With the NFL preseason underway, fans and coaches now have their first live acton look at the players they drafted just months ago. A position possibly scrutinized more than any other during the early parts of the NFL season is the quarterback position.
Drafting a quarterback in the first or second rounds creates the assumption that he will be the week one starter for that team. However, this years draft class has coaches proceeding with a bit more caution than usual.
Number one overall pick Baker Mayfield impressed in his first NFL game playing for the Browns, throwing for over 200 yards and completing a touchdown pass.
By the standards of Cleveland fans, who have watched their team finish last in the AFC North repeatedly over the years (and lose every game last season), Mayfield’s stat line sounds pretty good. However, the performance that starting QB Tyrod Taylor put together can’t be ignored as he went a perfect 5/5 with a touchdown in his limited reps.
It is too early to tell whether Mayfield is ready to take the reigns in Ohio, but head coach Hue Jackson seems determined to allow this young quarterback to develop behind Taylor for the time being. The Browns have plenty of up and coming talent but don’t seem quite ready to use it yet.
Darnold Trending Upwards
Sam Darnold has perhaps the tallest hill to climb among rookie quarterbacks this season, as he currently sits behind former first rounder Teddy Bridgewater and established vet Josh McCown. Against those odds, it may be his competition to lose in New York after an impressive showcase against 1st string talent last week.
Darnold went 13 for 18, and led his team on an impressive 2-minute drill drive that resulted in a touchdown to end the first half. McCown has always been the temporary starter while Darnold developed his game and Bridgwater healed his knee, but it looks like Darnold may be ready for week one.
With the history of injuries former Viking Bridgewater brings with him, it looks like Darnold will play his way right into the AFC East QB conversation.
Unfortunate For Allen
Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen has found himself in an unfortunate situation just months into his NFL career.
Currently teetering between second and third on the depth chart, Allen will have to perform above and beyond to earn the starting role week one. When the bills acquired former Bengal A.J. McCarron this offseason, most assumed he was set to become the Bills franchise QB. By drafting Allen, the Bills added security on their depth chart and the presence of competition at the QB position.
Currently the biggest competition in Buffalo is for backup quarterback and it is between Allen and Nathan Peterman.
The Baltimore Ravens have had Joe Flacco at the helm of their offense for as long as the Ravens have been relevant. But as his health declines and his accuracy continues to underwhelm, the Ravens must look at other options behind center.
The team drafted Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson out of Louisville. Primarily a mobile quarterback, Jackson has drawn comparisons to Michael Vick in his running style. Although he doesn’t have the strongest arm out of the rookie quarterbacks, his sheer athleticism make his coaches hopeful he can bring Baltimore back to what it was in recent seasons.
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