2019 NFL Rookie Quarterback Rankings

I’ve watched all of the preseason games thus far and have written about them in my Preseason Recap page. In my write-ups, I’ve discussed fantasy football implications and broken down how most of the rookies have looked. While doing so, it dawned on me that it might be interesting to rank the rookie quarterbacks (those chosen in the first five rounds) and assign grades to how they’ve performed and handled themselves this offseason.

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Updated Aug. 28

  1. Daniel Jones, Giants Grade: A+
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Daniel Jones has been terrific all preseason, and that was once again the case versus New England. Jones completed all four of his passes for 47 yards. His best throw was a terrific fade to Golden Tate for 23 yards. The Giants really should trade or bench Manning in favor of Jones, as they’ll likely be better with the rookie.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Daniel Jones had some nondescript passes to begin the third preseason game, but then caught fire, connecting with Brittan Golden on an accurate deep ball for 35 yards. He then fired a precise deep shot to Darius Slayton, who caught the ball at the 1-yard line. Jones’ final pass showed off his accuracy once again, as he perfectly hit Golden to move across midfield.

    Jones finished 9-of-11 for 141 yards. He made one bad play in this game when he fumbled after getting strip-sacked. He didn’t see the blind-side pass rusher and coughed up the ball. I mentioned earlier that Jones had ball-security issues, which is common for a rookie. This is something that is correctable, and based on what we’ve seen from Jones, I expect him to make the appropriate adjustments as he gains more experience.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Daniel Jones, once again, was terrific. His first pass was an accurate ball to Bennie Fowler for 17 yards. That was a nice throw, and yet it paled in comparison to his next toss, which was a deadly accurate ball to Cody Latimer for a gain of 40 yards. Jones’ final pass was a touchdown that featured incredible ball placement. Like last week, he fired a score to a spot in which only his teammate could get his hands on it.

    Jones was extremely impressive, save for one aspect. That would be ball security. Jones fumbled twice in this game. He fumbled the snap the first time, then lost the ball later when he was strip-sacked as a result of a breakdown of the right side of his offensive line. Other than that, Jones was great. He finished 11-of-14 for 161 yards and a touchdown, and one of his three incompletions was dropped.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Daniel Jones was a perfect 5-of-5 in his initial preseason action. His first pass wasn’t anything special, as it was a 2-yard toss to Cody Latimer. Jones was able to hit Golden Tate with a 10-yard slant right after that, and then he followed that up with a nice 31-yard completion to Cody Latimer. Jones then found Bennie Fowler along the sideline for a gain of eight. He saved his best throw for last, fitting a surgical pass to Fowler into the end zone. The ball was perfectly placed to Fowler, who was well covered. It was an amazing throw. Jones was stellar, throwing for 67 yards and a touchdown on his five attempts.

  2. Ryan Finley, Bengals Grade: B+
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Ryan Finley did not play in the preseason finale. This could be a sign that the Bengals plan on starting him at some point in 2019, if things go poorly for Andy Dalton.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Ryan Finley once again showed off his strong accuracy, going 14-of-20 for 155 yards. One incompletion was dropped. Finley made a number of precise downfield throws, with one being a completion to Damion Willis that also drew an interference flag. He later hurled a very accurate ball to Cody Core in between three defenders to convert a third-and-12. As I’ve said before, Finley’s floor is a solid No. 2 quarterback in the pros.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Ryan Finley moved ahead of Jeff Driskel behind Andy Dalton, and deservedly so. Finley rewarded the coaching staff with a strong performance. He completed most of his passes, going 20-of-25 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Finley didn’t take many shots downfield, but he was very accurate. He did a good job of stepping up in the pocket and delivering precise throws. It looked like he just had a great feel for the game, and he was guilty of only a couple of bad passes. I wrote this prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, but I see Finley as a less-mobile Alex Smith. Finley even threw way short of the first-down marker on third down in this game, much like Smith used to do all the time. I could see Finley being a great backup in the NFL for a long time, and I don’t think it’s crazy to predict that he’ll be a starter at some point.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Ryan Finley had a tremendous debut to his NFL career until the final drive. He showed great anticipation and accuracy in the second half, nearly completing all of his passes. Finley hit 12 of his first 13 throws and finished 13-of-18 for 109 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Many of his passes were short, but he had some nice intermediate throws, including one where he stepped up in the pocket and found an open player. One ball of Finley’s was dropped, but his final attempt was picked off. Finley had some pressure around him and stepped weirdly into his errant pass. That said, the Bengals were down 21, so Finley was just trying to make something happen. He thrived overall, so I’m excited to see how he performs in the next three games.

  3. Kyler Murray, Cardinals Grade: B
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Kyler Murray did not play in Week 4 because he will start the season opener.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Kyler Murray began the third preseason game slowly, throwing a zero-yard pass on a third-and-5 play and then nearly heaved an interception when safety Jayron Kearse batted down his pass. However, Murray was able to complete a 33-yard bomb to Damiere Byrd down the sideline. Murray got into a rhythm after that, leading the Cardinals to three scoring drives, though all of them concluded with field goals.

