Which Rookie Quarterbacks Stood Out In Their Preseasons?

  • Zach Wilson completed 75% of his passes and had a 137.7 QBR in the preseason.
  • Trevor Lawrence threw for 323 yards on 70.5% passing for a 106.5 WBR.
  • Mac Jones had the most yards, 389, but also had the most attempts of any rookie.
  • Trey Lance had the lowest completion percentage, QBR, and was the only rookie to throw an interception.

LAS VEGAS – The first round of the NFL Draft saw five rookie quarterbacks get selected. All five are expected to start at some point in the upcoming 2021-2022 NFL season, but only two are anticipating a Week 1 start.

As the preseason has concluded, which rookies played their best in relation to their odds?

No. 1 – Zach Wilson, New York Jets (No. 2 Pick)

Zach Wilson had the smallest sample size of any of the rookie quarterbacks as he only threw 20 passes, but he did have the highest completion percentage (75%) and QBR (137.7) of the group. Online gambling sites have Wilson as the fourth option to win the Rookie of the Year award at +750.

Wilson’s line was +1000 last week, signaling that his preseason play has impressed sports bettors and sportsbooks alike.

He may still be worth a bet as he is one of just two rookie quarterbacks guaranteed a starting job.

No. 2 – Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 1 Pick)

Trevor Lawrence is thought to be a generational talent and did well enough in the preseason to keep that title alive. He completed 31 of his 44 pass attempts (70.5%) for a combined 323 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.

His 106.5 QBR was the second-highest among rookies and his Week 3 performance of 11-12, 139 yards, two touchdowns, and a 154.5 passer rating really saved his preseason.

Lawrence is the betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year at +350 and as he's tough to bet against, the value may not be enough for some to take any action on this wager.

No. 3 – Mac Jones, New England Patriots (No. 15 Pick)

While there’s a fair debate to be had for which quarterback deserves the top spot, Mac Jones seems to be the unquestioned third choice. He had the most pass attempts (52) and completed 69.2% of his passes for a combined 389 yards, one touchdown, and no picks.

His 97.4 QBR was the third-highest among rookies but despite performing well in the preseason, sports betting sites have him listed last in the Rookie of the Year odds category among all of the first-round quarterbacks this year.

No. 4 – Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (No. 11 Pick)

Justin Fields had some moments but overall didn’t fare too well.

He came out and said that the game was slow after the first week, but fell off afterward.

He tallied 276 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks on 30-49 passing (61.2%) and finished with a 90.2 QBR. Despite not having won the starting position, NFL betting sites have Fields as the third choice to win ROTY with +600 odds.

No. 5 – Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (No. 3 Pick)

Trey Lance was easily the least impressive first-round quarterback in the preseason.

While all the others in the pack were respectable, it’s tough to say the same about Lance. He completed just 19 of his 41 pass attempts (46.3%) and was the only one of the bunch to throw an interception.

He also had just an 83.0 QBR.

Although he had a lackluster preseason and seemingly has the hardest road to a starting job behind Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart, Lance is the second option to become Rookie of the Year with +500 odds. He may have the most talent with his legs but his ability as a passer seems to fall short of the NFL level at this point.