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Russell Wilson is PFF’s 20th-ranked quarterback in the NFL

Will Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson bounce back in 2023 — or just continue a downward slide on the tail end of his career in the NFL?

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Russell Wilson had one of his worst seasons in the NFL in 2022 and the Denver Broncos struggled to score points until late in the season. However, does one season mean the downhill slide continues? If you look around the national media, they aren’t too optimistic about a turnaround this season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Russell Wilson is their 20th-ranked quarterback in the NFL heading into the 2023 season.


Wilson ranked 26th in PFF passing grade last season and 29th in overall grade. It’s difficult to overstate how bad his first year in Denver was and how much uncertainty that paints his future in. Sean Payton has been brought in to make the best of a disastrous situation, but exactly where Wilson can land on the spectrum between last season and his best play in Seattle is pure guesswork. Given his visible decline in athleticism, it seems likely that his baseline is closer to last year than his peak, but he is a player with a wide range of outcomes.

I will choose to focus on the last line in PFF’s take here. Wilson does have a wide range of outcomes and I believe 2022 would be the absolute worst we’ll ever see from him - especially with Sean Payton in town. While his best statistical season is just three seasons ago in 2020, it sure seems like a long ways away now.

So is 20th about right? I think it is overly pessimistic, but likely not by much. I think we could see Wilson return to a Top 15 quarterback and maybe even higher if he excels under Payton’s system. It sure is a big damn unknown though here in early June.