Trevor Lawrence Happy belated America’s Birthday! I hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. It’s great to exercise our personal freedom, such as ranking quarterbacks, and engaging in friendly arguments is indeed a cherished American tradition. I appreciate the homage to Jason La Canfora’s previous work, and I’m eager to hear your modified quarterback tiers.
However, you mentioned referring to JLC’s 2022 list for context, but you didn’t provide the actual tiers for us to discuss. Could you please share the specific quarterback tiers or rankings you would like to debate?
It’s interesting to note the shifts and changes that have occurred in the quarterback landscape over the past year. The retirement of some esteemed veterans has created opportunities for a new generation of top-tier quarterbacks to emerge, while others are on the cusp of joining their ranks.
It’s not uncommon for debates and disagreements to arise when assessing the quarterbacks in Tier 3, as this group often includes players with varying skill sets and potential. Additionally, Tier 4 seems to have established itself as a more defined middle class, with a few promising prospects who may soon join their ranks.
While I still don’t have the specific quarterback tiers you’re referring to, I’m ready to engage in a discussion about the quarterbacks and their respective tiers once you provide the details. Feel free to share the rankings, and we can begin analyzing and exchanging opinions.
Tier 1: The Big Three
According to your assessment, these quarterbacks are operating at a level above everyone else in the league. They possess exceptional talent and are widely regarded as the top choices if you were to start a franchise.
You mentioned that Patrick Mahomes stands out even within this elite group, and some may argue that he deserves his own tier due to his exceptional abilities and past achievements. However, you believe that Burrow and Allen are close enough in skill and performance to warrant inclusion in Tier 1.
It’s intriguing to note that these three quarterbacks were ranked highly on Pete Prisco’s Top 100 NFL Players list, further highlighting their dominance at the position. Having one of these quarterbacks on your team instills confidence that your franchise can contend for a Super Bowl, even if unforeseen challenges arise.
This is an interesting tier, and I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on how these three quarterbacks compare and what sets them apart from others in the league.
Tier 2: Could Join Them Next Year
You acknowledge that some people might disagree with this tier, but you believe these quarterbacks possess elite talent and have shown glimpses of success. However, they may have certain factors holding them back from being in Tier 1, such as a complete resume, longevity, or health concerns.
Lamar Jackson, as a former MVP, has already achieved a high level of success. While injuries have been a concern in recent seasons, you anticipate a strong performance from him, especially with the addition of Todd Monken as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator. A healthy and productive season from Jackson could potentially propel him into Tier 1.
Justin Herbert’s situation with the Los Angeles Chargers is interesting, as you mention that if he were on the Chiefs, he might be in the tier above. Despite Herbert’s individual success, the Chargers’ inability to consistently contend may be a factor that prevents him from joining Tier 1 at the moment.
Both Trevor Lawrence and Jalen Hurts have shown promise in their first year as starters. Hurts benefits from a talented roster surrounding him, while Lawrence has the opportunity to excel in a favorable division. Their development and continued improvement will be crucial in determining if they can ascend to Tier 1 in the future.
It’s always intriguing to assess the potential of young quarterbacks and envision their growth in the league. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how you see these quarterbacks progressing and if there are any specific factors that you believe could push them into Tier 1.
Tier 3: Intrigue with Question Marks
Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields, Daniel Jones, Deshaun Watson, and Russell Wilson.
In Tier 3, you’ve included a combination of younger rising stars and experienced veterans who have achieved success at the highest level but still have some lingering uncertainties. These uncertainties could be attributed to factors such as a single year of production, a decline in performance, injuries, or the team’s overall situation.
Aaron Rodgers, despite winning two of the last three MVP awards, finds himself in this tier due to the transition to a new team and the departure from Green Bay, where he enjoyed a long and successful tenure. While it would be surprising if Rodgers doesn’t perform well this year, the change in circumstances and his performance last season create a level of uncertainty.
Matthew Stafford, who won a Super Bowl two years ago, faced injury issues last year while playing for the Rams. The team’s overall struggles and skepticism from Vegas bookmakers add to the question marks surrounding him. However, his previous success suggests he has the potential to excel with the right supporting cast.
