Chicago Bears Offseason Workout

Just as we did last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that and the year before that, the crew here at recently set out to rank each NFL team's "triplets." Why not, right? It's the middle of the offseason, and it's an offseason tradition around these parts. 

So in the space below, we're once again counting down the NFL's best QB-RB-WR/TE trios, grading the expected starters at quarterback and running back and their presumed top pass-catcher for the 2023 NFL season. For some teams, it was obvious who would fill each role. For others, less so. Where we had to make judgment calls on which player would start at quarterback or who would be the top target, we did. 

In the space below, you'll see our rankings of these triplets. The first number in parentheses is the team's average ranking based on the votes of several of our staff writers and editors at, while the second number reflects the high and low end of where our staffers ranked that individual team. 

For example, our No. 13 team -- the Seattle Seahawks -- had an average ranking of 14.3, with a high ranking of 10 and a low of 23. We have denoted tier breaks in any place where the difference between the average ranking of one team and another exceeded 2.0. For example, the aforementioned Seahawks had an average ranking of 14.3 and the Vikings had an average of 11.9, so the Vikings begin a new tier. 

The panel included myself, John Breech, Jeff Kerr, Tyler Sullivan, Jordan Dajani, Cody Benjamin, Shanna McCarriston, Chris Trapasso, Kevin Steimle, Brett Anderson, Garrett Podell, Joel Magaraci, Kyle Stackpole, R.J. White, Eric Kernish and Eric Kay. The rankings reflect the collective wisdom of this crowd, while the corresponding analysis is mine. 

We began this exercise on Tuesday with the bottom third of the league. We continue Wednesday with the middle of the pack, and we'll finish up Thursday with the top tiers. Without further ado ...

Tier 5: Pretty Good! With Some Questions

20. Chicago Bears (Avg: 19.7, High: 15, Low: 26)

Last year: 30th

QB: Justin Fields RB: Khalil Herbert WR: D.J. Moore

This is a big step forward for Chicago's trio. Fields' performance as a runner last season was second to none, and the Bears did what several teams with young, ascending quarterbacks before them have done in going to get him a No. 1 receiver. Herbert seems likely to split the backfield duties with D'Onta Foreman and/or Roschon Johnson, but should be the leader among that group. If Fields can take a leap as a passer this season, Chicago could ascend significantly higher next year. 

19. New Orleans Saints (Avg: 19.3, High: 12, Low: 23)

Last year: 17th

QB: Derek Carr RB: Alvin Kamara (or Jamaal Williams) WR: Chris Olave

Well, this seems about right for the Saints. Olave was fantastic as a rookie and looks every bit like a future star. But Carr has been somewhere between slightly above average and slightly below average for the majority of his career, and Kamara took a step back last year and may or may not be facing a significant suspension. (And Williams' effectiveness is likely overstated right now due to his absurd touchdown rate last season.)

18. New York Giants (Avg: 18.6, High: 11, Low: 23)

Last year: 28th 

QB: Daniel Jones RB: Saquon Barkley TE: Darren Waller

Jones may have been the most improved player in the NFL last season, but most of that improvement was about limiting the downside of his play and not discovering the upside. New York took more off his plate and basically asked him to be a runner and short-passer and that was about it. What will things look like if and when the Giants ask him to do more? We're going to find out over these next few years, and at least the team went out and got him a higher-quality pass-catcher in Waller to aid that development. 

17. Los Angeles Rams (Avg: 16.8, High: 13, Low: 21)

Last year: 6th

QB: Matthew Stafford RB: Cam Akers WR: Cooper Kupp

This is a steep fall for the Rams, and seems to be based mostly on health. What is the status of Stafford's elbow? Who the heck knows. Is Kupp fully recovered from his ankle surgery? We won't really find out until training camp. Can Akers rediscover any of what made him an exciting prospect before his Achilles tear? It remains to be seen.

16. Las Vegas Raiders (Avg: 15.5, High: 11, Low: 19)

Last year: 9th

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo RB: Josh Jacobs WR: Davante Adams

So, uh, is Jimmy G even going to suit up for the Raiders? Or is that clause in his contract about being released with no penalty before this season about to become very important? That's a situation that seems wildly up in the air. Jacobs is coming off a First Team All-Pro season, but his play last year was wildly out of step with his performance through the first three years of his career. What should we expect going forward? Adams is one of the small handful of best receivers in the NFL, but we don't know who will be throwing him the ball, or what Garoppolo will look like outside of the Kyle Shanahan cocoon if it's indeed him. 

15. Detroit Lions (Avg: 15.4, High: 14, Low: 17)

Last year: 24th

QB: Jared Goff RB: David Montgomery WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown

Goff has shown at this point that if he is well protected, he can deliver the ball on time and on target with enough regularity to lead a pretty damn good offense. He doesn't present much of a ceiling beyond what is schemed up for him within the confines of the offense, but when the scheme and the line are as good as Detroit's, that's not as much of an issue. Perhaps Jahmyr Gibbs should be the back here, but Montgomery seems much more likely to be the team's leading rusher, with Gibbs operating as a secondary threat in both the run and pass game. 