    Murray finished 14-of-21 for 137 yards, and he scrambled four times for nine rushing yards. I’d say this performance was positive overall, but Murray had some plays where he displayed some poor footwork. That needs to be cleaned up, but at least the clapping nonsense from last week has been resolved.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Kyler Murray was responsible for a pair of false starts. There was an issue with his clapping motion, which begs the question, why doesn’t he just yell, “Hike!?” This could end up being a problem if Murray doesn’t adjust.

    As for Murray’s passing, that was an issue in this game as well. Murray failed to complete half of his attempts against the Raiders, going 3-of-8 for only 12 yards. He began by throwing behind Larry Fitzgerald, though he was chased by Clelin Ferrell at the time. He overshot Christian Kirk. He then sailed a pass over Fitzgerald’s head and followed that up by doing the same to Kirk once again. Murray finally made a nice connection on a back-shoulder throw to KeeSean Johnson, but Johnson was flagged for offensive pass interference. Murray finished his night by taking a safety on a blitz from Lamarcus Joyner. Murray didn’t see him.

    Murray was far worse in this game than he was in his debut. It didn’t look like he was prepared for the blitz. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury needs to fix this aspect of his offense, and he needs to make the appropriate adjustment to Murray’s clapping motion; or discard it all together.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: The stat box may say that Kyler Murray was 6-of-7 for 44 yards, but he was really a perfect 7-of-7, as the sole incompletion occurred when rookie receiver KeeSean Johnson caught a pass after stepping out of bounds, resulting in a penalty. Murray never took a shot downfield, but he released the ball very quickly and accurately on each attempt. Murray looked very comfortable in the pocket and was in command of the offense.

  4. Jarrett Stidham, Patriots Grade: B
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Jarrett Stidham had a mixed performance. He began poorly by throwing late into the end zone and then was picked because he held the ball too long, allowing a defender to hit him, causing the ball to pop into the air. Stidham then fumbled on a botched exchange with Demaryius Thomas on an end-around. Stidham rebounded, however, firing a great back-shoulder touchdown to Thomas. He then hit Thomas with an equally impressive back-shoulder strike on a deep route.

    Stidham, who played the entire game, went 18-of-28 for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He has made several mistakes this preseason, but he’s had way more positive moments than negative ones. I’m looking forward to seeing him next summer after a year of development under Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Jarrett Stidham began the third preseason game well, as he stepped up in the pocket and found Jakobi Meyers to convert a third-and-12. However, Stidham was flagged for a false start because of a Kyler Murray-esque hand gesture. He then nearly threw two interceptions – he stared down his receiver the first time, then heaved a pass into heavy coverage – and followed those bad passes up by losing a fumble while under heavy pressure. To his credit, however, Stidham was able to rebound. He found Meyers with a precise strike for a substantial gain, made a nice, back-shoulder throw after stepping up in the pocket to avoid pressure, and then delivered a stellar, back-shoulder throw after stepping up in the pocket to avoid pressure once more. The final throw was incomplete, but a pass interference flag was drawn.

    Stidham finished 15-of-19 for 134 yards. The stat line looks terrific, but Stidham made some mistakes. Still, he has shown enough to make me believe that he has a chance to be a quality starting quarterback in the future.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Jarrett Stidham wasn’t as sharp in this contest as he was in the opener. He should have thrown a pick-six in the red zone when he telegraphed his throw. Titans rookie safety Amani Hooker made a nice break on the ball, but couldn’t secure the pick. Stidham, however, rebounded from that poor decision. He made some nice throws in the second half, including a terrific back-shoulder touchdown in the fourth quarter. Stidham finished 14-of-19 for 193 yards and a touchdown.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Jarrett Stidham had an excellent NFL preseason debut, going 14-of-24 for 179 yards and a touchdown. He also had some timely scrambles, picking up 16 rushing yards on four runs. It’s worth noting that Stidham had incredible pass protection on most of his drop-backs, but his numbers could have been better as well because a receiver dropped two potential touchdowns, both of which were from 29 yards or farther. Stidham also drew a pass interference flag on a deep shot to Dontrelle Inman.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Stidham fares when he doesn’t have all the time in the world to dissect the opposing defense, but this was certainly a nice debut for him.

  5. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins Grade: B-
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Dwayne Haskins won’t start Week 1, so we were able to see plenty of him in the preseason finale. Haskins played the entire opening half and performed very well. Haskins put together a touchdown drive in the opening quarter with accurate throws, completing seven of his first nine passes. He ultimately found a receiver in the end zone while rolling out on a bootleg. Haskins finished 10-of-17 for 104 yards and a touchdown, and his stat line would have been much better had he not endured three drops. This was the best Haskins has looked all preseason.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Dwayne Haskins played the entire second half of the third preseason game. Haskins’ stat line may not look very good – 7-of-13, 74 yards – but he played better than that. One of his receivers dropped a pass on a third-and-4. He later nearly hit Robert Davis for a touchdown, but the receiver couldn’t come up with the catch. It was slightly in front of him, but a better receiver probably could have made the play. Haskins’ best throw was a terrific back-shoulder throw to Kelvin Harmon for a gain of 21.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Dwayne Haskins threw a bit too high on an early downfield shot against Cincinnati, but then managed to hit Robert Davis with a perfect 55-yard bomb despite being pressured. It was a beautiful throw. Unfortunately for Haskins, he had trouble maintaining drives after that. It didn’t help that a pass of his was dropped and that the officials flagged rookie Kelvin Harmon with one of the worst offensive pass interferences you’ll ever see, but Haskins’ accuracy diminished overall. He was also guilty of a lost fumble on a strip-sack. Haskins ended up completing just half of his passes, going 7-of-14 for 114 yards, one touchdown and a lost fumble.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Dwayne Haskins had a mixed performance in his debut. Haskins began on a high note, rolling out and completing a 27-yard pass. Following a throw toward the sideline that was a bit too high, Haskins made an accurate pass downfield for 32 yards, but the receiver lost a fumble to end the drive.

