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 all positions 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.
Here's how our process works: Voters give us their 10 best players at a position, then we compile the results and rank candidates based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, along with dozens of interviews, research and film study 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 right now 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).
To say the NFL is entering a new golden era of quarterback play isn't overselling it. With Drew Brees and Tom Brady retiring in back-to-back years and Aaron Rodgers not far behind, six of the top seven quarterbacks in the NFL are 27 years old or younger. They all are armed with $200 million-plus contracts -- or could be in the next three months. And they are all dual threats to varying degrees, effectively putting the traditional "statue" pocket passer to rest.
While last year's rankings showed a depth problem at the position, the emergence of two young quarterbacks debuting in the top 10 and several veterans improving their play in 2022 has strengthened the pool. This made for a highly competitive voting process, especially for the 10th spot.
Let's look at some of the game's top QBs as ranked by execs, coaches, scouts and players around the NFL.