Preseason has started and a lot of focus is on the talked about quarterbacks: number one pick Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and even Lamar Jackson. Some will not be starters since their team has a 20 million dollar veteran in that spot. Things may change down the road for some teams if their season starts on a losing streak.
After watching preseason week 1, I witnessed what was expected, potential, game management and some issues not just with them but the offensive line. Here are my top 5 rookie quarterbacks from preseason week 1.
5. Josh Rosen.
I do not put all the blame on him and his 41 passing yards when the Cardinals offensive line was not up to par. Almost every snap, Rosen was under pressure but he managed not to throw an interception or fumble the ball. You want that in a future quarterback. When he did get time to throw, some of the decisions he made weren’t the best. With that line, he must get out the pocket and run. He tried several times but looked uncomfortable doing so. Again, the line needs work.
4. Lamar Jackson.
He’s what we expected. A dual quarterback who has a arm and speed. Accuracy may have been a little off but he ended up with 119 yards but no passing touchdowns. He has a killer juke move and it worked with a rushing touchdown against a LA Rams defense who is considered top 5. The times he took off he observed the field before doing so. He doesn’t automatically go for it himself just because he knows he’s fast. When he has time, he uses it. I also realized that he’s best at running on the outside and not through the middle. Even still, Ravens have Joe Flacco starting and Robert Griffin III as the second. I can see that shifting soon.
3. Sam Darnold.
He reminds me of a former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington: short and sweet. He had 13 completed passes for 96 yards and a touchdown with short passes majority of the drives and anything longer than a 30 yard pass happened once in a blue. Darnold is a game manager and does enough to win. When the pressure is on, he’s not afraid to use his feet. He’s not the fastest but it’s better than a sack.
2. Josh Allen.
Allen loves the pocket and he’s good in it. The Bills offensive line protected their rookie and you can tell he trusts them throwing for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Even though he loves the pocket, he did rush for 29 yards when he felt the pocket closing in on him. His big mistake though was when he was forced out of pocket from a blitz and instead of running out of bounds or throwing it out of bounds, he threw a ill-advised pass while getting hit which was close to being intercepted. I can tell her rather play in the pocket where he’s comfortable and it works.
1. Baker Mayfield.
Although Tyrod Taylor did well, so did the number one pick. Mayfield wanted to make some noise for the Browns and he did with 212 yards, 2 touchdowns and 13 rushing yards. He’s a playmaker and he’s not afraid of a big linebacker chasing him down and he can take a hit if he has to. He showed his footwork, quick moves and strong arm against the Giants but can he do the same with a first string defense is the question. It will be interesting to see what happens after week 2 or 3 of the regular season if Taylor doesn’t show up.