The Athletic’s Mike Sando recently released his NFL quarterback tiers ahead of the 2022 season. For this exercise, quarterbacks were divided into five tiers.
“The results reflect voting from 50 NFL coaches and executives, including six general managers, eight head coaches, 10 evaluators, 12 coordinators, six quarterback coaches and seven execs whose specialties include analytics, game management and the salary cap,” Sando wrote.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson landed in the second tier at No. 10 overall on the list.
“A Tier 2 quarterback can carry his team sometimes but not as consistently,” Sando wrote. “He can handle pure passing situations in doses and/or possesses other dimensions that are special enough to elevate him above Tier 3. He has a hole or two in his game.”
The nine quarterbacks ranked ahead of Jackson included Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow in tier 1, with Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson ahead of him in tier 2.
“Jackson climbed slightly in terms of average vote but dropped three places in the rankings as Stafford, Herbert and Burrow moved past him,” Sando wrote. “There remains no player like him in the league.”
Sando then included several quotes from anonymous offensive and defensive coordinators. One such quote from a defensive coordinator was quite critical of the 2019 unanimous MVP.
“If he has to pass to win the game, they ain’t winning the game. He’s so unique as an athlete and he’s really a good football player, but I don’t (care) if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he’ll ever be a 1 as a quarterback. He’ll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two-minute, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss.”
As you would expect, the internet exploded with reactions to the quote, including a number of notable athletes coming to Jackson’s defense.
Lebron chimes in: pic.twitter.com/2hFmFQ7P9A— Baltimore Beatdown Podcast (@PodcastBeatdown) July 25, 2022
Everyone is bold off the record….. https://t.co/h2IM3Q4qBx— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 25, 2022
As Jackson enters training camp without a new contract, the talk will only continue to ramp up surrounding the polarizing quarterback.