2019 Rookie Quarterbacks And Their Quarterback Room

(Updated 6/1/2019 for Roster Moves)

Now that the draft is over and most undrafted free agents have been signed it is time to look at the Rookie quarterbacks and what their draft room or competition looks like.

There were eleven quarterbacks drafted. According to nfldraftscout.com the five year average is twelve quarterbacks drafted with the low being seven in 2015 and the high 15 in 2016. there were an additional 14 quarterbacks signed as undrafted free agents (UDFAs). That is well below what nfldraftscout lists as an average of 40 total quarterbacks getting a shot.

The rookies are listed in bold. Also listed is the number of quarterbacks the team carried on their 2018 53 man roster.

Rookie Starters

It is actually common for round one quarterbacks to start day 1.  There were 19 round one quarterbacks in the NFL last year and of those 11 started on their day one. However over the last three years there were 10 first round quarterbacks chosen and only three started on day one.

Arizona Cardinals

Starter – Kyler Murray: Twenty eight percent of his attempts in 2018 resulted in a big play (15+ yards passing or 10+ rushing).  No other quarterback prospect was close.

Other Backups:  Drew Anderson, Brett Hundley, Charles Kanoff

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Compete for Starting Quarterback:

Washington Redskins

Dwayne Haskins: Haskins led the nation in passing TDs (50) and had the best TD to Interception ratio among draft prospects (6.25).

Case Keenum: In 2017 Keenum had the eighth best passer rating (98.3), the second best completion percentage (67.6%) and the sixth best TD to Interception ratio (3.14).

Colt McCoy: After an award winning college career McCoy was drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft by the Browns. He has been on the Redskins the last five seasons and head coach Jay Gruden likes his competitive spirit, knowledge of their system and ability to make all the throws.

Other Backups: Alex Smith (injured), Josh Woodrum

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Quarterbacks Waiting In The Wings:

Over the last three years there were twelve quarterbacks drafted in rounds 2 thru 4. Of those only five started a game in their first year. The other seven have never started a game. Of the five that started a game only Dak Prescott is a starting quarterback.

Denver

Starter –  Joe Flacco led the Ravens to the playoffs six of his eleven years on the team and that includes their Super Bowl win in 2012.  The Ravens had not made the playoffs since the 2014 season. Pro Football Focus ranked Flacco in 2018 as the best quarterback outside the numbers on the right side in the 1-9 yards past the LOS  range.

Pushing to Play:

Drew Lock was fifth among draft prospects in passing plays of 40+ yards (16).

Other Backups: Kevin Hogan, Brett Rypien

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Cincinnati Bengals

Starter: Andy Dalton was selected by the Bengals in the second round of the 2011 draft. For his first four years on the Bengals he helped lead the team to four playoff appearances. However they never got past the first playoff game. Since the 2014 season appearance the Bengals have failed to make the playoffs. Pro Football Focus has Dalton as their twelfth highest graded quarterback for 2018. Dalton was injured in 2018 and only played 11 games.

Pushing to Play:

Ryan Finley made 49% of his third down attempts. That was second best among quarterback draft prospects bested only by Kyler Murray. In addition, 19.5% of all his attempts resulted in a big play. That was sixth best among quarterback draft prospects.

Other Backups: Jake Dolegala, Jeff Driskel.

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Quarterbacks Being Groomed:

There are two maybe three active quarterbacks that have been groomed. They are Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and maybe Jimmy Garappolo. Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons. Mahomes sat one season behind Alex Smith. Jimmy Garappolo sat  as Tom Brady’s backup for three seasons before he was traded.

Starter: Eli Manning was sixth in passing plays of 20+ yards (57) and also sixth for 40+ yards (10). Over Manning’s 15 seasons his 2018 season was in his top five seasons in completion %  (1st), passing yards (4th), average passing yards (3rd), Interceptions (3rd), 20+ yard plays (3rd),  40+ yard plays (5th) and passer rating (4th). Only his touchdowns was low (12th).

