Donny’s Football Hot Takes #2: Rookie QB’s Will Start and Win (At Least) One Game
Four teams made the decision in April to draft the future face of their franchise. Some of the picks were no-brainers. In fact, I’d say three of them were expected. One caught people by surprise, but it isn’t something different with that franchise. One of these rookies is starting right off the bat while the others will have to wait a few games or maybe a few seasons. However, this season, all four of them will start and win a game.
The number-one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft will start week one. The Bengals open the season at home against the LA Chargers. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a select number of Bengals’ fans will see Joe Burrow. With this one, it’s pretty easy to say he will start a game, since that is happening immediately. Winning a game may occur less than it did for Burrow at LSU in 2019, but the Bengals will win a few games this year.
Ever since his freshman relief appearance in the 2017 National Championship Game, Tua Tagovailoa was thought to be an eventual number-one overall selection. This past spring, Tagovailoa got chosen fifth overall by the Miami Dolphins. The lefty will start the season on the bench, giving way to the ageless veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Given Fitzpatrick’s age and his fearless demeanor, Tua could find himself in the QB1 spot due to injury. There may also be a point when Fitzpatrick struggles and the rookie works his way into the number one spot. Although it won’t happen right away for Tua the way it is for Joe Burrow, the left-hander will start a game at some point in the 2020-21 season. If the Dolphins are out of the playoff picture, he could see extra time to mold for the future. In that time, he will win at least once.
The same could be said for the rookie taken immediately after Tua — Justin Herbert out of Oregon. Herbert will sit behind Tyrod Taylor to begin the season. Herbert will get to see fellow rookie, Joe Burrow in just a few days. It would be cool to see the two face off, but we will likely have to wait until the next time the Chargers meet the Bengals. Taylor was the starter in Cleveland in 2018 with number one pick Baker Mayfield waiting in the wings. Taylor started a few games and looked OK, then when Taylor went down with an injury in week three, Mayfield stepped in and never stepped out. We could see the same thing here with Taylor and Herbert. In that case, Herbert has a shot to make some things happen and win some games for the LA Chargers in 2020-21.
The final first round QB was the surprise. It wasn’t a surprise that he got chosen in round one. It was a surprise who picked him. Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers. 15 years after the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers to be the eventual heir to Brett Favre’s throne, Green Bay did it again. Love is facing the biggest uphill battle to start his career, but if he looks back how Aaron Rodgers started he’ll smile. Rodgers sat behind Favre for awhile before getting his shot in the league. When he did, he shined by having a Hall of Fame career. Now he’s the elder statesmen who will mold the future leader of the Packers. This one is the most difficult to see in his rookie year, but there is a pretty good team around Jordan Love. One that reached the NFC Championship Game last season. If Love gets a chance to start, even if it’s just one game, I like his chances to win.
Tomorrow: MVP & Super Bowl pick