2022 NFL Quarterback Levels: Here’s where your starting squad fits into franchises, placeholders and more

We’d never seen him be as wild as an off-season quarterback like this. We barely made it past the draft, and many of the transactions related to the background section were staggering, both in trade and contracts.

It remains unclear where Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield will play next season, or when any of the rookie picks will be under position in the regular season game. There’s still a lot we don’t know about Lamar Jackson’s future – entering the final year of his deal – or what Russell Wilson might eventually earn on his inevitable contract extension. It looks like the AFC is loaded. NFC seems to be more open. The changing landscape in the quarterback has a lot to do with that.

If your team doesn’t have a first-class quarterback, they probably won’t have a real chance of competing in 2022. They’re the best of the equation. They are essential in the modern game. Just look at the recent promotions the Pirates and Rams made to this position in the Lombardy Cup the following year. It tells you everything you want to know.

Which brings us to what has become my annual May ritual. My look at initially expected NFL quarterbacks, and my attempt to stack and rank them. It is definitely inaccurate. But I think it serves a purpose. I use the same classes I do every year (only, this year, I’ve found that some of the old standby lists don’t apply). The field is weakened, in my estimation. The middle class seems to be evaporating, and the extremism among the best in the profession and plentiful of teams fooling themselves by running out of freshmen who aren’t up to the task seem bigger than they have been in recent years.

So with that away – here it goes. My 2022 QB levels.

Level 1: Bona Fide QBs franchise

2021: Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, Deshaun Watson
2022: Mahomes, Brady, Rodgers, Jackson, Allen, Wilson, Herbert, Joe Burr, Matt Stafford

So Brady was about to come out of this class…but then he ended his very short retirement. At some point he and Rogers will hit a wall and collapse I guess, but who knows when that will come. Both were MVP nominees, once again. Allen comes in on a great season, the Mahomes is the Mahomes and Wilson’s got the change of scenery he’s been looking for and will turn the Broncos into contenders. Herbert has all the tools for the big win and will start putting more Ws together this season.

The only reason Burrow isn’t on this list this time last year is because he was recovering from major knee surgery. It was fair to wonder when he would make a full comeback and when he would beat the mental and physical aspect of the process, not to mention having to play behind a lousy attacking line. Well, we all know how it went. Amazing. And for years people would look at this pillar and tear me down because Stafford is so high in their esteem. People thought I overestimated him. Ask Sean McVeigh about it.

As for Deshaun Watson’s exit from this level, I have a few ideas. More on that here.

Level 2: Top Pros, Proven Winners

2021: Matt Ryan Stafford Ryan Tanehill Duck Prescott Baker Mayfield
2022: Ryan, Watson

Yes, even for some thinning things. reflected here. Who in this group a year ago took something close to a step forward last year outside of Stafford? Watson’s legal and civil struggles are well documented, and while he finally has a new team, he’ll end up handicapped for at least part of the season. This is not a franchise of the QB stuff. At least in the short term. I have serious reservations about him returning immediately at his best, and I wonder if he will remain mentally the same after what we know about him now, and his general decision gives me great pause.

I don’t think it just clicks a switch and goes back to how it was before. Maybe back there. Maybe he didn’t.

Ryan is in a better position to win this season with the Colts than he has been in years in Atlanta. So it stayed. But for the rest of last year, I have concerns. Duck had a good cast around him for a year as he probably ever is, and he was as far from turning into an offense. Tannehill’s best chance of winning big in Nashville is behind him, and his successor is now on the roster and there is some post-enlistment controversy. Not great. And the longer Mayfield was outside of Cleveland, it would be because the owner of Brown paid more than half of his salary to facilitate trade/salary dumping. I inhaled this a year ago. Be wiser about it now.

Level 3: Rising Stars

2021: Borough, Trevor Lawrence, Keeler Murray
2022: no thing

I’ve been very lenient with this category as well. Lawrence the Photographer was such a talent that even a stuttering and careless Urban Mayer couldn’t spoil him. Boy, was I wrong? What a lost year and what ways to go before he gets to where so many of us have surveyed him. Having a real Doug Pederson coach would help, but I’ve had to see a lot more than a year ago.

And Murray has been pretty far off the season so far. Terrible post-season performance after that foul slipped down the extension. Horrible numbers without DeAndre Hopkins, who was suspended for the first six games. And be careful what you wish for thinking that Hollywood Brown would fill that void. So, yes, I have some concerns. And there is no other young midfielder from the last few drafts that I would expect to be on the cusp of greatness, with Herbert and Burrow already breaking through.

Level 4: You can win the topic

2021: Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Wentz
2022: Car Cousins ​​Tanehill Prescott Murray James Winston Galen Hurts McJones Toa Tagoviloa

You can reach the playoffs with these players and a decent support staff. But they don’t put a team on their back and keep it there. They will not have significant historical seasons. They will do enough to keep teams paying them well, but they will leave you deficient when the stakes rise.

From the set, I think Carr, now in the hands of Josh McDaniels and with his college buddy Davante Adams in the fold, could take another big step. I think the dolphins have put great speed and talent in Towa. Jones made it to the playoffs as a rookie worth putting here, though I’m wondering about the real high potential. Oh, and Winston was on his way to a strong season when he was injured a year ago and his recovery appears to be going well, with a rival team around him. Their cousins ​​got another foolproof bag, but that’s what it is at this point.

Level 5: Men, Veterans, and Placeholders

2021: Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Teddy Bridgewater, Winston
2022: no thing

I just don’t see that class exist anymore. Not this year. Garoppolo and Mayfield would find themselves here, but neither of them are in a position to start. I may need to leave it from now on. We may not need it. I see a lot of other sites to put these QBs this time around.

Level 6: Good luck

2021: Ben Roethlisberger, Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Andy Dalton
2022: Goff, Wentz, Drew Luke, Jones, Justin Fields, Marcus Mariota, Darnold, Mitch Trubesky

This is a forbidden land. Many of the previous best options are represented here. It’s where overdrafted QBs head to expiration. Some much sooner than ever. False hopes and dreams abound here, folks.

Most of these guys won’t start by this time next year. Many will be out of the start of the season by the middle of the season. But for now, they’re sitting on top of the depth chart and likely will when the first week rolls around as well. I dread for Fields, who has such bare support around him that one might wonder if the front office wants him to fail. The Giants had no choice but to opt out of the fifth year option over Jones, but that might also work to bring out his worst.

I don’t see Wentz flip anything in Washington. Goff is just waiting for his time due to his bloated contract. Darnold looked completely devastated a year ago. Mariota is not healthy for long.

Level 7: The jury is out

2021: Tagoviloa, Zach Wilson, McJones, Hurts
2022: Wilson, Lawrence, Trey Lance, Davis Mills

Lawrence might get where everyone thought it was. But things don’t work out in Jacksonville, so let’s see it first. Lance would receive an indoctrination in San Francisco to replace Jimmy J if he had to do so without Depo Samuel. They have to work on it. However, he’s been playing little football for the past couple of years and we’re really expecting here.

Wilson had plenty of failures, and some ups, having immediately played as a rookie. I’m old enough to remember fans screaming for Mike White on top of him. Things have a way of not working with planes, much like Jags. They’ve added a lot of talent in New York, so excuses will diminish. Of all these guys, Mills looked the best last year. I’m not sure if his ceiling is too high, but he certainly showed enough a year ago to deserve a longer look at Houston this year.

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