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NFL Week 17 Power Rankings 2023: How all 32 teams stack up

Welcome to Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season. A few exciting games over the holidays made an impact on playoff inspirations and the top 10 teams in this week’s rankings.

In addition to the updated rankings this week, our NFL Nation reporters name the rookie of the year for every team. We’ve seen some outstanding first-year performances, from No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud to Rams fifth-round pick Puka Nacua. Which 32 rookies stood out beyond the rest?

This week we are starting with a new team, as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night and are now our No. 1 squad.

Our power panel of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities evaluates how NFL teams stack up against one another, ranking them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Week 16 ranking: 2

Best rookie: WR Zay Flowers

Flowers has become Lamar Jackson’s go-to target, especially after tight end Mark Andrews went down with a significant ankle injury. The rookie not only leads Baltimore in receptions (74) and receiving yards (752) but he is doing so by a large margin. No other Ravens player has more than 45 catches and 550 yards. Baltimore has had a history of not hitting on wide receivers in the first round. But Flowers looks like he will be the best wide receiver ever drafted by the Ravens. He’s already obliterated the Ravens’ rookie reception mark and he needs 89 yards to surpass Torrey Smith for the rookie receiving yard record. — Jamison Hensley



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Week 16 ranking: 1

Best rookie: S Ji’Ayir Brown

A season-ending injury to starting safety Talanoa Hufanga in November thrust Brown into the starting lineup and made him the only Niners rookie not named Jake Moody to step into a pivotal role. There were a couple of early hiccups, but Brown has gotten better by the week and his lack of experience is rarely evident. For the year, Brown has 35 tackles and two interceptions. A strong finish should position him well to become a full-time starter at one of the safety spots in 2024. — Nick Wagoner

Week 16 ranking: 4

Best rookie: RB De’Von Achane

It’s a small group to choose from — the Dolphins selected only four players in the 2023 draft — but Achane is clearly the pick here. The third-rounder had 518 total yards and seven total touchdowns during a three-game stretch early this season, but a knee injury landed him on injured reserve for five weeks. He has operated as Miami’s change-of-pace back but is a threat to hit 100 scrimmage anytime he suits up. His durability is a bit of a concern, but he remains one of the most explosive backs in the NFL, regardless of experience. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Week 16 ranking: 6

Best rookie: TE Sam LaPorta

Straight out of the gate, LaPorta has been consistent and a safety net for Lions quarterback Jared Goff. Detroit’s second-round pick is enjoying one of the greatest seasons in NFL history for a rookie tight end. He tied the single-game record by a rookie TE with three receiving touchdowns in the Week 15 win over Denver. Also, his nine receiving touchdowns this season are tied for the third most by a rookie TE in NFL history. However, this isn’t an easy choice with fellow rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs coming on strong as of late and his usage increasing. The Lions are the second team in league history to have multiple rookies record at least nine touchdowns in a single season, and the first since 1960. — Eric Woodyard



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Week 16 ranking: 5

Best rookie: DT Jalen Carter

Carter started the season on fire, racking up 3.5 sacks and 25 pressures over his first five games. Corner Darius Slay called him “Mr. Unblockable” at the height of that stretch. Carter, the ninth overall pick, has had some splash plays since — most notably, a fumble return for a touchdown against the Cowboys in Week 14 — but his production overall has slowed, as he’s registered one sack and one QB hit in the last six games. His playing time has dipped as well. Still, Carter remains a Rookie Defensive Player of the Year candidate and has had a strong rookie season overall. — Tim McManus

Week 16 ranking: 3

Best rookie: K Brandon Aubrey

The only answer is Aubrey, who is a rookie despite his different path to the NFL from MLS and the USFL. He has set an NFL record with 33 consecutive made field goals to start a career. He has set an NFL record for most touchbacks in a season with 90. His only misses have been three extra points. His 141 points are the most ever by a Cowboys kicker. All that said, the Cowboys wish they had more production from their top two picks, Mazi Smith and Luke Schoonmaker, to make this somewhat of a discussion. — Todd Archer

Week 16 ranking: 8

Best rookie: G O’Cyrus Torrence

Really, this should be shared between Torrence and tight end Dalton Kincaid, but because offensive linemen often unfairly don’t receive the spotlight of other positions, we’ll go with Torrence here. The second-round pick has been part of a consistent offensive line that has seen all five starters start every game this season. The Bills trusted Torrence to start from the jump at right guard, and he’s played well with the second-best pass block win rate among rookies (92.6%) and the third-fewest sacks attributed among rookie offensive linemen that have played at least 700 snaps. — Alaina Getzenberg

