You can have all the offseason hype you want, but if you don't have the QB position figured out in today's NFL, you're basically nothing. The 2015 Denver Broncos, which won the Super Bowl thanks largely to their opportunistic offense and historically dominant defense, were an outlier. If you want to win it all in today's NFL, you have to have a QB who can outscore Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts in January/February. The Denver Broncos have a QB who has won a Super Bowl in Russell Wilson, but we only saw a shell of Russ in 2022.
Because of that, we saw the team add Jarrett Stidham in free agency on a two-year deal worth $10 million in total money. The question is, where do these players rank among the NFL's best in 2023?
How far has Russell Wilson fallen from his top-10 status of a year ago? Let's take a look around the league at the top 40 quarterbacks, their respective situations, and where they stand going into the 2023 season.
Top 40 NFL quarterbacks for the 2023 season
40. Will Levis, Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans needed a QB of the future and they now look to Will Levis to potentially be exactly that. Levis is talented, and as a former Ivy League recruit, he's got intangibles as well. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to put things together consistently enough on the field at Kentucky to land in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Still, I think he's landed in a pretty good situation there in Tennessee. The Titans are slightly rebuilding, but this team is going to emphasize building in the trenches and running the ball, which could make for a smoother path for Levis in the end. I think he's going to have a solid NFL career, even if he doesn't end up as a high-end starter.
39. Sam Howell, Washington Commanders
The Washington Commanders lured offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to town from the Kansas City Chiefs, and they are rolling with Sam Howell this season. At least, it seems that way. I didn't dislike Howell as a prospect coming out of North Carolina by any means. In fact, quite the opposite. But the fact remains, he was a fifth-round pick a year ago.
Is this really the best the Commanders could do at the QB1 spot for Bieniemy, who is undoubtedly trying to land a head coaching gig? It's a bold strategy, we'll see if it pays off for them.