The Rise of the Rookie Quarterbacks
It’s only week four of the NFL season, and we already have four of the five first-round rookie quarterbacks of the 2018 class starting. First overall pick Baker Mayfield, third overall pick Sam Darnold, seventh overall pick Josh Allen and 10th overall pick Josh Rosen are all either earning their first start this week or have been starting before this week. 32nd overall pick Lamar Jackson is still waiting for his time to shine in Baltimore. As for the rest of them, however, it’s safe to say that the rise of the rookie quarterbacks has officially begun.
Let’s start with the ones who have been starting already. New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has had the most playing time so far, having started all three weeks. After their week one win, Jets fans thought they were watching a playoff team as well as their quarterback for the forseeable future. But after two straight losses, the Jets have to travel to Jacksonville to play one of the best defenses in the entire league, if not the best. Darnold now posts three touchdowns, five interceptions and a 72-passer rating through three games. Calling this week a challenge is an understatement. Jacksonville is also coming off a loss, meaning they will be fired up this week. This will be Darnold’s first game against an elite defense, so he will have to bring his A-game against the Jags.
Prediction: Jaguars 24, Jets 14
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has been playing since week one and starting since week two. Though he wasn’t impressive the first two weeks, last week he may have pulled off the upset of the entire season. He led the 0-2 Bills into Minnesota to take on one of the best teams in the league, the Minnesota Vikings. Allen put up three touchdowns against this elite defense and Buffalo won the game easily, 27-6. This was the biggest upset in 23 years, according to Vegas oddsmakers. The win provides some more hope for Buffalo and the Bills’ Mafia. Have they found their franchise quarterback? Was that last game just a one-time thing, or is Josh Allen for real? This week doesn’t get any easier for Allen and the Bills. They travel to Green Bay to play the Packers.
Prediction: Packers 30, Bills 16
The Cleveland Browns beat the Jets last Thursday thanks to the No. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield. Mayfield came in for an injured Tyrod Taylor in the first half, and didn’t disappoint, giving Cleveland their first win since December of 2016. Even though Mayfield didn’t throw a touchdown in the win, he still played a solid game. He made everyone look better on the field, had a leadership mentality and didn’t make any mistakes. This is such a promising sign for Cleveland. I was a big Baker Mayfield fan going into the season and think the Browns made a great decision to draft him. Yes, it was only one game, but it’s something to take into account moving forward. We will see if Baker can be the big playmaker we all know he can be this Sunday against the struggling Raiders.
Prediction: Browns- 24, Raiders- 17
Lastly, we have the Arizona Cardinals’ Josh Rosen. He got the nod to start his first game this Sunday against Seattle. A lot of people looked at him to be the most pro-ready. He will be taking over for Sam Bradford this Sunday. After starting off 0-3, Arizona has made a change at quarterback, hoping for a turnaround to their slow start. But this won’t be easy at all for Rosen. He’s being put into a tough situation for himself. The team hasn’t won a game yet and they look like a bottom-five team. However, Rosen is talented, and combining him with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald brings some new hope to this struggling offense. Can Rosen land a win in his first start?
Prediction: Cardinals 23, Seahawks 21.
There is a lot to look forward to this week. We have already experienced some rookie quarterbacks start for their teams, while others are getting the nod for the first time this Sunday. Quarterback is the most important position in the game, and it’s so important to find a franchise quarterback. This weekend could be huge for these quarterbacks in making their case for why their teams made the right decision to draft them.