We have arrived at the midseason mark for the 2018 NFL season. We have seen these rookies over a larger sample size and we are starting to get a better look of the kind of players they are. Lets take a look on how they’ve faired over half of a season.
Games started: 5
Stats: 223 ATT, 58.3 completion %, 1,471 yards, 6.6 YPA, 8 TD, 6 INT, 2 fumbles, 78.9 QBR
The first overall pick has played quite well in his first NFL season considering the chaos that has been going on around him. The disfunction between former coaches Hue Jackson and Todd Haley certainly didn’t help Mayfield’s growth as a pro. He’s show us exactly what we saw when he was at Oklahoma. He’s been very accurate showing off his great mechanics and has great touch and anticipation. Last week was the most uncomfortable he has looked all year against a good Steelers pass rush. Mayfield is looking like he will develop into a solid starting quarterback but it will be interesting who the Browns anoint as their new head coach for next season. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has been a hot name in the streets but Riley has stated he has no plans on coaching in the NFL.
Games started: 8
Stats: 250 ATT, 55.2 completion %, 1,705 yards, 6.8 YPA, 11 TD, 10 INT, 1 rush TD, 1 fumble, 74.5 QBR
The youngest rookie of the bunch has held his own thus far. We’ve seen a little of Jekyll and Hyde out of Darnold. Some weeks he looks like the savior of the franchise and others he’s less impressive. He’s been without his top two receivers in Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson in recent weeks and his dip in production could be attributed to that. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates also hasn’t been helping much either with his lack of creativity in his game plans. Darnold’s mechanics have been off on occasion but they are much improved from when he was at USC. His ability to step up in the pocket and throw on the run has been very impressive. Consistency will be the key for Darnold and when he gets his receivers back healthy it should help with that.
Games started: 5
Stats: 139 ATT, 54.0 completion %, 832 yards, 6.0 AVG, 2 TD, 5 INT, 3 rush TD, 4 fumbles, 61.8 QBR
Allen has been sidelined for the past few weeks with a UCL injury on his throwing arm. It is fortunate that the injury was not too serious and he is expected to be back on the field shortly. Allen has the least amount of help surrounding him out of all of the quarterbacks. And not just rookies, the Bills have one of the most barren rosters in the league. About 50% of their players are either rookies or second year players. While Allen was on the field he has ben inconsistent. His spotty accuracy might become an issue and he tends to rely on his arm strength to make up for his lack up anticipation. It’s hard to judge him based on the condition of his offensive line and receiving corps but another thing Allen needs to improve on is his pocket presence. There’s been multiple occasions where he bails from a clean pocket or he tries to run away from the rush and ends up taking a 20-yard sack. He needs to learn to live to play another down and stand in the pocket when its there.
Games started: 5
Stats: 169 ATT, 55.6 completion %, 1,072 yards, 6.3 AVG, 5 TD, 6 INT, 2 fumbles, 69.9 QBR
Rosen has shown flashes of his potential behind an atrocious offensive line in Arizona. He doesn’t have much to work with outside of Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson although fellow rookie Christian Kirk has been developing nicely over the course of the season and will eventually be a nice offensive weapon for Rosen. He conducted a gritty game winning drive against the 49ers last week showing he’s got some ice in his veins. Similar with Darnold, Arizona’s game plan tends to lack creativity and its hurting Rosen’s growth. However, he has shown good accuracy and poise but has a tendency to force some throws. If Arizona can put some pieces around him, Rosen will do just fine.
Games started: 0
Stats: 11 ATT, 54.5 completion %, 75 yards, 6.8 AVG, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD, 106.2 QBR
Jackson is still in that Swiss army knife role with the Ravens. Flacco is playing well (elite) so there hasn’t been anyone calling for the former Heisman winner just yet. His stats are tough to analyze because a big part about the quarterback position is developing a rhythm within the game. Jackson can’t develop a rhythm getting a pass play or two here and there. It’s not fair to judge Jackson on his handful of snaps but his freakish athletic ability has been on display and he will be the future for the Baltimore Ravens.