NFL training camps are fast approaching, which means it is again time for the league's true insiders to have their say. As part of ESPN's 2023 NFL season preview, we surveyed league executives, coaches, scouts and players to help us rank the top 10 players at 11 different positions, from quarterback to cornerback and everything in-between. This is the fourth edition of these rankings, and as usual, several players have moved up or fallen off last year's lists.
By way of refresher, here's how our process works: Voters give us their best 10 players at a position, then we compile the results and rank candidates based on number of top-10 votes, the composite average, dozens of interviews, research and film study help from ESPN NFL analyst Matt Bowen. In total, more than 80 voters submitted a ballot on at least one position, and in many cases all positions. We had several ties, so we broke them with the help of additional voting and follow-up calls with those surveyed.
Each section includes quotes and nuggets from the voters on every ranked player -- even the honorable mentions. The objective is to identify the best players for 2023. This is not a five-year projection or a career achievement award. Who are the best players today? Check out who makes the list at every position on ESPN+.
We will roll out a position per day over 11 days. The schedule: Off-ball linebackers (July 8), defensive tackles (July 9), edge rushers (July 10), cornerbacks (July 11), safeties (July 12), tight ends (July 13), running backs (July 14), offensive tackles (July 15), guards and centers (July 16), quarterbacks (July 17) and wide receivers (July 18).
This year's tackle rankings marked a true changing of the guard (oops, wrong position). While last year's group featured five 30-somethings, this year features just two -- and five emerging stars 24 or younger. The notion that young offensive tackles enter the league with less refinement and skill because of basic college offenses doesn't apply to the 2021 draft class, which features prominently here. A lot of former All-Pros and top-10 staples landed in the honorable mentions.
Let's look at some of the game's top offensive tackles as ranked by execs, coaches, scouts and players around the NFL.