For the first time in seven years, no NFL team will have a rookie quarterback in their lineup to start the season. This wouldn’t be big news in past eras, but it is now given the trial by fire approach the league has embraced for rookie throwers in recent years.
There are promising passers in this year’s rookie crop, of course. Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater have looked solid in preseason performances. Johnny Manziel hasn’t done quite as well, but still shows the electric playmaking ability that made him a Heisman winner at Texas A&M. Jimmy Garoppolo has looked great, but played at a small school in college and is rightfully stuck behind Tom Brady for the foreseeable future.
Now that all of the offseason dust has settled, it looks like the rap on this year’s quarterback class turned out to be right. Unlike the past six or seven years, this class lacked a must-have franchise quarterback prospect.
So, who were those 2007 rookie quarterbacks who couldn’t get on the field either? It’s list of names fans can only hope this year’s class never resembles: JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, John Beck, and Drew Stanton. Yeah.
Until recently, sitting on the bench for your first year as an NFL quarterback was no big deal. It was expected. But the lack of a starter this year is a bit concerning for a few reasons. For one, as you know, teams are much more willing to throw rookies into action than before. The fact that none of these quarterbacks could convince their teams to take a chance on them is signifigant, especially given who is starting in their places.
Aside from Garoppolo, each quarterback is sitting behind a bona fide journeyman. Matt Cassel is starting over Teddy Bridgewater. Brian Hoyer got the nod over Manziel. Chad Henne is ahead of Blake Bortles. Matt Schaub will take the field instead of Derek Carr. That's a list of has-beens and never-weres.
Ready for some more unsettling news? We already pointed out that from 2008-2013, at least one rookie quarterback started on opening day. But get this: the only first round quarterbacks not to start on opening day during that time – Josh Freeman, Tim Bebow, Jake Locker, and Christian Ponder -- have all failed to find success in the NFL.
Recent history shows that unless you have an entrenched starter in place, it’s a bad sign if you’re highly-touted rookie quarterback can’t snag the starting job. Let’s hope this year’s class can buck that trend.
H/T: Yahoo Sports