Rookie QB grades through first 3 preseason games

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Based on the first three weeks of preseason the rookie quarterbacks drafted in the fourth round or higher have been graded based on performance. Areas of improvement have also been included.

Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams

Being drafted number 1 overall comes with pretty high expectations but Rams quarterback Jared Goff has been very average so far. Some of his best plays have been quick rhythm throws with predetermined locations and only in his hand for a short amount of time. He’s had a little bit of trouble protecting the ball with a couple of fumbles and a pick. His receivers haven’t helped him much either with plenty of dropped balls.   GRADE C+

Areas for improvement: He needs more reps to gain some confidence and poise in the pocket and could possibly add more weight and strength to that 6’4″ frame.

Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles

The second overall pick has nearly as high of expectations as the first. In his first preseason game, he received a hairline rib fracture against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, limiting the amount of time he’s been on the field. However, in the time he has been on the field he has shown great arm strength and has the athleticism to be able to extend plays with his legs. He also did well with his chances in the red zone with some sailing on him.   GRADE B

Areas for improvement: Accuracy under duress is one of his biggest areas to improve as well as protecting himself in the pocket and on the move. He took some huge hits from the Tampa defenders, one of which resulted in a quick injury.

Paxton Lynch – Denver Broncos

Paxton Lynch was drafted twenty-sixth overall. Considering the adjustment he had to make from the offense at Memphis, his footwork has been very clean and crisp. He has shown a big arm and the ability to create plays with his legs. His ball placement was a little off in week 3, but that’s to be expected early on.   GRADE B

Areas for improvement: He’s been sacked 6 times in 3 games so his pocket awareness could use some work. He could also work on when to run and when to throw the ball away as well. Shouldn’t be an issue with more reps and experience.

Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys 

Dak Prescott was drafted at number 135 overall. Prescott has been rather exceptional in his first three preseason games. Completing 39 of 50 passes for 454 yards, 5 touchdowns, and no picks. He also has a passer rating of 137.8. Prescott has shown incredible poise, accuracy, velocity, and playmaking abilities. He’s been able to control the urge to take off running, but when the opportunity arises he can take full advantage.   GRADE A+

Areas for improvement: His throwing mechanics have already been vastly improved since last year. He does have a habit of sometimes locking his front legs which can affect ball placement. That is something that can be easily fixed, though.

Cardale Jones – Buffalo Bills

Cardale Jones was drafted at number 139 overall. He’s shown some big-time flashes but has also been very inconsistent at times. He has amazing arm strength giving him the ability to drive the ball down the field and can also throw well on the move.   GRADE C+

Areas for improvement: He has some footwork problems that need to be cleaned up. His setup needs to be more deliberate and his decision making needs to be improved.

Christian Hackenberg – New York Jets

Christian Hackenberg was drafted at number 51 overall. He didn’t play until week 3 but was able to show some positive things. He has the size and arm strength of a typical QB and led an almost perfect touchdown drive. After that though his poise and ball placement declines and he seemed to get stuck on his first read if it wasn’t available.   GRADE C

Areas for improvement: Accuracy and looking further than the first read both need to be approved upon.

Cody Kessler – Cleveland Browns 

Cody Kessler was drafted at number 93 overall. He didn’t see much action in the preseason. He did make a couple of accurate quick passes but did not look comfortable in the pocket. Kessler took two safeties in the first game and held on to the ball too long in each game.   GRADE C

Areas for improvement: Kessler needs to calm his feet down in the pocket and be more decisive. He could also improve his deep ball accuracy.

Jacoby Brissett – New England Patriots

Jacoby Brissett was drafted at number 91 overall. Brissett struggled in his first game making poor decisions and was inconsistent at best. He got better each week, though, showing the ability to read the entire field in week three against the Panthers. He completed all 9 throws for 85 yards and a score, receiving a passer rating of 143.1.   GRADE C+

Areas for improvement: His underneath and deep throws both need work. Brissett seems most comfortable with intermediate throws. His decision making could also use some improvement.

Connor Cook – Oakland Raiders

Connor cook was drafted number 100 overall. Cook has a good size, quick release, and a lot of arm talent. He has good ability at times but his deep ball accuracy has been spotty. His biggest issue was his tendency to throw into high traffic areas which has yielded two interceptions.   GRADE C

Areas for improvement: Cook’s decision making and field vision are the areas he needs to work on the most. He has the upside to be a starter in the NFL.

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