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Final top 15 offensive player rankings of the 2023 NFL regular season 

Each week in the 2023 campaign, former No. 1 overall pick and NFL Network analyst David Carr ranked his top 15 offensive players in the NFL. Now that the regular season is officially behind us, he's compiled his final top 15 for the year. NOTE: The ranking is based solely on the 2023 regular season.

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · QB

Lamar Jackson enjoyed his best season as a passer in his first year under Todd Monken, ranking in the top five in pass yards per attempt (8.0), pass TD-to-INT ratio (24:7) and passer rating (102.7). The Ravens’ passing attack thrived with Monken and Jackson in lockstep -- but the MVP favorite didn't stop serving as a threat in the run game. As he’s done in each of the last five seasons, Jackson led the Ravens in rush yards, thanks to his dynamic ability to move the chains on designed runs and scrambles. No team asked more of its quarterback than Baltimore did of Jackson, and he delivered, securing 13 regular-season wins and the AFC's No. 1 seed. 

Christian McCaffrey
San Francisco 49ers · RB

Christian McCaffrey made a sure-fire case to become the league MVP in 2023, with even teammate Brock Purdy -- also an MVP finalist -- stumping for McCaffrey to earn the award. The dynamic running back led the league in touches (339), scrimmage yards (2,023) and scrimmage TDs (21) this season, joining Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history to win the scrimmage triple crown twice. This is a loaded 49ers offense, and McCaffrey still stands above the rest, as he routinely shows out, no matter how big the stage or who the opponent is.

Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers · QB

There were stretches where Brock Purdy wasn’t great in the regular season, namely during the team's midseason three-game skid -- but overall, the second-year passer orchestrated Kyle Shanahan’s offense brilliantly. An MVP finalist in his first full season as QB1, Purdy led the NFL with 9.6 pass yards per attempt and a 113.0 passer rating, finding his weapons in space and delivering accurate, well-timed throws.  

Tyreek Hill
Miami Dolphins · WR

At one point, Tyreek Hill was on pace to surpass 2,000 receiving yards for the season, a mark he set his sights on in training camp -- and then his production tailed off over the final month, due to an ankle injury that limited him. Nonetheless, Hill led the league in receiving yards (1,799) and tied for the league in receiving touchdowns (13), and he was once again the best downfield threat, logging 20 receptions, 772 receiving yards and eight TDs on deep passes (20-plus yards), per Next Gen Stats -- all league highs. Hill, who turns 30 in March, is still at the top of his game and in the perfect system to give him a chance at Calvin Johnson’s record.

Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · QB

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have orchestrated another strong postseason run to the Super Bowl, but it wasn’t all daisies and roses in the regular season. Mahomes had his worst statistical season, mainly because of the team’s issues at the wide receiver position. The Chiefs dropped 30 passes in the 16 games that Mahomes started (he did not play in Week 18), per Next Gen Stats. Kansas City worked through a lot of ups and downs offensively, but Mahomes knows how to win, and he did enough of that to hand Kansas City its eighth straight AFC West title.

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · QB

This season was quite the roller coaster for Josh Allen. His offensive coordinator was fired midway through the season, and then he went on a run to lead Buffalo to its fourth straight AFC East title. Allen and the Bills offense took off after Joe Brady took over the unit, averaging 377.9 yards and 27 points per game while going 7-2 under Brady (including playoffs). By regular season’s end, Allen led the league in offensive yards (4,830) and offensive touchdowns (44) -- even while his No. 1 receiver, Stefon Diggs, had the worst statistical season of his career. Allen is still in his prime and still thisclose to helping the Bills get over the hump in the postseason.

CeeDee Lamb
Dallas Cowboys · WR

CeeDee Lamb arrived as an elite wideout in his fourth season in Dallas, ranking in the top three among receivers in nearly every category. He led the NFL with 135 receptions (also a Cowboys record) and finished second with 1,749 receiving yards. He found most of his success in the slot, where he posted a league-high 894 receiving yards and eight receiving TDs, per Next Gen Stats, thanks to his incredible route running and rapport with Dak Prescott. Lamb is the next great in a long line of greats wearing No. 88 in Dallas. The first-time All-Pro looks poised to deliver big plays for years to come.

