Rookie Quarterbacks Make Preseason Debut

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears Rookie Quarterback Justin Fields Photograph-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

One of the highlights of any preseason is watching the rookie quarterbacks from this year’s draft make their preseason debut. This weekend fans of the Jaguars, Jets, 49ers, Bears, and Patriots were able to see their new face of the franchise make their debut.

However, this weekend there was a wide variety of performances from promising to downright doubtful for success this season.

Mac Jones–The Rookie With a Promising Debut

Though 87 yards is not normally a promising stat line with 87 yards in total. However, Jones had the most consistent debut appearance. As Jones is in the midst of a battle for the starting job a consistent night will help put Jones in a position to at least challenge Cam Newton for the job. The only comments from Belichick on Jones’s performance is that the quarterbacks need to play quicker,

“Some good things, so things that we need to — just in general, we need to play faster and react faster. That’s every position across the board. Practice is practice, but things happen at game speed, and that’s something that I would say everyone needs to improve on. Certainly at the quarterback position, but every other position, too.”

Bill Belichick 

Zach Wilson–Hard To Evaluate

The heading is not meant to be an insult as Wilson had a decent night. But, the main problem is he only played two drives so its hard to provide a through evaluation that is positive or negative in nature. Coach Saleh did speak on Wilson’s youth and how there is still room for improvement,

“You want him to stack up as many good days as possible, but there’s still youth, he’s still a rookie. There are going to be a lot of opportunities for him to grow. Even in this game, even though he looked comfortable … the young man’s potential is through the roof, but there are still going to be things he can learn off of.”

Robert Saleh head coach of the New York Jets

Trey Lance–One Great Play in an Overall Rough Night

For the San Franscisco 49ers rookie Trey Lance he had a great start to the night as on his second play of the game with a three and out on his first drive, but on his second drive first play he got into the endzone for a touchdown. However, Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke on the corrections that Lance will need to make,

“He enjoys playing. He’s only been able to play one game in over a year. But I think it was good for him to get out. I think he started out good. He got a little excited sometimes, which he does. When you get a little excited, your technique and stuff, you lose, which will be fun to watch with him. Trey’s a guy who’s tough on himself and loves to correct things. And since we’ve had him, he’s been very good at correcting mistakes.”

Kyle Shanahan

Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields–Rookies Who Had The Worst Debut

Of all the rookies in the 2021 draft class both Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence both had underwhelming debuts. Starting with Fields in Chicago, though he had the most played the most playing the second and third quarterbacks. The biggest issue is an early fumble in his first couple of snaps. However, he had a good rest of his outing going 14-20 142 yards and a touchdown. The big point of emphasis that Matt Nagy mentioned is Fields will continue to get more reps,

“We want to make sure that we continue to go through this thing and we understand the process and this is one game that he came in here and now the beautiful thing is we get to get more practices in and get to see how he comes back next week, you know, against Buffalo and he’s going to have another chance.”

Matt Nagy head coach of the Chicago Bears

However, the worse rookie debut belonged to Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence played the first quarter and finished the night 6-9 71 Yards but the biggest takeaways was the sacks. After the game Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer addressed the sacks,

“I asked the same thing of [passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], I said ‘how did he play?’ He [Schottenheimer] said he did pretty good. I do believe he held the ball a little bit and I have to find out why. I’m anxious to talk to him.”

Urban Meyer

It will be interesting to see how these quarterbacks grow and devlop throughout the preseason and will be interesting to see who will have the biggest impact on their franchise.

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