2021 nfl rookie quarterbacks


Wilson also had the edge in turnovers: he had none, while Lawrence lost a fumble. Mills came back from the 40-0 loss -- his worst performance of the season -- with his best. Being able to execute and find completions despite inconsistent play from teammates is part of what separates the best quarterbacks from the average ones. In fact, hes the only quarterback in the last five years to score a negative mark, a feat matched by only 20 other quarterbacks over the span of the past 15 years. They became more focused on limiting explosive plays and making quarterbacks work for every yard. : NFL app pic.twitter.com/3e6w2Zp7ui. He avoided sacks well and made plays insideandoutside of structure.. Six different rookie quarterbacks, including Jones, have started a game this season -- the Jacksonville Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence, New York Jets' Zach Wilson, San Francisco 49ers' Trey Lance, Chicago Bears' Justin Fields and Houston Texans' Davis Mills. Lawrence hasn't been as accurate and until recently hadn't taken a lot of downfield shots. I appreciate the work that he's putting in. There was a noticeable drop in quarterback play, as defenses deployed more creative pass-rush plans and coverages on passing downs. Either they were short on their route, which affects the timing of plays, or two or more players ended up near each other on their routes. Jones looks every bit the part of the veteran, game-manager that inspires a burning in Bill Belichicks football loins. . 66 by Minnesota Vikings). He is a viable weapon on designed QB runs, which opens up valuable parts of the playbook in short yardage and red-zone situations: Trevor Lawrence is looking unstoppable on the read option. Stats: 5 games played, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 40.2 QBR (didn't qualify for overall ranking). The Jets finished 26th on offense in Football Outsiders adjusted games lost metric. That makes it hard to know how far along Lance is, though he fared OK in his lone start of the season (Week 5 against Arizona) and coaches say he's made steady progress. 1 overall pick showed more high-end quarterbacking plays than anyone else in the rookie class by some margin. Plus the wide receivers have a lot of trouble winning one-on-one matchups and the drops are just embarrassing. #DUUUVAL @trevorlawrencee, : #JAXvsCIN on @NFLNetwork: https://t.co/jQ6nvOCVqi pic.twitter.com/n2T8CymQKn. : NFL app pic.twitter.com/0PnGErqVhU. Poor talent and play calling led to Lawrence having to make high difficulty throws like this one, getting the ball up and over defenders to 5-foot-8 Tavon Austin: Not only did the Jaguars receiving talent leave plenty to be desired, but the position groups execution was frustrating, too. Contract released: What is new Utah assistant mens basketball coach Chris Burgess salary? 3, selected No. Jones has become incredibly daring as he gets comfortable with the expansive system. He got better as the year went on, culminating in a massive upset over the division-rival Indianapolis Colts to knock them out of the playoffs. He had a positive touchdown to interception ratio, an OK completion percentage, and when you throw out the three games he played five snaps or less, he had the best rushing yards per game in the class. With a feisty defense and a bulldozing run-game, Jones job is simply to keep things on script, to make sure the offense gets into the best possible play, to get the ball out in rhythm, to play efficiently, and to not turn it over. That's the life of a rookie quarterback in the NFL. Jones was given an almighty task when he first rolled up in New England. Start your day with the top stories you missed while you were sleeping. But that doesn't mean Ehlinger won't see the field, because Wentz has dealt with injuries at different points in his career, and the coaching staff has used Ehlinger situationally in the red zone because of his athletic ability. He overcame a first-and-15 to start the game-winning drive, and he completed a 9-yard pass to Laviska Shenault to gain critical yards and got a timeout with one second to play. The Patriots havent won seven games because of Jones, but neither has he been the deciding factor in them losing four games. When Lance can winnow down his options on a play, he displays the proper timing to get the ball out and the ability to fit throws into tight windows. Grade: B Flashes of excellence. The Patriots threw the whole playbook at Jones as a rookie, and he showed the ability to handle it. The teams 34-year-old starter, Andy Dalton, got hurt trying to scramble, forcing Fields onto the field. Moving forward, it looks like: For now, Trask is the fourth-string quarterback. Even Lawrences completion rate of 59.6 percent sat below the Mendoza line of 60 percent. Defenses were starting to adapt, taking away some of the Shanahan-McVay-LaFleur stylings that had run through the league for the better part of four seasons. But he does have promising potential as a backup, with a chance to compete for more playing time as he develops. He does get some reps as the scout team quarterback. Highlight: Wilson's signature moment was a 53-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis against the Tennessee Titans. graham jimmy guide 3 overall by San Francisco 49ers). Wilson and Lawrence faced each other in Week 16, the only time Wilson faced another rookie QB all year. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 104 yards, while rushing for 91 yards on four carries. Wilson's pass was a dime that traveled 50 air yards, one of the Jets' longest passes in recent memory. And when he has, hes often looked lost, confused, and inaccurate, the holy triumvirate of messy quarterback play. So there's a chance we could see him on the field before the season ends. That last name is not made up. In assessing No. Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco's assessment: Lawrence threw seven interceptions in his first three games but just two since, and he played his best football in Weeks 4-6. Its hard to think of a non-David Carr rookie that has been handed a tougher situation than Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence threw for more passing yards (298) while completing 26 of 39 passes, and he also rushed for 37 yards on six carries. Stats: 7 games played, 7 TDs, 8 INTs, 30.7 QBR (29th among all QBs). Here is an example of Marvin Jones breaking his route several yards short of what is expected on the play concept. He has steadily improved over the course of the season, playing less hero ball and getting the ball out quicker due to the, umm, surrounding talent. He audibled from one called play to another and called out protection points to help set up his offensive line. So far? While these sorts of plays are an important and impressive part of Fields game, learning that he doesnt have to always be the hero will help Fields out tremendously and save him from unnecessary hits. While every college player gets exposed to an expanded playbook at the next level, I personally felt that Wilson would face a relatively long adjustment period because he too often relied on his own ability to extend and create in college, rather than do things in the flow of the offense. Passing yards: 1,361, TDs: 4, INTs: 8, Rushing yards: 311, Rushing TDs: 2, Passer rating: 69.0. From quarterback to the long-snapper, Why a half-dozen rivals campaigned 49ers' Bryant Young into the Hall of Fame, 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame: How each inductee forged a path to Canton, Madden NFL 23 ratings and rankings: The top 10 cornerbacks, interior defensive linemen and more positions, Dallas Cowboys bringing back throwback uniforms and white helmets for Thanksgiving Day game, Is the Packers' offense better, worse or the same? Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson's assessment: The Bears' initial plan to bring Fields along slowly was scuttled when veteran Andy Dalton got hurt in Week 2. ESPN NFL Nation reporters break down this year's 10 rookie quarterbacks. (Illustration: John Bradford/ The Athletic;photos: Grant Halverson, Maddie Meyer, Sam Greenwood / Getty Images), Football Outsiders adjusted games lost metric, create an easy path for Wilson to take a step forward, its up to the Patriots to settle on an offensive play caller. For now, though, he cant be higher than fourth on this first-round rookie QB list. He recorded 22 first downs on 44 rushing attempts last season. Grade: D There is a long, long way to go. Lance is a tough player who is more than willing to hang in the pocket or lower his shoulder into defenders to gain extra yards, but he needs to adjust to the fact that hes not the best athlete on the field anymore and learn to save himself from hits. Zach Wilson hits Tyler Kroft for his first NFL touchdown ? When his eyes start shooting back-and-forth or he shows hesitation on where to go with the ball, Wilsons footwork unravels and his accuracy wanes. He consistently delivers two-to-three special throws a game. Not to get too far in the weeds, but the Jaguars are running route concepts and combinations that simply cannot work at the NFL level, in terms of the intricacies of the timing of play-action and the route spacing. Where to begin? Lawrence was still able to layer a throw to Jones over the middle for an explosive gain. 11 overall by Chicago Bears). Better injury luck and improved offensive personnel create an easy path for Wilson to take a step forward this season. He had, by far, the best stats of this first-round rookie QB group. Nagy didnt seem to have a great plan to create a specialized offense built around the former Buckeyes best skills, and thats why the Fields went 2-8 as a starter, and Pace and Nagy lost their jobs. Trevor Lawrence started his career as the best quarterback prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and ended the season as the top first-round rookie QB. But that hasn't happened much since the early weeks, in part because Garoppolo has played well. 81, selected No. pff Defenses struck back in 2021. Zach Wilson or Trevor Lawrence? The data nerds keep track of a delightful figure known as the EPA+CPOE Composite. Fields has shown the kind of talent that could convince a coaching candidate to pick him, as an individual, ahead of any other open job, even if the foundational pieces are stronger elsewhere. And when he confirmed his pre-snap read, he was able to attack at all three levels in a timely manner. And when plays are run as designed, Lawrence shows an advanced understanding of the concepts. How the Seattle Seahawks' defense has changed this offseason, Jevon Holland, Xavien Howard power ascending Miami Dolphins secondary, 'Maybe he can hire me': Rob Gronkowski wants to model for Tom Brady's underwear line, 'I'm not really retired': Former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski embraces next stage, Here's why Jennifer Lopez's marriage could be good news for Tom Brady. