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Which Young Quarterback Will Be the Next NFL Superstar?

Posted on September 27, 2019 by Dean Hybl

In today’s NFL, the most valuable asset for any NFL team is their starting quarterback.  Finding a “franchise” quarterback is often the difference between a successful team and a team floundering with mediocrity.

Over the last three years, 11 quarterbacks have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. One interesting bet for New Online Casinos would be which of these young quarterbacks will be the next NFL Superstars and which will eventually be considered as draft misses.

Certainly, the young gun who has made the biggest early impression is Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

After playing in just one game as a rookie, Mahomes became the starter in 2018 and responded with an MVP season. His 50 touchdown passes were the most ever for a second year player and tied for the second most in a season all-time. He nearly led the Chiefs to the Super Bowl as they lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game.

He is on pace for another big season with 10 touchdown passes in his first three games of 2019 as the Chiefs are undefeated and looking like a Super Bowl contender.

Their victory last week was over another team with a dynamic young quarterback.

Lamar Jackson was named the Heisman Trophy winner in 2016 and during his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 he dethroned a Super Bowl winning quarterback in Joe Flacco.

A threat as a passer and runner, Jackson has seven passing touchdowns and one running TD so far this season. He has the potential to be a tough quarterback to defend in the mold of Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, Michael Vick and Cam Newton.

Another quarterback who can do damage with his arm and legs is Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans. Though he finished second to Jackson in the race for the 2016 Heisman, Watson won the National Championship for Clemson University and automatically makes the Texans a contender.

Watson was on his way to a special rookie campaign before a knee injury abruptly ended his campaign. Last season he led the Texans to an 11-5 record while earning Pro Bowl honors. Through three games this season he has six touchdown passes and two rushing scores.

No quarterback from the 2018 draft received more debate about his future potential than Baker Mayfield. Many questioned where he should go in a quarterback rich draft, but the Cleveland Browns decided he was their future franchise quarterback and chose him with the first selection.

After a slow start, Mayfield finished 2018 strong as the Browns finished with a 7-8-1 record after winning one game over the previous two years.

Mayfield is not a running quarterback in the mold of Jackson or Watson, but he is an exciting playmaker. In 2018 he threw 27 touchdown passes while being intercepted only 14 times. He has struggled a bit so far in 2019 as the Browns have lost two of their first three games and Mayfield has only three touchdown passes with five interceptions.

However, the Browns have built a solid young team and Mayfield is surrounded by great playmakers including Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb.

The last two drafts have created a unique rivalry in the state of New York as the Giants, Jets and Bills have all drafted quarterbacks they hope will be their franchise leader for a decade or more.

In the 2018 draft, the Jets chose Sam Darnold with the third pick and the Bills used the seventh pick on Josh Allen. The Giants joined the young quarterback party in 2019 as they chose Daniel Jones with the sixth pick.

Darnold showed flashes of brilliance in 2018, but overall had his struggles on a mediocre team. He had a solid performance in a one-point loss to Allen and the Bills in the 2019 opener, but is now out of the lineup with mononucleosis and while he is expected to return after missing just a few games, it could make it tough for him to really continue his growth as a quarterback this season.

Allen did not have a good statistical season as a rookie with 10 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions and completing only 52.8% of his passes while going 5-6 as a starter.

This season he is an early candidate for most improved player as he has completed 64% of his passes and has three passing and two rushing touchdowns as the Bills are off to a 3-0 start.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) runs 7-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

There was a lot of debate about whether the New York Giants should select Daniel Jones or give Eli Manning a few more years as the starter. Ultimately they selected Jones and after he played very well in preseason moved him into the starting lineup in the third week of the season.

His first NFL start may prove to be a tough one to top as he passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for two scores in a comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It looks like the Giants are committed to Jones for the long haul and it will be interesting to see if he can withstand the natural ups-and-downs for a rookie quarterback to emerge as the long-term answer for the Giants.

An interesting situation related to first round quarterback picks the last two years has occurred in Arizona. In 2018 the Cardinals used the 10th pick on Josh Rosen.

Rosen started 13 games for the Cardinals as a rookie with 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.

However, the Cardinals finished with the first pick in the 2019 draft and ultimately decided to draft Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray from the University of Oklahoma. That meant Rosen was expendable and was traded to the Miami Dolphins. After serving as the backup quarterback the first two weeks, Rosen started in week three and looks to be the starter for the foreseeable future.

Murray had a great second half performance in the season opener to rally the Cardinals to a 27-27 tie with the Detroit Lions. However, he has struggled at times the last two weeks and will certainly have growing pains as the season progresses.

Another rookie who will likely have growing pains is Dwayne Haskins of the Washington Redskins. Haskins is the only rookie first round pick who has not yet played, but on a Washington team that is 0-3, it may not be long before he gets his chance.

If Haskins does eventually move into the lineup his situation might mirror that of Mitchell Trubisky, who became the starter for the Chicago Bears in the fifth game of the 2017 season after not playing in the first four games.

Trubisky took his lumps as a rookie, but in 2018 led the Bears to 11 victories and a playoff appearance. He had 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions to earn a Pro Bowl spot. This season he has led the Bears to a 2-1 record and they are definitely again a playoff contender.

There is always a bit of risk and luck associated with picking young quarterbacks, but it is very clear that while not all of the recent first rounders will become stars, they will all have a chance to become a franchise quarterback. It will be fun to check back in a decade to see which ones emerged as championship quarterbacks and NFL stars and which didn’t quite live up to their high draft pick.

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