Ranking all 32 starting quarterbacks ahead of the 2022 NFL season
Who are the best quarterbacks in 2022? Who is the worst quarterback in the NFL in 2022? I have the best quarterbacks in 2022 ranked from worst to first – I’m sure everybody will be in 100% agreement that my list is the best list and find absolutely zero issues with anything said here.
Best quarterbacks in 2022 ranked
I’m only ranking the 32 starters currently penciled in on ESPN’s depth chart. My preseason position rankings are for who I think is the best going into this season — not which quarterback I want for the next five years, not who was the best last year, but who are the best quarterbacks right now?
This methodology will inevitably underrate some key members of the 2021 rookie class cause they weren’t any good. Of course, if a player has a track record of being good but fell off in 2021 (or vice versa), I can work with that information. But if all I had is one season and you mostly disappointed, there’s only so much I can assume.
The worst of the worst
These guys are that garbage pile at the base of Everest you have to pass before you ascend to the top of the mountain. They’re not going anywhere, and you really wish you didn’t have to see them at all.
32. Daniel Jones, Giants
Unfortunately, his worst trait is that he can’t hang onto the ball. He leads the league in fumbles, with 36 since coming into the league in 2019. Combine that with 29 interceptions and some injury issues – you get 65 turnovers over 37 games. No wonder the New York Giants didn’t pick up his fifth-year option.
Unlike other quarterbacks who are turnover-prone, Jones also suffers from being risk-averse. According to PFF, his Average Depth of Target (ADoT) was 36th in the league, and his Yards per Attempt (Y/A) over at Pro Football Reference was good for 26th.
So he’s not creating any big plays and turns the ball over more than anyone in the league – that makes Daniel Jones the worst quarterback in the NFL in 2022.
31. Geno Smith, Seahawks
Unfortunately for Jones, I saw Geno Smith be amazing once and above average another handful of times. There are no stats I’m going to pull up that convince you Geno Smith is better than Daniel Jones, they actually have a lot of similarities. But for one afternoon against the Dolphins in 2014, Geno Smith was perfect. Daniel Jones couldn’t do that without tripping over his own feet.
Have been good, but aren’t
You could stomach the next group of quarterbacks filling in for four or five games, but the fact that they’re your current starters makes you uneasy.
30. Marcus Mariota, Falcons
Marcus Mariota is an unknown. He hasn’t played meaningful football since 2019, when he started six games for the Titans. During that stretch, he threw seven touchdowns against only two interceptions, but he also managed to get sacked 25 times and completed less than 60% of his passes.
He’s never reached the heights he did in 2016 and got significantly worse each year. His athleticism may help him behind the Atlanta Falcons‘ disastrous offensive line, but there’s not much reason for optimism here.
29. Carson Wentz, Commanders
Unlike the other quarterbacks in this group, we’ve seen Carson Wentz flash as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. If you pull up his stats, you could trick yourself into thinking you’re getting an outstanding quarterback. That’s what the Washington Commanders are doing.
On paper, Wentz looks fine, but the minute he feels like he needs to make something happen, he’s prone to boneheaded decisions.
Beyond that, you get the feeling people hate playing with him, and coaches hate coaching him. That’s not a winning combination and makes it difficult to move him further up this list.
28. Mitchell Trubisky, Steelers
Could Mitchell Trubisky be one of the best quarterbacks in 2022? No, probably not. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see him away from Matt Nagy and the Bears. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a model organization, and Mike Tomlin gets the best out of his players.
Trubisky was actually pretty good in 2018. According to ESPN’s Total QBR stats, Trubisky had the 3rd best QBR, was top ten in Expected Points Added (EPA), and added more to his team by running than any quarterback besides Josh Allen.
Since then, the Bears ran him less and less every season. Maybe instead of going away from his strengths, the Steelers will lean into them. If they do that, he could even jump up a couple of spots. Or the Bears were right, and we see Kenny Pickett sooner rather than later.
They might turn out to be good, but their rookie season squashed all the ‘best rookie class ever’ talk.
27. Zach Wilson, Jets
Zach Wilson completed 55% of his passes and threw nine touchdowns against 11 interceptions, and he did all this as a quarterback in 2021, the easiest time to be a quarterback in the history of quarterbacking.
If you prefer advanced stats, it gets worse. He had the worst quarterback rating, was 31st in yards per attempt, and had the second lowest QBR at ESPN.
Even the final seven-week stretch when he only threw two interceptions falls apart on closer inspection. He completed 54% of his passes, got sacked 25 times, fumbled three times, and had 5.8 yards per attempt. I understand he played for the Jets, but even so, there weren’t many redeeming qualities from his rookie season.