Daniel Jones is like a more mobile Eli Manning. His strengths are work ethic, football intelligence, quick release, accuracy and toughness. Even his detractors see him as a game manager. While sometimes used as a knock many of the best quarterback game managers won Super Bowls. Some include Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Bob Griese (3 Super Bowls, 2 wins), Jim Plunkett (2 wins), Jeff Hostetler, Doug Williams and Terry Bradshaw (4 wins).

Other Backups: Kyle Lauletta, Eric Dungey, Alex Tanney

The plan going in is to have Jones sit and learn. Barring an injury to iron-man Eli the Giants are likely to stick with this plan. Three things would need to occur for Jones to see meaningful playing time this year.

  1. Daniel Jones quickly assimilates the playbook and excels in practice,
  2. The Giants have a losing record, and
  3. Eli Manning is playing poorly.

All three would have to occur and number 2 is not synonymous with number 3. Last year the Giants did poorly but Eli had one of the best statistical years of his career and one could argue that the Giants did not lose due to Eli’s play.  If Jones impresses the coaches I could see that he could get in at the end of the season if the Giants are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Other quarterback draft selections

Carolina Panthers

Starter: Cam Newton

Will Grier: Grier was second in yards per game, third in passer rating, fourth in yards per attempt, fourth in passing plays of 30+ yards and fifth in touchdowns.

Other Backups: Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke

2018 quarterbacks: 3

New England Patriots

Starter: Tom Brady

Jarrett Stidham: In 2017 he was sixth in the nation in completion percentage.

Other backups:

Danny Etling – Etling holds the record for longest quarterback run in Patriots preseason history. (86 yards).

Bryan Hoyer – Second stint on the Patriots

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Los Angeles Chargers

Starter: Philip Rivers

Easton Stick: Stick is the first quarterback the Chargers have drafted since 2013. At North Dakota State he helped win two FCS championships, and had 49 career wins which is an FCS record. In three seasons he threw for 88 touchdown passes and rushed for 41 touchdowns.

Other Backups: Cardale Jones

Tyrod Taylor – Taylor was a three year starter in the Buffalo Bills. He was named to two Pro Bowls and helped lead the 2017 Bills to their first playoff appearance since 1999.

2018 Quarterbacks: 2

Philadelphia Eagles

Starter: Carson Wentz

Clayton Thorson – Thorson had 9 rushing touchdowns in 2018 which was eighth most among quarterback draft prospects. He converted 56% of his red zone rushing attempts into touchdowns. That percentage was tops among quarterback prospects.

Other backups: Nate Sudfeld, Cody Kessler, Greg Ward, Luis Perez

Luis Perez – Perez was a walk-on at a community college with no quarterback experience. He said he wanted to be their quarterback. He started as the 9th quarterback on the depth chart. In two years he went on to win a conference title and all conference honors . He transferred to Texas A&M Commerce where he went 24-3 as a starting quarterback. In two years at Texas A&M he threw for 8,325 yards, 78 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 68% completion percentage. Perez played for the  Birmingham Iron of the AAF. Perez was waived by the Eagles in May 2019 and is currently a free agent.

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Jacksonville Jaguars

Starter: Nick Foles

Gardner Minshew – Minshew was second in completion percentage (70%), fourth in touchdowns (38), first in passing yards per game (367 yards) and second in 10+ yards passing plays (185).

Other Backups: Cody Kessler, Alex McGough, Tanner Lee

Alex McGough has had a strong 2018 preseason on the Seahawks. He has a preseason completion percentage of 61.5%, a 7.3 passing yards average, four passes of 20+ yards and a 90.2 passer rating.  In college McGough was a four year starter at FIU and only missed 3 games due to injury. Alex holds eight FIU records including career passing TDs (48), single season passing yards (2722) and single season passing TDs (21).

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Baltimore Ravens

Starter: Lamar Jackson

Trace McSorley is deadly in the red zone. He converted 39% of his red zone attempts into touchdowns and 40% of his red zone passing attempts. The 39% total attempts was tops among quarterback prospects. He is a dual threat quarterback rushing for 61 yards per game, averaging 4.7 yards per rush and scored 12 rushing touchdowns in 2018. The 12 rushing touchdowns was third best among quarterback draft prospects.

