When it comes to a draft class it’s rarely a quarterback who impresses the most in their rookie season. Only once in the last five seasons has a quarterback received the offensive rookie of the year award, with Dak Prescott claiming that honor in 2016. As any NFL fan knows, the art of quarterbacking takes time and a few years to master. That is why the 2018 draft class of quarterbacks might not play at all this season, but one or two might be able to break out and become a starter. In a strange twist, the one who has the least chance is probably the man who was picked first overall.
Mayfield v Tyrod is currently a hot debate amongst Browns followers.
Fans of the Cleveland Browns, for instance, have every right to be excited by Baker Mayfield, but he looks set to be behind Tyrod Taylor, in the early part of the new season at least. With NFL betting markets pricing the Browns at a distant +10,000 ahead of the new season, making the right call here will be crucial. Whether he can beat him to a starter berth at any point will be one of the more intriguing inter-squad battles in the coming months. Ironically, a series of losses for Cleveland could be Mayfield’s gain, as the natural instinct will be to switch quarterbacks.
The Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson is another who will probably spend most of 2018 on the sidelines. However, if Joe Flacco has another poor year, then we could, again, see another QB lining up for the Ravens.
One battle that could heat up is between Josh Rosen and Sam Bradford. The latter is already known as a highly-talented quarterback, but there is only so much patience that the Arizona Cardinals will have with his injury issues. If he can’t stay on the field because of injury, then he might find himself permanently off the pitch due to Rosen’s ability. Rosen will surely have an opportunity and will be desperate to take it.
If any of the rookie quarterbacks from the 2018 draft are to play every game of the season, then it is Josh Allen. Yet, for a player who barely completed 50% of his passes in college, it could be a baptism of fire. If he can’t handle the heat, then veteran A.J. McCarron might take over the Bills’ play calling. Allen has potential, but a great start will be the difference between immediate stardom and nagging frustration.
Josh Allen has already been well-hyped – but can he justify that?
There was, however, one man who dominated the airwaves when the draft was underway. The New York Jets have a potential superstar in Sam Darnold, but there can be no doubt that he will see game time at some point. The Jets might well make the bold move and make him their starter, to the detriment of McCown and Bridgewater, and if any quarterback is going to clinch status as offensive rookie of the year, it is Darnold.
How the draft class gets on is always a fascinating side story to any season. In 2017, Deshaun Watson made the Houston Texans quarterback role his, and his career progression is the bar for this year’s crop of initiate quarterbacks.