Tua Tagovailoa’s health, specifically concerns about concussions, and the performance of his offensive line contribute to the uncertainties surrounding him. Justin Fields has shown promise as a runner, but questions remain about his ability as a pure passer. The Bears’ efforts to improve their team and coaching staff provide hope for Fields’ development.
Daniel Jones experienced a significant leap forward last season under better coaching. With Brian Daboll as his coach in his second year, there is optimism for further improvement. Deshaun Watson’s off-field issues are a source of controversy, but his previous regular season success cannot be ignored when assessing his on-field abilities.
Russell Wilson’s placement in Tier 3 is tied to your belief in the offensive coaching prowess of Sean Payton. If Payton can maximize Wilson’s potential, there is a possibility for a significant resurgence. However, without Payton, Wilson’s ranking might be lower.
Your analysis highlights the mix of potential and uncertainty within this tier, and it will be interesting to see how these quarterbacks perform in the upcoming season.
Tier 4: You Can Win With Them
Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Tier 4 quarterbacks are often viewed as capable of leading their teams to the playoffs if various factors align in their favor. However, it’s challenging to envision them making deep playoff runs or winning Super Bowls without the support of a strong defense and a solid running game.
Jared Goff’s inclusion in this tier represents an improvement from his previous ranking as a “guy/veteran/placeholder.” While he may have some upside at the age of 28, it remains to be seen if he can fully maximize his potential in Detroit this year.
Dak Prescott’s situation is influenced by Mike McCarthy’s desire to emphasize the running game and his criticism of Kellen Moore’s offensive approach. This suggests that Prescott may not have the freedom to excel and move into a higher tier.
Geno Smith’s emergence as a top-10 quarterback last year showcases his potential, but his floor and ceiling appear to be relatively narrow, aligning with Pete Carroll’s preferred style of quarterback play.
Ryan Tannehill’s success in the past and Mike Vrabel’s preferences for a quarterback with a limited range of outcomes reinforce his placement in this tier.
Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo share similarities, representing different versions of each other. Jimmy G can be seen as an “evil Kirk” while Carr falls somewhere in between, possessing some emotional aspects. These quarterbacks have shown competence but lack the consistency and ability to elevate their teams to higher levels.
Overall, Tier 4 quarterbacks are capable of leading their teams to the playoffs, but their limitations and dependencies on other factors make it difficult to envision them making deep playoff runs or winning Super Bowls without strong supporting casts.
Tier 5: Future Potential ‘Can Win With Them’ Guys
Mac Jones, Kenny Pickett, Brock Purdy
Mac Jones, as a rookie with the New England Patriots in 2023, has the potential to develop into a quarterback capable of winning games. While there have been rumors of potential friction between Jones and Bill Belichick regarding seeking outside help with the offense, it’s important to consider that Jones’ skill set and potential floor make him a reliable option. The familiarity between Jones and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, along with their previous work together, should contribute to his development. If the offensive line and run game perform well, we could see a bounce-back from the Patriots’ offense.
Kenny Pickett is a college quarterback with promising potential. While he’s yet to showcase his abilities at the professional level, his situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers provides an opportunity for growth and development. The Steelers have a track record of success with young quarterbacks, offering a stable environment for Pickett to flourish. However, the presence of offensive coordinator Matt Canada might be a potential obstacle to his progress.
Brock Purdy’s limited resume suggests that he may not warrant a move up in tiers at this stage, especially considering uncertainties surrounding his readiness for Week 1. Evaluating Purdy’s potential requires observing his performance and development over time to make a more accurate assessment.
Regarding the San Francisco 49ers and their quarterback situation, it’s intriguing to imagine a hybrid combination of their three quarterbacks. However, such a hypothetical scenario is unlikely to be feasible or legal. Evaluating each quarterback individually is essential, and based on their individual performances and situations, they would be placed in their respective tiers.
It will be fascinating to monitor the progress and development of these quarterbacks moving forward to see how they fulfill their potential and contribute to their respective teams.
