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Preseason NFL Power Rankings: Who’s on the hot seat in 2023?

In a little more than two weeks, the 2023 NFL season will be here. The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs open the season at home vs. the Detroit Lions on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Much has happened since we last polled our experts in the weeks after the 2023 NFL draft: The Washington Commanders were sold, DeAndre Hopkins signed with the Titans, running backs Ezekiel Elliott (Patriots) and Dalvin Cook (Jets) found new homes, and Josh Jacobs still has yet to report to Raiders camp.

Now that eyes are turning to the regular-season schedule, it makes us wonder. Who has the most at stake this season? Who is on the hot seat for each team in 2023?

In addition to our preseason Power Rankings, our 32 NFL Nation reporters identified one player, coach or executive who has much to prove in 2023 — some players are trying to hold on to their starting spot, while a few coaches/general managers are looking to stay employed.

We did the same exercise in 2022, and out of the 32 names, 10 players are on different teams and four coaches have moved to different jobs. Who’s on the list this year?

Our power panel is a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities that evaluates how NFL teams stack up against each other, then ranks them from 1 to 32.

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

Post-draft ranking: 1

On the hot seat: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Edwards-Helaire is most likely in his final season with the Chiefs and could be playing for his career as well. He hasn’t proved worthy of the first-round pick the Chiefs used on him in 2020 and has been passed on the depth chart by Isiah Pacheco, a 2022 seventh-round pick. The Chiefs declined the fifth-year option on Edwards-Helaire’s contract, and he will need to play well in the opportunities he gets to earn a contract with another team for 2024. — Adam Teicher

Post-draft ranking: 3

On the hot seat: ST coach Michael Clay

Special teams was the weakest of Philadelphia’s three units last season. There were a number of notable miscues, none bigger than an errant punt during Super Bowl LVII against the Chiefs that led to a pivotal 65-yard Kadarius Toney return in the fourth quarter. Clay reportedly received a contract extension this offseason, but his group needs to perform in order to ensure his job security moving forward. — Tim McManus

Post-draft ranking: 2

On the hot seat: OT Jackson Carman

In training camp, Carman has played at right tackle to see how he might fare at the spot, if not for this season then in 2024, when he could be a potential replacement for Jonah Williams. But instead, Carman struggled with consistency and was promptly moved to left tackle after his showing in the team’s preseason opener against Green Bay. The 2021 second-round pick has struggled to win starting jobs in Cincinnati despite being positioned for success. If that trend continues into his third season, it doesn’t bode well for his long-term outlook with the Bengals. — Ben Baby

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