Most, least improved NFL players at every position in 2023

2T13WCD Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

• Baker Mayfield looking to revive his career in Tampa Bay: The now-journeyman quarterback is sitting on a 74.0 overall grade after earning a 50.6 mark in 2022.

• A shaky start for big-name free agent signing Terrell Edmunds: The Chicago Bears spent significant money at linebacker this offseason, but Edmunds has just a 51.2 overall grade through Week 6.

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QB Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 grade: 50.6
2023 grade: 74.0

After spending the 2022 season in Carolina and Los Angeles, Mayfield is putting together an impressive 2023 campaign in Tampa Bay. His 2.3% turnover-worthy play percentage is the lowest of his career.

RB James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

2022 grade: 69.7
2023 grade: 85.5

Conner played four games before heading to injured reserve, and he was dominant in those outings. He was rushing for 5.4 yards per attempt with 10 rushes of 10-plus yards. On top of that, Conner has proven to be a great pass-protector, not giving up any pressure on 24 opportunities.

WR Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers

2022 grade: 65.5
2023 grade: 84.3

Thielen is on the downswing of his career at age 33, but he’s being featured in an offense with not much firepower. While he might not be able to separate at the level he once could, he’s still very valuable for a team with a rookie quarterback.

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TE Pharaoh Brown, New England Patriots

2022 grade: 59.1
2023 grade: 81.8

Brown has been targeted only three times this season, but he’s come down with all three catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. He’s still an ancillary player for the Patriots' offense, but Brown is not disappointing on his opportunities.

T Luke Goedeke, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 grade: 46.7
2023 grade: 69.7

Goedeke really struggled in his rookie season, surrendering 24 pressures on 399 opportunities and earning a 47.8 run-blocking grade. His move to right tackle this season has paid off, as he’s improved his pass-blocking grade by 28.3 points.

G Dillon Radunz, Tennessee Titans

2022 grade: 46.7
2023 grade: 69.7

While Radunz has improved his grade by more than 20 points, it’s on a limited sample size, as he’s been benched for rookie Peter Skoronski.

C Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis Colts

2022 grade: 64.3
2023 grade: 86.4

Ryan Kelly has been playing at the highest level of his career under new head coach Shane Steichen. Kelly has allowed only one pressure this year to go along with an 83.0 run-blocking grade, both top-10 marks among centers.

DI Javon Kinlaw, San Francisco 49ers

2022 grade: 31.9
2023 grade: 72.7

Kinlaw is finally finding his groove under new 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. The fourth-year player out of South Carolina failed to break a 55.0 grade, and he’s already six pressures shy of his career high (19) despite almost 250 fewer pass-rushing snaps.

Edge A.J. Epenesa, Buffalo Bills

2022 grade: 57.0
2023 grade: 89.4

Epenesa is another player who struggled early in the NFL and is now posting the highest pass-rush grade of his career, creating 10 pressures in his past two games.

LB Nicholas Morrow, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 grade: 54.0
2023 grade: 85.6

Morrow is the NFL's fifth-highest-graded linebacker a year after ranking 69th out of 90 linebackers. That doesn’t appear to be a fluke, as he sports 80.0-plus grades against the run as a tackler and as a pass-rusher.

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CB Zyon McCollum, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 grade: 46.3
2023 grade: 73.3

The second player from the Buccaneers' 2022 draft class on this list has been great when needed. He’s still behind Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean on the depth chart but has allowed only seven catches on 14 targets for 61 yards.

S Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

2022 grade: 67.2
2023 grade: 90.9

Holland has been one of the NFL's best safeties since entering the league in 2021, and he’s thriving under Vic Fangio. He’s playing freely, evidenced by his 37 tackles and three pass breakups this season, both top-three marks among safeties.


QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 grade: 92.2
2023 grade: 66.4

Burrow started the season with a calf injury, and it has clearly affected him. His big-time throw rate and turnover-worthy play rate are both the lowest they’ve ever been. He’s not taking many risks with his injury, and it’s showing up in his grade.

RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

2022 grade: 91.6
2023 grade: 66.1

Jacobs was the highest-graded running back in 2022 and has fallen to 42nd this year. Jacobs has forced only nine missed tackles while recording three rushes of more than 10 yards.

WR Randall Cobb, New York Jets

2022 grade: 70.1
2023 grade: 46.5

The 33-year-old veteran hasn’t been able to get anything going in New York, with three receptions for 20 yards in six games.

TE Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens

2022 grade: 65.0
2023 grade: 42.7

Likely has failed to build on his impressive rookie campaign, recording three receptions for 32 yards and adding a 42.5 run-blocking grade. There’s still plenty of time for him to turn it around, but it hasn’t been easy in Baltimore's new offense.

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T Dan Moore Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 grade: 62.4
2023 grade: 29.3

Moore and first-round rookie Broderick Jones have split snaps at left tackle this season due to an injury that kept Moore out of Week 5. In Moore's four starts, he has allowed the ninth-most pressures among offensive tackles (20).

G Michael Onwenu, New England Patriots

2022 grade: 79.3
2023 grade: 46.1

Onwenu has been one of the more reliable guards in the league since 2020, so this comes as a surprise. He hadn’t earned a sub-79.0 grade since entering the league, but his 2023 mark is down to 46.1 with a 55.0 pass-blocking grade.

C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

2022 grade: 89.9
2023 grade: 70.5

Humphrey is still among the 10 highest-graded centers, so this isn’t an issue, but he has given up five pressures while earning the lowest run-blocking grade of his three years in the league (65.9).

DI Mike Purcell, Denver Broncos

2022 grade: 67.7
2023 grade: 42.8

Purcell's 42.3 run-defense grade and 25.7 tackling grade are hurting his overall grade. Four missed tackles and only two pressures forced root causes for the lowest mark of his career.

Edge Patrick Jones II, Minnesota Vikings

2022 grade: 65.6
2023 grade: 30.2

Jones' overall grade is plummeting due to four missed tackles and a 32.9 run-defense grade.

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LB Tremaine Edmunds, Chicago Bears

2022 grade: 81.2
2023 grade: 51.2

Edmunds was the fifth-highest-graded linebacker in 2022 but hasn’t quite found his footing in Chicago. His 55.6 coverage grade is reminiscent of his early years in Buffalo, and he isn’t generating any quarterback pressure when asked to.

CB Damarri Mathis, Denver Broncos

2022 grade: 65.6
2023 grade: 34.8

After a rookie campaign in which he earned a 65.3 coverage grade, Mathis has given up 361 yards and four touchdowns, both bottom-three figures in the league among cornerbacks.

S Ryan Neal, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 grade: 82.0
2023 grade: 47.0

Neal has given up 186 yards in coverage despite not recording a single pass breakup, good enough for the fourth-lowest coverage grade among safeties.


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