- By Mike Wilson
Drafted NFL Rookie QBs
I know it is too early to get a real feel for how these QBs will pan out, but let’s take a look at how they performed during the 1st week of the NFL preseason.
Kenny Pickett – Steelers
- 1st Round – 20th overall
- 13 completions on 15 passing attempts, 95 yards, 2 TDs, 132.6 passer rating, 3 rushes for 16 yards
Pickett’s 132.6 passer rating was the highest mark of any qualifying NFL quarterback this past week, according to CBS Sports. This 132.6 passer rating was also the highest by a rookie QB in his preseason debut in 30 years. Pickett is projected to be a backup this season behind Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.
Desmond Ridder – Falcons
- 3rd Round – 74th overall
- 10 completions on 22 passing attempts, 103 yards, 2 TDs, 89.8 passer rating, 6 rushes for 59 yards
Ridder didn’t put up great numbers, but he proved to be a clutch performer. Marcus Mariota is the expected starter for the Falcons, but if the Falcons fall out of playoff contention early, look for Ridder to get meaningful snaps in regular season games.
Malik Willis – Titans
- 3rd Round – 86th overall
- 6 completions on 11 passing attempts, 107 yards, 88.1 passer rating, 5 rushes for 38 yards and 1 TD
Willis is an electrifying QB with a big arm. The Ravens’ Lamar Jackson had this to say about Willis: “Then, I saw him in the game, he did that little spin roll to the left and went crazy. I was like, ‘I like him. I like him a lot.’ He’s a great quarterback, and he made some down-the-field throws, too. He’s going to be good in the league.” via the Ravens’ official website. Willis is projected to be a backup this season behind Tannehill.
Matt Corral – Panthers
- 3rd Round – 94th overall
- 1 completions on 9 passing attempts, 11 yards, 39.6 passer rating, 1 rush for 6 yards
Corral did not have a good performance. Corral is projected to be the 3rd string QB behind Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
Bailey Zappe – Patriots
- 4th Round – 137th overall
- 19 completions on 32 passing attempts, 205 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 75.8 passer rating
Zappe threw the most attempts for the 2nd most passing yards out of all rookies. Overall he had a very good 1st NFL game. Zappe is projected to the be the 3rd string QB behind Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer.
Sam Howell – Commanders
- 5th Round – 144th overall
- 9 completions on 16 passing attempts, 145 yards, 86.7 passer rating, 3 rushes for 19 yards and 2 TDs
Howell turned in a solid performance for the Commanders. Carson Wentz is the expected starter, but Howell could find his way as the primary backup passing up Taylor Heinicke.
Skylar Thompson – Dolphins
- 7th Round – 247th overall
- 20 completions on 28 passing attempts, 218 yards, 1 TD, 106.0 passer rating, 3 rushes for 25 yards
Skylar Thompson had a very productive 1st NFL game. He was the only QB used by the Dolphins vs the Buccaneers. Thompson is the projected backup behind Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater.
Brock Purdy – 49ers
- 7th Round – 262nd overall
- 3 completions on 6 passing attempts, 36 yards, 1 TD, 108.3
Purdy was the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, also known as “Mr. Irrelevant”. He didn’t play much in the 1st preseason game, but he performed well. The 49ers are expected to move Jimmy Garoppolo very soon. Trey Lance is the projected starter, and Nate Sudfeld is the primary backup.
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