The 2022 NFL season is finally here. While we’re only in preseason, the debates never end. Who’s the best quarterback in the NFL? Who’s the worst? I can’t answer that second one, but I have prepared a fresh batch of NFL QB rankings where we rank the top-20 quarterbacks in the league today.
Last season we didn’t see a rookie quarterback who earned a spot in our top quarterback rankings, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make major strides this season. Will Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, or Mac Jones make their way into the top 20? One already has.
It remains to be seen if another will join him. Of course, there’s a few dual threats, such as Justin Fields or Trey Lance, who could also take the gridiron by storm, but the Chicago Bears haven’t given their QB much to work with.
In recent times we’ve seen players like Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson blow past all expectations. Who will be the superstar signal-caller who emerges during the 2022-23 season? There are several candidates, some of which you’ll find featured below.
Deshaun Watson‘s six-game suspension has prompted me to remove him from this list, where he had been ranked ninth. Let’s give another QB a chance for a few weeks until Watson can take the field.
Updated weekly throughout the football year, here are our top-20 NFL QB rankings.
NFL QB Rankings countdown from 20-1
20. Baker Mayfield, Carolina Panthers
- Baker Mayfield stats (2021): 3,010 passing yards, 17-13 TD-INT, 60.5% completion rate, 83.1 QB rating, 7.2 ypa, 6-8 record
Baker Mayfield gets the fresh start he wanted. He struggled playing through a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder last season, impacting his effectiveness and accuracy. Between the durability woes, issues in pressure situations and some maturity problems, the Cleveland Browns were ready to move on.
The Carolina Panthers take advantage. Mayfield isn’t a great quarterback, but he is one of the 20 best starting quarterbacks in the NFL. He boasted a 74.8% On-Target rate when healthy in 2020 and now joins an offense with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr. and Rashard Higgins. Now that Mayfeld has been named the Panthers’ starting QB, it will be interesting to see how he performs Week 1 against his former Browns team.
19. Mac Jones, New England Patriots
- Mac Jones stats in 2021: 3,801 passing yards, 22 TD, 13 INT
- 129 rushing yards
The best rookie quarterback wasn’t the first, second, or even third one selected. Instead it was Mac Jones who slipped under the radar, then proceeded to be the QB who brought the Patriots back to the playoffs.
Now he’ll look to continue what was a highly efficient campaign while finding a way to be more aggressive without throwing more interceptions. His new offensive coordinator/QB coach will have a major role in his development over the next few seasons, which could be disastrous considering Matt Patricia and Joe Judge are expected to take over. Just how high does Mac’s ceiling go?
18. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
- Jared Goff stats in 2021: 3,245 passing yards, 19 TD, 8 INT
- 87 rushing yards
I’m predicting a bounceback year from Jared Goff in 2022. Not like ‘elite’ Goff, like we saw glimpses of with the Rams, but the former No. 1 overall pick should improve now that he’s equipped with a respectable group of receivers. Not only that, Goff has to be motivated by seeing his old team win a Super Bowl. Firmly entrenched as the starter as he enters his second year in Detroit, don’t be shocked if the Lions take a leap, led by Goff.
17. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
- Ryan Tannehill stats in 2021: 3,734 passing yards, 21 TD, 14 INT
- 270 rushing yards, 7 TD
In a perfect world, the Tennessee Titans would have at least tried to move on from Ryan Tannehill in search of an upgrade this offseason. Contractual ties prevented such a move, but he’s not in the top half of NFL starting quarterbacks, which means he may not have enough to carry the King Henry-led squad to the promised land. Maybe that’s why they were intrigued by Malik Willis.
With that said, Tannehill is above-average and with a stronger, healthier supporting cast, the Titans can repeat as strong AFC contenders. There’s just no indication Treylon Burks and Robert Woods are better than A.J. Brown and Julio Jones.
16. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
- Jimmy Garoppolo stats in 2021: 3,810 passing yards, 20 TD, 12 INT
- 51 rushing yards, 3 TD
As we get deeper into the preseason, Jimmy Garoppolo will become a popular name on the trade block. He’s likely achieved all that he can in San Fran and has Trey Lance breathing down his neck. Whoever gets Jimmy G will suddenly have a starting-caliber quarterback who can do just enough to help you reach the playoffs, but not enough to win the game if it all comes down to his individual performance. Still, that’s a massive upgrade in some NFL cities.
15. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
- Jalen Hurts stats in 2021: 3,144 passing yards, 16 TD, 9 INT
- 784 rushing yards, 10 TD
If you’re ahead of the curve, making contingency plans to win your fantasy leagues next season, be sure to keep an eye on Jalen Hurts. One of the best dual-threat QBs in the league, Hurts offers a high floor, and an even higher ceiling as he continues to develop and build chemistry with his receivers. While he may not be the best from a passing standpoint, he might be able to approach 1,000 yards on the ground next year and rise even further in many NFL QB rankings aside from fantasy football.
14. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
- Matt Ryan stats in 2021: 3,968 passing yards, 20 TD, 12 INT, 67% completion rate
Matt Ryan didn’t find himself in a good situation with the Atlanta Falcons. Playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football with a thin cast of weapons, he managed what production he could. Having just turned 37, Ryan doesn’t have the arm strength he used to have. However, he graded as PFF‘s second-highest passer on intermediate throws (10-19 yards) and posted the 10th-highest QB rating (110.0) on play action. Ryan will be the best Colts starting quarterback in years, serving as the ultimate game-manager who will do everything Frank Reich asks.
13. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
- Kirk Cousins stats in 2021: 4,221 passing yards, 33 TD, 7 INT
- 115 rushing yards, 1 TD
Opinions on Kirk Cousins are all over the place, but if you ask his new head coach and general manager, they’re big fans of the QB. That’s all that matters going forward. Paired with one of the best wide receivers in football in Justin Jefferson, Cousins should be in for another 4200+ yard year, which he’s achieved in three of his four seasons in Minnesota. The only year he didn’t, the Vikings made the playoffs, but they’re expected to embrace the air attack under Kevin O’Connell.
12. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
- Derek Carr stats in 2021: 4,804 passing yards, 23 TD, 14 INT
- 108 rushing yards
We’re eager to see how Derek Carr adapts to the Josh McDaniels system. Both bright offensive minds, it should be a great fit. Now that Davante Adams has landed in Vegas, Carr could have his best season yet, which is no small feat. Can Carr drive the new-look Raiders back to the playoffs in a loaded AFC West?
11. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
- Kyler Murray stats in 2021: 3,787 passing yards, 24 TD, 10 INT
- 423 rushing yards, 5 TD
Everyone wanted to pile on Kyler Murray this offseason, it’s not exactly justified. He’s steadily improving as he gains experience, and when his playmakers aren’t on the field as we saw in 2021, there’s more that falls on Murray’s shoulders. As one MVP once said, R-E-L-A-X when it comes to K1. He’s a franchise quarterback and the Cardinals have paid him as such. The only reason he falls outside of the top-10 in our NFL QB rankings is due to the quality of passers currently in the league.
NFL QB Rankings Top 10
10. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
- Russell Wilson stats in 2021: 3,113 passing yards, 25 TD, 6 INT
- 183 rushing yards, 2 TD
We didn’t get to see Russell Wilson cook a year ago, but the nine-time Pro Bowl QB didn’t suddenly drop off after years of playing smart football. That’s what the Broncos are banking on with their blockbuster trade for the SB XLVIII winner. Finally in a new location where he’ll still have a loaded receiving corps, Russ should be back to his best self going forward, which places him just inside the top-10 among the NFL QB rankings with a chance to rise to the top five quickly.
9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
- Dak Prescott stats in 2021: 4,449 passing yards, 37 TD, 10 INT
- 146 rushing yards, 1 TD
After leading the top-scoring offense in football last season, no one should be wondering whether Dak Prescott is among the very best quarterbacks in the NFL today. Prescott and Russ Wilson are both incredible stories in that they somehow slipped to the fourth and third rounds in their respective drafts, but both have shown they’re franchise quarterbacks. The next step is getting past the Divisional Round in the playoffs for Prescott’s Cowboys.
