Tired? NFL Power Rankings. Wired? Quarterback Tiers!
The ranking of the best players at the most important position in sports is back and brought to you by the folks of The Athletic, who revealed the latest installment of their particular order on Monday, July 31, with Lamar Jackson sporting a dubious rank.
Mike Sando, the writer tasked with presenting the project, described the process the outlet followed to come up with the tiers they split all quarterbacks into and the ultimate position they were ranked at.
"This year, the 50 league insiders included eight general managers, 10 head coaches, 15 coordinators, 10 executives, four quarterbacks coaches and three involved in coaching/analytics," explained Sando.
This is simple: "Voters put 30 veteran quarterbacks into five tiers, from best (Tier 1) to worst (Tier 5). Quarterbacks were then ranked by average vote and placed into tiers based on vote distribution." Easy, right?
Well, after asking all of those people and crafting the final ranking, Lamar Jackson came out as only the seventh-best quarterback in the NFL for the 2023 season. Sheesh...
According to The Athletic's profile of Jackson, the quarterback's "average tier vote" remained "stable," and he actually "rose three spots in the rankings" as he jumped over the likes of Matthew Stafford, Russel Wilson, Deshaun Wason, and now-retired Tom Brady.
On the other hand, Jackson lost a place to Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts. Above them: Justin Herbert, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Patrick Mahomes.
As a "Tier 2" level quarterback, The Athletic thinks Lamar "can carry his team sometimes but not as consistently." He should also "handle pure passing situations and/or possesses other dimensions that are special enough." That said, quarterbacks in this tier still "have a hole or two in their game."
One NFL executive said: "I kept him at Tier 2 with the definition requiring expert handling of pure-pass situations."
An NFL Defensive Coordinator added: "If Josh Allen was in that same offense Lamar was in, you would think of Josh the same way you think of Lamar." He followed that up by saying "Josh was just in a more pro-favorable offense--It will be really good to see if Lamar elevates his game and people say he is more like Josh Allen."