The 2024 NFL Draft is in the books, and the biggest wave of free agency is over. That makes it a perfect time to take stock of NFL rosters as we head toward the 2024 season. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at the quarterbacks, running backs, and pass catchers for all 32 NFL Teams. I’ll be ranking each unit 1-16 in their conference.

When it comes to taking stock of the whole unit, it’s not just about star power but depth. That’s especially true as we look at quarterbacks. A total of 66 quarterbacks started in 2023, and 68 started in 2022. That means you need more than one—sometimes more than two! After considering the NFC, today I look at the first eight teams in the AFC. Teams appear in ascending order.

No. 16: Denver Broncos

On the Roster: Bo Nix, Zach Wilson, and Jarrett Stidham

About: The Broncos have spent this off-season re-making the quarterback group. The team ate a huge amount of dead cap space to move on from Russell Wilson. In his stead, they still have Stidham under contract for a season and traded for Wilson from the Jets.

But the biggest move was taking former Oregon passer Nix at twelfth overall. Nix is a rookie, lacking NFL experience, but Stidham has started four games the past two seasons, including two for the Broncos in 2023. Wilson has also started plenty of games for the Jets over the past three seasons. But neither profiles as a franchise quarterback option at this point. So, where does that leave the Broncos?

The team has three options and will likely have some competition in training camp. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the veterans kick off the season. The question is whether Nix is the long-term solution. He could be, but only time will tell. For now, the Broncos have the weakest group in the AFC.

No. 15: Las Vegas Raiders

On the Roster: Aidan O’Connell, Gardner Minshew, Anthony Brown, Jr., and Carter Bradley

About: The Raiders have a couple of options. O’Connell finished the 2023 season, and Minshew was added in free agency. Both have some starting experience. O’Connell went 5-5, throwing for 2,218 yards, 12 TDs, and seven INTs last season as a rookie. Minshew has had starting stints for a few teams, including spending most of the season as a starter for the Colts in 2023. He went 7-6 as a starter, throwing for 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

It will be interesting to see who rises to the top, though I suspect Minshew will be the starter. Behind them are a couple of development prospects. The Raiders have a bit more positive experience in the room than the Broncos, so I bumped them a notch ahead.

No. 14: Tennessee Titans

On the Roster: Will Levis, Mason Rudolph, and Malik Willis

About: The Titans have plenty of promise, but it comes down to how Levis develops as the full-time starter. He took over from Ryan Tannehill last season, going 3-6 with 1,808 yards, eight TDs, and four INTs. Those aren’t incredible numbers. However, the team changed coaches and added weapons to give Levi a better chance to succeed. They also added a solid veteran backup in Rudolph, who went 3-0 without tossing an interception down the stretch for the Steelers in 2023 to get them into the playoffs. I don’t know what Willis adds, but he’s a prospect that continues to learn. It’s a close call, but I gave the Titans a slight bump with Levis.

No. 13: New England Patriots

On the Roster: Drake Maye, Jacoby Brissett, Bailey Zappe, and Joe Milton

About: This is another tough call. The Patriots didn’t have a good season and moved on from Mac Jones as quarterback and Bill Belichick as Head Coach. The team brought in Brissett, a veteran, and retained Zappe, who started to end last season. The team also spent the third overall pick on Maye, a rookie out of North Carolina, and a late-round pick on Milton, a developmental prospect out of Tennessee.

I suspect all of them will be on the roster in some way. But who starts? A lot of that depends on Maye’s progress. But the Patriots aren’t without options. Brissett has made 48 starts with five teams over his career. He’s thrown for 10,574 yards and 51 touchdowns. That gives them a solid veteran option in addition to Maye. It was a close call, but that led me to put him at No. 13.

No. 12: Pittsburgh Steelers

On the Roster: Russell Wilson, Justin Fields, Kyle Allen, and John Plumlee

About: The Steelers made the playoffs in 2023, and yet they have a new Offensive Coordinator, and all three of the quarterbacks that were on the team’s roster in 2023 are gone. Kenny Pickett is with the Eagles, Mason Rudolph is with the Titans, and Mitch Trubisky is back with the Bills.

In their stead, the team has pulled in four new passers, including rookie development prospect Plumlee. Allen gives them a veteran and another body, but this is really about Wilson and Fields. Wilson was acquired in free agency following his release from the Broncos, while Fields was acquired in trade from the Bears. Both had struggles in 2023 while starting for their former teams. Now, both are looking for a second chance. Despite recent struggles, I like the potential here, so that was enough for me to pull the Steelers up to this spot.

No. 11: Miami Dolphins

On the Roster: Tua Tagovailoa, Mike White, and Skylar Thompson

About: Why are the Dolphins here? Well, with the next two teams, it’s about a lack of depth. I like the Dolphins’ starter. Tua, heading into a crucial season, has a 32-19 record in four seasons, throwing for 12,639 yards and 81 touchdowns. He’s a solid starting option. Behind him is White, who had a few decent games in 2022 for the Jets, and Thompson, who started a couple of games in 2022 after being a late-round pick. It’s unclear how strong the Dolphins can be if Tua is out, so I have them a little lower.

No. 10: Los Angeles Chargers

On the Roster: Justin Herbert, Easton Stick, Max Duggan, and Casey Bauman

About: The Chargers have a similar issue to the Dolphins. I like Herbert, who has been strong in his four years after being taken one pick after Tua in the draft. He has thrown for 17,223 yards and 114 touchdowns. He’s great. But behind him is Stick, who started four games in 2023. The team went 0-4 in those games, but Stick was fine.

After him, Duggan has no NFL snaps, and Bauman is a rookie prospect. So, much like the Dolphins, it’s unclear how well the Chargers can do if Herbert misses time. The lack of quality depth knocks them down a bit for me.

No. 9: New York Jets

On the Roster: Aaron Rodgers, Tyrod Taylor, and Jordan Travis

About: The Jets’ weakness last season with quarterback depth, among other things. It’s a point made by coaches and even the owner this off-season. So, the team grabbed a solid veteran in Taylor to back up Rodgers in 2024. Now, if Rodgers has truly recovered from his major injury in 2023, the team has a couple of strong options.

I also liked the addition of a development prospect in Travis. The Jets are all in on 2024, and it’s clear that they have a solid QB room. Given the addition of Taylor and the presence of Rodgers, it felt right to pull the Jets up to the middle of the pack in the AFC.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network

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