The 2023 regular season is right around the corner and teams are enjoying a little bit of a break before they reconvene for the start of starting training camp later this summer. While there are still some notable names lurking on the free agent market, the main roster-building periods of the offseason have already come and gone, so we largely know what the top ends of rosters are set to look like come Week 1. With that in mind, we've decided to comb through every team in the league and highlight the very best position groups.
Of course, several factors went into determining who stands above the rest. We put value on top-end talent, depth, and overall importance to their respective team. We also decided to eliminate the quarterback position group entirely and highlight those positions that complement the signal-caller.
10. Falcons backfield
After the selection of Bijan Robinson, the Falcons suddenly have themselves a deep backfield that features a top-end talent who is being compared to Saquon Barkley. Of course, we're left to simply project what Robinson is going to be in the NFL at this point, but most expect him to be among the very best at the position right out of the gate. And in Arthur Smith's system that wants to have the running game lead the offense, Robinson should be heavily featured.
While Robinson landing in Atlanta helps the Falcons crack the top 10 here, there's plenty of depth to like with this group as well, headlined by second-year back Tyler Allgeier and veteran Cordarrelle Patterson. Either one of those backs could be a serviceable starter. As a rookie Allgeier was able to post a 1,000-yard season on the ground and came along strong down the stretch. In his final six games, the BYU product averaged 16.7 carries per game and averaged 5.37 yards per rush. Meanwhile, Patterson has proven can make plays as a pass catcher and a pure runner out of the backfield. In his two seasons with the Falcons, he's averaged nearly a 1,000 yards from scrimmage per year. Even fourth-stringer Caleb Huntley had 366 rushing yards while appearing in 12 games last season before going down with an injury.
When you factor in that built-in talent and the potential of Robinson, this could end up being one of the most complete backfields in the NFL.
9. Lions offensive line
The Lions are the sexy team to pick to come out of the NFC this year and I believe one of the more underrated reasons why they are primed for success is their offensive line. Last season, they allowed the second-fewest sacks in the NFL (24) and never ranked outside the top 10 wire to wire, according to Pro Football Focus. Frank Ragnow is one of the top centers in the NFL and Penei Sewell has been every bit as good as the Lions hoped he'd be when they selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in 2021. Meanwhile, Taylor Decker has been a solid left tackle and allowed just four sacks in 1,142 offensive snaps played last season.
There's also a case to be made that even as good as this unit was last season, it could be even better in 2023. Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai missed all of last season with a back injury and if he can return to form that should help solidify the interior of Detroit's offensive line alongside left guard Jonah Jackson, who didn't allow a sack in 13 starts last season.
8. Eagles wide receivers
The Eagles have one of the best one-two punches at wide receiver in the NFL in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Brown dominated in his first season in Philadelphia and posted career marks in receptions and touchdowns while matching his career high in receiving touchdowns. He's a true No. 1 option in every sense of the word and has a perfect running mate in Smith, who enjoyed career highs across the board last year. Smith hauled in 95 of his 136 targets for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns. That combination helped Jalen Hurts ascend as a passer and nearly led them to a Super Bowl title last season.
While those two are among the very best at the position, the lack of depth is what keeps them from pushing for a higher spot on this list. No other wide receiver on the roster last season had 400 receiving yards. The addition of Olamide Zaccheaus could end up being one of the more underrated signings of the offseason as he had some flashes with the Falcons last season. If he can contribute as a third option, that could be extremely dangerous for an already top-heavy Eagles wide receiver room.
7. Dolphins wide receivers
You can make the case that Tyreek Hill is the most dangerous wide receiver in the NFL. He has blazing speed that was on full display in his first season with the Dolphins last year. Hill proved that he didn't need to lean on the likes of Patrick Mahomes and rolled out a career year, reaching new highs in receptions and receiving yards. He was the key cog in Miami's offense and was a large reason why it was able to reach the postseason despite injuries to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. But Hill wasn't a one-man show either as he formed a dynamic duo with Jaylen Waddle, who was dominant in his own right. Waddle recorded career highs in receiving yards (1,356) and receiving touchdowns (eight) while leading the league in yards per reception (18.1). On most other teams, Waddle would be a No. 1 option.
Similar to Philadelphia, what stops Miami's receiving room from going higher is the lack of depth behind its two stars. Last season, Trent Sherfield was the second most productive receiver and posted just 417 receiving yards. The club did add some depth this offseason by bringing in Braxton Berrios and Chosen Anderson, but it remains to be seen how much they can help elevate that unit.
6. Cowboys wide receivers
The addition of Brandin Cooks this offseason gives the Cowboys three wide receivers who have 1,000-yard seasons on their résumé. CeeDee Lamb is the clear No. 1 option in this passing game and is among the top wide receivers in the game today. You could even make the case that he's just scratching the surface of his potential as he's coming off a career year where he notched new highs in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. While that came with a heavy workload (156 targets), Lamb was largely the lone option who opposing defenses needed to worry about on a weekly basis, so the arrival of Cooks should help him be even more impactful even if his numbers dip slightly.
Speaking of Cooks, the veteran receiver is well-traveled as Dallas will be his fifth team as he enters Year 10 of his career. While he's sported a handful of different helmets, he's produced everywhere he's gone. Cooks recorded at least one 1,000-yard receiving season in each of his previous four stops, including two of his three seasons with Houston. Last season was a down year for Cooks as he struggled to find his footing on a lackluster Texans team, but we expect him to be reinvigorated with the Cowboys in 2023.