14. Cleveland Browns (Avg: 14.6, High: 9, Low: 19)

Last year: 11th

QB: Deshaun Watson RB: Nick Chubb WR: Amari Cooper

I'm honestly not sure how anybody chose their rankings for the Browns, because I have no idea what anybody should expect from Watson. He essentially did not play football for about a year and a half, and although it was due to a suspension and not an injury, that is a long time to be away and it is not like you come back and just automatically resume your prior level of play. Can he rediscover that form at all? There appears to be at least a mild degree of confidence here that he can. 

13. Seattle Seahawks (Avg: 14.3, High: 10, Low: 23)

Last year: 31st

QB: Geno Smith RB: Kenneth Walker WR: DK Metcalf

The Seahawks were probably last season's biggest (pleasant) surprise, with Geno Smith enjoying a delayed breakout season the likes of which we have rarely seen in the NFL. His combination of accuracy and playmaking was up there with some of the best in the league for most of the season, though he did slow down toward the end of the year. Still, it looks like he's got the faith of our panel, which expects Seattle to be pretty firmly in the top half of the league once again.

Tier 4: Very Good, Maybe Not (Yet) Great

12. Minnesota Vikings (Avg: 11.9, High: 9, Low: 15)

Last year: 15th

QB: Kirk Cousins RB: Alexander Mattison WR: Justin Jefferson

Jefferson currently holds the crown as the best receiver in the league, but Cousins is basically the epitome of a league-average quarterback and we've only seen Mattison act as the lead back a few times in his career so it's fair to have some questions about how he'll fare in that role full time. A ranking just outside the top 10 seems about right. 

11. San Francisco 49ers (Avg: 10.0, High: 5, Low: 18)

Last year: 13th

QB: ??? RB: Christian McCaffrey WR: Deebo Samuel

Do you have any idea who will be playing quarterback for the 49ers in Week 1? We don't. And it didn't much matter here. Brock Purdy is still recovering from his elbow surgery. Trey Lance is working his way back from a broken ankle. Sam Darnold might actually have to take some snaps! But CMC and Deebo are so good (and Kyle Shanahan's so good at establishing a high floor for quarterback play) that the Niners checked in just outside the top 10 anyway. 

10. Miami Dolphins (Avg: 9.9, High: 3, Low: 13)

Last year: 18th

QB: Tua Tagovailoa RB: Raheem Mostert WR: Tyreek Hill

With the exception of a stray vote at No. 3, every other panelist placed the Dolphins between No. 8 and 13. That seems like the appropriate range for this group given the heights Tagovailoa achieved as a passer last year and the inherent risks involved with him as a player at this point. Hill showing what he did outside of Kansas City last season was pretty outrageous, and at least somewhat unexpected. Mostert will likely share work with Jeff Wilson Jr. and Devon Achane, and we didn't really know which direction to lean with the choice at running back here. 

9. New York Jets (Avg: 9.1, High: 7, Low: 13)

Last year: 27th

QB: Aaron Rodgers RB: Breece Hall WR: Garrett Wilson

I'm at least a little surprised there weren't more varied opinions on the Jets. Rodgers took a pretty sizable step backward last season and Hall is coming off a torn ACL. I thought there would be less agreement on whether Rodgers could bounce back and whether Hall would be healthy enough to lead the backfiield, but there was a pretty narrow band of rankings here. Wilson is a future (if not already present) superstar, though, and was able to show that essentially whenever anyone but Zach Wilson was on the field last season.

8. Baltimore Ravens (Avg: 8.8, High: 6, Low: 11)

Last year: 8th

QB: Lamar Jackson RB: J.K. Dobbins TE: Mark Andrews

Baltimore is the only team to check in with the exact same ranking as it did last year. It helps that we're using the exact same three players, even if the Ravens have changed out a lot of the pieces surrounding them -- including the offensive coordinator. Jackson was on track to rediscover top form last season before injuries hit both him and the receiving corps, but the Ravens are clearly hoping Todd Monken can open things up for him and help find avenues to more explosive plays through the air. 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (Avg: 8.4, High: 5, Low: 13)

Last year: 23rd

QB: Trevor Lawrence RB: Travis Etienne WR: Calvin Ridley

I think it will be quite a long time before we find a Lawrence-led group outside the top 10 ever again. His rise last season was a bit overshadowed, but he is elite at avoiding negative plays and over the second half of the season began tapping into his outside-of-structure playmaking and high-level ability to read each layer of the defense. With a true No. 1 wideout now on board in Ridley, he should be able to ascend another level this season.