The AFC West was expected to be the best quarterback division in NFL history heading into last season, but it turned out to just be top-heavy. The performances of both Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr fell painfully short, as did those two teams in general.
Each AFC West team made at least one move at the quarterback position in 2023, some of the moves bigger than others, of course. The Raiders moved on from Derek Carr in pretty dramatic fashion, while every other team adjusted its backup situation.
Where do all of the quarterbacks in the AFC West rank now that changes have been made? Is anyone unseating Patrick Mahomes this year? Let's rank the top 8 quarterbacks in the division heading into the 2023 season.
Ranking the top 8 AFC West quarterbacks worst to best in 2023
8. Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders
Our list begins with a rookie, the former Purdue signal-caller Aidan O'Connell. O'Connell has talent, but he's a Day 3 rookie draft pick and is obviously unproven. Furthermore, he's not exactly the most mobile quarterback in the division, which is fine as long as he can win from the pocket.
The Raiders obviously liked him a lot in the pre-draft process. They moved up to get him in the fourth round of the draft and he's since been accused of looking like "the actor playing Derek Carr in a movie about Davante Adams".
The internet is simply undefeated.
It's pretty brutal that they gave the guy Derek Carr's number right away, but I guess the Raiders weren't just going to up and retire that number, either.
7. Easton Stick, Los Angeles Chargers
Easton Stick has got to be the only quarterback in the AFC West with a career completion rate of 100 percent. He completed his only pass attempt as an NFL quarterback for four yards back in 2020.
I'm not even sure I am being accurate in placing him above Aidan O'Connell here, but Stick has at least been in the NFL for a handful of years at this point. Stick signed a one-year deal to return to the Chargers this offseason after his rookie deal ran out, which means the team is obviously pleased with what he brings to the quarterback room.
He's going to be one snap away from playing unless Max Duggan has an other-worldly training camp.