32 teams, 32 observations from 2023 NFL training camp and preseason

2M586AK Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. 26th Dec, 2022. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) sets in the pocket during NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Indiana. John Mersits/CSM/Alamy Live News

• The Bengals field a new-look safety unit: Dax Hill, Nick Scott, Tycen Anderson and Jordan Battle are set to replace free agency departures Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell.

• Chris Jones' holdout continues: He ranked seventh on PFF’s list of the 50 best players heading into the 2023 season, earning a career-high 92.3 overall grade in 2022.

• Justin Herbert has a chance to develop under a new offensive coordinator: After ranking near the bottom of the pack in average depth of target last season, Herbert should look to air it out more often under Kellen Moore.

Estimated Reading Time: 22 minutes

After months of draft, training camp and preseason talk, the NFL regular season kicks off in just a few days. With that in mind, let’s take one final look at training camp and preseason observations for all 32 teams.


ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

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Arizona Cardinals

New coach. New general manager. J.J. Watt retired. DeAndre Hopkins released. Kyler Murray out to begin the year. The Cardinals' rebuild is in full swing, and their win total of 4.5 (the lowest in the NFL) suggests 2023 is going to be a long year in the competitive NFC West.

The team traded 2020 eight overall pick Isaiah Simmons to the New York Giants for a seventh-round pick last week. Just a few hours later, they traded tackle Josh Jones — a top-20 tackle in PFF grade last season — to the Houston Texans.

There will be a lot of talk about USC quarterback Caleb Williams and the Cardinals over the next few months.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were the only team in the league to call runs more often than passes last season — something that seems inevitable again with rookie running back Bijan Robinson in the fold.

Robinson displayed elite athletic ability on his first preseason carry, making cuts and breaking a tackle on his way to a 12-yard gain and a first down. He broke David Montgomery’s PFF College record with 104 forced missed tackles last season and is up there with Adrian Peterson as the top running back prospect in the last 20 years.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have their most complete and dangerous offense since quarterback Lamar Jackson was drafted, a terrifying thought for opposing defenses.

Wide receiver Zay Flowers was one of the most impressive rookies at any camp around the league. He played one series against the Washington Commanders in the final preseason game, catching two passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. Odell Beckham Jr. signed as a free agent and is back in the mix after missing all of 2022. Rashod Bateman was limited to just 189 snaps last season and was activated from the PUP list earlier this month.

The much-improved Ravens receiving corps unit lands 15th in our rankings heading into the 2023 season.

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen has established himself among the upper echelon of elite quarterbacks in today’s NFL, earning overall grades of at least 90.3 in each of the past three seasons.

That said, there are still parts of his game that he can clean up, most notably pressure. Allen was responsible for 50% of the pressure that he saw in the two preseason games he played this year. For comparison, his 18.8% rate last season ranked 10th. Although it was a small sample size, it is something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are keeping right guard Austin Corbett on the PUP list, meaning he’ll miss at least the first four games of the regular season. Corbett has been a quality starter over the past three years, ranking among the top 22 guards in the NFL each season.

The team will move forward with rookie Chandler Zavala to begin the year. Zavala posted a 52.7 overall grade in the preseason across 43 snaps. Keeping No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young upright will be crucial to the team’s success this season, so the offensive line — in particular, right guard — will be something to monitor early on.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback Justin Fields ranked third in rushing grade last season (91.5 overall) but 31st in passing grade (54.4). Expectations are high for Fields entering his third year following the Bears' offseason acquisition of wide receiver DJ Moore.

Moore played just 15 snaps this preseason but racked up 102 yards and a touchdown on his limited snaps. He’s been one of the most productive receivers since entering the league in 2018, averaging 1,038 yards per season despite inconsistent quarterback play. The Bears will hope that Moore helps Fields make a third-year jump, similar to what Stefon Diggs did with Josh Allen in Buffalo, Tyreek Hill did with Tua Tagovailoa in Miami and A.J. Brown did with Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.

Cincinnati Bengals

2022 starting safeties Jessie Bates III (Atlanta Falcons) and Vonn Bell (Carolina Panthers) left via free agency and signed with new teams this season. Each player appeared in all 19 games (including playoffs) last year, racking up a combined 2,436 snaps between them.