Other backups: Robert Griffen III

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Quarterbacks Signed as UDFAs

Buffalo Bills

Starter: Josh Allen

Tyree Jackson had a 33.9% touchdown conversion percent in red zone attempts.  That was fifth best among quarterback draft prospects. He converted on 50% of his red zone rushing attempts for 7 touchdowns. The 50% conversion rate was second best among quarterback draft prospects.

Other Backups: Matt Barkley, Derek Anderson

2018 Quarterbacks: 3

Cincinnati Bengals

Starter: Andy Dalton

Jake Dolegala sat behind his high school friend thru his junior year in high school. In his senior year he had a torn labrum due in his third game and was out for the season. After surgery he could barely throw.  No college offers came in. He went to a prep school and then to four years at Central Connecticut State University. He has a very strong arm. At Connecticut he became the school’s career leading passer, appearing in 44 games and completing 654 of 1,136 passes (57.6 completion percentage) for 8,129 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He led the Northeast Conference in passing as a sophomore and finished his career as one of only five players in league history to throw for more than 8,000 yards.

Other backups: Ryan Finley, Jeff Driskel

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Cleveland Browns

Starter:  Baker Mayfield

David Blough, Purdue, was tenth in yards per game (285 yards),. He passed for a career 9,734 yards. Blough is a four year starter who improved every year in passer rating, yards per attempt and completion percentage. He finished his senior year with a 146.9 passer rating, 8 yards per attempt, 66% completion percent, 3,705 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  Blough Has volunteered for five mission trips to South Africa with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was selected to speak at the 2017 Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon and received a standing ovation for his speech on football as a microcosm of life.

Other Backups: Drew Stanton, Garrett Gilbert

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Denver Broncos

Starter: Joe Flacco

Brett Rypien converted 49% of his 3rd down passes which was second best among draft prospects. He was tenth in yards per game (285 yards) and in touchdown passes (30). Rypien was eleventh in completion percent (67.3%) and tenth in passing plays of 40+ yards (14). Brett Rypien is the 2018 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. Rypien meets all of Bill Parcells’ seven rules for drafting a quarterback. He has a 77% win percentage with 48 career starts and is a 4 year starter. Rypien had four games in 2018 in which he had a passer rating of over 200. Against Colorado State he had a completion percentage of 84.6%, passed for 308 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Other Backups: Kevin Hogan, Drew Lock

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Kansas City Chiefs

Starter: Patrick Mahomes

Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt, is 13th among quarterback draft prospects in passing plays of 10+ yards (124). Thirty one percent of his red zone passes converted to touchdowns. That was seventh best among quarterback draft prospects. Kyle is the son of Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.

John Lovett, Princeton, became Princeton’s first two-time first-team All-American since 1993 after leading Princeton to its first perfect season since 1964. Lovett was ranked first in the Ivy League in total offense (303.0 yards/game), second in rushing (99.3 yards/game) and second in passing (203.7 yards/game). In three seasons as the Tigers’ quarterback, he threw for 31 touchdowns, rushed for 42 touchdowns and caught two more. He also recorded two tackles on defense and punted the ball three times. Against Cornell in 2016, he accounted for seven touchdowns — four passing, two rushing and one receiving. Teams have worked him out as a quarterback, receiver and H-back; one team even asked him to do linebacker drills.

T.J. Linta, Wagner, has played in 30 games over three seasons. His career numbers are 51.2% completion, 3,875 yards, 5.7 yards per attempt, 27 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. TJ Linta was released with an injury settlement

Other Backups: Chad Henne, EJ Manuel, Chase Litton

Chase Litton was 20-14 in his starts at Marshall. Litton displays good arm strength, quick release and a good ability to analyze defenses. He throws well on the move and is technically sound in the pocket. Processing speed post-snap and turnovers have been raised as concerns. In Marshall records books Litton is fourth in passing yards (8,335), passing yards/attempt (7.0), passing touchdowns (72) and passing efficiency rating (133.9).

