When these 9 rookie quarterbacks will make their first starts

When these 9 rookie quarterbacks will make their first starts

Illustration for article titled When these 9 rookie quarterbacks will make their first starts
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In total, nine quarterbacks were taken in the NFL Draft. No quarterback is ever a sure thing, but in this talented group, the odds are very high that there will be a handful of difference makers that alter the league’s landscape. Out of these nine quarterbacks taken, all of whom went in the fourth round or earlier, when should we expect to see them on the field?

Talent comes from all over the draft board. Dak Prescott was a fourth-round selection. Jalen Hurts went in the second. Russell Wilson went in the third. Kirk Cousins went in the fourth. It happens. Let’s take a closer look at the situations for the quarterbacks drafted this year.

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9. Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-3 years

9. Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-3 years

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Not many people saw the Florida product going in the second round, but Tampa Bay must like him. With Tom Brady under center, Trask won’t be seeing the field any time soon — unless Tampa is in an absolute laugher and can afford to give him some game reps. Trask will sit and learn from the winningest quarterback in NFL history.

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8. Kellen Mond, Minnesota Vikings: 2 years

8. Kellen Mond, Minnesota Vikings: 2 years

Much like Trask, Mond will sit and learn. Kirk Cousins is in Minnesota and isn’t going anywhere (unless they trade him, which I don’t see happening) until after the 2022 season. Mond is raw but athletic, and was the Senior Bowl MVP. The Aggie was taken in the third round as a developmental quarterback, and might earn the starting gig on his rookie contract if the Vikings decide they don’t want to extend Cousins.

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7. Ian Book, New Orleans Saints: 1 year

7. Ian Book, New Orleans Saints: 1 year

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I don’t think there was a better place for Book to land than New Orleans. Book is an athletic quarterback who brings a running element with him that the previous Saints stalwart Drew Brees didn’t possess, and made good decisions throughout his career with limited turnovers. In 2020, en route to leading Notre Dame to the College Football Playoffs, Book completed 64.6 percent of his passes for 2,829 yards, with 15 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He also logged 485 rushing yards for nine additional touchdowns. The starting quarterback job should belong to Jameis Winston, but only on a one-year deal, Book could earn the job by 2022.

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6. Davis Mills, Houston Texans: Week 12

6. Davis Mills, Houston Texans: Week 12

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Mills was a pick made by Houston signaling without saying it that the Texans are planning for life without Deshaun Watson. With Tyrod Taylor on the roster as well, I’d bet that Taylor gets the gig out of camp, but in what will inevitably be a dumpster fire of a season, this coaching staff will likely want to see what they have in Mills to close out the season before heading into next year’s draft. I think for the final 5-6 games, Mills gets an audition to be the team’s long-term starter.

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5. Mac Jones, New England Patriots: Week 10

5. Mac Jones, New England Patriots: Week 10

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Here’s how I see this going: Cam Newton leads the team to a 5-5 record to start the season, predicated mostly on defense and good coaching, while making some costly mistakes along the way. The vibrato and personality of Cam no longer holds the same appeal, and the Patriots turn to their first-round selection and hand him the keys to the car to see if they can make a run at the playoffs with, hopefully, improved decision making. McCorkle Jones fits New England all too perfectly for them now to ride with him sooner than later.

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4. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers: Week 6

4. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers: Week 6

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Jimmy Garoppolo, who to my surprise is still a member of the Niners and wasn’t traded during the draft, looks to be the Week 1 starter. “I want Jimmy [Garoppolo] to be here and I want [Lance] to be brought along,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said in a press conference. “I want to see how he does and if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition.”

What’s not a competition is Lance’s raw athleticism and the strength of his arm, both of which will wipe the wonderboy smile straight off Jimmy G’s chiseled jawline. Lance can simply do things that Garoppolo can’t, and the No. 3 overall pick will take over sooner than later.

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3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears: Week 2

3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears: Week 2

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The city of Chicago is in an absolute fever pitch over the selection of Justin Fields, myself included. He has a clear path to being the best quarterback in Bears history, ending a long drought at the quarterback position. Right now, Andy Dalton might, maybe, get the starting job for Week 1, however, both quarterbacks are having to learn the playbook and the system at the same time. It’s entirely possible that Fields beats him out for the starting job, but if he doesn’t, Chicagoland will be calling for either Fields or Matt Nagy’s head.

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2. Zach Wilson, New York Jets: Day 1

2. Zach Wilson, New York Jets: Day 1

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With the trade of Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers last month, it was apparent that whichever quarterback they drafted at No. 2 overall was going to get the keys to the city the second they were drafted. Ready or not, former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson will be thrown into the thick of the AFC East in a sink or swim approach. To the Jets and their new staff’s credit, they’ve had a good offseason, investing in the offense in free agency and in the draft. They added veteran wide receiver Corey Davis in free agency, while spending their next three picks after Wilson on offense: OG Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 14 overall, WR Elijah Moore in the second round, and RB Michael Carter in the 4th round.

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1. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: Already is

1. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: Already is

Lawrence has been the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars from the minute the Jaguars secured the No. 1 overall pick. He’s already part of the family. #DUUUVAL has essentially anointed him their savior, with fans buying him presents and he and his new bride making charitable donations to Duval County even before he was selected. He has lofty expectations to live up to, and anything short of a total franchise resurrection might look like a failure to the Jaguars faithful.

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