Week 16 ranking: 7

Best rookie: WR Rashee Rice

Rice, a second-round draft pick, has dominated the Chiefs’ wide receivers in terms of production. His 74 catches are more than twice the total for their next highest wide out. He is also second on the Chiefs in touchdowns with seven. The Chiefs have increasingly turned to Rice in big situations as the season has progressed. Rice is the easy choice here as none of their other rookies have had much of an impact. — Adam Teicher



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Week 16 ranking: 9

Best rookie: OT Dawand Jones

Jones was having an all-rookie-caliber year before undergoing season-ending knee surgery earlier this month. Jones, a fourth-round pick out of Ohio State, stepped into the starting lineup at right tackle in Week 2, following Jack Conklin’s season-ending knee injury in the opener. Jones was solid all year with a pass block win rate (86.8%) and run block win rate (74.5%). Jones looks like a long-term future Browns bookend. — Jake Trotter

Week 16 ranking: 15

Best rookie: OLB YaYa Diaby

The third-round draft pick’s 6.5 sacks are tied for the league lead among all rookies and are the most on his team. Diaby leads all rookies in fumble recoveries (two) and has registered a forced fumble. Coach Todd Bowles said, “When we drafted him, the biggest thing for me was that he was a shutdown run defender and he could close off the edge … We knew he was very athletic and once we saw him when he got in and we saw the [pass rush] movements, we said, ‘This guy has a chance to be a very good football player.'” — Jenna Laine

Week 16 ranking: 14

Best rookie: WR Puka Nacua

Nacua is one of the best rookies in the NFL this year and could be the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. The fifth-round pick is the Rams’ leading receiver this season, and his 1,327 receiving yards are the fifth most by a rookie in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He needs 147 receiving yards over the Rams’ final two games to break the rookie receiving record, one that’s stood since 1960. — Sarah Barshop



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Week 16 ranking: 16

Best rookie: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Three weeks ago, this would’ve been an easy call in favor of cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who’s been among the leading candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year. But the fifth overall pick has since missed most of the last three games (hip pointer) while Smith-Njigba has continued to come up big. The 20th overall pick made the winning touchdown catch against Philadelphia in Week 15 to become the only rookie since 1960 with two such scores in the final minute of the fourth quarter, per Elias Sports Bureau. A week later, he caught six passes for 61 yards vs. Tennessee, including a third-and-14 conversion on their winning drive. — Brady Henderson

Week 16 ranking: 12

Best rookie: QB C.J. Stroud

Entering Week 14, the No. 2 overall pick led the NFL in passing yards before he suffered a concussion against the New York Jets. He has been sidelined for the last two games as a result. It has yet to be determined if Stroud will clear their concussion protocol and play in a pivotal Week 17 game against the Tennessee Titans, but the Texans are in playoff contention because of how well Stroud played throughout the season. He has 20 passing touchdowns, a 54.7 QBR and a 62.4% completion percentage on the season. — DJ Bien-Aime

Week 16 ranking: 11

Best rookie: RT Anton Harrison

Harrison ranks fifth among rookie tackles with a 78.8% pass block win rate and only one rookie tackle (Chicago’s Darnell Wright) has played more snaps. Harrison’s pass block win rate is second best on the team behind only left tackle Walker Little (81%). — Michael DiRocco

Week 16 ranking: 10

Best rookie: DE Myles Murphy

Cincinnati’s first-round pick narrowly edges out CB DJ Turner, who has made 11 starts this season. That’s because Murphy has been in good form recently. Since Week 12, Murphy is second in the NFL among all rookies in pass rush win rate (22.2%). Murphy has three sacks this season, has increased his snap share and become a bigger part of Cincinnati’s rush rotation. That’s a good sign for a group that needs a young player to emerge alongside defensive ends Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. — Ben Baby

Week 16 ranking: 20

Best rookie: CB Joey Porter Jr.