As for Michael Gallup, he was working his way back from an ACL tear he suffered in 2021 for the bulk of last season. He did look more like himself in the playoffs, particularly in the win over Tampa Bay where he caught five of his six targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. As he gets farther away from that injury, he should look more like the player the Cowboys have grown accustomed to, giving them three solid options in the passing game.
5. Seahawks wide receivers
Seattle is in a similar situation to Dallas as it has three strong options at wide receiver, but we simply like this trio a bit better. DK Metcalf has proven to be a game-wrecker throughout his career and is still only 25 years old. He recorded his second 1,000-yard season in 2022 and also hauled in a career-high 90 catches. His combination of size, athleticism and speed makes him one of the unicorns at the wide receiver position.
Meanwhile, Tyler Lockett is a tactician as a route-runner. He can break away from his defender and create space off the line of scrimmage, which has led him to be an extremely efficient receiver, catching 71.8% of his targets throughout his career. Lockett has gone over a 1,000 yards in each of his last four seasons and has recorded at least 73 catches and eight touchdowns in all of those campaigns.
Already, Metcalf and Lockett were looked at as a top-tier receiver duo in the league, but what elevates this wide receiver group to a new level is the arrival of first-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Some pegged Smith-Njigba as the top receiver in this year's draft class and if the Ohio State product can live up to that billing and sees his play with the Buckeyes translate well to the NFL, this will be a nightmare receiver position to deal with this season.
4. 49ers backfield
When you have the best player at his position, you're automatically going to garner some attention. With San Francisco, its already dangerous backfield reached new heights last season when it acquired Christian McCaffrey in a trade with the Panthers. In the 11 regular-season games he suited up for the Niners last season, he totaled 1,210 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns. When you look at his postseason performance, you can tack on another 299 yards from scrimmage and three more scores over three games. In Kyle Shanahan's wide zone scheme, the running game is naturally a key component and McCaffrey runs it to perfection. And there's no real reason to expect he'll slow down in 2023.
While McCaffrey is the pristine piece to this backfield, they have a deep group. Elijah Mitchell has proven to be a capable back and totaled 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 11 games played as a rookie in 2021. Injuries put a dent in his sophomore campaign but still showed flashes of his potential when he was on the field, averaging 6.2 yards per carry in limited work last season. Undrafted rookie Jordan Mason even had a bit of a burst for a moment last season when he totaled 171 rushing yards (7.42 yards per carry) over a three-game stretch from Week 13 to Week 15. San Francisco also has 2022 third-round pick Tyrion Davis-Price as an intriguing prospect behind McCaffrey and Mitchell.
3. Packers backfield
The Packers offense will look a lot different without Aaron Rodgers in 2023, but one thing that will remain a constant is their strong backfield attack led by Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Either one of these backs could be a featured starter for a team in the NFL, but also work seamlessly together for Green Bay. Jones is coming off a career season where he rushed for a high of 1,121 yards while continuing to contribute as a pass catcher. He caught a career-high 59 passes while turning that into 395 receiving yards and five touchdowns. As for Dillon, the fourth-year back is more of a bruiser and totaled 770 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season, but he's also progressed as a receiver as well and caught 28 passes for 206 yards last season. Both of these backs have the capability to take over a game on the ground, which should be a massive help for Jordan Love as he enters this season as the full-time starter.
2. Eagles offensive line
Philadelphia's offensive line remains the gold standard in the NFL when firing on all cylinders. The Eagles have the best tackle duo in the league in Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. Johnson is unquestionably the best right tackle in the league and is coming off a 2022 season where he didn't allow a single sack or quarterback hit throughout the regular season or playoffs, according to PFF. Meanwhile, Jason Kelce is also still among the very best centers even as he enters his 13th season in the league. He's tremendous in the run game and has also been the heart and soul of Philadelphia's recent Super Bowl runs. At the guard spots, Landon Dickerson has been solid in pass protection throughout his career and allowed just one sack last season. It will be interesting to see how 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens does replacing Isaac Seumalo at right guard, but this unit is unmatched in the NFL.
The one knock on this group, however, is penalties. The O-line was called for 44 penalties last season, which was tied for the most in the NFL.
1. Bengals wide receivers
No wide receiver room comes close to touching the Cincinnati Bengals. They have star power at the top and tremendous depth at the bottom, making them the most feared collection of receivers that the NFL has to offer at the moment. Since Ja'Marr Chase has come onto the scene in 2021, he has been in the conversation for the best wide receiver in the league, and for good reason. He's posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career and has helped Cincinnati remain in Super Bowl contention throughout his young career.
Behind him are Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Higgins could arguably be a No. 1 option on a lot of other teams across the league but is currently a high-end second option in this passing attack for Joe Burrow. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has the size and athleticism to dominate most matchups and has recorded back-to-back seasons where he's had 74 catches, gone over a 1,000 yards and hauled in at least six touchdowns. Boyd may not have the ceiling of Chase or Higgins, but he's an extremely productive pass catcher who has two 1,000-yard seasons on his résumé. As a secondary option, Boyd caught 58 passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns last season.
While that trio is the most dangerous three-headed wide receiver monster in the league, Trenton Irwin also was a sneaky factor in the passing game as well last season. The former undrafted free agent out of Stanford seemed to find his footing, catching 15 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns that all seemed to come in rather clutch situations. There's really no other wide receiver room that matches this depth and talent level.