When it comes to the NFL Draft, teams like to take impact players in every round, but especially the first and second. Typically, guys taken in the first and second rounds are expected to start sooner rather than later. Sometimes, they are even expected to start as early as Week One of their rookie season.
That is unless the player is a quarterback.
The quarterback is the most important position on the field in football. No other position can impact a game quite like he can. The offense counts on him to get in the endzone. If an offense can’t stay on the field for more than three downs at a time, even the best defenses get worn out.
Teams usually do not want to put that kind of pressure on a rookie quarterback. They would rather give him time to get acclimated to the speed, pace, and complexity of the NFL game before asking him to command the offense.
The school of thought used to be for rookie quarterbacks to sit for at least a year before starting. But then that trend was bucked for a while as many rookie quarterbacks were thrown to the wolves for a few years and started Week One.
However, a version of the old school train of thought has emerged in recent years. Players (not named Patrick Mahomes) are not sitting their entire rookie years. But they are not starting in Week One. Some sat for just the first two quarters while others did for a few weeks.
So, now, one of the questions debated the most after the draft up until Week One has been how many rookie quarterbacks will be starting in Week One. BetOnline.ag has the line set at 1.5:
- How many rookie QBs will start Week One?
o Over 1.5 -140
o Under 1.5 +100
While Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has tried to say that Kyler Murray may not start over Brett Hundley, there isn’t a person on Earth that knows who those people are that believes him. But beyond Murray, it is a little more challenging to pick out someone else that is likely to start in Week One. There aren’t too many choices:
- Daniel Jones, New York Giants: As the No. 6 pick, some will want him to start right away. But the Giants are dead set on Eli Manning playing until he doesn’t feel like it anymore.
- Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins: As the No. 15 pick, the calls for him to start will not be as loud. But with Alex Smith out and Colt McCoy and Case Keenum for competition, he’ll have a shot.
- Drew Lock, Denver Broncos: John has been trying to find a franchise quarterback for years but has come up empty at every turn. Lock may be the guy he has been hunting for. But there is little to no chance Elway throws him to the wolves in Week One unless Joe Flacco gets hurt in the preseason.
- Will Grier, Carolina Panthers: There is no chance the Panthers sit Cam Newton for him. But if Newton’s shoulder issues persist like Andrew Luck’s, there is a chance he could.
- Of the other quarterbacks selected, Ryan Finley (Bengals), Jarrett Stidham (Patriots), Easton Stick (Chargers), Gardner Minshew (Jaguars), and Trace McSorley (Ravens), none have a legitimate shot to start at any time this season; most will probably not play.
Haskins could be the second guy making the over the way to go, but don’t be shocked if they go with Keenum for the first three weeks instead. Take the under.