This was a tough one because the Steelers’ rookie class has had a big impact this season. Porter, Keeanu Benton, Nick Herbig and Broderick Jones have all contributed meaningful snaps this season. Porter edges out Benton, not only because he’s played more snaps (660 to 422), but also because he’s been tasked with some of the biggest assignments — and done a pretty good job on them. Porter has locked down some of the league’s top receivers like Tee Higgins, Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins, but he needs to work on cleaning up the penalties and being a consistent tackler. His 41 tackles is tied for 17th among rookies. — Brooke Pryor



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Week 16 ranking: 13

Best rookie: WR Josh Downs

Quarterback Anthony Richardson was on track to be the clear winner here before his season-ending shoulder injury. But Downs has had a very strong rookie year, trailing only Michael Pittman Jr. among Colts players in receptions and receiving yards. With 63 catches for 670 yards, Downs has provided the Colts with a reliable option in the slot and has consistently displayed his football I.Q. by knowing where to settle against zone coverages and how to set up man-to-man defenders with crafty routes. — Stephen Holder

Week 16 ranking: 18

Best rookie: WR Jordan Addison

Addison has fit right into the Vikings’ downfield passing game, benefitting from the attention teammates Justin Jefferson gets from opposing defenses but also producing during Jefferson’s injury absence. Addison’s nine touchdown receptions is tied for the most among NFL rookies, and his 826 receiving yards ranks second. Undrafted linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. has also made a big impact, but Addison’s season-long production — and capacity for improvement in future seasons — nets him this award. — Kevin Seifert



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Week 16 ranking: 21

Best rookie: WR Jayden Reed

Reed, with 54 catches, needs just one to tie and two to break Sterling Sharpe’s franchise record for rookie receptions. The second-round pick is one of only two rookies in team history with 50-plus catches, 500-plus receiving yards and six-plus receiving touchdowns in a season (Billy Howton, 1952). — Rob Demovsky

Week 16 ranking: 23

Best rookie: QB Aidan O’Connell

The final pick of the fourth round was not supposed to play this season — at all. Then again, who could have predicted the Raiders firing both the general manager (Dave Ziegler) and coach (Josh McDaniels) who drafted him and then interim coach Antonio Pierce hitching his wagon to the rookie — who he’s referred to as his “BFF” — with oft-injured and high-priced vet Jimmy Garoppolo beat up early and often? O’Connell has been serviceable at times and looked like a fourth-round rookie at others. The Raiders are 4-4 in his starts as he has thrown for 1,675 yards with 8 TDs (plus one rushing TD) and 7 INTs while completing 61.5% of his attempts, and questions remain as to whether he is indeed the future at the position. — Paul Gutierrez

Week 16 ranking: 19

Best rookie: WR Marvin Mims Jr.

In terms of playing time, Mims (second-round pick), linebacker Drew Sanders (third-rounder) and undrafted rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin are the only rookies getting significant playing time for the Broncos. Mims’ 17.4 yards per punt return would lead the league if he had enough attempts to qualify, and his 26.3 yards per kickoff return would be second. He has a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 60-yard touchdown catch — which is both the team’s longest reception and longest scoring play from scrimmage of the season to this point. Mims has played just 38% of the team’s offensive snaps but will likely get more snaps on offense over the last two weeks if a concussion keeps Courtland Sutton out of the lineup. — Jeff Legwold

Week 16 ranking: 22

Best rookie: RB Bijan Robinson

The No. 8 pick in the draft has 1,246 all-purpose yards (No. 14 in the NFL) with 873 yards rushing and 349 yards receiving. It’s not inconceivable for Robinson to end up with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards this season, which would be a very strong rookie year. He also has seven touchdowns (four rushing, three receiving) and has been everything Atlanta expected him to be when it drafted him in the top 10. Second-round pick Matthew Bergeron has been Atlanta’s left guard all season, opening holes for Robinson, and should also get mention here after a very successful rookie year. — Michael Rothstein

Week 16 ranking: 21

Best rookie: DT Bryan Bresee

The Saints’ first-round pick has played in every game and has taken about half the defensive snaps as part of the overall rotation. He has 3.5 sacks — which is tied for ninth among rookies. Bresee almost gets this nod by default as the rest of the 2023 draft class hasn’t done much with the exception of S Jordan Howden, who has seven starts due to injuries. — Katherine Terrell



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Week 16 ranking: 24

Best rookie: CB Tyrique Stevenson

The Bears’ second-round pick has started all 14 games he’s played in while registering 2 interceptions, 10 pass breakups, 74 tackles and 1 forced fumble. Like all rookies Stevenson’s growth hasn’t been linear, but ever since his breakout game at Detroit the cornerback has been on a roll with two interceptions and five pass breakups in his last three games. Drafting Stevenson (and fellow rookie cornerback Terell Smith) has helped solidify the Bears’ secondary. Chicago’s top offseason priority should be re-signing Jaylon Johnson so he and Stevenson can play opposite each for the next several seasons. — Courtney Cronin