26. Justin Fields, Bears
Justin Fields is neck and neck with Wilson when it comes to inefficiency. He was the only player with a QBR lower than Wilson’s over at ESPN and managed to get sacked 36 times over eight games.
His tendency to hold onto the ball too long was put on display behind a porous Chicago Bears offensive line. The separating factor is that we got to see Fields make some big-time throws. When he had time to look downfield, Fields proved his arm was as good as any quarterback in the league.
Against all odds, I think the Bears had a worse offense and coaching staff than the Jets, so Fields gets the nod.
25. Trey Lance, 49ers
One of the hardest quarterbacks from 2021 to rank. He only played meaningful time in three games, and his accuracy was erratic. However, he also seemed to have a knack for big plays, which is promising.
Yes, he got to play for the best team out of any of the players in this group, the San Francisco 49ers, but he didn’t come off as a sitting duck in the pocket or a liability throwing the football.
24. Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
You can’t overstate how bad Trevor Lawrence was, especially for a quarterback of his pedigree coming out of college. The redeeming quality is that he played under Urban Meyer for the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the fact that he didn’t pull an Andrew Luck is a miracle.
Lawrence’s best quality was his pocket presence, he did an excellent job of sensing and evading pressure. Everything that came after that was a disaster. He tallied 17 interceptions and only 12 touchdowns. He wasn’t pushing the ball downfield either, he had the lowest yards per attempt of any quarterback that started more than five games.
With upgraded weapons, I expect everything that happens after the ball leaves his hand to improve in 2022.
These quarterbacks might be good
Of the best quarterbacks in 2022 that I’ve ranked, this group has the largest gap between the floor and ceiling.
However, you wouldn’t be surprised if any of these quarterbacks got hot and brought you on a nice winning streak. It also wouldn’t be perplexing to watch them throw you out of a game and see your team try to draft a replacement in 2023.
23. Jared Goff, Lions
After that, Dan Campbell took over playcalling duties, and things took off (they went 3-4-1, with Goff going 3-2-1). During that stretch, Goff completed 68% of his passes, threw 11 touchdowns, just two interceptions, and had 6.7 yards per attempt.
Jared Goff and the Lions were actually pretty okay! If that success continues, you’re looking at a .500 team with a perfectly cromulent quarterback in 2022.
22. Jameis Winston, Saints
Was it the Lasik surgery or Sean Payton that caused Jameis Winston to be the best version of himself we’ve seen? Even under a great coach like Bruce Arians, Winston was still too wild and needed to be reigned in. However, on the New Orleans Saints, he seemed poised to fulfil the potential we saw in him when he was drafted first overall.
He only completed 59% of his passes, but he was a big play machine, throwing for 7.27 yards per attempt and 14 touchdowns in just 6.5 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in week eight. The worry is that guy only exists under coach Payton’s guidance, it’ll be interesting to see what version of Winston we get as the Saints open a new chapter.
21. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
This is the most I’ve watched a quarterback and still can’t get a good read. You could see the good when the Miami Dolphins got their RPO offense figured out in the second half of the season. Tua Tagovailoa would get into a rhythm and show off his accuracy and quick decision-making.
But if you could get pressure on Tagovailoa, he’d fall apart and become prone to turnovers.
If you’re part of Tuanon, you’re telling yourself he’ll get better another year removed from a serious injury and with a better o-line. If you’re shorting him, he’s just another quarterback that can’t handle the heat.
20. Mac Jones, Patriots
When almost every other rookie quarterback disappointed, Mac Jones remained steady for the New England Patriots. He completed 67% of his passes, 22 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 7.3 yards per attempt, for a 92.5 quarterback rating that was middle of the pack.
Jones would get the ball out in time and looked every bit the part of a mid-level quarterback. And that’s why I don’t have him higher. McCorkle got to step into the best job in the league, and there were no ‘wow’ moments. There will be a steady improvement, but there’s no reason to bank on a spectacular second season from Mac Jones, especially with the turnover on the Pats o-line and offensive coaching staff.
19. Davis Mills, Texans
Davis Mills walked into one of the worst situations in the league as an unheralded third-rounder and proved to be starter-quality material by the season’s end. Over his last five games, Mills completed 68% of his passes, threw nine touchdowns, and two interceptions at 7.4 yards per attempt, and posted a 102.4 quarterback rating.
Those numbers aren’t eye-popping until you remember he played for the Houston Texans! Mills did all that behind a shoddy o-line and only one above-average receiver — that’s enough to assume Davis Mills might have enough dog in him to outshine the rest of his quarterback class.
