBs who can/will win you playoff games and potentially the Super Bowl. These are players that can compete at the highest level every week by limiting mistakes, making big time throws, and being able to win on all levels of the field.  These are a mix of ages and skill sets, with traditional pocket passers in Tom Brady and Joe Burrow, and those that can extend with their legs such as Josh Allen and Justin Herbert. The key characteristics of all these players is elevating the talent around them, and not only losing games, but winning ones as well.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Tier 2:

Tier 2 players are also franchise QBs, but on a lesser scale. These are QBs that can win games during the season, but they tend to lack the complete package, whether that is in the pocket, or staying on the field. They can make mistakes and put teams in a tough situation to win at times. All are QBs a team would be happy to have as your starter, but the ultimate question is: Can they win you a Super Bowl?

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Tier 3

Tier 3 to me are the passers that have potential to play at a high level every week but are not consistent throughout this season. This can be due to injury, or poor performance. They will win you games in the clutch during the season, but they can also lose games for teams at times as well. At their very best, they are Tier 2 players, but all together, are above average QBs.

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Tier 4

Tier 4 are the steady QBs, a team knows what they are getting out of these starters every week and are winners. They’re typically smart with the football but tend to lack consistency. They’re elevated by the talent around them, and show that when that talent is average, they can be as well.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Mac Jones, New England Patriots

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

Tier 5

Tier 5 comes down to these QBs being more “boom or bust”, all from different stages of their careers. It can be those that are on their last stops or those just beginning. They could find themselves in situations where they can really make a difference and others where they could really struggle. Often, they are high risk players that can be limited with lack of talent around them and can put their teams in poor positions at times, with decision-making.

Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Tier 6

Tier 6 are players that you can win with if the situation around them is ideal. They need time in the pocket, a strong game plan, weapons in the backfield and out wide. It is unlikely to see flashes of greatness from these players, but at their best, they will keep their teams in the game. If paired with a strong defense, gameplan, protection and weapons, wins can occur, but they must overcome mental mistakes and injuries along the way.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

Davis Mills, Houston Texans

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

Tier 7

Tier 7 is what we would categorize as “waiting to see it” or low-level starters. These players are at a time in their career where they must show the talent that caused them to be drafted in the first or second round. In 2022, it could be a make-or-break year for them. 3 out of the 5 are in new places as of this offseason, while Wilson/Jones are in the “waiting to see it” timeframe. It is reasonable to see the majority of these players not as the starting QB at some point within the season, or next season.

Zach Wilson, New York Jets

Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Drew Lock, Seattle Seahawks

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers