Individual players can certainly change games in the NFL, but when you've got premium talent laced throughout an entire position group, well, then you're cooking with gas. Consider how much the offensive line influences a team's ground game, or a pass-rushing rotation affects opposing quarterbacks. The more depth the better when it comes to winning the NFL's war of attrition.
As we approach the 2023 season, which teams own the best position groups? We've identified our top picks at all the major spots:
Best QBs: Eagles
Be easy, Chiefs fans. We all know Patrick Mahomes is , and not only that, but one of the game's all-time greats at just 27. But if we're looking at QB rooms, the Eagles have the slight edge. Hurts by himself is arguably a top-three starter coming off a race for both MVP and the Lombardi Trophy with Mahomes, but whereas Blaine Gabbert is the in Kansas City, Mariota offers far more athleticism and productive -- even playoff -- experience as a former starter-turned-reserve. The Eagles were once critiqued for calling themselves an aspiring "QB factory," but they deserve the title; few clubs have gotten more out of both the starting and backup signal-caller over the last few decades.
Best RBs: Packers
Jones is the lightning, and Dillon is the thunder. Too often, they've starred at different times rather than in tandem. But both offer Pro Bowl dynamism -- Jones as a slippery dual-threat and Dillon as an old-school bruiser. The former, in particular, makes big plays look easy even in supposedly "down" years. The duo is also poised for an even bigger role with Aaron Rodgers gone.
Best WRs: Bengals
It's a close call here between one AFC contender and another. Tyreek Hill, for example, can match if not surpass Chase's sheer electricity as the Dolphins' No. 1, and his teammate Jaylen Waddle has starred as both a high-volume target machine and Hill-like deep threat. Boyd is the difference, though, providing Grade-A security as a tried-and-true No. 3 outlet for Joe Burrow.
Honorable mention -- Dolphins (Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Braxton Berrios); Raiders (Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Renfrow); Eagles (A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith); Cowboys (CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup); Vikings (Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn)
Best TEs: Chiefs
The Ravens have two wideout-quality weapons in Mark Andrews and the emergent Isaiah Likely, but Kelce is unmatched as a space-creating, tackle-shedding pass target even at 33. And Gray, his younger counterpart, had a quietly key role as a secondary option for Mahomes during K.C.'s last Super Bowl run, securing 82% of his 34 targets.
Best OL: Eagles
If a team is a regular contender, odds are it has a sterling offensive line. There's no example better than the Eagles, who've used -- and replenished -- blue-chip fronts to reach the big game in both 2017 and 2022. The Chiefs are another worthy contender, but they're ushering in two new tackles, including Buccaneers castoff Donovan Smith.
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Best DL: 49ers
Plenty of teams boast equally formidable fronts, but Hargrave might be one of the NFL's hottest interior disruptors after a breakout with the Eagles, and Armstead has been an above-average gap-plugger for a half-decade. Givens, on the other hand, had a quietly solid run as a rotational piece during the 49ers' NFC title bid in 2022.
Honorable mention -- Commanders (Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen); Giants (Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams); Eagles (Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Milton Williams); Titans (Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry); Bengals (D.J. Reader, B.J. Hill); Colts (DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart)
Best pass rushers: Browns
They don't get much nastier than the Steelers' T.J. Watt, who's got a feisty counterpart in Alex Highsmith and gracefully aging situational help in Markus Golden. The Eagles are also very deep. But the combo of Garrett and Smith is lethal; they have a combined seven different 12-sack seasons. And Okoronkwo is an underrated up-and-comer after arriving from the Texans.
Honorable mention -- Steelers (T.J. Watt, Alex Highsmith, Markus Golden); Eagles (Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham); Cowboys (Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence); Raiders (Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, Tyree Wilson); Bills (Von Miller, Leonard Floyd, Greg Rousseau)
Best LBs: 49ers
After Roquan Smith's heat-seeking energy arrived in Baltimore, Patrick Queen also saw an uptick in production at the heart of the Ravens. But both Warner and Greenlaw also thrive backing into coverage for San Francisco's stingy "D." The former is one of the rangiest defenders in the game, feeding off the dominant front four in front of him.
Honorable mention -- Ravens (Roquan Smith, Patrick Queen); Buccaneers (Devin White, Lavonte David); Broncos (Alex Singleton, Josey Jewell, Drew Sanders); Chiefs (Nick Bolton, Drue Tranquill); Bears (Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards); Lions (Alex Anzalone, Malcolm Rodriguez, Jack Campbell)
Best CBs: Cowboys
Diggs may get dinged for mercurial downfield coverage, but he more than makes up for it with insane ball-tracking, as evidenced by 17 picks and 49 pass breakups in three years. Gilmore may be past his prime, but he's got lockdown technique. Lewis is coming off injury, but Bland is also coming off an underrated debut with play-making ball-hawking of his own.
Honorable mention -- Dolphins (Jalen Ramsey, Xavien Howard); Jets (Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed); Eagles (Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox); Packers (Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas); Seahawks (Riq Woolen, Devon Witherspoon)
Best safeties: Ravens
Williams has been more solid than spectacular since his days with the Saints, but Hamilton is due for a major breakout after some splashy slot work as a rookie, possessing Pro Bowl-caliber versatility that prompted Chuck Clark's exit as a full-timer. While the Bills' duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde has the longer track record, it's hard not to like the upside in Baltimore.
Honorable mention -- Bills (Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde); Jets (Jordan Whitehead, Adrian Amos); 49ers (Talanoa Hufanga, Tashaun Gipson); Seahawks (Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs); Steelers (Minkah Fitzpatrick, Damontae Kazee); Broncos (Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson)