The 2023 NFL season is finally here. With the preseason in the books and rosters trimmed for the regular season, all eyes are on the Sept. 7 opener, when the Chiefs and Lions will officially mark the start of the new schedule.
Which players will have the biggest impact on this season? We're glad you asked. We polled 10 different members of our NFL staff to create an All-Preseason lineup of our projected top 53 players -- plus three coaches -- for the 2023 campaign.
The voters: Senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco, senior NFL writer Will Brinson, NFL writers Cody Benjamin, Jared Dubin, Garrett Podell and Tyler Sullivan, and NFL editors Brett Anderson, Eric Kernish, Joel Magaraci and Kevin Steimle
Seven different QBs received votes for three slots here, with the most notable omissions being Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott, who landed on our . Mahomes is legitimately a future Hall of Famer at age 27, so his unanimous selection was no surprise. Allen, meanwhile, remains a beloved playmaker at the position despite eclipsing 10 turnovers in all four of his NFL seasons, including a career-high 19 in 2022.
Jonathan Taylor received not a single vote amid his potential breakup with the Colts. McCaffrey's dual-threat debut with the 49ers in 2022 has him poised for a heavy workload once again. Ekeler, meanwhile, remains maybe the steadiest pass-catching back this side of McCaffrey, hence his inclusion among the top three.,
If nothing else, this is clear evidence of the abundance of pass-catching talent around the NFL. Jefferson and Chase, LSU-grown home run hitters, were unanimous picks for the second straight year, while Hill made a big leap after proving he doesn't need Patrick Mahomes to dominate vertically. Kupp, who didn't crack the top six, saw the steepest dive after an injury-riddled 2022.
Waller, who figures to be the Giants' No. 1 target, just barely missed out on the top three. This group has stayed the same for a few years now, as they represent the elder statesmen of a top-heavy position: Kelce is 33, Andrews will soon be 28, and Kittle turns 30 in October. One notable omission: the Eagles' Dallas Goedert, who's topped 700 yards in two straight years.
Williams' mammoth-sized blind-side success drew unanimous support for the second straight year, while Johnson made a big leap after helping guide the Eagles' second Super Bowl bid in six years. Tunsil just cashed in with a big-money extension this offseason, as did Thomas, whose emergence as New York's left tackle propelled the rejuvenation of both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
Now you can see why Martin spent part of this summer advocating for a new deal in Dallas: the All-Pro interior man was the only guard to receive unanimous support going into 2023, though the Browns' Bitonio is also a repeat starter here.
The Eagles' 2022 Super Bowl bid sure helped boost the national opinion of their longtime linemen, as Kelce only received honorable mention going into last year. Humphrey has been just as much of a mainstay for Mahomes' title-contending front.
Jones has threatened to sit out half the season while aiming for a new payday in Kansas City, and everyone might be on his side, considering he topped even future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald in DL votes, fresh off the second 15.5-sack season of his career. Lawrence and Williams recently got lucrative extensions as the defensive centerpieces of New York contenders.
Talk about a lethal group of pass rushers here. Reddick is the newcomer after a monster Eagles debut that included a dominant NFC title-game performance, but Garrett, Bosa and Watt have been at it for years. It's a credit to Crosby, who doesn't often get the national attention he deserves, that he received as many votes as Watt, the former Defensive Player of the Year.
Like tight end, this is a position of aging holdovers, perhaps because off-ball LBs are generally becoming less important to pass-defending units. Warner and Smith are still just 26, but they're repeat All-Pros recognized alongside the seasoned Davis, 34, and David, 33, who've been patrolling defenses for more than a decade.
Others receiving votes: Jalen Ramsey (2), Marlon Humphrey (2), Xavien Howard (2), James Bradberry (1), D.J. Reed (1), Tariq Woolen (1), L'Jarius Sneed (1), Deonte Banks (1), Marshon Lattimore (1), Denzel Ward (1), Stephon Gilmore (1)
This one received more nominees than any other position, with a whopping 17 different cover men getting votes for six spots. It speaks to the year-to-year unpredictability of elite corners, though everyone expects Gardner and Surtain to replicate their early-career dominance. Horn is the most unproven of the starting bunch, entering Year 3 with just 16 total games under his belt.
Like cornerback, safety was also a widespread vote-getter, with 14 different players drawing nominations. James has been a physical force since entering the NFL, despite battling injuries, while Fitzpatrick has been a standard-setting ballhawk in Pittsburgh. Hufanga is the promising newcomer, earning his first All-Pro nod in 2022 after deflecting nine passes and picking off four.
Justin Tucker (10)
No contest here, as per usual. The Ravens' six-time Pro Bowler leads all kickers with at least 100 career field goal tries in conversion percentage (90.5%), entering 2023 in search of an eighth straight All-Pro nod. No one is more reliable on special teams.
Michael Dickson (6)
The Seahawks' sixth-year veteran has topped 48 yards per punt three different times, while never booting less than 33% of his punts inside opposing teams' 20-yard lines. Consistency matters at this spot, and he's demonstrated just that.
Andy Reid (9)
Others receiving votes: John Harbaugh (1)
Much like Bill Belichick once was with the Patriots, Big Red is a virtual lock to lead the Chiefs to a division title and AFC Championship appearance, if not a full-on Super Bowl trophy. His creative pairing with QB Patrick Mahomes is that smooth, and the fact his track record dates to a long run with the Eagles shows he's always growing as a play-caller. One of his disciples, the Ravens' Harbaugh, received a lone alternative vote after guiding his 10th playoff appearance in Baltimore.
Ben Johnson (5)
Others receiving votes: Kellen Moore (2), Eric Bieniemy (1), Press Taylor (1)
The Lions have drawn more hype than at any point in recent memory, and much of it stems from the way Johnson was able to squeeze efficient, high-scoring production out of Jared Goff and Co. in 2022. Now the OC has more speed to utilize in rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs, as well as a promising young receiving corps headlined by Amon-Ra St. Brown.
T-Dan Quinn (3), Vic Fangio (3)
Others receiving votes: Brian Flores (2), Wink Martindale (1), Lou Anarumo (1)
Five different DCs drew votes here, with Quinn and Fangio knotted up as former head coaches-turned-respected defensive minds. The former deploys some of the game's top young playmakers in Dallas, while Fangio will be tasked with aiding Miami's ball-control attack in the AFC East. Flores is an intriguing honorable mention,.