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Green Bay Packers

Starter: Aaron Rodgers

Manny Wilkins, Arizona State, is a dual threat quarterback. In 2018 twenty percent of his rushing attempts were for 10+ yards for 22 big plays. Wilkins is one of only five draft prospects that in 2018 had a completion percentage of 60+%, 19+ passing touchdowns, 500+ passing yards and 300+ rushing yards.

Other Backups: DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle

DeShone Kizer in 2017 started 15 games for the Browns, all of which were losses. He ranked last among all regular starters in completion percentage (53.6) last season and threw a league-high 22 interceptions, which was six more than any other quarterback. His TD to Int ratio was 0.5. Some positives on Kizer’s year with the Browns – Kizer throws the deep ball pretty well as evidenced by his 39.5 completion percentage on throws of 20 yards or more and he still maintained a 45.6 completion percentage when blitzed.

Tim Boyle in the 2018 preseason was 26 of 53 (49.1%) with a 5.5 yards per attempt average and a 11.3 yards per completion average. He had three touchdowns to two interceptions. Twenty eight percent of his pass attempts made first down. He had four pass plays of 20+ yards with one of 40+ yards. His passer rating was was 69.2.

2018 quarterbacks: 3

Minnesota Vikings

Starter: Kirk Cousins

Jake Browning, Washington,  ranked fourth among 26 top quarterback prospects examined in both 3rd down conversions percent (43.5%) and big play percent (19.7%).  He had the third best passing big play percentage (22%). Browning had the seventh most 10+ yards passing plays (139) among draft prospects.

Other Backups: Kyle Sloter, Sean Mannion

Kyle Sloter has played well in two seasons of preseason games since joining the league as a UDFA in 2017. After college he was all set to become a financial advisor and the company with his job offer encouraged him to chase his dream. In 2018 preseason ha had a 114 passer rating on 56 attempts which ranked eighth in the league and tops among Viking quarterbacks. He also had a 73.2% completion percentage, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. In the 2017 preseason with the Broncos he played in four preseason games. He had stats of 72% completion rate, 3 TDs, 0 Interceptions, 413 yards and a quarterback rating of 125 – the second highest of any rookie quarterback that year.

2018 Quarterbacks: 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Starter: Jameis Winston

Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State, is a dual threat quarterback. He is the only player over the last five years to have three seasons of +15 passing touchdowns, +10 rushing touchdowns, +900 rushing yards and +1500 passing yards. Only two other players met that criteria for two seasons – Lamar Jackson and Quinton Flowers. Fitzgerald had the fourth best forty time at the combine (4.64 s) among quarterbacks.

Other Backups: Ryan Griffin, Blaine Gabbert

Arizona Cardinals

Starter: Kyler Murray

Drew Anderson, Murray State, has very good arm talent. He can push the ball downfield and with velocity. He is a two year starter. At Buffalo his stats were 62.3 completion percent, 1,029 yards, 9.8 yards per attempt, 10 touchdowns, one interception and a 173.8 passer rating. His last year at Murray State he was 60.4 completion percent, 3,903 yards, 7.3 yards per attempt, 30 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 124.6 passer rating.

Other Backups: Brett Hundley, Charles Kanoff

Charles Kanoff during preseason last year had a 41.7% completion percentage on 36 attempts with an average 4.9 yards per attempt and 11.9 yards per completion. A quarter of his pass attempts got a first down and he had one touchdown with zero interceptions. He had 2 passes of 20+ yards with one for 40+ yards. His passer rating was 66.7. Kanoff was a  three year starter at Princeton. Kanoff broke many Princeton and Ivy League passing records. He earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. Kanoff has a strong arm and athleticism. He throws with accuracy and velocity. In 2017 he completed 73.2% of his passes setting a Princeton and Ivy League record for single-season completion percentage. Chad tied the Ivy League record for most 400-yard passing games (three) and 300-yard passing games (eight) in a single season. He was also second on the Princeton rankings and fourth on the Ivy League rankings in career completion percentage (64.5%).