18. Baker Mayfield, Panthers
Baker Mayfield has had two good seasons and two average seasons. He’s being written off unfairly.
There’s no reason to assume Mayfield is more of the player that showed up in 2021 than the guy who showed up in 2020. Mayfield spent most of last season battling a severe shoulder injury and a knee strain. When healthy, the former first overall belongs in the next group and can be a top 16 quarterback in the right system.
17. Jalen Hurts, Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are all in on Jalen Hurts. Hurts gets unfairly pigeonholed as a check-down quarterback because he doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he had the fourth highest Average Depth of Target (ADoT) according to PFF and still completed just over 60% of his passes.
The real threat came from his ability to challenge the defense on the ground with the Eagles’ incredible read-option game. With the addition of A.J. Brown, Philadelphia is betting Hurts improves enough as a passer in year three to have a truly well-rounded offense. I’m betting they’re right.
Everybody is good
You shouldn’t be insulted if you see your quarterback anywhere below this line. All these quarterbacks are excellent. These are some of the best quarterbacks in 2022.
16. Deshaun Watson, Browns
Great football player and a garbage human. We haven’t seen him play football in over a year.
The last time he was on the field, he was top ten, not sure where he’s at now, we might not know for another season.
15. Matt Ryan, Colts
He’s on the tail end of his career and has become a statue in the pocket. However, Matt Ryan won’t look as bad with the Indianapolis Colts as he did with the Falcons due to the Colts’ superior o-line.
I fully expect 2022 to look like a renaissance year for Ryan and vault the Colts into contender status now that they don’t have to coddle Carson Wentz.
Matty Ice still completed 67% of his passes behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and his 20 touchdowns were tied for his lowest total since his rookie season. It could be the downturn of his career, but I’m banking on it being a speed bump for the 37-year-old quarterback.
14. Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Without King Henry, Tannehill’s ceiling is unclear. For example, if you remove the fluky week 18 game against Houston where Tannehill threw four touchdowns and no interceptions, his stats while Henry was injured were seven touchdowns, seven interceptions, 82.0 quarterback rating, and 6.1 yards per attempt.
Before Derrick Henry was injured, his stats were ten touchdowns, seven interceptions, 90.2 quarterback rating, and 7.6 yards per attempt. The Tennessee Titans‘ offense relies more on their star running back being healthy than most people realize.
13. Kyler Murray, Cardinals
In 2021, Murray had the second highest completion percentage while being top five in yards per attempt and was top ten in both quarterback rating and ESPN’s QBR. That’s a great quarterback. The only problem is the wheels seem to fall off in January, his meltdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs was brutal.
But, if he shows a little more consistency when the weather turns in 2022 and the rumors of his work ethic go away, there’s no reason he can’t jump into the next group.
12. Kirk Cousins, Vikings
Kirk Cousins is simultaneously the most overrated and underrated quarterback in the NFL. What does that mean? He’s appropriately rated as long as you don’t think too hard.
Cousins is top ten in most counting and efficiency stats, and he does an excellent job taking advantage of the weapons given to him. However, he’ll wilt under pressure at times, and his mobility leaves a lot to be desired.
He won’t elevate a terrible roster, but he’ll take advantage of a good one. That’s what a team should want from a quarterback. If the Minnesota Vikings put a good enough roster around Cousins, he could win a Super Bowl, but he’s not going to drag them there himself.
Best of the best on the right day
This group could vault themselves into the top six quarterbacks on the right day. Most days, they are as good as those guys. However, there is usually some consistency issue that stops them from being the top QBs in the NFL full-time.
11. Derek Carr, Raiders
Not only is Derek Carr one of the best quarterbacks of 2022, but he’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for a few seasons. Unfortunately for him, he’s been stuck on middling to bad Las Vegas Raiders teams and unable to show off his peak potential. That will change in the upcoming season.
Since 2019 Carr has thrown 71 touchdowns and 31 interceptions, completed 69% of his passes, had a quarterback rating of 98.4, and did it while throwing for 7.8 yards per attempt. He’s not the check-down machine he became for a couple of seasons post-injury. Surrounded by Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller, don’t be surprised if Derek Carr becomes an MVP candidate.
10. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys had a stacked receiving corps in 2021, which led to Dak Prescott having a career season.
Can he keep it going with fewer weapons and prove he belongs among the best quarterbacks in 2022? Prescott has always had pretty good receivers and a pretty good o-line around him, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of player we get as a decent chunk of the roster turns over.
9. Russell Wilson, Broncos
The country cried for the Seahawks to let Russ cook, then they did, and he was still incredible, but not quite at an MVP level.
