In a recent ranking list of NFL quarterback tiers, Jared Goff is ranked and described absolutely appropriately.
Early in his first season with the Detroit Lions, Jared Goff’s level of play begged to be replaced. But there was not a viable replacement for him, and only injury and COVID took him off the field.
But over his final five starts, Goff was one of the highest-rated passers in the NFL (107.1 rating) with 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions. He is still a placeholder for the Lions’ next quarterback, but there are at least signs he turned a corner. With better structure around him, from coaching staff down to the talent around him, better things could be in store next season.
In a broad sense, the Lions are in a bit of quarterback purgatory. The 2022 draft class doesn’t have what analysts see as a slam-dunk elite quarterback prospect, the 2023 class is hardly a guarantee to be a lot better and head coach Dan Campbell acknowledged Goff is not elite without directly saying so.
Jared Goff ranked appropriately among NFL quarterback tiers
Christian D’Andrea of USA Today’s For The Win has put the 32 currently projected NFL starting quarterbacks into seven tiers.
Goff is part of Tier VI, excellently titled “He’s young(ish) and we’re pretty sure he’s not the guy”, with Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Daniel Jones. The cut-off age for that tier was 30 years old.
Goff is a former MVP candidate who has regressed badly and turned into late-stage Alex Smith thanks to a litany of low-impact checkdown passes near the line of scrimmage.
It’s sort of amazing to realize Goff will only turn 28 in October, in the middle of his seventh NFL season. To be described as a “late-stage Alex Smith” is perfectly appropriate though. Smith became a quarterback who was good enough to win a lot of games, for multiple teams, but had a limited ceiling that begged to be replaced.
Goff’s career is far from over, as any idea he can be “the guy” is gone and he settles in as a fringe starter/backup-type. The Lions are his second team, but if he ends up playing for about five teams when his career by the time his career is all said and done it won’t be a surprise.