2018 quarterbacks: 2

San Francisco 49ers

Starter: Jimmy Garoppolo

Wilton Speight, UCLA, had an injury dampened career at Michigan and UCLA. in 2016 he led the Michigan Wolverines to a 9-0 start and was the 2016 third team All-Big Ten quarterback selection. Over four years he has played in 28 games and has a 59.4% completion percent, 4,719 yards, 7.3 yards per attempt, 28 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 130.2 passer rating.

Other Backups: C.J. Beathard, Nick Mullens

Beathard was a 2017 Round 3 draft pick. He started 5 games in 2017 and went 1-4 before being sidelined due to injury. He was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo. Several members of the 49ers have publicly complimented the attitude and toughness of Beathard during the season, as he was sacked 19 times in his 7 appearances. CJ reportedly is a film junkie and football is important to him. As a junior in college Beathard led Iowa to a 12-2 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl, and averaged 7.8 yards per attempt on a 139.5 QB rating.

Mullens was a 2017 UDFA. He is the Southern Miss Golden Eagle leader in career, single season and single game passing yards. Quarterback Brett Favre set Golden Eagle passing records in 1990 that stood for 30 years before being broken by Austin Davis and then Nick Mullens. Nick holds the Southern Miss record in passing touchdowns for both career and single season. He holds the Southern Miss record for best career quarterback rating for over 150 completions and the second best completion percentage.

2018 quarterbacks: 2

Seattle Seahawks

Starter: Russell Wilson

Taryn Christion, South Dakota State, finished seventh across all divisions in active career leaders passing touchdowns with 104 and third in the FCS. Christion was second across all divisions in active career leaders touchdowns responsible for with 131. Each of his last three seasons he had over 3,000 passing yards. He averaged 8.5 yards per attempt over his career. His record is 33-11 as a starter. Christion has a strong arm and is fast moving outside the pocket. His career completion percentage is 59.7%. From nfl.com draft profile – “Can sling a 60-yard deep ball on a rope”.  (Update:Taryn Christion was waived 5/13)

Other Backups: Paxton Lynch, Geno Smith

2018 quarterbacks: 2

New York Giants

Starter: Eli Manning

Eric Dungey, Syracuse, was sixth among quarterback draft prospects in rushing plays of 10+ yards (29).  Over the last four years Dungey is the only player to have four seasons of 250+ rushing yards, 1000+ passing yards, 59+% completion percent and 10+ passing touchdowns. He was also the only one to have three seasons of the same stats but with 2000+ passing yards.

Other Backups: Daniel Jones, Kyle Lauletta, Alex Tanney

Kyle Lauletta was a 2018 Round 4 draft pick. Two year team captain and Senior Bowl MVP. In 2018 he saw limited action in one regular season game where he was 0-5 with one interception. A three year starter in college, Lauletta made the CAA All Conference team each year – twice on 2nd team and in 2017 on 1st. In 2017 he was selected as the CAA league Offensive Player of the Year.

2018 quarterbacks: 3

In Conclusion

So there you have the new rookie quarterbacks and the competition they have for a roster spot.

It is interesting to note the approach teams with aging quarterbacks took. For a line of demarcation I will use age 35 as the line for “aging” quarterbacks. The years under contract are shown with the quarterback name.

Quarterback Team Age Free Agent Draft Choice Additional Backups On Roster
Tom Brady
(2018-2019)
NE 41 2020 Jarrett Stidham (Round 4) Danny Etling,
Bryan Hoyer
Drew Brees
(2018-2019)
NO 40 2020 None Taysom Hill,
Teddy Bridgewater,
JT Barrett
Eli Manning
(2015-2019)
NYG 38 2020 Daniel Jones (Round 1) Kyle Lauletta,
Eric Dungey,
Alex Tanney
Philip Rivers
(2015-2019)
LAC 37 2020 Easton Stick (Round 5) Cardale Jones,
Tyrod Taylor
Ben Roethlisberger
(2019-2021)
PIT 37 2022 None Joshua Dobbs, Mason Rudolph, Brogan Roback
Aaron Rodgers
(2018-2023)
GB 35 2024 Manny Wilkins (UDFA) DeShone Kizer,
Tim Boyle

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