Related: NFL games today – 2022 NFL schedule
8. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
- Matthew Stafford stats in 2021: 4,886 passing yards, 41 TD, 17 INT
- 43 rushing yards
After 12 seasons toiling in Detroit in which they never won a playoff game, Matthew Stafford teamed up with Sean McVay in L.A. and immediately won a Super Bowl. There’s no reason to believe the Rams can’t run it back, thanks to the excellent all-around potency of Cooper Kupp. Another year in the system could help Stafford reduce his league-leading interception number from a year ago, but he’ll always be a gunslinger who takes chances. Hard to argue with the brand new shiny ring on his finger, but his elbow might be a long-term concern.
7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
- Lamar Jackson stats in 2021: 2,882 passing yards, 16 TD, 13 INT
- 767 rushing yards, 2 TD
While Lamar Jackson largely had a down season impacted by injuries, there’s no one worried about his future success. Equally as much of a fantasy star as he is a dangerous game-breaker, expect Jackson to return to his 2019 MVP form, but when will he sign a contract extension?
6. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
- Justin Herbert stats in 2021: 5,014 passing yards, 38 TD, 15 INT
- 302 rushing yards, 3 TD
Few quarterbacks have raised their stock as much as Justin Herbert has ever since he entered the NFL as the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Now Herbert is widely regarded as one of the few young marquee names that many would select if they were starting an NFL franchise from scratch. For Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, the sky is the limit over the next few seasons.
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Rodgers stats in 2021: 4,115 passing yards, 37 TD, 4 INT
- 101 rushing yards, 3 TD, -4 receiving yards
Some wondered (perhaps hoped is more appropriate) whether Aaron Rodgers would retire following his second consecutive MVP trophy, but these thoughts were always asinine. Akin to Tom Brady walking away while he still has hundreds of throws left, Rodgers won’t hang up the cleats just yet.
After agreeing to a new contract that keeps him in Green Bay, there’s no doubt AR12 has several more elite seasons left in his future, but he will have to do so without his ace receiver. Thanks to his rock-solid consistency, Rodgers is still near the top of the NFL QB rankings.
4. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
- Joe Burrow stats in 2021: 4,611 passing yards, 34 TD, 14 INT
- 118 rushing yards, 2 TD
No one expected, and I mean literally no one expected Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years. It further exemplified just how much a premier quarterback can elevate the rest of his squad in a short amount of time. Few situations have had more eyeballs on them throughout this offseason, building a better offensive line while he’s still on a rookie contract could go a long way toward getting a Lombardi trophy.
3. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
- Patrick Mahomes stats in 2021: 4,839 passing yards, 37 TD, 13 INT
- 381 rushing yards, 2 TD
Anyone who’s ever witnessed Mahomes understands why he’s a perennial MVP candidate. He’s fun to watch because he plays backyard football, yet his cannon arm leads to Madden-like video game performances. There are few players who can release the ball accurately from numerous arm angles on the run, whether he’s looking at his receiver or not. Simply put, Mahomes is spectacular from all aspects of the game.
2. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tom Brady stats in 2021: 5,316 passing yards, 43 TD, 6 INT
- 81 rushing yards, 2 TD
We can all thank the football gods for Tom Brady realizing he’s not quite ready to retire. There’s no reason for him to place his jersey in the rafters just yet. Brady’s coming off a season in which he led the NFL in attempts, completions, yards and touchdown throws. There’s no doubt he’ll remain one of the very best in his age-45 year, which is why he lands back near the top of our NFL QB rankings.
How will Brady do in his first season in Tampa without Bruce Arians? Since the coach doesn’t throw footballs, Brady will be his same elite self.
1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
- Josh Allen stats in 2021: 4,407 passing yards, 36 TD, 15 INT
- 763 rushing yards, 6 TD
There’s a reason why the Buffalo Bills have annually become a top pick to reach the Super Bowl, his name is Josh Allen. The league has never seen a quarterback who’s as naturally gifted as Allen is. Not only can he uncork a 60-yard airstrike, Allen causes headaches for defenses thanks to a willingness to put his body on the line to pick up more than just the first down.
Because of his ability to do everything, from scrambling, to firing lasers, to being able to knock a dime off the top of a pylon, Allen ranks No. 1 in Sportsnaut’s NFL QB Rankings.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.