Rating quarterbacks is always contentious. It often comes down to style of play or mere preference. With dozens of stats to choose from, the case can be made that this quarterback is better than that one and so on. It’s a challenging prospect to come up with an objective ranking system. And this is just for time-tested veterans of the sport. It can be even more difficult to figure out which young quarterbacks have what it takes to make it in the NFL.
This year there are some new faces at the quarterback position. So far, none of these new guys are slated to start in a season opener. But that is likely to change. In fact, you have go back ten years for a season with no rookie quarterbacks taking the field on day one.
No one can say for sure, but look for Buffalo Bills new hire, Josh Allen to be moved up to the number one spot. He’s a big, physical player from Wyoming, drafted number seven by the Bills. Right now only AJ McCarron is standing in his way. Based on McCarron’s low salary and the Bills maneuvering to acquire Allen, it is not going to be surprising if he gets some playing time early on.
Sam Darnold was picked up by the New York Jets this year. By all accounts, he’s not quite ready to play. But that might not matter. At the moment he’s sitting behind veteran Josh McCowan. McCowan has never started for a full 16 games. So if Darnold can get ready he might have a shot. The problem is his quarterback IQ and likelihood to turn the ball over. At USC, he could get through a blunder here and there based on skill alone. But in the NFL where everything is happening at a greater speed, Darnold may have some difficulty. It seems unlikely that he gets much playing time, barring an injury from McCowan.
Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield may have his work cut out for him if he wants to take the field in 2018. Of course after his illustrious college career, everyone is waiting for him to make a big splash. But unfortunately for Mayfield fans, Tyrod Taylor is in the driver’s seat for the Cleveland Browns. With 51 touchdown passes and a quarterback ranking 13, it’s unlikely that Taylor is going anywhere soon. That being said, Taylor has yet to complete a season in which he started all sixteen games.
Football is unpredictable. That’s why we, as fans, keep coming back time and again to watch our favorite teams. Many of these young quarterbacks don’t have what it takes to become a starter on an NFL roster. It could be intelligence or vision they lack, or perhaps they just can’t handle the intensity. But one of these guys could surprise us. We could be thinking back in ten years about Josh Allen’s rise to stardom. And those are the stories we watch for every Sunday.