NFL News & Analysis

Strongest, weakest NFL position groups after the 2023 NFL Draft and free agency

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (center) is congratulated by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83), running back Joe Mixon (28) and wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) after a touchdown catch in the first quarter during the first quarter during an AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

As we head toward the 2023 NFL season, there aren’t too many notable moves left to be made. While there are some free agents still available that would play significant roles on the teams they land with, these are largely the rosters that teams will carry into the preseason.

Here, we take a look at three of the strongest and weakest position groups at this stage in the offseason.


Cincinnati Bengals WRs

The Bengals rostered two of PFF’s 24 highest-graded wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase (83.9, 12th) and Tee Higgins (78.4, tied 24th) in 2022, with both also ranking inside the top 11 the previous year. Then there is Tyler Boyd, who ranked fifth in the NFL with 688 yards from the slot and dropped just one of his 51 catchable targets when lined up inside. Rookies Charlie Jones and Andrei Iosivas join Trenton Irwin in reserve, making for arguably the best group in the NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles OL

If there’s a question on the Eagles' offensive line, it’s whether second-year center Cam Jurgens, the heir apparent to Jason Kelce, can be a guard in the NFL. If he can, he joins a group that boasts the second-highest-graded center in football in Kelce and the second-highest-graded offensive tackle in pass protection in Lane Johnson. Meanwhile, left tackle Jordan Mailata’s 81.7 PFF grade ranked ninth best among all offensive tackles, and Landon Dickerson placed ninth among guards with a 78.7 PFF pass-blocking grade.

San Francisco 49ers LBs

Of the 60 linebackers to play 500-plus snaps in the regular season and playoffs last year, the second- and ninth-best players in terms of PFF grade reside in San Francisco. Fred Warner is the standout, earning an 89.7 PFF run-defense grade that ranked fourth at the position, and an 80.4 PFF coverage grade that ranked sixth. His teammate Dre Greenlaw beat him to fifth with an 82.6 PFF coverage grade and missed just 6.7% of the tackles he attempted. Backup Oren Burks played only 177 snaps but still posted a 78.9 PFF grade.


Tennessee Titans OL

The Titans finished the 2022 season with PFF's lowest-ranked offensive line and, while Peter Skoronski should be an immediate starter, their other big splash was signing Andre Dillard in free agency, who is likely to play left tackle. Dillard played just 736 snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles after they drafted him with the 22nd overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Aaron Brewer played 1,031 snaps a year ago but has posted PFF pass-blocking grades below 50.0 in each of the past two seasons, while Daniel Brunskill has graded between 57.0 and 73.0 in all four of his NFL seasons. Hopes may be high for an improvement from right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, but his 95.8 PFF pass-blocking efficiency rating was the 10th worst among tackles to play at least 500 snaps last season.

Houston Texans WRs

The caveat here should be that the Texans have a collection of wide receivers with potential; it’s just hard to see who you would put your faith in emerging into a force from the group. Between Nico Collins, John Metchie III, Robert Woods, Xavier Hutchinson, Noah Brown and Tank Dell, they don’t have a wide receiver who produced 600 receiving yards in the NFL last season.

With offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik joining head coach DeMeco Ryans in the move from San Francisco, it’s not out of the question that they can scheme up some success here. But on paper, it’s a weak group.

Los Angeles Rams DBs

The Rams traded away star cornerback Jalen Ramsey in a move that indicated a rebuild — or, at best, a significant retooling — in Los Angeles. Ramsey was the fourth-highest-graded cornerback in the NFL last season and led the position with a 91.8 PFF run-defense grade.

Right now, the Rams' projected starters at cornerback and safety are Derion Kendrick, Robert Rochell, Cobie Durant, Jordan Fuller and Russ Yeast. Of those five, none played 300-plus snaps and posted a PFF grade above 50.0 last season. Durant was the highest graded of the bunch, but his 73.3 PFF grade came on just 281 snaps. Kendrick’s 43.7 PFF grade was the second lowest among all cornerbacks to play 300-plus snaps.

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