Week 16 ranking: 26

Best rookie: RB Tyjae Spears

Spears has been a multipurpose threat for the Titans’ offense. Through 15 games, Spears’ 1,013 all-purpose yards rank him fourth among all rookies. Tennessee lines him up in the slot, out wide and uses him as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Titans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly has used a lot of 22 personnel packages with Spears and Derrick Henry on the field at the same time. Spears leads Titans backs with 479 snaps, three more than Henry. Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel loves Spears’ elusiveness. “Every time you think he’s going to get tackled he bursts through for another five or six yards.” — Turron Davenport

Week 16 ranking: 27

Best rookie: C Joe Tippmann

Slim pickings this year, as the draft hasn’t yielded much in the way of production. Tippmann, a second-round pick, has started 12 games and played 728 snaps on offense, third most among their linemen. The coaches like his movement skills and ability to learn quickly. He still has a ways to go — he ranks 30th out of 34 qualified centers in pass block win rate (89.7%) — but the Jets believe he will be their center in 2024. — Rich Cimini

Week 16 ranking: 25

Best rookie: CB Deonte Banks

The first-round pick has impressed throughout his rookie season. His minus-7.2 completion percentage over expectation is top 10 among all cornerbacks this season. And even when he was challenged by his defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to be more physical, Banks responded with a 12-tackle game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14. Considering the Giants’ second-round pick John Michael Schmitz Jr. has been up and down and third-round selection Jalin Hyatt has contributed sporadically, Banks was the easy choice. — Jordan Raanan

Week 16 ranking: 31

Best rookie: WR/PR Demario “Pop” Douglas

Had first-round pick Christian Gonzalez not sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 4, it likely would have been him as he earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for September. So then it comes down to Douglas and punter Bryce Baringer. A sixth-round pick out of Liberty, Douglas has 44 receptions for 517 yards, giving him the most receptions for a rookie receiver in Bill Belichick’s 24-year tenure (passing Deion Branch, who had 43 in 2002). — Mike Reiss

Week 16 ranking: 28

Best rookie: OLB Tuli Tuipulotu

The Chargers’ second-round pick has emerged as one of the team’s best players. In Week 3, Tuipulotu generated 10 pressures in the Chargers’ win over the Vikings, tied for the second most by a rookie since 2016. Tuipulotu has 41 pressures this season, the third most of any rookie, and his 4.5 sacks are the fourth most. With the Chargers projected to be $34.6 million over the salary cap next season, and possibly needing to move on from Joey Bosa or Khalil Mack to get under the cap, Tuipulotu’s rookie season will likely make them feel more comfortable doing so. — Kris Rhim

Week 16 ranking: 30

Best rookie: RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.

Tough call because none of the rookies have been a true standout. First-round pick Emmanuel Forbes struggled at corner, was benched, returned only to injure his elbow and is no longer one of their top three corners. Second-rounder Jartavius Martin has played more and has been solid of late; he could be their future starting slot corner and backup safety. But Rodriguez, a sixth-round pick, has shown more flashes. He’s averaged 4.8 yards per carry and is second on the team with 247 yards rushing. He runs with power and should be, if nothing else, a strong backup to Brian Robinson Jr. with starting potential. — John Keim

Week 16 ranking: 29

Best rookie: RT Paris Johnson Jr.

Johnson almost wins this by default because he’s the only rookie who’s played consistent snaps all season long. A starter from Week 1, Johnson leads all Cardinals in snaps (924), has been a steady presence on the line and has a pass block win rate of 81.2%. Coach Jonathan Gannon said he can see the game start to slow down for Johnson, whose physical play has helped him become second on the offensive line in run block win rate (75.4%). — Josh Weinfuss

Week 16 ranking: 32

Best rookie: QB Bryce Young

The No. 1 overall pick has largely stood out for his struggles. But this past Sunday he had his first 300-yard passing game with two touchdowns in a losing effort. He ranks 28th out of 30 qualified quarterback in Total QBR with a rating of 34.8. He has 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on the season. He is the second most sacked quarterback in the league. Young has dealt with the criticism and the firing of his head coach but has the support of his team during a tough rookie season. — David Newton


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