Dax Hill was taken 31st overall in the 2022 NFL Draft but played just 150 snaps last season. He is expected to play an every-down role on defense in 2023 and showed well in the preseason (80.9 overall grade). Nick Scott is in his first year with the Bengals after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Rams and is also expected to start. Tycen Anderson (91.0 overall grade this preseason) and Jordan Battle help round out a revamped unit for the Super Bowl-contending Bengals.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns may have landed one of the steals of the draft in offensive tackle Dawand Jones. Jones fell to the fourth round (112th overall) despite his freakish 6-foot-8, 360-pound frame with a 7-foot-6 wingspan that broke the Senior Bowl record.

Jones played a league-high 148 pass-blocking snaps in the preseason, allowing just three total pressures (zero sacks). He didn’t let up a single sack or hit across 394 pass-blocking snaps last year at Ohio State.

Cleveland fielded one of the best offensive lines in the league prior to drafting Jones, so he will help bolster the depth up front in the short term and potentially take over and start down the line in the longer term.

Dallas Cowboys

The most important news that came out of Cowboys camp was when All-Pro left guard Zack Martin ended his 21-day holdout and returned to the team. The new contract bumped his salary from $27.5 million to more than $36 million across the next two years.

Martin has put together a Hall-of-Fame resume since being selected 16th overall in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s finished as a top-10 guard in every season he’s been in the league and eclipsed the 9,000-snap mark in Week 18 at Washington last year.

Martin being back in the fold solidifies the Cowboys' offensive line as one of the best in the NFL, landing sixth on our rankings back in June.

Denver Broncos

No team has been hit harder at the wide receiver position recently than the Broncos.

Tim Patrick missed all of last season with a torn right ACL and suffered an Achilles injury that will sideline him for the entire 2023 season. Patrick had 700-plus receiving yards in back-to-back seasons in 2020-2021, scoring 11 touchdowns in that time.

Jerry Jeudy will also be out for several weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams. The injury is concerning given the high risk for potential reaggravation when he returns to the team.

Earlier in the offseason, KJ Hamler announced he was stepping away from the NFL to be treated for a heart issue. The 2020 second-round pick has played in just 23 games over his first three seasons in the league.

Rookie Marvin Mims Jr. will be asked to step up in an every-down role alongside Courtland Sutton when the Broncos open their season on Sept. 10 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Detroit Lions

The Lions have one of the best wide receivers in the league in Amon-Ra St. Brown (90.7 overall grade in 2022, second among 113 qualifying wideouts). There are some questions, however, about who is next in line for targets coming into the 2023 season.

Jameson Williams is suspended for the first six games of the season and DJ Chark Jr. (502 yards in 11 games last season) is now with the Carolina Panthers.

Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has been taking first-team reps since day one of camp and has built chemistry with quarterback Jared Goff. LaPorta broke 20 tackles on 58 catches in 2022 and recorded 50-plus receptions and 600-plus receiving yards in 2021 and 2022 at Iowa.

If the Lions are going to end the longest active drought in the NFL without a postseason victory (1991), there’s a good chance LaPorta is a big reason why.

Green Bay Packers

All eyes are on Jordan Love as he steps in for the Packers after 15 seasons with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback. Love, who was drafted 26th overall in 2020, has played just 157 snaps over the first three years of his career.

Love was impressive in the preseason, throwing for 193 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His 86.7 overall grade ranked seventh among quarterbacks with at least 25 snaps.

How Love performs in his first season as a starter is among the most intriguing storylines in the league. He is currently under contract through the 2024 season, so his play this year could go a long way in determining whether he gets a long-term extension from the Packers.

Houston Texans

The Texans drafted their quarterback of the future when they made C.J. Stroud with the second pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The organization did a great job putting the pieces in place along the offensive line to ensure the young quarterback is protected.

Left tackle Laremy Tunsil (80.0 overall grade in 2022) and right tackle Tytus Howard (67.9 overall) were each given three-year extensions. Right guard Shaq Mason (68.2 overall) was traded from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and given a three-year extension, as well. The team also invested a high-pick in a center, drafting Juice Scruggs from Penn State in the second round of the draft.

The Texans also traded for Josh Jones in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Jones, a top-20 tackle last season by PFF grade (75.8), provides depth at the tackle position while also having guard versatility.

