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NFL Quarterback Rankings for 2022

Aaron Rodgers

With a fourth MVP (the last two coming back-to-back), Aaron Rodgers has entered rarefied air and has established himself as the best at his position

As much as the NFL changes, one thing seems to stay the same — quarterback remains the most important position. There's a reason that 14 of the past 15 league MVPs have been quarterbacks.

And when it comes to quarterbacks, the list of the top signal-callers entering the 2022 season starts with Aaron Rodgers, the reigning back-to-back MVP who has claimed the honor four times overall. The only other player with more is five-time winner Tom Brady, who is No. 3. In between the future Hall of Famers is Josh Allen, the guy many pundits think could claim his first MVP this season as his Buffalo Bills are among the Super Bowl favorites.

After Rodgers, Brady and Allen is Patrick Mahomes, who already has a league (2018) and Super Bowl MVP (LIV) trophy to his name, even though he'll turn 27 shortly after the season starts. There's more youth on this list with Joe Burrow, who opened many eyes by leading his Cincinnati Bengals to the most recent Super Bowl, and Justin Herbert representing but also plenty of elder statesmen, such as Matthew Stafford, who helped the Los Angeles Rams claim the most recent Lombardi Trophy, and Russell Wilson, who is re-energized following his offseason trade from Seattle to Denver.

In fact, several signal-callers were on the move this offseason, so plenty of attention will be paid to see how Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and Marcus Mariota fare with their new teams, but the headliner of the "familiar faces, new places" group is, of course, Deshaun Watson in Cleveland.

And as far as "who's next" goes, Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Davis Mills, and Trey Lance (unranked) lead a large group of second-year quarterbacks that could take significant steps forward this season, or at least that what's their teams and fan bases certainly hope will happen.

Athlon's player rankings are just one of the features that appear in the 2022 Pro Football magazine.

2022 NFL Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I OL I DL I LB I DB I Top 50

2022 NFL Quarterback Rankings

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

The back-to-back NFL MVP and now four-time winner led the league in passer rating (111.9) while throwing only four interceptions to 37 touchdowns. Rodgers enters the 2022 season with a new contract, but minus one of the most explosive receiving weapons in the league, Davante Adams, traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. Rodgers will have to prove he can win an MVP and maybe, finally, a playoff game with a less talented receiving corps. But until someone knocks him off the MVP throne, Rodgers, at 38, is still the lead dog.

2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Allen, the league’s current trendsetter at the position, did everything in his control to win every contest in 2021. He has a bazooka arm that can make all the throws, while also possessing the speed and stature to pick up yards with his legs. Allen may never be the most accurate passer, but his ability to extend plays with power and toughness makes him an uncommon matchup problem for any defensive coordinator. With enhanced weapons in 2022, all that is left for Allen to do is to lead his team to the Super Bowl.

3. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Every year, the league waits for Father Time to do what NFL defenses can’t do: Stop Tom Brady. Even retirement took a whack at Brady this offseason and whiffed. Brady played at an MVP level in 2021, and with similar weapons back again for a third season in Tampa, he doesn’t project to shrink back to the pack. The crafty veteran will never be mistaken for having Justin Timberlake moves, but his subtlety in the pocket led to only 22 sacks last season. Another year in this wide-open offense should mean another deep run into the playoffs.

4. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

The former Super Bowl champion’s step-back year in 2021 (even with 37 touchdown passes) sets him up for a bounce-back year in 2022. In terms of a regression, almost every other quarterback in the NFL would beg for Mahomes’ season to be theirs. Arm talent, creativity and deception are keys to Mahomes’ brilliance.

5. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow led the Bengals to the Super Bowl with multiple late-season heroics. He wins with league-leading accuracy (70.4 percent), impressive considering he had 15 passes over 40-plus yards (tied for second in the NFL). With an upgraded offensive line and another year removed from his torn ACL, Joe Cool 2.0 is looking to repeat his torrid pace in 2022.

6. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

A 5,000-yard passer in 2021, Herbert proved his rookie year wasn’t a fluke. The Oregon product has a cannon for an arm and has shown the ability to move the pocket, progress to his secondary receivers and throw a very catchable football. The next step in Herbert’s maturation is to take his team deeper into the playoffs and to a Super Bowl.

7. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

Stafford finally found a team that could match his grit. The reigning Super Bowl champion finished the season second in the NFL with 41 TD passes. Stafford played world-class football when the lights were the brightest in the playoffs. With one of the league’s top receiving corps and another offseason in the Sean McVay offense, Stafford should flourish again.

8. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Wilson follows in the footsteps of another Super Bowl champ (Peyton Manning) who brought his game to Denver. Wilson’s talent is unquestioned, and his addition to the Broncos immediately vaults the team into the AFC West title discussion. Wilson had a down 2021 in terms of passing yards and TDs, but his accuracy, touch and pocket presence have never been better.

9. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

The simple fact that Carr was gift-wrapped wide receiver Davante Adams in a trade this offseason should help Carr’s stats skyrocket. Add an innovative play-caller and coach in Josh McDaniels, and Carr should continue to ascend. Carr leads all returning quarterbacks with six game-winning drives, so he has the fortitude and resilience to stay in the fight.

10. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Prescott finished seventh in the NFL in passing yards (4,449) and tied for fourth in touchdown passes (37). But he still lacks signature wins. He needs to find a way to elevate his team, or he is destined to be in the Hall of Very Good NFL QBs for his career.

11. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
12. Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
13. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
14. Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
15. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
16. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
17. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
18. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
19. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
20. Mac Jones, New England Patriots
21. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
22. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
23. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
24. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
25. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
26. Daniel Jones, New York Giants
27. Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders
28. Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
29. Zach Wilson, New York Jets
30. Davis Mills, Houston Texans