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Hello, and happy post-Fourth of July, everyone. John Breech may or may not still be recovering from his holiday diet; all we know is he's not in the office today, which is why you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.

This is the Pick Six newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)

We've got an inside report on the 49ers, 2023 QB tiers, and much more:

  1. Today's show: Inside the 49ers, projecting 2023 season

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Niners Nation's Akash Anavarathan joined Katie Mox and Will Brinson on the latest "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to report on San Francisco's offseason, plus look ahead to the anticipated 2023 campaign. Some highlights:

  • Anavarathan is in agreement that if Brock Purdy is recovered from elbow surgery, he'll get "100% of the pie" at quarterback: "You listen to any of the players talk, they all say the same thing: if he's healthy, he's the guy," including in Week 1.
  • As for the 49ers' backup QB job, Anavarathan doesn't believe either Trey Lance or Sam Darnold "looked that much better" in the spring, and that training camp will determine whether Lance's improved mechanics hold up: "I truly think Kyle (Shanahan) doesn't favor one versus the other" but will determine a QB2 depending on preseason performance.
  • Christian McCaffrey is quickly becoming a standard-bearer inside the locker room, per Anavarathan, alongside defensive stars like Nick Bosa and Fred Warner: "Some of the players call him 'Mini Bosa,' just based off his discipline, his work ethic." 

Catch the full episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.

2. Predicting top offseason acquisitions: Panthers' bet should pay off

The offseason saw lots of big names trade teams, both on the field and on the sidelines. But which acquisitions are most likely to pay off in a big way this year? We ranked our favorites going into 2023, and a couple of QB bets headline the rundown:

Bryce Young to the Panthers: It might seem hard to mess up the No. 1 pick in the draft, but plenty have done it before. Yet Young offers everything but prototypical size at QB. Will he have growing pains? Sure. But the Alabama product oozes veteran-level poise and should be a definitive step up from the trail of wreckage that was Baker MayfieldSam Darnold and Cam Newton 2.0 by the time his rookie year gets well underway. A Year 1 playoff bid wouldn't be crazy.

Aaron Rodgers to the JetsCoach Robert Saleh ought to make sure the Jets bolster their offensive line before boasting again of their title chances, but Rodgers' arrival really does mirror that of Tom Brady's relocation to Tampa from 2020. Even if he's not back to MVP form, the longtime Packers star represents a clear upgrade at quarterback, and New York has top-tier weapons and defensive support. If A-Rod is upright, the Jets should at least reach the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.

D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny to the EaglesCall it the discount duo. Instead of paying Miles Sanders to return as their starting ball-carrier, the reigning NFC champions took Swift off the Lions' hands and inked Penny to a one-year, prove-it deal in free agency. Neither veteran has been especially healthy throughout his career, but both have flashed elite breakaway ability. In tandem, alongside Jalen Hurts and returning backs Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell, they have a real path to efficient, explosive production in Philadelphia.

3. QB tiers: Only three belong in truly 'elite' category

Joe Burrow USATSI

Few things affect a potential title run quite like the QB position. So Will Brinson has assessed all 32 starters (plus a bonus wild card) and sorted them into tiers, from truly elite to generally passable to total mysteries. For 2023, he's got only three signal-callers in the uppermost section:

2023: Patrick MahomesJoe BurrowJosh Allen

We can call them the "Elite of the Elite" or whatever you want, but these guys are simply on a different level as quarterbacks than anyone else right now. This is your top three draft picks if you're starting a franchise. There's a reason these guys comprised the top three spots on Pete Prisco's Top 100 NFL Players list earlier this offseason. Mahomes is clearly No. 1 and I wouldn't even be opposed to giving him his own tier. But I think Burrow and Allen are close enough behind to warrant this designation. If your team has one of these three guys, you believe the Super Bowl is winnable even if things go wrong.

4. History of QBs waiting to start: When they're most likely to thrive

How long should a QB sit before taking the reins? Does starting from Day 1 actually boost a QB's chances of long-term stardom? Jared Dubin sought to answer these questions (and more) by digging into all 91 QBs to enter the NFL and become full-time starters from 2000 to 2019, then analyzing their success and situations. The entire rundown is well worth a look, but here's one of Dubin's takeaways from the historical number-crunching:

In almost every category, the (QBs) that took over in Year 3 performed the best, while the players who became starters in the second half of their rookie season performed the worst. Of course, these results are subject to all sorts of small-sample size concerns. ... It does seem notable, though, that the rookies afforded the opportunity to start right away have generally outperformed those who had to wait a bit but still stepped into the lineup in the first half of their rookie season, who in turn outperformed those who had to wait until the second half of the year before their team gave them a shot.

5. Josh Allen says media exaggerated Stefon Diggs' Bills drama

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Remember when Stefon Diggs skipped practice at the start of Buffalo's mandatory minicamp, prompting coach Sean McDermott to express serious concern about the wideout's status? It was never as disconcerting as it appeared, according to Josh Allen. The QB told the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast that "the media has blown this so far out of proportion."

"We (were) in minicamp. We're not playing a game for four months. He doesn't show up for one day. He's still there; Coach asked him to go home, they're in talks, they're trying to resolve some things. They're still talking about it. Let it go. There's no reason to continue talking about it." This doesn't necessarily account for the fact Diggs all but forced his way off the Vikings years earlier, and left the Bills' 2022 playoff loss visibly frustrated. Alas, all appears to be well between the two sides for now.

6. Eagles' Devon Allen claims he's NFL's fastest man

If you thought Tyreek Hill or DK Metcalf was the fastest player in the NFL, think again. Or at least that's what Devon Allen, the second-year Eagles backup, suggests. Speaking with TMZ this week, the former undrafted Oregon wide receiver claimed he's "definitely" the speediest NFL player, citing his performance among some of the world's fastest athletes. Though Allen has yet to take an NFL snap, the 28-year-old is a four-time national champion and two-time Olympic hurdler.