Rookie quarterbacks notoriously struggle behind poor offensive lines, but the Texans did a tremendous job this offseason ensuring Stroud will be put in a position to succeed.

Indianapolis Colts

The biggest Colts storyline centers on star running back Jonathan Taylor. The team gave Taylor permission to seek a trade, and offers were reportedly made, but none were good enough for the Colts' liking.

At his best, Taylor is in the conversation for the best running back in the NFL. In 2021, his 87.1 overall grade ranked first among 62 qualifying running backs and he led the league with 1,311 yards after contact and 68 missed tackles forced on runs.

Any team interested in trading for Taylor must be willing to part with premium picks and/or players and commit big money to the running back position. It’s a hefty price, but Taylor could be the missing piece for a contending team in the next few years.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Expectations are high for the Jaguars' offense in 2023. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence improved his overall grade from 59.6 in 2021 (32nd out of 37 qualifying quarterbacks) to 78.6 last season (11th out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks). The team also acquired wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who missed all of 2022 due to suspension but is still just 28 years old and earned an 84.9 overall grade in 2020.

The Jaguars' defense — in particular, 2022 No. 1 pick Travon Walker — is more of a question mark. Walker struggled mightily as a rookie last season, grading out at 58.0 overall, which ranked 90th among 119 edge defenders. He finished the preseason with a 60.3 overall grade across 26 snaps.

Jacksonville is the division favorite in the AFC South, but if they are going to advance in the playoffs, Walker needs to develop into the player they believe he is capable of being.

Kansas City Chiefs

All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones has yet to strike a deal with the Chiefs and return to the team.

It was reported earlier in the offseason by The Athletic’s Nate Taylor that the Chiefs are “unwilling” to make Jones the highest-paid defensive tackle. Despite this, general manager Brett Veach made it clear the team has “no intentions” of trading the star defender.

Jones ranked seventh on PFF’s list of the 50 best players heading into the 2023 season. He earned a career-high 92.3 overall grade in 2022 (highest among interior defenders), generating 97 total pressures and 35 defensive stops (including the playoffs).

The Chiefs are led by future Hall of Famers Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce on offense, but replacing Jones' production on defense would be nearly impossible. Kansas City hosts the Detroit Lions in the season opener on Sept. 7.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders and All-Pro running back Josh Jacobs agreed to a one-year, reworked deal that could be worth up to $12 million, effectively ending his holdout. Jacobs has now had little time to get ready for the season opener against the Denver Broncos, raising doubt if he can get in good enough game shape to return to his lead-back duties after missing the entire offseason program.

Jacobs had a career year in 2022, leading the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards and 2,053 yards from scrimmage. His 91.6 overall grade ranked first among 60 qualifying running backs and his 97 missed tackles forced on runs led the league.

Los Angeles Chargers

One of the more intriguing stories to watch this season is how star quarterback Justin Herbert continues to develop with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Despite dealing with a rib injury for most of last season, Herbert threw for almost 5,000 yards and had the lowest turnover-worthy play rate in the league for the second year in a row.

Herbert’s average depth of target of 7.2 yards ranked 27th out of 30 qualifying quarterbacks with at least 300 attempts. Dak Prescott — who was with Moore last season in Dallas — ranked ninth with an average depth of target of 9.0 yards.

Herbert is well positioned to top his career-high overall grade of 90.0 in 2021 this season with the Chargers.

Los Angeles Rams

No unit in the NFL has endured more turnover from 2022 to 2023 than the Rams' defense. The team will be tasked with replacing its top six players in terms of snap count from last season (and seven of the top eight). Additionally, the 2022 defense was anchored by quality — and sometimes elite —playmakers.

Player Snaps PFF Grade Rank
Bobby Wagner 1,079 snaps 1st/81
Jalen Ramsey 1,078 snaps 3rd/118
Taylor Rapp 976 snaps 13th/88
Leonard Floyd 932 snaps 55th/119
Greg Gaines 731 snaps 72nd/127
Troy Hill 703 snaps 54th/118

Aside from future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald, the Rams' defense lacks the talent and experience to be a top-20 unit in the league. The defense must exceed expectations if the Rams are to be players in the competitive NFC West this season.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have three high-end starters along the offensive line in left tackle Terron Armstead, (77.6 overall), center Connor Williams (78.4 overall) and right guard Robert Hunt (72.3 overall). All three ranked among the top 15 at their respective positions in 2022.

Austin Jackson is penciled in as the starting right tackle, as the team hopes the former first-rounder can show some consistency after appearing in just two games last season. The big question mark for Miami heading into the season opener is who will start at left guard.

Liam Eichenberg entered camp as the starter despite finishing 75th out of 77 qualifying guards with a 39.8 overall grade last season. He missed the last two preseason games while battling injury. Robert Jones was having a strong camp and preseason prior to suffering a sprained MCL, an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least the first few weeks of the season.

Former New England Patriot Isaiah Wynn has experience at both guard and tackle. He played all 107 snaps at left guard this preseason and should be considered the favorite for the Week 1 job at this point.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have not shied away from drafting wide receivers early on. Since 2013, the team has taken a wide receiver four times in the first round, most notably Justin Jefferson in 2020.

Jordan Addison is the latest on the list, selected 24th overall this past April out of USC. Addison had himself a great training camp, particularly in the joint practices with the Arizona Cardinals. He played just 27 snaps in the preseason (all in the opener against the Seattle Seahawks), as the team clearly feels comfortable with where he is at heading into the season.

Addison is a sneaky pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He averaged at least 2.9 yards per route run in each of his last two years in college and should produce right away at the NFL level playing opposite All-Pro Justin Jefferson, who is sure to take away the bulk of defenses’ attention.

New England Patriots

One of the more intriguing players this preseason was Patriots quarterback/wide receiver Malik Cunningham, who played 94 offensive snaps over the three games — 22 at quarterback and 72 at wide receiver. The undrafted free agent also played some special teams, lining up as a gunner on punt coverage and playing on the kick return team, as well.

Cunningham has stated that he has no preferred position in the NFL, labeling himself as a “football player.” He appears to be the prototypical Bill Belichick-type player — a do-everything, versatile weapon who can be deployed in a multitude of ways. He currently finds himself on New England's practice squad.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints entered training camp with as much depth as anyone at the running back position. Since then, however, that depth has been put to the test.

Former All-Pro Alvin Kamara was suspended for the first three games of the season for his role in a Las Vegas incident in February 2022. Just 24 hours later, the Saints lost backup Eno Benjamin for the season due to a torn Achilles.

Third-round rookie Kendre Miller had a scare of his own when he left the team's preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs with a sprained knee. He ended up playing the next two games, totaling 63 snaps over three preseason outings. Last season at TCU, Miller ranked sixth in the Power Five with 816 yards after contact and seventh with 70 forced missed tackles.

Jamaal Williams signed with the Saints as a free agent after leading the league in rushing touchdowns (17) with the Detroit Lions last season. Williams figures to see the bulk of the early-down work with Kamara out of the lineup but could split work with Miller until Kamara returns if the rookie impresses out of the gate.

New York Giants

Tight end Darren Waller played just one offensive series (eight snaps) this preseason and was heavily involved, catching three passes (four targets) for 30 yards. The former Pro Bowler was among the league’s elite just a few years ago, racking up 197 receptions, 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns without missing a game in 2019 and 2020.

Waller has struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons, playing in just 20 games over the past two. The Giants do not have a player on the roster who topped 750 yards through the air last year. It is more probable than not that Waller will be the team’s leading receiver and Daniel Jones’ favorite target in 2023 should he stay healthy.

New York Jets

The Jets nailed their 2022 NFL Draft class, highlighted by cornerback Sauce Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall. The team had the talent to compete for a playoff spot last season, but erratic quarterback play ultimately led to their downfall. The Jets are a dangerous team in 2023 with future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers under center.

If the Jets don’t make the playoffs this year, it will likely be due to the offensive line. The unit struggled to protect the quarterback throughout training camp and into the preseason.

Left tackle Duane Brown has been activated from the PUP list, although he finished 2022 with career lows in overall grade (57.8) and run-blocking grade (44.4) while battling a shoulder injury for most of the season.

The Jets landed 23rd in Sam Monson’s offensive line rankings heading into the season, but the floor is certainly lower if Brown (who turns 38 years old next week) and Mekhi Becton (who has played fewer than 800 snaps in three years) are unable to stay on the field as the starting tackles.