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys · QB

With Mike McCarthy as his play-caller, Dak Prescott was one of the top regular-season passers in 2023, leading the NFL with 36 pass touchdowns one year after having the most INTs league-wide. Thanks in part to Prescott’s improved play, the Cowboys featured the top scoring offense and made a late-season run at the NFC East title, ripping it from the grip of Philadelphia in the final week. Prescott’s bond with all-world receiver CeeDee Lamb was undeniable most weeks, with the two connecting 135 times for more than 1,700 yards. Dallas’ postseason meltdown was certainly shocking, but this list is based on regular-season performances. It’s hard to knock Prescott’s performance in that time frame.

C.J. Stroud
Houston Texans · QB

One year after the Texans finished last in the AFC South with three wins, first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud joined forces to lead Houston to 10 wins, a division title and a playoff victory. Stroud was phenomenal in Year 1, setting numerous notable rookie records and leading the league with a pass TD-to-INT ratio of 25:3 -- making him the first rookie to lead the NFL in the category since Paul Governali did it with the 1946 Boston Yanks! The Texans are in good hands with their young quarterback, who has shown poise and an immediate rapport with his pass catchers. He also demonstrated that no moment is too big for him.

Puka Nacua
Los Angeles Rams · WR

The rookie out of BYU was one of the biggest surprises of the season. Puka Nacua emerged as a playmaker from the jump and went on to set a number of NFL rookie records, despite the team getting elite wide receiver Cooper Kupp back from injury early in the season. Nacua holds the rookie record for most receptions (105) and receiving yards (1,486); he also logged seven games with at least 100 yards. Dare I say no one -- except for maybe those in the Rams’ facility -- expected Nacua to be this good this early? I certainly didn’t, but I quickly became a fan. 

George Kittle
San Francisco 49ers · TE

George Kittle led all tight ends with 1,020 receiving yards and 15.7 yards per catch this season. He made some big-time grabs, with his best statistical performance coming against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8, when he made nine receptions for 149 yards. As always, it’s important to note Kittle’s contribution as a blocker in the run game; he often paved the way for Christian McCaffrey’s big gains on the ground, which helped the running back become an MVP finalist. Kittle is monumentally important to this unit.

Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins · QB

Tua Tagovailoa had his best season in the NFL. He led the league in pass yards (4,624) and finished in the top five among quarterbacks in wins (11), completion percentage (69.3), pass yards per game (272) and passer rating (101.1). It was Tua’s brilliance as a passer -- with great anticipation, feel in the pocket and rapport with his dynamic pass catchers -- in Mike McDaniel’s offense that helped Miami rank tops in the NFL in total offense and second in scoring, despite the unit struggling over the final month. Perhaps the most important factor leading to his success (and likely a long-term deal in the offseason) was that he stayed healthy throughout the 2023 campaign, as he played a full regular season for the first time in his career. 

A.J. Brown
Philadelphia Eagles · WR

Despite his production falling off down the stretch, A.J. Brown still finished fifth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,456 -- marking his second consecutive season with over 1,400 yards. He did so thanks to an impressive stretch in which he posted an NFL-record six straight games with at least 125 receiving yards from Week 3 to Week 8. There aren’t many better than Brown when he’s connecting with his quarterback, and we saw just that when Philadelphia jetted out to a 10-1 start. 

Jared Goff
Detroit Lions · QB

How Jared Goff has responded in Detroit after being traded away from the team that selected him No. 1 overall in 2016 has been incredible to watch. He has gotten better and better under Lions coordinator Ben Johnson, playing some of his best football in 2023 with Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta as top targets. Goff threw the fourth-most pass TDs (30) this season, his most in a season since 2018, and thrived on downfield passes. According to Next Gen Stats, on passes of 10 or more air yards, Goff ranked in the top five in completion percentage (59.9), pass yards (2,234), pass yards per attempt (13.4) and passer rating (116.5) this season. From knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion in Week 1 to clinching the team's first division title since 1993 (and winning a pair of playoff games), Goff has proven he's way more than the bridge quarterback many expected him to be in Detroit.

Amon-Ra St. Brown
Detroit Lions · WR

Amon-Ra St. Brown has steadily increased his production over his three seasons with Jared Goff in Detroit, and 2023 was undoubtedly his best as he established himself in the upper echelon of NFL receivers. The two-time Pro Bowler led the Lions’ third-ranked offense in receptions (119), receiving yards (1,515) and receiving TDs (10, tied with Sam LaPorta). He was also one of the more consistent receivers, with nine 100-yard receiving games, most in the NFL. This offense was the best we’ve seen in Detroit in a long time, and St. Brown was at the center of it. He should continue to be, with Ben Johnson sticking around for another season.

JUST MISSED: Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins; Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions.

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