Rookie QB Outlook


Pike Temple, Sports Reporter

Trevor Lawrence was passable week one against the below average Texans defense. He threw for 332 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions, with a completion percentage of about 55 and a QBR of 70. In week two against the Broncos, Denver’s significantly better defensive unit, tormented Lawrence. In week two, Lawrence threw for 118 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He finished with a completion percentage of 42 and a QBR of 37 which looks pretty bad on paper. Lawrence will face defenses similar to the Broncos in the NFL and will have to play much better to give the Jaguars a chance to win. There are many games on Jacksonville’s schedule where Lawrence could very well throw for over 300 yards and still struggle against opposing defenses in the touchdown to interception ratio department. He has the opportunity to show off his potential against the Falcons and the Jets later in the season. However, Lawrence will need to play at a more consistent level as his career goes on to justify the Jaguars drafting him with the first pick in the 2021 draft.

Zach Wilson’s first game as a Jet was promising. The BYU prospect threw for 258 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and had a completion percentage of 54 with a QBR of about 83. Wilson looked like he could be the Jets QB1 for the next few years week one against the Carolina Panthers. However, week two against the Patriots, he looked like another Jets draft bust. Wilson completed 57 percent of his passes, an improvement from week one, he threw for 210 yards, but four interceptions to no touchdowns with a QBR of 37 was the stat line. Wilson’s performance drastically decreased in week two. Granted, the Jets starting left tackle, Mekhi Becton, went down with a knee injury, and New England has a good defense, but that’s no excuse for throwing four INTs. Wilson will face off with another challenging defensive opponent in the Broncos this weekend. Wilson probably won’t put up good numbers next week either. However, there are a few games on the schedule where Wilson could really shine. 

Trey Lance isn’t the starting quarterback in San Francisco, that’s not much of a surprise. Lance appeared shortly in the 49ers’ win against the Detroit Lions and has played the least out of the rookie quarterbacks drafted in round one. The 100% completion percentage, QBR of 127 and touchdown week one wasn’t much to analyze. Lance threw for five yards. Lance’s cameo was underwhelming, but if Jimmy Garoppolo goes down, Lance would be the next man up and could put up decent numbers during the remainder of his rookie season, but that is all speculation. It is much likelier that Lance will be the backup the entire season. San Francisco fans will have to wait until next season to see the former third overall pick earn an extensive amount of snaps.

Justin Fields is in a similar position as Trey Lance. Fields, like Lance, does not possess the starting quarterback position for his respective team. In week one against the Rams, Fields passed for 10 yards, had a completion percentage of 100, and a QBR of 87. A very small sample size of an outing doesn’t truly count as a debut. The following week against the Bengals, Fields played more due to an injury to Andy Dalton, but his performance was quite inconsistent. With a larger role in week two, Fields completed 46 percent of his passes, threw an interception, and posted a QBR of just under 28. A putrid outing stat wise. If Dalton remains injured, Fields will start week three against the Browns, a tough matchup for a rookie who hasn’t found great success in his minimal amount of snaps so far this season. Although Dalton’s injury gives Bears fans what they want, a look at Justin Fields as the starter, unfortunately, Fields hasn’t played as well as Dalton, and that’s saying a lot since the former Cincinnati Bengal has thrown a touchdown and an interception in the game and a half that he played during the first two weeks.

Mac Jones has been a pleasant surprise. The rookie out of the CFB powerhouse, Alabama, hasn’t had an electric start to the 2021 season, but he may be the most consistent rookie quarterback so far. Although the stats may not suggest it, Jones has done sufficiently better than any other starting rookie QB. The new New England Patriot has completed 73 percent of his passes, and thrown for a touchdown. A QBR of 71 against the Dolphins and a QBR of 28 aren’t amazing, but compared to the other rookie quarterbacks, the fifth quarterback taken in the first round doesn’t look worse than any of the others mentioned above. On the contrary, Jones may have outperformed every other rookie quarterback through the first two weeks of the season. Bill Belichick knows what he is doing with Mac Jones, not asking too much of Jones early on and letting the run game lead the offense. The Patriots play the Saints in week three. Jones should be tested more than he was in weeks one or two. He will be challenged by an above average New Orleans defense, but it will be beneficial for Mac Jones to go up against a good pass rush unit and solid defensive back core.


So far, the quarterback that has the best chance to win rookie of the year is Mac Jones. After the first two weeks, Jones is the only rookie with a starting job who hasn’t thrown an interception. Consistency speaks for itself when evaluating candidates for the award and Jones has been the most consistent rookie QB up to this point.