Rookie quarterbacks are supposed to give struggling NFL teams hope. So by Week 11 in the NFL, you should have a pretty good idea of where they are at this year.
As of now, BetMGM’s NFL odds even have rookie QB Mac Jones in the NFL MVP discussion.
Is he the top rookie QB this year? Here are three that stand out.
3. Justin Fields (Chicago Bears)
Justin Fields didn’t start out as the Bears’ starting QB in 2021, but it became his job to lose once Andy Dalton went down.
Fields has undoubtedly had his growing pains and gets very little help from his offensive line. He has already been sacked 29 times this year, the most in the NFL.
Chicago is just 3-6, and Fields has done what you would expect a rookie QB to do by throwing eight interceptions compared to just four touchdown passes.
However, there have been signs that Fields is making adjustments, considering that he has had a touchdown pass in four of his last five games. In comparison, he failed to get one in his first three games.
Plus, he is becoming more of a threat as a running QB, having over 100 rushing yards against the 49ers, including a rushing touchdown.
If Fields can get a little more protection and not have to run for his life consistently, you may see him develop as a legitimate starter for the long term.
2. Mac Jones (New England Patriots)
Not putting Jones at the top of the rookie QBs could be the most controversial part of this list. However, I think he has the best situation of the rookies rather than being the best player.
Admittedly, he has had a surprisingly good rookie season, having 2,333 passing yards with 13 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions.
However, Jones has by far the best defense of any rookie QB on this list. The Patriots give up the second-fewest points per game, the sixth-fewest total yards per game, and have the fourth-most takeaways.
If that was not enough, the Patriots spent the third most money in the last off-season to surround the rookie QB with legitimate talent.
None of this is to put Jones down, but it is more to emphasize that the Patriots did a good job building a roster where a rookie QB could come in and succeed. However, I think if the #1 QB on this list were on this team, their numbers would surpass Jones’.
1. Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Many of you may not agree with this pick, but I genuinely believe Trevor Lawrence is the most talented rookie QB from the 2021 class.
This year’s numbers are certainly not going to show it, considering that he has 1,983 passing yards, eight touchdown passes, and nine interceptions through nine games. In addition, Jacksonville sits at just 2-7 on the season, so it is hard to call this season a success for Lawrence.
But, I would argue that some of those numbers are deceiving, and one significant sign of development for him is that he has drastically cut down his interceptions after his first three starts. He had seven in those games and has only thrown two in his last six games.
He is also good at avoiding sacks, being sacked the fewest times of these three QBs this season with just 16.
Lawrence also arguably has the least to work with around him. His defense is last in takeaways (5) and next to last in turnover margin (-10). Plus, they give up almost 26 points per game, which means Lawrence usually has to play from behind and play aggressively to make up for it.
I think if he had the support system that the Patriots built for Jones, he would overshadow Jones.
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Which rookie quarterbacks do you think are the best this year? Do you believe that they can help their teams succeed this week?
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