Many NFL fans have been wondering how much action each rookie QB would see in Week One. The obvious ones being Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones. All three have been named the full-time starter but Trey Lance and Justin Fields will see smaller roles for now. All five QBs saw the field in some way but there were no glorious performances this week. Based on that, let’s check out the Week One grades for the rookie QBs.
Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence: B
Trevor Lawrence had the most pressure of all the rookie QBs heading into Week One. Lawrence became the first rookie quarterback in Jaguars history to start in the opening game. Lawrence did manage to throw for 332 yards and three touchdowns. However, for every touchdown, Lawrence also matched them with three interceptions on the day. He had a bumpy debut where he showed flashes of why he is the number one pick and also flashes of the NFL rookie jitters.
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Lawrence has plenty of time to adjust and get better and there is no doubt in my mind that he will. This is his first regular-season loss in his entire playing career all the way back through high school. Maybe his first regular-season loss will motivate him to improve for week two. Give Lawrence time to adjust and I promise he will live up to expectations and then some.
New York Jets, Zach Wilson: B
Zach Wilson, the number two pick in this year’s draft, was also the opening game starter for his team. Wilson was sacked six times in his debut which is the same issue that Sam Darnold had in New York. Wilson also managed to show glimpses of his talent with a couple of touchdowns passes on 258 yards total. Carolina’s defense clearly had an objective of making Wilson uncomfortable and force mistakes.
While Wilson only threw one interception, six sacks in your debut is a beating. The Jets showed that their o-line is still a weak point and if they want Wilson to stay healthy, six sacks in one game are the wrong direction. Much like Lawrence, Wilson just needs more protection and time to grow. The NFL game speed is difficult to adjust to but Wilson can do it in the right situation.
New England Patriots, Mac Jones: A-
Mac Jones did not know he was the starter until about a week before the first game. Jones battled Cam Newton for the starting spot and won. He would then have the pleasure of facing his friend and former Alabama teammate in Tua Tagovailoa in Week One. Jones was efficient in his debut and managed to not turn the ball over but only found the endzone once.
Jones threw for 281 yards and only 10 incompletions but it was not enough. If Jones ups his production scoring-wise and maintains his efficient passer rating, Jones will be everything New England hopes for. The Patriots drafted Jones in hopes he would be the next Brady and while that is quite a big role to step into, he can do it. Mac is the first rookie to start at QB since Drew Bledsoe in 1993, that brings plenty of pressure but again, he can do it.
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields: A (sort of)
Justin Fields unfortunately is not starting yet in Chicago. However, Andy Dalton struggled in Week One against the Rams and Fields might be even closer to starting. Fields was brought in the game for only three plays but he managed to find the endzone in one of those plays. Fields threw and completed two passes for 10 yards and later found the endzone on a three-yard run. While Fields will have a limited role until he starts, I would say him making the most of his playing time went well hence him still getting a grade. Should Fields continue to increase his playtime, I think he can lead the Bears to more scoring opportunities and even wins.
San Fransisco 49ers, Trey Lance: A (sort of)
Trey Lance is also in the situation that he is option two at QB until further notice. Jimmy Garoppolo looked pretty good against the Lions in Week One and Lance might be waiting a bit. Lance brings a dual-threat style to the NFL and the 49ers have not had that since Steve Young. However, he did manage to find the endzone on his only pass of the day of five yards but that was pretty much it for Lance’s day. Lance also gets a grade only because he made use of his small amount of playing time. Until Garoppolo has consecutive bad weeks, Lance will play a small role much like Fields in Chicago.
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