Barring injury we are going to see 3 rookie starting quarterbacks one week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden. There is also the chance, considering the buzz coming out of Miami and Seattle, that fellow rookies Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson will join them as week 1 starters. Let’s take a quick look at how the 5 rookie QB’s that figure to make an impact in the NFL this season did in their preseason debuts.
There was another Colt QB to throw a TD on his first NFL pass and he worked out pretty well for Indy. Is Andrew Luck ready to make people forget about Peyton Manning? Not yet, but his career could not have started any better. He looked great in the pocket and had solid progression on his reads. He looked very comfortable moving outside of the pocket and threw strikes down the field. He spread the ball around nicely and that is a great sign he feels good in the system.
Though his numbers look nowhere as good as Luck’s, RG3 showed great pocket awareness and looked in control of the Washington offense. He moved well when the pocket broke down and didn’t panic. I like how he stayed looking downfield and found the open receiver instead of tuck and run. We knew he could run, but his play on Thursday showed us he is suited for the pro game.
Brandon Weeden looked very uncomfortable in the pocket against the Lions. Is it all his fault? Probably not, but the QB will get the blame for a stagnant offense every time. I will reserve judgement on Weeden until the Browns O-Line gives him some time to work. If the Browns don’t get their line worked out, Weeden could be the David Carr of this draft. Beat up before he gets a chance to play.
If you watched HBO’s Hard Knocks, you know that Coach Philbin has Ryan as the 3rd QB on his depth chart, but that won’t last long if he keeps playing like he did this weekend. Outside of Luck, Tannehill showed this best pocket awareness and poise of the rookie QB’s. With Gerrard’s knee injury and Matt Moore looking mediocre, Tannehill is in line to win the starting job.
Matt Flynn has the upper hand due to the new contract he signed, but I was very impressed with Russell Wilson in the 2nd half of their game. He looked at ease under pressure and flashed his speed on the outside. He has the best arm on the run than any rookie QB and that includes RG3. I know with their investment the team may go with Flynn, but don’t be surprised if Wilson gets the spot.
Another QB who impressed is the Eagles’s Nick Foles. He showed off his strong-arm and great read skills. He is big and strong and may press the unimpressive Kafka out of the #2 position in Philly.