Projecting the rookie QB statlines

By: Jeremy Trottier

With the 2021 NFL Draft over, and most of the offseason moves made by now, we have a pretty good idea of what the teams look like.  However, in the draft there was three QBs taken in the top three picks.  These rookies could perform exceptionally well like Justin Herbert did last year, or could perform like Mitchell Trubisky has in his first four seasons.

In this article, I will be predicting a few things regarding these QBs, such as:

  • How many games they will start/enter
  • Their passing stats i.e. yards, TDs, INTs, completion %, etc.
  • Their rushing stats i.e. yards & TDs

These will all factor in the team that is around them, how developed they are as of now, the coaching staff they are learning from, and their strength of schedule.  With that said, here are the predictions in order of how they were picked.

Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars – #1 overall pick

Statline: 17 games started : 4,157 passing yards, 25 passing TDs, 9 INTs, 67.9% completion : 54 rushing attempts for 187 yards and 4 TDs

The number one overall pick has a relatively interesting team built around him, as well as coaching staff.  With his college running back coming with him in Travis Etienne, as well as players like DJ Chark, James Robinson, Marvin Jones Jr., and Laviska Shenault jr on the offensive side of the ball, he has a ton of weapons to work with.  The AFC South is primarily going to be an open-ish division, with the Texans rebuilding, Colts at an unknown with their QB, and the Titans likely being #1.  

The coaching staff will be the most interesting part in my opinion, with Urban Meyer coming up from the college ranks to coach professionally.  If he can coach well and continue this roster development, Lawrence could be in for a fantastic rookie year.

Zach Wilson – New York Jets – #2 overall pick

Statline: 17 games started : 3,763 passing yards, 23 passing TDs, 12 INTs, 66.3% completion : 78 rushing attempts for 296 yards and 6 TDs

The number two overall pick is also in a pretty interesting situation in regards to coaching and team.  The Jets brought in Robert Saleh this season to become the head coach, getting rid of Adam Gase thankfully for Wilson.  Saleh will be getting the nod to be HC for the first time in his NFL career, being the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers during their most recent Super Bowl appearance.

The Jets have also made many additions this offseason that should help out Wilson.  They currently have players like Michael Carter, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, and Chris Hernedon for skill positions.  They also upgraded their O-line with the additions of Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker in the last two drafts.  Wilson should perform very well in his rookie season, but with all the moving pieces joining the team their expectations overall could be low.

Trey Lance – San Francisco 49ers – #3 overall pick

Statline: 9 games started : 2,197 passing yards, 12 passing TDs, 2 INTs, 65.7% completion : 89 rushing attempts for 576 yards and 6 touchdowns

Trey Lance is easily the most unpredictable of the three top QBs picked, and not because of his supporting cast or coaching.  The 49ers were in the Super Bowl only two seasons ago with a relatively similar roster to now, and had Jimmy Garoppolo at QB1, so clearly the team is quality.  The coaching with Kyle Shanahan should help develop Lance quickly and play to his strengths.

The main issue here is we do not really know when Lance will start, due to his relatively raw traits currently.  If he is to start, it will likely be halfway through the season is my assumption.  However even with this, his production should be very good for only starting nine of the seventeen games this season.

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