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice and European users agree to the data transfer policy. FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Davis Mills (No. Who knows. For much of the year, his number one skill weapon has been a lifelong special teams ace, Jamal Agnew, who now finds himself on injured reserves. All five of these players Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Mac Jones saw time this season, and three of these signal-caller started every game they played. But the arrow is still pointing up. Wilson (No. "This kid is very serious about what he's doing. The fact he has not played at all ahead of Garoppolo, who is fifty shades of quarterbacking beige, is a concern. He can save the season from total disaster with a strong finish. The good, the bad, the ugly. Las Vegas Raiders training camp preview: How fresh is the chemistry between Derek Carr and Davante Adams? You want to learn how to play the freaking quarterback position and Thomas [Brady] is in front of you. Highlight: Lawrence led the Jaguars to a pair of field goals in the final 6:39 in a 23-20 victory over Miami in London on Oct. 17. The offense came to life when he went out with an injury, and that was no coincidence. Moving forward, it looks like: Book probably won't be in the running to start for the Saints as early as 2022. It wasnt an ideal landscape for a rookie quarterback, especially one on a struggling team. First career touchdown pass for @justnfields ? Most teams don't use a high third-round pick on a player they don't expect to be active on game days as an emergency option. There's no question Fields possesses all the tools to be a franchise quarterback (arm, speed, elusiveness) but the rookie needs to learn consistency. Lawrences unique combination of mental aptitude, mechanical polish and athleticism also shows up in his ability to maneuver in the pocket. The deserving No. In the six starts Mills made, he was 0-6 and struggled at times. He is almost the opposite of Fields in that regard. Maybe a full redshirt year is exactly what Mond needs to compete to back up Cousins in 2022. There are a lot of questions around the Texans' quarterback position -- if and when the team trades Deshaun Watson, re-signs Taylor or drafts a quarterback -- so if there lingering questions about Mills' future with Houston, the end of the season is the time to answer them. Moving forward, it looks like: The question of when Lance will take over permanently looms, but the Niners seem content to let him sit, watch and learn for the time being. Wilson has crazy arm talent, but he must learn to harness it. A raw prospect coming out of North Dakota State, Lance started two games in place of Jimmy Garoppolo due to injury and otherwise filled a situational role that took advantage of his tantalizing size and athletic traits. Heres what he learned, Pro Football Focus Michael Renner re-ranked the top quarterbacks from the 2021 class, Zach Wilsons up-and-down season hit a high point vs. Bucs. Passing yards: 2,141, TDs: 8, INTs: 9, Rushing yards: 192, Rushing TDs: 2, Passer rating: 72.8. He can be great if the Jaguars sort out everything around him. Matthew Wright followed with a game-winning 53-yard field goal to snap the Jaguars' 20-game losing streak that dated back to the 2020 season opener. The Patriots were willing to forgo some short-term pain for the long-term gain, banking on the idea that Jones could grow in increments over the span of the season. In doing so, he showed glimpses of being able to maximize what he has around him. Jacksonville Jaguars training camp preview: Can Trevor Lawrence make jump in Year 2? Its why they didnt originally sign a veteran backup. Mac Jones (No. Copyright 2022 Endgame360 Inc. All Rights Reserved. In the meantime, Lance remains the backup and must be ready to go should something happen to Garoppolo. Moving forward, it looks like: Ehlinger's play in training camp and in the preseason was good enough for the Colts to release Jacob Eason and make Ehlinger the No. Fields ability and willingness to attack all parts of the field requires defenses to respect those deeper routes and not play tight on underneath routes. Grade: A Couldnt be going much better. His down-the-field throwing has always been a major plus; his athleticism, obvious. New Englands Mac Jones and Chicagos Justin Fields are among the leaders. And there have been some predicable growing pains. When he did, though, there were promising signs. Stats: 11 games played, 14 TDs, 8 INTs, 49.8 QBR (19th among all QBs). "Obviously, he doesn't get the reps, but in the meetings, he has responsibilities," offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said. Fields has a longer release that can limit his effectiveness on quick-game and RPO concepts, which made it frustrating to watch Matt Nagy and the rest of the Bears offensive staff lean into those concepts with Fields under center. How Bryant Young got into the HOF Moving forward, it looks like: It took Mond four years to put it all together at Texas A&M, so it comes as no surprise