When analyzing NFL rosters, it's important to remember that it's all relative. It's easy to say a team is in "good shape" or is "loaded" at a particular position, but the fact is, each unit is only as good as it is relative to the league's other 31 teams.
That might seem like common sense, but it's surprising what you can learn and how your opinions are adjusted by objectively grading and/or ranking each positional unit of all 32 teams. This is a project I have done (and updated) each of the past several offseasons -- which has led to many interesting revelations, including the likely breakouts of teams such as the 2016 Raiders, 2017 Jaguars, 2017 Eagles, 2018 Browns, 2020 Buccaneers and 2022 Eagles.
Here are position-by-position unit rankings for all 32 teams covering the 10 key offensive and defensive positions. At the end, an overall ranking is shown, which is a weighted consensus based on positional importance. For example, being elite at quarterback is obviously more important than being elite at running back.
Also included for each position is a brief outlook on the best and shakiest units, as well as one intriguing unit worth keeping a close eye on. Note that these are 2023 rankings, not long-term outlooks.
Let's take a look, starting at QB:
Best: Kansas City Chiefs
We'll kick this thing off with an uncontested layup. Patrick Mahomes has won the league MVP, Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP two times each. He achieved all three last season without wide receiver Tyreek Hill (who was traded to the Miami Dolphins), cementing Mahomes as the league's best player. At only 27 years old, Mahomes' dominant reign is far from over. Longtime backup Chad Henne retired this offseason, so the Chiefs added veteran Blaine Gabbert to back up Mahomes.
Shakiest: Washington Commanders
Washington seems to have an eyebrow-raising amount of confidence in Sam Howell -- a 2022 fifth-round pick who attempted 19 passes as a rookie. Perhaps the Commanders have found a diamond in the rough, but he's obviously an unknown. Jacoby Brissett was brought in as veteran competition and while he's coming off a career year, the 30-year-old is more stopgap than solid starter.
Unit to watch: Pittsburgh Steelers
Year 2 is the breakout season for quarterbacks and Kenny Pickett was the only QB selected in the first round in 2022. The Pitt product underwhelmed as a rookie, but that's been the case for many QBs who went on to emerge as good-to-great pro starters. The Pittsburgh offense was better than the scoreboard suggested last season (18th in offensive EPA) and added some upgrades during the offseason, including guard Isaac Seumalo and WR Allen Robinson II.