NFL QB Rankings are never an easy thing to produce, and when a ton of them have new homes following a crazy offseason it’s even harder.
Given these guys are almost certain to carry off one of the biggest individual prizes of all – league MVP honors – it makes sense to give you an idea of where they rank.
NFL QB Power Rankings 2022
Our rankings are based purely on ability and production, we have no inbuilt bias. Our list is made up of who looks like being the 32 men starting on opening day. Things are likely to change in the coming months and we will update our list to reflect that.
As we head out of free agency and into the Draft, here is where we believe the landscape lies. For teams who do not have a designated starter, we’ve projected what we believe things could look like on opening day:
32. Sam Darnold (Carolina Panthers)
Okay, we can’t blame it on the Jets any more. After a promising start in Carolina in 2021, Darnold regressed to become the Sam we saw in the Big Apple. A deer in the headlights and ultimately a huge disappointment. We are staggered Carolina has not upgraded yet, but with limited options remaining Darnold could yet start in Week 1.
31. Jared Goff (Detroit Lions)
This feels a little bit harsh, but the fact the Rams effectively paid the Lions to take him as part of that blockbusting Matthew Stafford trade should tell you all you need to know. Likely set for a career as a journeyman backup once the Lions eventually find THEIR GUY for the longterm.
30. Mitchell Trubisky (Pittsburgh Steelers)
We are mystified as to how a guy can improve at the QB position by standing on the sideline for a year holding a clipboard. The Mitchell Trubisky rehabilitation storyline though was loud during the offseason, and it resulted in him getting a two-year opportunity to replace Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Mitch does have a winning record in the pros – we should not forget that – but we also should not forget how the Bears ditched him.
29. Davis Mills (Houston Texans)
Mills could be in the high teens on the list by the end of 2022, or he could be #32. The third-round pick exceeded expectations during 2021 on an awful team which showed little quit. It now appears he will at least get a shot to prove he can be a longterm answer down in Texas. The odds though are against him being the real deal.
28. Marcus Mariota (Atlanta Falcons)
File Mariota in that same drawer as Trubisky. Used as a gadget to spell Derek Carr during his time with the Raiders, the memory of Marcus being the number 2 overall pick is a very distant one too. Gets the chance to replace Matt Ryan for the Falcons in 2022. It promises to be a rocky ride.
27. Carson Wentz (Washington Commanders)
Every offseason Carson gets traded, and every time the price gets lower. Not a good sign, people. Now Wentz gets the ‘opportunity’ to become the answer in the nation’s capital, but this seems like a horrible fit for us. A man whose career appears to be dying heads for a team which has been doing so for 20 years.
26. Zach Wilson (New York Jets)
Zach could still be a star – we just have not seen nearly enough yet to guarantee us of that fact. Injury derailed Wilson’s rookie season and the Jets have done a really nice job in free agency of upgrading the talent around him. Year 2 will be the acid test and we wait to see the results.
25. Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers)
Lance fits into a similar box as Zach Wilson. He has talent that made pro scouts drool coming out college. Enough to make the Niners trade to move up and get him in the draft. But again we have not seen enough yet to rank him higher on this list. He’d better be as advertised in Year 2 or San Fran is wasting it’s Super Bowl window.
24. Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins)
We’re slightly worried about Tua in that the more we see of him, the more underwhelmed we are. His game just seems to be pretty limited and it feels like Year 3 will either see a renaissance with Mike McDaniel at the helm or the end in Miami for the former Alabama standout. The fact the Fish went after Deshaun Watson before the 2021 trade deadline was not a good sign.
23. Justin Fields (Chicago Bears)
Another of the rookie class who flattered to deceive in 2021, but at least we got a bigger sample size than we did for the likes of Lance and Zach Wilson. The Bears need coaching stability and a good supporting cast now. The loss of Allen Robinson doesn’t feel like a great start. Tough sledding awaits for the former Ohio State man.
22. Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Lawrence was seen as a generational talent coming out of college, but he really struggled as a rookie in the pros. That has to be partly down to a horrible supporting cast and a horrible coaching situation which saw Urban Meyer fired before the season ended. Easy to argue Lawrence is too high at 22, but we retain faith that he has the ability to produce at a much higher level.
21. Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles)
We are firmly of the belief that Philadelphia should have been exploring the possibility of bringing in a big name by packaging those three first-round picks it owns in 2022. It appears Hurts will go into the season as the starter though and with the Eagles in a great position to beef up a talented roster, there will be no excuse in Year 3. A team which was a surprise postseason participant in 2021 will be expected to be back again this year.
20. Daniel Jones (New York Giants)
Daniel Jones might be one of the unluckiest QBs around, beset as he has been by injuries and also a horrible revolving door of coaches and talent in East Rutherford. Brian Daboll and the new regime are reportedly all in on trying to give Jones a real chance in 2022 – but it is highly likely to be his last.
19. Mac Jones (New England Patriots)
Jones had easily the best rookie season of the class of 2021 – leading the Pats on a seven-game win streak en route to a playoff berth. Not spectacular but limits mistakes and manages the game well. Hiccups late in the season and underwhelming postseason play means we are not fully bought in yet though, and the ceiling for Mac is likely to be lower than for some of the other young guns.
18. Baker Mayfield (Seattle Seahawks)
As in the case of Lawrence, you could argue Baker is too high here. But we believe his regression in 2021 was aleast partly down to the questionable decision to play through a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. We expect Mayfield to be traded now, and likely to the Seahawks. A good landing spot for a player with much to prove in his crucial fifth year.
17. Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints)
Jameis is much-maligned, but all he’s done in the Big Easy is throw off that reputation as a turnover machine. He was on course to an excellent year in 2021 before a devastating knee injury wrecked his campaign early. He returns for the Saints in 2022 and assuming a full recovery we expect further progression.
16. Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings)
The absolute middle of the pack – hated by some, loved by others and handsomely paid. With a one-year contract extension in his back pocket (fully guaranteed, obvs) Kirk will be expected to get more out of his terrific offensive weapons in 2022 after the departure of HC Mike Zimmer and his replacement by Kevin O’Connell.
15. Matt Ryan (Indianapolis Colts)
That trade from the Falcons to the Colts gives Ryan the chance to prove that he is not washed up at the age of 36. The chance to play behind an excellent line with a fine running game – and in a dome – is mana from heaven for ‘Matty Ice’. He still has the potential to take a team deep into the playoffs, now he gets the chance to prove it.
14. Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee Titans)
Nothing short of a revelation since getting a second shot at NFL stardom in Tennessee. But the signs are he’ll never go much higher than this. The Titans will hopefully never again ask him to win games on his own with Derrick Henry healthy again. That is a good thing.
13. Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders)
Much-maligned, and often unfairly so. Carr proved again in 2021 that he is absolutely a serviceable starter in the NFL as he led the Raiders to a playoff berth. It’s likely he will now get a big contract extension and he also gets a shiny new toy in the freshly acquired WR1 Davante Adams. Can he take the next step? We’ll find out in 2022.
12. Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals)
An electric talent, but one who regressed along with his team in 2021 after a terrific start to the season. The way Kyler and the Cards capitulated (again) late in the year was worrying, as was his apparent Cold War with the Arizona front office after it all went south. Still has plenty to prove heading into 2022.
11. Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)
Former league MVP Lamar has something to prove heading into 2022 after a couple of down years by his own lofty standards. On his day an electrifying talent, that day needs to happen regularly once again. There were many factors in his falling production in 2021, but he needs to show that was just a blip.
10. Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos)
Once absolutely in that top bracket of elite NFL QBs, there are some question marks about Russ as he starts afresh in Denver. Was his dropoff in 2021 purely down to the situation in Seattle? Or was Wilson himself part of the problem. Either way, there are no excuses now with a stacked cast of supporting weapons at his disposal.
9. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)
Pushing for a spot in the top five halfway through the 2021 season, things then went a little south for both Prescott and the Cowboys. The offense struggled down the stretch and then melted down in a playoff loss to the 49ers at JerryWorld. Prescott got paid with that $160million deal in 2021, but will he ever be the guy to put a team on his back? Or will he always be somebody who needs a strong supporting cast? The jury is out.
8. Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers)
The young man who has everything. A golden arm and all the intangibles, Herbert is a footballing God who again looked like a future great in 2021. He may have missed out on a posteason berth but the Chargers are loading up bigtime as his rookie window ticks down and the AFC West arms race in 2022 should be something to behold.
7. Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)
If that truncated rookie year in 2020 suggested Burrow could be really good, 2021 proved he can become great. Burrow put the Bengals on his back and led them to a first Super Bowl appearance in more than 30 years. Cincy has spent big to improve his offensive line – with better protection he’d likely already have a ring on his finger.
6. Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams)
So now we know – it was Detroit, it wasn’t Stafford. In his first year after that huge trade to the Rams, Stafford delivered a Super Bowl championship. The former number 1 overall pick really thrived in Sean McVay’s offense and the hunch is he’ll be even better in 2022.
5. Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns)
Sometimes a player like Watson increases in value by sitting on the sideline. that was certainly the case in 2021 as a string of desperate QB-needy teams came out of the season eager to pick up the former Clemson standout. Eventually Cleveland won the race by handing over three first-round picks and more to trade for him. There are of course concerns about a potential suspension and those 22 civil lawsuits hanging over Deshaun, but in terms of talent and production to date, he deserves his spot in the top five.
4. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
Many experts would have Mahomes at #1 on this list but it’s all about personal taste. He is an incredible talent but had a mixed year in 2021 which ended in the devastating disappointment of losing to the Bengals in the AFC Championship game. The signature moment was Mahomes throwing to Tyreek Hill in the flat with seconds remaining in the first half and the Chiefs threatening to extend their lead. The clock ran out and KC never really recovered from the missed opportunity. Pat has plenty to prove again in 2022.
3. Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)
After a stellar 2020, the big question mark about Josh Allen was whether it was a flash in the pain. Well Josh – with that six-year, $258million contract extension signed and delivered, was brilliant again as he led the Bills into the postseason. Even in that heartbreaking loss in Kansas City he was spectacular – so good that we are placing him above the guy who beat him that night.
2. Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Yes he’s 44, he’s been playing for 22 years, but sometimes the phrase ‘age before beauty’ is right. Brady is a serial winner – see seven Super Bowl rings – and he has shown limited signs of decline. A month ago he was retired but now he’s back and apparently with a pretty nice supporting cast. We have given up doubting the man.
1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
Rodgers will have a tough time staying on top of the list now that he has lost his best (and some would say only) weapon in that trade of Davante Adams to the Raiders. But Aaron now has what he wanted – $50million per year and the chance to go for a second ring in Green Bay. Coming off a repeat season as MVP, Rodgers is rightfully #1 but the next 12 months promise to be perhaps his biggest challenge yet.