the quarterback is very much in the development phase of his NFL career. Furthermore, his processing is at a higher level than the standard rookie QB, and the Patriots have put a lot on his plate in that area, just as they did with Tom Brady. : #CHIvsLV on CBS? The 2021 NFL Drafts quarterback class was one of the most touted in recent years, but the groups rookie seasons were a great reminder of how hard it is to play the position in the NFL right now. Here is a third-down play in which Lawrence is throwing well before his target (bottom of picture) is breaking on his route, which results in a completion before Jalen Ramsey can react: Lawrence is an extremely twitchy athlete despite his size. Some players develop brick by brick, using one skill to unlock or elevate another. Lawrences timing on plays is excellent, not just for a rookie but for an NFL QB in general. 2, selected No. With Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels leading the way, the New England Patriots played perfectly to Jones strengths. He determined exactly where he was going with the ball pre-snap and didnt read the play out post-snap, nearly resulting in an interception: Like with Lawrence, Wilsons surrounding talent ebbed and flowed due to injuries in 2021. The coaching staff raves about Fields, and someone is going to turn him into a franchise quarterback, just depends on which regime in Chicago. A quarterback who can make plays right, despite poor design by coaches or poor execution by teammates, raises the bar for the whole offense. Lawrence, Wilson, Lance, Fields, Jones, Mills. Heres how the top rookie QBs ranked on PFFs pre-draft big board: And heres how they landed in Renners re-rankings: Wilson had a 3-10 record as starting quarterback for the Jets this season, and he finished the year completing 55.6% of his passes for 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions while missing three games due to a midseason injury. It took far too long for Fields to be named the starter in Chicago. Lawrence made the best of a rough situation. Over his final five games, though, Wilson did not throw an interception while tossing three touchdowns. That's how you get better in this league, and you just appreciate that as a coach.". 15 overall by New England Patriots). Highlight: One of the reasons Culley said he had confidence in Mills is the maturity the quarterback has to quickly move on from bad plays or games. He holds the ball too long, leaves the pocket too quickly and tries to play hero ball. He will often choose the lower option in high-low passing concepts, rather than try to push the ball into tighter windows. The Vikings brought Mond in to compete as QB2, and he never stood a chance among the other two backups in training camp after missing time with COVID-19. Since 2006, as far back as such things have been tracked, only 12 quarterbacks have fared worse than Wilson has this season. 14, selected No. In this example against the 49ers, Mills recognizes man coverage, holds the deep safety with his eyes and drops a throw to an inside fade route on his left for an explosive play: Mills sound mechanics and understanding of concepts sometimes results in moments when he is a bit too robotic. He also missed four games to injury. Jones might never reach the playmaking heights of a Lawrence or Fields, but the Patriots dont care. With Chicago down the entire night, the Bears mounted a comeback when late in the fourth quarter Fields led them on a touchdown drive to put them up 27-26 (temporarily). He constantly plays on time and delivers throws in rhythm. The rookie completed 21 of 29 passes for 312 yards with a passer rating of 141.7, but it was not enough to get the Texans a victory. But 16 of Lawrences interceptions came when the Jaguars were trailing, which was often. On early downs, then-offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leaned into heavy play-action plays that gave Jones a clean pocket from which to operate, and he was pressured on only 27.7 percent of his total dropbacks. Follow us on Twitter@sportscasting19, RELATED:Trevor Lawrence Sent the Jacksonville Jaguars to Voicemail 3 Times Before Answering on Draft Night. It runs the gamut, Why pro soccer star Ashley Hatch finished her degree at BYU, Heres how much Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will reportedly pay to enter the Big 12 early. If this were a letter grading system, Lance could get an incomplete for his rookie season. Kellen Mond (No. My glass half-full take is that Lawrence was trying out more difficult throws, attempting to gain big chunks of yards and squeeze the ball in when his team was desperate. While theformer Alabama signal-callerhad the best season on paper, his effort felt much closer to his ceiling than the next rookie first-round QBs on this list, which is why he sits at No. Jones' 7.6 air yards per attempt is the second lowest among rookie quarterbacks. Jones has helped raise the bar with a rookie-best QBR of 49.8. "I can't believe how quickly he's developed, as far as his understanding of the things we're trying to do here -- and that's not just offensively. It may be a year or two before he can push for the backup job. Another year working with the same offensive coordinator should help develop the mental side of his game, and that tends to lead to physical improvements. bgs rodgers score