This isn’t a ranking of who are the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but rather a ranking of the most trustworthy right now. So let’s have at it:
THE INNER CIRCLE OF TRUST 1. Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins): Has the receivers Mahomes wishes he had. Also *. (*Must stay healthy) 2. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs): All the talent in the world, just could use more around him. 3. Brock Purdy (49ers): Doesn’t do much of anything wrong. 4. Jalen Hurts (Eagles): Getting used to a new offensive coordinator takes time. 5. Josh Allen (Bills): Keeps getting better. Came into the league completing 53% of his passes. Is at 77% this season. 6. Lamar Jackson (Ravens): Top-5 QB when healthy. It’s the only question remaining for Jackson.
THE OUTER CIRCLE OF TRUST 7. Joe Burrow (Bengals): Remember, this is right now, and right now Burrow is not 100 percent. 8. Jared Goff (Lions): Scoff all you want, but Goff hasn’t had a truly bad game since November (yes, that’s almost a year ago) … and has thrown 19 TDs vs. 1 INT in his past 11 games. 9. Kirk Cousins (Vikings): Has thrown six TDs to one interception, completing 73% of his passes, is third in the league in yards per attempt and yet the Vikings are 0-2. It’s not his fault. 10. Dak Prescott (Cowboys): Hasn’t had to do a whole lot so far for the Cowboys to be 2-0. 11. Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars): Great one week, average the next. This is becoming a pattern for Lawrence. 12. Justin Herbert (Chargers): Apparently needs to be absolutely perfect for the Chargers to win.
THE CIRCLE OF MAYBE 13. Geno Smith (Seahawks): Helps that he’s throwing to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. T14. Matthew Stafford (Rams)/Jimmy Garoppolo (Raiders)/Derek Carr (Saints): They’re basically the same, right? Smart, veteran QBs who give their teams some hope. Some, not a lot. 17. Baker Mayfield (Buccaneers): Career revival in Tampa Bay? We’ll see after he faces the Eagles' defense Monday night. But so far, so very good. 18. Jordan Love (Packers): Better than expected, but an 0-for-5 fourth quarter to allow Atlanta to rally was a reality check. 19. Ryan Tannehill (Titans): Could be on the bench by the end of October or leading the Titans into the playoffs come January. Lot of room here.
THE CIRCLE OF TBD 20. Anthony Richardson (Colts): Looking better as a rookie QB in the NFL than he did in his final season in college. 21. C.J. Stroud (Texans): Only one QB has thrown more passes this season (Mac Jones), and yet Stroud has not thrown a pick. That’s worth something for a rookie. 22. Sam Howell (Commanders): Remember, Howell was viewed as a first-round talent going into his junior year at North Carolina. There could be something here. 23. Joshua Dobbs (Cardinals): Thrown into the fire of one of the league’s worst teams, Dobbs has acquitted himself well. Not well enough to make Arizona forget about Caleb Williams, but respectable.
THE CIRCLE OF DISTRUST 24. Deshaun Watson (Browns): Is not the same player he was in Houston. He got a pass last season for the rust, but he hasn't been any better so far in 2023. 25. Russell Wilson (Broncos): Think the Broncos wish they could have those first-round draft picks back? 26. Daniel Jones (Giants): Fun fact — Jones hasn’t thrown more than two TD passes in a game since 2019. He is what he is, which is a serviceable QB who will take the Giants only so far. 27. Kenny Pickett (Steelers): They really want to make him work in Pittsburgh, but so far there haven’t been enough highs to offset the lows. 28. Mac Jones (Patriots): He was never going to be Brady, but the Patriots would have settled for “Brady’s replacement.” Jones isn’t even that. 29. Desmond Ridder (Falcons): Does what he’s asked to do, but he’s not asked to do much. 30. Bryce Young (Panthers): Get him some talent to throw to and then we’ll talk. 31. Zach Wilson (Jets): Are Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh ready to make a move yet? 32. Justin Fields (Bears): Let’s just say it now that’s he’s not throwing or running: worst QB in the league, with a a whole lot of garbage-time fantasy points.