NFL News & Analysis

Highest-graded quarterbacks from the 2023 NFL season: Josh Allen leads the way

2TC4JDR Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates after scoring during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Josh Allen stands atop the position: The Bills signal caller beat out 2023 league MVP Lamar Jackson as the highest-graded quarterback in the NFL.

Brock Purdy breaks into the top six: The 49ers quarterback improved his PFF grade by nearly 10 points in his second season, placing himself among the league’s best signal-callers.

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The 2023 NFL season was marked by phenomenal success at every level of the game, and the quarterback position produced plenty of stars, as is always the case.

These are the top 20 quarterbacks of the 2023 season by PFF grade.

1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills: 92.1

While Allen may have missed out on the league MVP, he captured the top spot on this list after orchestrating the highest-graded season of his career. The signal-caller showed elite dual-threat ability, finishing as the only quarterback to surpass an 88.0-plus grade as both a passer (88.5) and runner (91.4).

2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs: 90.5

While Mahomes had a productive regular season (85.1 PFF grade), it was his incredible performance in the playoffs that propelled him up this list. The MVP of Super Bowl 58 produced a phenomenal 91.7 offensive grade in the postseason, due largely to his ability to avoid mistakes, making just a single turnover-worthy play. Mahomes earned a negative grade on just 10% of his dropbacks this season, the lowest rate in the NFL.

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens: 90.4

The winner of the 2023 NFL MVP award — his second — Jackson was a dynamic weapon that opposing defenses largely struggled to contain. His 90.4 PFF grade this season surpassed even that of his 2019 MVP campaign (90.1). Outside of the pocket, Jackson was incredible, as expected, where he earned a 91.4 grade, ranking in the 92nd percentile at the position.

4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys: 90.0

Prescott has earned his place among the league’s elite arm talents, producing the best passing grade (87.0) of his career in 2023. The Cowboys quarterback finished as one of just two passers to earn a 90.0-plus passing grade in four or more games, including his impressive 95.3 output in Week 12, the highest of the 2023 season.

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5. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: 88.2

In his 15th season, Stafford continued to raise the bar of his play. His 86.0 passing grade this past year was the highest of his career, due in large part to his incredible play on late downs. When facing third or fourth down, the Rams signal-caller produced a 90.4 PFF grade, the second-highest mark at the position.

6. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers: 87.4

After his first full season as a starter, Purdy has already put himself among the league’s best quarterbacks. The young passer is particularly suited for Kyle Shanahan’s system, having excelled on run action, where he earned a 94.0 grade (86th percentile). Additionally, he excelled when unpressured, having earned the fifth-highest PFF grade (92.7) from a clean pocket.

7. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins: 86.9

Despite criticisms of his arm strength in the past, Tagovailoa has continued to show marked improvement every year of his career, culminating in his league-leading passing grade (88.6) in 2023. The Dolphins passer managed to produce a positively graded throw on 28.8% of his dropbacks, placing him in the 95th percentile.

8. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles: 86.7

Hurts had another fantastic season, despite perceived struggles within the offense. He was outstanding on late downs, earning the third-highest PFF grade (88.4) among quarterbacks on third and fourth downs, highlighted by an incredible 90.7 rushing grade.

9. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: 86.1

Despite going down in Week 8 with an injury, Cousins was off to one of the best starts to a season of his career. His 85.1 passing grade through Week 8 was the fifth-highest mark in the league, and he also threw 18 touchdowns — tied for most in the NFL at the time.

10. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions: 85.7

Goff’s incredible run this season amounted to the highest-graded performance of his career. The Lions passer set career marks in turnover-worthy play rate (2.4%), helping to limit his overall rate of negatively graded throws to just 12.2% — an 81st-percentile figure among quarterbacks.

11. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers: 85.5

Herbert dealt with significant adversity in 2023 yet still managed to produce at a high level. The Chargers signal caller was incredible against pressure, producing a 90th-percentile 72.9 PFF grade.

12. Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers: 83.6

Love closed out his first full season as the Packers starter as strong as anyone at the position. From Week 12 through the postseason, Love earned a league-leading 90.9 passing grade, highlighted by 21 big-time throws, tied with Josh Allen for most over that span.

13. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans: 83.1

The 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year was one of the most aggressive passers passers in the NFL. Stroud led the league in percentage of attempts past the sticks (46.7%) and earned a 94.7 PFF grade on such plays, placing him in the 87th percentile.

14. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks: 82.9

Smith’s resurgence with the Seahawks continued in 2023, as he set career marks in several facets. Geno was particularly efficient on early downs, where he earned an 88.3 PFF grade, which placed him in the 95th percentile among passers.

15. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: 79.7

The former first-overall pick made strides in his third year. Lawrence finished 2023 with a 5.8% big-time throw rate — tied for seventh among quarterbacks and ranking first in his career.

16. Jake Browning, Cincinnati Bengals: 79.3

After taking over for the injured Joe Burrow in Week 11, Browning stepped in and produced well as the starter. When things were running smoothly and Browning was left with a clean pocket, he earned a 92.7 PFF grade, which tied for fifth at the position.

17. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: 77.9

Burrow’s season was marred by adversity before being cut short due to injury in Week 11. He was effective in his limited time on the field. PFF IQ rated Burrow in the 90th percentile or higher in under-pressure grade (90th), outside-the-pocket grade (95th), and third-and-fourth-down grade (93rd).

18. Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos: 77.5

The Broncos quarterback saw improvements in his second year at the helm of Denver’s offense. Wilson’s 5.6% big-time throw rate ranked ninth among qualifying passers, and he also recorded the fourth-highest adjusted completion percentage (78.8%) in the league.

T-19. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 77.2

Mayfield’s resurgence in 2023 was due in no small part to his aggressive nature as a passer. The Bucs quarterback amassed 30 big-time throws and threw 42.5% of his passing attempts past the sticks, both of which rank in the top 12 among qualifying passers.

T-19. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints: 77.2

The veteran quarterback was effective in his first season in New Orleans. He limited mistakes overall, producing a negatively graded throw on just 12.4% of his dropbacks. Carr’s 2.3% turnover-worthy play rate also ranked as the second-best figure of his career.


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