The 2023 season is becoming the year of the (injured) quarterback.
And all this calamity comes a year after a record-65 quarterbacks started regular-season games.
The current injury epidemic has reminded us all how vital the backup quarterback position is in the NFL. I'm taking it a step further. Let's not forget how vital your No. 3 quarterback is, because clubs dealing with injuries to their starter now forced to play the backup are one snap away from the scenario the 49ers found themselves in during last year's NFC Championship game.
Because of these pressing circumstances, I've made sweeping changes to the Practice Squad Power Rankings this week, with GMs in mind. Because now, more of them are likely looking for quarterbacks to either elevate to the 53-man roster or poach from other team to quickly get up to speed before Week 12.
So, the Week 11 PSPR is completely dedicated to the 10-best practice squad power rankings QUARTERBACKS. Choose wisely, GMs. There are some intriguing passers available, ready to cook.
As for The CUT, it remains at eight entering Week 11. Let's pick it up!
Let's quickly pay homage to Practice Squad Power Ranking alums like Saints TE Juwan Johnson, 49ers wideout Jauan Jennings, Ravens cornerback/safety Ar'Darius Washington, Buccaneers wideout Deven Thompkins, Seahawks guard Phil Haynes, Cardinals center Hjalte Froholdt, and Giants receiver Isaiah Hodgins (among many others) who have all graduated to become important mainstays on their clubs' respective 53-man rosters and contribute in their own ways each weekend.
We didn't see a single call up in Week 9, the CUT (Call-Up Tracker) remains at eight on the season. Instead of adjusting on the fly, I'm standing firm this week. You won't see any changes from last week's PSPR -- besides the addition of Brown.
The expanded, 16-man practice squads are about the only good thing to come out of the pandemic, and they're here to stay in the NFL. Because of this, I run the Practice Squad Power Rankings parallel to the league and write about 16 individuals every Friday, 10 officially in the rankings and six honorable mentions.
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Further: To get back to the true origins of the PSPR, which were to highlight young players, I won't be featuring "veterans" this season. Selecting someone like Phillip Dorsett -- currently on the Broncos practice squad -- would not embody the fundamental intention of The PSPR.
So for the sake of the Practice Squad Power Rankings' dignity, I'll only be including practice-squaders who are rookies, second-year players, third-year players or fourth-year pros. Players drafted from 2020 on. That's it.
What I'm asking of you as a loyal PSPR patron -- alert me on X/Twitter @ChrisTrapasso if you see a tweet about a PSPR getting The Call so I can add to The CUT.
10. Max Duggan, QB, Chargers
Duggan gets a nod here for two reasons -- his incredibly gritty career at TCU and the fact he showed improvement each year, which culminated in a special 2022 that ended with a berth in the national title game. Duggan isn't big, but has dynamic athleticism and, by his senior season, demonstrated fine touch on downfield throws.
9. Brett Rypien, QB, Seahawks
In four seasons, Rypien has attempted 168 regular-season passes. He's completed 58.3% of those throws with more than double the amount of picks (nine) than touchdowns (four). What I like about Rypien is his noticeably quick release and aggressive nature pushing the football down the field. While the turnovers are concerning, at least there's some upside with your passing game if he steps on the field. He'll do more than check it down repeatedly.
8. Chris Oladokun, QB, Chiefs
Oladokun was somewhat of a surprise selection late in 2022 by the Steelers, but he was a dual-threat starter at FCS powerhouse South Dakota State (after stops at South Florida and Samford). With the Jackrabbits in 2021, he threw 25 touchdowns to only seven picks and averaging 8.3 yards per attempt.
7. Jeff Driskel, QB, Cardinals
Driskel has kept NFL jobs because of his size, movement ability and higher-caliber arm, although he's never quite done enough to garner anything close to serious consideration for a starting job since entering the league. It's not like the former Florida and Louisiana Tech quarterback has been disastrous in his spot and relief appearances. He has 14 touchdowns to just eight interceptions and three more touchdowns with a 5.3 yards-per-carry average to his name as a professional.
6. Malik Cunningham, QB, Patriots
Cunningham's already a PSPR alum, and I don't know what it will take for Bill Belichick to make a move to him at quarterback. Sure, Mac Jones does not have Randy Moss and Wes Welker out wide, but Cunningham is the exact type of signal-caller who could make the most out of a bad situation because of his athletic gifts.
5. Nathan Rourke, QB, Jaguars
Rourke lands at No. 5 after a highlight-reel preseason, which included one of theyou'll ever see. Rourke exemplified MACtion during his three years at Ohio University 60 touchdowns to 20 interceptions, but eventually went undrafted. He could operate Doug Pederson's offense with respectable efficiency.
4. Shane Buechele, QB, Bills
Buechele was a wild west gunslinger at SMU after he began his career at Texas. Post transfer, Buechele threw for nearly 7,000 yards with 57 touchdowns and 16 interceptions across two seasons. There's mobility and a strong arm to Buechele's game, too. Then, he spent 2021 and 2022 learning from Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid in Kansas City. This relatively high ranking is contingent upon the knowledge he likely soaked up from that Hall of Fame duo.
3. Trace McSorley, QB, Bears
This position for McSorley is more about upside and feel than anything else because the former Penn State hasn't particularly played well in his minimal appearances in the NFL to date. However, I have not forgotten about him working out at the combine as a receiver, and his 4.57 time in the 40-yard dash. McSorley wasn't a perfect passer in college, but had a knack for making big plays, and he was tough as nails.
2. David Blough, QB, Lions
What feels like 10 years ago, Blough had a respectable five-game starting stretch in Detroit in 2019 that featured some impressive throws and two contests with over 250 yards passing but altogether equated to a 64 passer rating. Woof. Blough was given another opportunity in the final two games last season, and fared much better. He completed over 65% of his throws for 402 yards with two touchdowns, a pair of picks and a respectable 85.1 rating.
1. Trevor Siemian, QB, Jets
While I completely acknowledge the lack of flash and intrigue with Siemian, I take solace in knowing this is a former full-time player who's started 30 games in the NFL. He's never finished a season with a completion percentage of 60% or better (yikes), his touchdown rate (4.0%) far exceeds his interception rate (2.7%) in his career to date. The Jets smartly have one of the more experienced backups in football behind Zach Wilson (who has played better of late).