Philadelphia Eagles

With arguably the deepest and most complete roster in the NFL, the Eagles are well positioned to make another run at a Super Bowl in 2023. They were fortunate to grab Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter — the top defensive prospect in the draft — with the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Carter is neck-and-neck with Quinnen Williams for the best interior defender prospect in the PFF era (since 2014). Carter’s 92.3 overall grade last season ranked first among Power Five interior defensive linemen, and his skill set was on full display in his preseason debut. He recorded a hit and forced a throwaway on his first pass-rushing snap as a pro.

The Eagles rank first in our defensive line unit rankings heading into the 2023 season. No team in the NFL does a better job building up the trenches, no matter if it’s the offensive or defensive side of the ball.

Pittsburgh Steelers

If you are looking for the next potential breakout quarterback in the NFL, Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett may be the guy. Pickett led all quarterbacks with a 94.7 overall grade this preseason, finishing with three big-time throws over his 13 completions.

And only Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (90.9 overall) earned a higher grade than Pickett (90.1) from Weeks 12-18 last season.

The Steelers have been a trendy pick to exceed expectations and make the playoffs in a loaded AFC this season. If Pickett’s play of late is any indication of what’s to come, the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks promising.

San Francisco 49ers

Sam Darnold was announced as the 49ers' No. 2 quarterback behind Brock Purdy, and the team proceeded to trade 2021 No. 3 pick Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2024 fourth-round pick just two days later.

San Francisco traded three first-round picks to move up from the 12th overall pick to select Lance, and he ended up appearing in just eight games (263 snaps) with the team, failing to ever showcase his abilities for a team that has a win-now mentality with a roster capable of reaching the Super Bowl.

Purdy now gets the chance to prove that his rookie season was not a fluke. He finished 13th among 39 qualifying quarterbacks with a 77.7 overall grade. “Mr. Irrelevant” is recovering well from offseason elbow surgery and is on track to start the season opener Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks were the surprise team in the NFL last season, finishing the year with a winning record and earning a playoff birth in the process. A strong rookie class and a career year from veteran quarterback Geno Smith (79.3 overall, ninth among 39 qualifying quarterbacks) were key factors in the team's success.

A name to keep an eye on this season is Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who was the first wide receiver taken in the 2023 NFL Draft (20th overall). Smith-Njigba joins established receivers Tyler Lockett (77.9 overall grade) and D.K. Metcalf (77.7) both of whom graded out as top-25 wideouts last season.

Smith-Njigba suffered a fractured wrist and underwent surgery this preseason, an injury that occurred on a 48-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter of the Seahawks' contest against the Dallas Cowboys. He is expected to miss about a month, which should put him on track to return around Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers placed center Ryan Jensen on injured reserve, ending his season. He has reportedly experienced complications from a knee injury that forced him to miss all but one game (playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys) in 2022.

Unfortunately, the injury is reportedly so significant that Jensen has likely played his last down in the NFL. The former Pro Bowler spent the first three years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens and the last five with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The best year of his career came in 2019 when he earned a 79.3 overall grade, which ranked second among 35 qualifying centers.

Tennessee Titans

Harold Landry III played 12 snaps against the New England Patriots in the final preseason game, his first in-game action since the divisional-round playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 22, 2022.

Landry suffered a torn ACL at practice just prior to the NFL regular season kicking off last August. His absence and a number of other factors led the Titans to struggle and win just seven games, their fewest in a season since 2015.

Landry set a career high with 70 pressures in his last full season of 2021. While expectations should be tempered in his return from injury, there is no doubt his presence will be a welcomed addition to Tennessee's defense this season.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders are capable of making the playoffs this season if Sam Howell can provide some consistency at quarterback. But the biggest concern for the team may not be Howell.

Washington’s offensive line endured significant turnover this offseason, likely changing four starters between new acquisitions and position switches. Sam Cosmi played well in his first two years (71.6 overall grade in 2022) but is switching from right tackle to right guard this season. Nick Gates (60.0) will be the starting center after bouncing between center and left guard with the New York Giants last season.

Right tackle Andrew Wylie comes over from the Kansas City Chiefs, but his overall grade (61.6) ranked just 59th out of 81 qualifying tackles last season. Saahdiq Charles struggled across 290 snaps last season, finishing with a 29.7 pass-blocking grade. He will start at left guard after playing right guard last year.


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