Donny Football Hot Takes: #6 – All First-Round Rookie QB’s start and win a game
By Donny Chedrick
So, this is another prediction that I made last year. This take failed because Aaron Rodgers dominated the league in Green Bay as then-rookie quarterback, Jordan Love, held a clipboard every week. I feel more confident this time in this year’s first-round rookie QB class.
For starters, they have starters. Trevor Lawrence (JAX), Zach Wilson (NYJ) and Mac Jones (NE) are all slated to start Week 1, with Justin Fields (CHI) and Trey Lance (SF) not far from getting on the field. The first three will start a game and unless they all go 0-17 this year, they will win a game as well. When will they win? I’ll try to guess that, too.
Trevor Lawrence has been touted as the next John Elway. The next Andrew Luck. A transcendent quarterback. You get the picture. He’s been labeled a golden child of the NFL for the last few years while slinging the rock at Clemson. He will help usher in the Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville, and I don’t think he’ll have to wait long at all for his first win. Week 1 against the Houston Texans is your answer. Houston is expected by many to be among, if not the worst, team in football. In an ugly, sloppy game, Lawrence gets the win.
Zach Wilson looks like he’s a high school junior, but he happens to be the starting quarterback of a team from the city that doesn’t sleep. Wilson will face many pressures as the shoulders of a rebuild in New York, but he will grab a few wins in his rookie year and perhaps earlier than we expect. After an 0-2 start with close losses to Carolina and New England, Wilson will outshine the likes of Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock in Denver to get his first win in Week 3.
Mac Jones has things a little bit easier than the other two. One, he plays in New England. Two, he plays for Bill Belichick. Three, he has a much better roster around him than Lawrence or Jones. I think the win comes early for Jones as he tries to become the future in Foxborough. After narrowly falling to a young, exciting squad from Miami in Week 1, Jones tops fellow rookie Wilson in week two.
Justin Fields will not start right away after Bears’ head coach, Matt Nagy, already labeled Andy Dalton as the starting QB in Chicago, so this guess may be a little bit more complicated. With the crowds already turning on Dalton before he can play in a real game for the Chicago, I think the Red Rocket knows he has a short leash. If Nagy pulls it, I think the first win for Fields comes against the Detroit Lions in either the Oct. 3 meeting or Thanksgiving in the Motor City.
Trey Lance may see the most limited time to get a start and win out of the rookie first-round QBs in 2021. If Jimmy Garoppolo plays well, Lance might not play. Even if we see a solid year from Jimmy G, Lance plays in a game down the stretch that doesn’t mean anything for one reason or another. I’ll say that is the Week 17 matchup against Houston. Yeah, it’s the second time Houston makes an appearance. That team will not be good.
There ya have it. Tomorrow: what happens to the team from Hard Knocks?
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