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Rookie Quarterback Quarter Season Reviews

2018 First-Round NFL Quarterbacks , Getty Images and The Canadian Press

2018 First-Round NFL Quarterbacks , Getty Images and The Canadian Press

Jack Feeney, Writer

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In college, all of them could sling the ball like it was backyard football. But just like the NBA, everyone knows that a rookie’s performance in college doesn’t always mean they’ll light it up like a pro.

In the 2018 NFL draft, there were four quarterbacks selected in the first ten picks, with Baker Mayfield being the first overall pick for the Cleveland Browns. Next, the New York Jets selected Sam Darnold out of USC with the third overall pick. Then, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen were selected seventh and tenth for the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals. Finally, Lamar Jackson was selected with the last pick in the first round after the Baltimore Ravens traded up to grab the former Heisman Trophy winner.

So let’s take a look at these five field generals as they conclude a quarter of their rookie season in the NFL.

Baker Mayfield: 1st Pick Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield entered the draft coming off a historic Heisman campaign. Mayfield is the only walk-on in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy. Mayfield is a quarterback who picks his targets well and is usually a very accurate thrower. In his first win against the Jets, he completed over 70% of his passes and caught a touchdown in a comeback win to give Cleveland its first win in over 630 days. He looked absolutely stellar in his first performance, turning the tide of the game in favor of the Browns when he entered after Tyrod Taylor was injured. There isn’t that many bad things about Mayfield’s QB play overall, however, when he played the Raiders in Oakland, he didn’t fare so well. He completed 51% of his passes and threw two interceptions in the overtime loss.

Sam Darnold: 3rd Pick USC

Sam Darnold was drafted by the Jets with a lot of hype around him. Darnold added a lot of fuel to the fire week one against the Lions where he threw for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Darnold is a quarterback that isn’t afraid to sling the ball all over the field. He has the arm power and talent around him to do it.  However, he lacks the accuracy that would make him a franchise QB. In wins, he has a 76% completion percentage. However, he has only one win. In his other three games, he had suffered a completion percentage of around 53%.

Josh Allen: 7th Pick Wyoming

Josh Allen entered the draft being the biggest of all the quarterbacks drafted in the first round. Weighing 238 lbs and standing 6’5, he’s pretty hard to take down in the pocket. In his first four games, Allen has only won one of them. In his Week Three win over a hauntingly good Vikings defense, he scored three touchdowns, two on the ground and one in the air. He has thrown for over 600 yards in four games. However, he hasn’t thrown for more than a single touchdown in a game. One touchdown came in a loss against the Chargers and the other in a win against the Vikings.

Josh Rosen: 10th Pick UCLA

Josh Rosen was the fourth quarterback selected in the draft. In his press conference, he said these words, “There were nine mistakes made ahead of me.” Rosen implied that he’s the best player in the draft and should’ve been picked first overall. In college, Rosen’s composure was impeccable as shown in his comeback against Texas A&M Week 1 in 2017. In his pro career, his completion percentage is at 49.2%, completing no more than one touchdown a game playing for a dreadful Cardinals team with a historically bad offense. However, he hasn’t given the defenses much either, throwing 1 interception in 3 games.

Lamar Jackson: 32nd Pick Louisville

Lamar Jackson showed scouts why he should be drafted in his last two years as a dual-threat college quarterback. Lamar Jackson is the only quarterback to play in every game this season, and not start a single game. He gets some playing time for the Raven’s however, they don’t use him as conventional QB. He’s thrown the ball five times all season and only completed one pass. He has 72 rush yards on the season, but one fumble. Jackson’s role on the Raven’s is a motivator for Joe Flacco. The Ravens want the best play out of Joe Flacco so they drafted his replacement to let Flacco know that he’s ready to play at any given point.

All of these quarterbacks have futures in the NFL, some being better than others. As you can expect, there are going to be growing pains with rookie quarterbacks. From here on out, all five of these quarterbacks’ careers could go in any direction but one thing can be said: don’t expect these five to win a Superbowl anytime soon. With the pieces around them, none of them are suited to become Super Bowl champions in the next year or two.

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Rookie Quarterback Quarter Season Reviews