by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
While there was some hype surrounding this year’s rookie quarterback class, as of right now all the talk is that none of them will be starting in Week 1. Does anyone really believe that, though? Teams aren’t going to be adding any undue pressure on their rookies, who still have to learn the offenses for their new teams. Chances are, considering where some of the QB landed, at least one or two will see significant playing time in 2014 even if it isn’t Week 1.
How do we rank them for the coming year? Let’s take a look (remember, these rankings are for redraft formats, not dynasty leagues):
1) Johnny Manziel – Cleveland Browns
The Browns could talk about Brian Hoyer all they want, but it’s clear where the team’s future now lies. A healthy Josh Gordon would’ve made Manziel that much more appealing, since he will now be depending on receivers like Miles Austin and Nate Burelson to make plays.
The Browns offense will likely be more of a run first attack, led by Ben Tate and Terrance West (another rookie), but they are going to have to throw the ball some time. Look for Manziel to make the most of his opportunities, while also being able to make plays with his legs. The latter really is his saving grace and helps keep him as a QB2 in all formats, because chances are he throws for under 3,500 yards in his rookie season.
2) Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars
If you believe the Jaguars you are heading into your fantasy draft assuming Chad Henne is going to be the starter for 16 games this season. Personally, I’m not buying it. In this day of the NFL you simply don’t use a Top 5 pick on a QB to watch him sit on the sidelines in year one. It simply doesn’t happen.
He may not start Week 1, but by mid-year it wouldn’t be surprising to see him taking his lumps and guiding the Jaguars’ offense (in fact, it would be surprising if he wasn’t in there). Unlike Cleveland, Jacksonville made sure to find new weapons for their QB drafting both Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round. Throw in the presence of Cecil Shorts and the passing game has the potential to make some noise.
If Bortles were to start all season he would sit atop our rookie QB rankings, but Manziel simply has the better shot giving him the edge.
3) Teddy Bridgewater – Minnesota Vikings
It’s possible Bridgewater is the best QB in Minnesota, but he has two veterans currently ahead of him on the depth chart (Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder). New head coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t have any ties to either of them and maybe he looks to Bridgewater in Week 1?
Of course, even if Bridgewater does start we all know this offense is going to run through Adrian Peterson (as always). That’s going to limit his opportunities to produce.
4) Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders
The Raiders acquired Matt Schaub this offseason and he’s going to start… At least early on. It’s not impossible that the team gives Carr a shot this season, especially if things spiral out of control, but it’s not something to count on. Carr is a much better fit for those in dynasty formats.
5) Tom Savage – Houston Texans
At this point in the rankings it’s a bit of a guessing game as to who could get a shot. Savage would appear to be at the top of the potential list, with the Texans hoping to turn things around quickly and Ryan Fitzpatrick currently sitting top their depth chart. Savage is the owner of a big arm and, if the Texans need a spark, why not give the youngsters a shot?
- David Fales – Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler seems to get hurt every season, so could Fales actually get an opportunity?
- Zach Mettenberger – Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker is in a make or break season and Charlie Whitehurst is Mettenberger’s competition for the #2 spot. Could the Titans try to get a glimpse of their future?