Two short weeks ago, 32 fan bases were given new hope as 259 rookie prospects were drafted. As the dust settles, dynasty GMs are now going through the same process. I’m here to help dive into the most important position in the NFL. I’ll be diving into each rookie signal-caller and examining their outlook as a rookie and their career.
The 1.01 : Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence has been the projected rookie 1.01 for about 2 years now, and is entering the season as one of two rookies who is the unquestioned starter. Still, he has quite the uphill climb to being a fantasy leader. He enters the season with the twelfth head coach since 2000 to jump from the college game into the big league: Urban Meyer.
History is Not on the Side of Immediate Success
Only three college coaches have had a winning record when making the jump, and none of them had a rookie QB. Only three coaches have jumped to the pros from college on the offensive side of the ball and drafted a rookie QB in the first round since 2000. They were Steve Spurrier with Patrick Ramsey in 2002, Doug Marrone with EJ Manuel in 2013, and Kliff Kingsbury with Kyler Murray in 2019.
None of them had their rookie QB post a top-ten season in terms of points per game in the NFL. The only one to reach the top-ten in terms of offensive yards per game was Murray in his rookie season. Murray is also the rookie in this category to post a top-five fantasy season at the position since 2002.
While no QB or situation is always the same, it is important to have a little bit of pause to hope for immediate success. If you’re drafting from the 1.01, chances are likely you’re either: rebuilding, had a rash of injuries, or mortgaged your future. Since 2000, fifteen QBs have been chosen first overall in the NFL draft. Two-thirds have posted at least one top-ten, and almost identical for posting a top-five finish. However, less than half (6/15) of these players have posted a top-ten season more than once.
Is TLaw the Next Great QB?
I’m not trying to say that Lawrence isn’t going to be great at the next level. As a fan of the game, I wish the best for every player that gets to live out their dream of playing professional football. I think I’m trying to say here that Lawrence might not be the safest prospect in this draft class. Of the QBs to have multiple top-five finishes, Carson Palmer is the only QB to do it multiple times with less than 100 yards rushing in a season. For Lawrence to pay off in this scenario, he’s going to have to continue to run as he did in college. While trying to adjust to the game at the same time his head coach is doing the same. In my opinion, it’s an unenviable situation for a rookie QB to come into.
At the end of the day, I’d encourage all owners of the first pick to be more open to moving down the board in this year’s draft. While everyone is hyping up Lawrence, there are just as many reasons for you to be skeptical of his long-term outlook as there are on the contrary.
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