With 26 days remaining before the NFL season kicks off, its time to take a closer look at the rookie quarterback class. The new age of versatile run pass option (RPO) quarterbacks is here. With that, comes a new age of pressure where today’s QB’s are taking on more of an offensive load than ever before. Some guys will get more playing time than others. So, which of these young guns has the talent, poise, and passion to be great this season? Let’s take a peek and rank the top four rookie QB’s who are sure to make major headlines in the NFL at some point this season.
#1 Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans
After a confounding drop all the way to the 3rd round and 86th pick in this past NFL Draft, Malik Willis is hungry. The Titan’s young stud tore apart defenses in the NCAA at Liberty last season, setting records in the process. Willis has a cannon arm, elite speed, and great size. All of these attributes make him the perfect RPO QB that virtually all teams are looking for in today’s NFL. The one concern with Willis is his accuracy and IQ in the pocket. Nevertheless, Titan’s starting QB Ryan Tannehill has little room for error with this guy breathing down his neck on the sidelines.
Some highlights from Malik Willis' preseason debut 👀 pic.twitter.com/rfce1jA6ca
— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) August 12, 2022
#2 Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett must feel the most comfortable out of any of the rookie quarterbacks. After all, he will be playing his home games at the same stadium where he played in college. Tonight, Kenny Pickett will make his debut for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many fans in Pittsburgh are hoping that he can fill the shoes of Ben Roethlisberger. How soon he will have a chance to do so is still up in the air.
Kenny Pickett showing off his ball placement skills 🎯 (via @itz__Hound) pic.twitter.com/8j1KCA25AD
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 10, 2022
#3 Sam Howell, Washington Commanders
Sam Howell has such a powerful arm that scouts were worried he’ll overthrow all of his receivers. Still, it will be interesting to see how quickly he will be needed with Carson Wentz starting at QB for the Washington Commanders. “To have Sam fall to us is something we just couldn’t pass up“ head coach Ron Rivera said after drafting Howell this year. Howell is quicker than Wentz and has the tools to throw on the move, which is exactly what the Commanders have been lacking in recent years. With pressure from the fans and front office for success, perhaps Ron Rivera will split time between Howell and Wentz.
Sam Howell showing off his deep ball 👀 (via @Commanders) pic.twitter.com/GlbeYpvJkL
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 11, 2022
#4 Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons
Ridder is likely to get the most playing time out of any of the Rookie QB’s. He had a great performance last night in his first professional game, which was highlighted by a game winning 21 yard touchdown pass with 1:37 left in the game. Ridder’s 6’3, 215 lb frame is what stands out most about him. He definitely has the size to be in the NFL, but there is worry about his capability as a QB. Last night was a terrific start, but Ridder has shown throughout his college career that he can be inconsistent. Those inconsistencies can be the difference between starting and sitting in the NFL.
DESMOND RIDDER GAME WINNING TD 🔥
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) August 13, 2022
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