That doesn’t mean he’s not one of the top current quarterbacks in the NFL, just that there is a ceiling. He has one of the prettiest deep balls in the league and isn’t afraid to take chances, but Wilson doesn’t always take what’s given to him and sometimes the best play is the boring play. That results in him coming in slightly lower than some might expect when ranking NFL quarterbacks.
8. Lamar Jackson, Ravens
Lamar Jackson has the highest ceiling of anyone in this group. When everything rolls in the right direction for Jackson, he is insane. The best show on earth, hands down.
The flip side is he seems to have lower lows than most other players camping out in this area. His ceiling is MVP, which he already won, and his floor was someone who got outplayed by his backup at points last season.
The Baltimore Ravens appear to be more settled heading into next season, which should help Jackson make his case for one of the best quarterbacks in 2022.
7. Matthew Stafford, Rams
The best arm talent of anyone outside the top six got to prove he was among the best quarterbacks in the NFL immediately after leaving the Detroit Lions by winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams.
The poster boy for losses aren’t a quarterback stat, sometimes, you’re just a victim of circumstance. The only thing keeping him out of the pantheon is he often trusts his arm a little too much. Hard to blame him as it’s among the best in league history, and he uses it for more good than bad.
Best of the best
The top of the mountain. These six guys combine off-the-charts passing ability with an unmatched ability to process the game in front of them. As a result, they create nightmare matchups for defenses and leave defensive coordinators sleepless.
6. Justin Herbert, Chargers
He’s much more reigned in than Favre, though, almost too a fault. Despite possessing one of the best cannons in the NFL, the Los Angeles Chargers often forego the big play to dink and dunk down the field.
Naturally, there will be people challenging Herbert being this high on the list cause there’s no playoff resume to speak of. So, if he doesn’t deliver this season after the Chargers have gone all in, expect to see a chorus of overrated chants spark up around the internet.
5. Joe Burrow, Bengals
Remember how I said Kirk Cousins couldn’t elevate a bad o-line, but that’s not a big deal, most players can’t? Well, Joe Burrow can, and that’s what makes him one of the best quarterbacks in 2022.
Burrow wasn’t a one-man wrecking crew cause his wide receiver core is among the best ever, but his ability to get thrown to the dirt and keep trucking is second to none. You need to look no further than the Cincinnati Bengals 2021 playoff run to see how Burrow got entrenched on this list of the top current QBs in the NFL so early in his career.
4. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
Mahomes is like a Harlem Globetrotter became one of the best players in the NBA. I am slightly concerned about his ability to remain patient throughout a game, but that’s a minor complaint for a quarterback who can make literally any throw on the field whether he’s looking or not.
3. Josh Allen, Bills
Get your pitchforks ready, the Mahomes vs Allen debate is heating up. I understand wanting to flip these guys, I could see an argument for shuffling anyone in the top six. There’s not much to choose between the best quarterback situations this season.
But, even though Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills lost, his performance in the 2021 playoffs might be the best two-game playoff run I’ve ever seen. He can make any throw on the field, and he’s the focal point of the Bills’ run game.
He does all the heavy lifting for Buffalo. Allen also proved to be cold as ice as he converted multiple fourth downs before losing on one of the worst breaks in NFL history.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Coming off back-to-back MVPs and the most efficient season in the league by most metrics, there was no way Rodgers wouldn’t be near the top of best quarterbacks in 2022.
It’s become surgical during the regular season as Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur seem to be in simpatico when running the Green Bay Packers offense. It would be boring to watch if the throws that Rodgers makes weren’t consistently jaw-dropping.
Nobody in the NFL makes an impossible throw look routine the way Rodgers does. He looks bored while throwing the football through impossibly tight windows like it’s just another day in the office for one of the most talented human beings alive.
1. Tom Brady, Buccaneers
Tom Brady will be the best quarterback of 2022 or any year until something happens to prove he’s not. I don’t care if he’s 45 and someone else just won back-to-back MVPs.
Going into the season, if I want the best chance to win a Super Bowl, I’m picking Touchdown Tom Brady.
He could’ve won MVP last season, and there wouldn’t have been an uproar. He led the league in touchdowns, yards, completions, and attempts.
The man is beating father time, and I’m not going to pick him as the best quarterback in the league? Tom Brady is inevitable and he’s the best quarterback in 2022 and the NFL until he shows otherwise.
Quarterback Josh Allen slings a pass downfield on the opening day of the Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher University in Rochester Sunday, July 24, 2022. Sd 072422 Bills Camp 24 Spts Who are the best quarterbacks in 2022? Who is the worst quarterback in the NFL in 2022? I have the best…
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