Tier 6: No Clue, Man
Kyler Murray, Sam Howell, Jordan Love, Baker Mayfield, Desmond Ridder
Kyler Murray’s placement in this tier reflects the uncertainty surrounding his playing time and performance in the 2023 season. The possibility of the Arizona Cardinals managing his workload or even contemplating a potential transition next year adds an additional layer of unpredictability. Given his unique style of play, which incorporates his mobility, it’s difficult to determine how well he will fare.
Sam Howell and Jordan Love possess untapped potential that may be underappreciated by the public. While there’s a desire to rank them higher, the available tiers didn’t provide an appropriate slot. It’s challenging to predict their success or failures in the NFL, and they both have traits that could allow them to exceed expectations. However, betting on them to become good or great NFL quarterbacks would be speculative at this point.
Baker Mayfield, despite not being positioned high in this tier, still has your support as a “Baker guy.” The potential for him to thrive in Tampa Bay, as suggested by Pete Prisco’s insights on the Buccaneers, is an intriguing possibility. If the offensive line and defense perform well, Mayfield could find success in that scenario.
Your optimism for the Atlanta Falcons stems from the weakness of their division, an improved defense, and the offensive strategy implemented by new head coach Arthur Smith. Desmond Ridder, under Smith’s system, could potentially excel as a game manager. While Ridder has future potential as a winner, his exact trajectory and level of success remain uncertain.
Tier 5 encompasses quarterbacks who present a wide range of outcomes and uncertainties. It will be intriguing to observe how their seasons unfold and whether they can surpass expectations.
Tier 7: The Rookies
Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson
Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance. Evaluating rookie quarterbacks without the “rookies” designation can indeed be challenging, considering their upside and the many unknown factors surrounding them.
Trevor Lawrence, as the No. 1 overall pick, undoubtedly possesses immense upside. His floor, or the lowest level of performance expected from him, is perceived to be quite high. While some might argue for placing him in Tier 4, it’s important to note that Tier 4 consists of quarterbacks who are generally considered to have reached their potential ceiling, which wouldn’t be an accurate description for a No. 1 overall pick like Lawrence.
Zach Wilson, on the other hand, faces the uncertainty that comes with being a rookie quarterback. With a first-year coaching staff, there are many variables at play, making it difficult to determine his exact placement in the tiers. While his potential and athleticism might warrant consideration for Tier 3, it would be challenging to rank him above established veterans who have demonstrated consistent success.
Trey Lance presents a unique case due to his exceptional athleticism and physical tools. His potential is captivating, and his ceiling may be higher than some established veterans. However, without certainty about his starting status in Week 1, it could seem out of place to rank him above experienced quarterbacks who have demonstrated their abilities in the league.
It’s interesting to note that each rookie quarterback has his own set of circumstances and variables, such as coaching staff changes and supporting personnel. These factors will undoubtedly influence their development and performance in the upcoming season.
Assessing the rookie quarterbacks in the absence of the “rookies” designation is a complex task, as their potential and situations intertwine. It will be fascinating to observe how they progress throughout their rookie campaigns and how they impact their respective teams.
Just in Freaking Case
You bring up an interesting point with Sean Connery’s return as James Bond in 1983 for the film “Never Say Never Again.” It’s true that unexpected comebacks can occur in various fields, including sports and entertainment.
While the circumstances surrounding Sean Connery’s return to the James Bond role were unique, it demonstrated that one should never completely rule out the possibility of a comeback, regardless of age or previous statements. In certain cases, individuals may rediscover their passion, receive new opportunities, or simply change their minds about retirement.
In the world of sports, we have also seen athletes come out of retirement and make successful comebacks. The desire to compete, the love for the game, and the opportunity to prove doubters wrong can motivate individuals to return even after declaring their retirement.
It’s important to remember that each situation is unique, and while comebacks can happen, they are not guaranteed. Factors such as physical abilities, motivation, and opportunities play significant roles in determining the feasibility and success of a comeback. Nevertheless, it’s always intriguing to witness unexpected returns and the impact they have on the respective fields.
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