Rookie Impact: 2014 QBs

Ben Stockwell sets 2014's rookie quarterbacks into place as compared to those from past seasons.

| 2 years ago

Rookie Impact: 2014 QBs

rookie-impact-qbIn the last decade the “start him early” philosophy has started to dominate the “sit and learn” philosophy for rookie quarterbacks.

Since 2007 only five first round picks have not played at least 500 snaps in their rookie season and, consequently, the question is no longer “can our rookie play early?” The question is instead “how well will our rookie play in his first year?”

The likes of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have only served to heap pressure on rookie quarterbacks to come in and play very well very early on.

Rookie QBs - Click to Enlarge

Rookie QBs – Click to Enlarge

2014 Class Review

• Four quarterbacks played at least 300 snaps with three players topping 800.

• Teddy Bridgewater defied his draft-day fall to be the only rookie QB with a positive overall grade after a strong finish to the season.

• After subpar rookie seasons, the Raiders and Jaguars will hope to see glimmers from Derek Carr and Blake Bortles, respectively, turn into consistent performances in the future.

Best Class

• Highest Overall Grade: 2012 (+53.5 overall)

• Led by Russell Wilson (+41.7) and Robert Griffin III (+33.6) the 2012 quarterback class saw four of the five highest-graded rookie seasons that we have seen since 2007.

• Most Snaps Played: 2012 (6,032 snaps)

• After their rookie campaigns the comparisons to the 1983 class seemed well founded. Five quarterbacks played more than 900 snaps with four of those earning an overall grade of +10.0 or better.

First Round Outlook

• Average Playing Time: 725 snaps

• Average Overall Grade: -7.1

• 500+ Snap Seasons: 16 of 21 selections

• Best Rookie Season: Robert Griffin III (2012), 964 snaps, +33.6 overall

• Worst Rookie Season: Blaine Gabbert (2011), 927 snaps, -47.0 overall

Mid Round (2nd and 3rd) Outlook

• Average Playing Time: 364 snaps

• Average Overall Grade: -4.1

• 500+ Snap Seasons: seven of 21 selections

• Best Rookie Season: Russell Wilson (2012), 1,016 snaps, +41.7 overall

• Worst Rookie Season: Derek Carr (2014), 1,017 snaps, -32.6 overall

Late Round (4th to 7th) Outlook

• Average Playing Time: 39 snaps

• Average Overall Grade: -1.2

• 500+ Snap Seasons: zero of 54 selections

• Best Rookie Season: Kirk Cousins (2012), 98 snaps, +5.1 overall

• Worst Rookie Season: Ryan Lindley (2012), 306 snaps, -17.0 overall


Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben


| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • lightsout85

    Interesting, aside from just 2 exceptions (Stafford & Flacco), it seems if you don’t play above average in your first year, you’re never going to be that good of a QB.

    • glleonart

      Please note that this is a fairly limited sample size since PFF stats only go back to 2007. Before that and going by QB rating (which I know is not a good individual measure but usually correlates closely with PFF rating) I can think of a few other QB that were a disaster in their first year but turned out OK- Drew Brees and Eli Manning. Going back in time I wonder what the PFF ratings of John Elway (50 QB rating 1st year) or Peyton Manning would have been for the 1st year.

  • tylerandy

    It appeared that way but I wouldn’t consider MS is that “good” of a qb. The guy is 3-33 versus winning teams and 0-17 on the road versus winning teams. No matter how “bad” you are, you should get “lucky” at least once.