    Things got worse for Haskins after that. Haskins never saw linebacker Mack Wilson dropping into coverage, resulting in a pick-six. Haskins then appeared to lose a fumble on his next drop-back, but the officials ruled him down by contact. Haskins made a nice throw on an ensuing drive, putting the ball where only his wideout could grab it, but he then overthrew his receiver, resulting in an interception. Haskins’ final drive concluded when he didn’t see a blitzing safety and took a sack as a result.

    Haskins finished 8-of-14 for 117 yards and two interceptions. We saw some good things from him, but he demonstrated that he is very raw. He’s not ready to start in the NFL, especially with Washington’s offensive line being in shambles as a result of Trent Williams’ absence. The Redskins had no answer for Myles Garrett when he was on the field, and I imagine they’ll have immense trouble with most right defensive ends unless Williams decides to report to the team.

  6. Trace McSorley, Ravens Grade: B-
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Trace McSorley has improved each preseason game, and the trend continued in the finale. McSorley threw precise passes while unleashing balls quickly. He went 15-of-27 for 171 yards and a touchdown. He made just one mistake, as a potential pick-six of his was thrown late to a receiver running an out route. Redskins color analyst Joe Theismann said he was a fan of how McSorley was throwing the ball, calling him a “quick loader.”

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: I was very impressed with Trace McSorley in the third preseason game. He made a pretty throw in the early going over a couple of defenders, right to Miles Boykin. It should be noted that Boykin dropped the ball, but it was still a great pass. McSorley later dropped the ball into the bucket on a deep shot to Michael Floyd for a touchdown. McSorley’s next score was a precise back-shoulder throw.

    McSorley finished 19-of-28 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He had a terrific night, though he was lucky to get away without throwing an interception on one pass in which he had lots of pressure. I wasn’t high on McSorley’s chances entering the NFL Draft, but he has performed much better than expected.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Trace McSorley product did some positive things in this contest. He threw a perfect 23-yard touchdown on a slant to Chris Moore. He also had a nice pass down the seam. However, McSorley also heaved an interception, which was way off the mark, and he had a potential pick-six that was dropped. McSorley finished 7-of-12 for only 36 yards, one touchdown and a pick.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Trace McSorley showed no signs that he can be a viable quarterback in the NFL in his first preseason game. He went 9-of-22 for 85 yards and an interception, which occurred because McSorley stared down his receiver. The one telling moment in this contest occurred when McSorley had Michael Floyd wide open downfield for a potential touchdown. McSorley, however, just couldn’t muster the arm strength to connect with Floyd.

  7. Easton Stick, Chargers Grade: C
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Easton Stick was putrid in the preseason finale. He completed half of his passes, going 3-of-6 for 22 yards. He also threw two interceptions. The first pick was heaved into double coverage. A defensive back undercut the second interception.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Easton Stick rebounded for the most part in the third preseason game, leading the team on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter. He made some quality throws, but he missed poorly twice on the final possession. The game concluded when he fired way behind his receiver on fourth down. The target was very wide open over the middle of the field, so the completion would have gone for a big gain. Stick went 12-of-16 for 82 yards and a touchdown.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Easton tick struggled after thriving last week. He held on to the ball too long in the pocket on numerous occasions, resulting in some violent hits and errant passes. Most of his completions were short tosses, though there was one exception. Stick hurled a pass over a cornerback’s head, which went right into the arms of his receiver near the sideline for 31 yards. Unfortunately for Stick, he was effectively pick-sixed – the touchdown was nullified because of penalties – because of an apparent miscommunication with his receiver. Stick finished just 5-of-13 for 62 yards and the interception.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Easton Stick played very well in his first NFL action. Things didn’t look good right away when he threw an interception, but a rookie tackle of his missed an assignment, resulting in the turnover. Stick was able to rebound, finishing 7-of-11 for 78 yards and the pick. He completed some very impressive passes, including a 20-yarder down the sideline in a long-yardage situation from his own end zone. Stick also scored on a 31-yard scramble.

  8. Gardner Minshew, Jaguars Grade: C-
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: I looked at the box score of the preseason finale and saw that Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew went 11-of-26 for 79 yards. I was eager to criticize him because of how horrific that stat line looked, so I was disappointed to see that Minshew didn’t perform as poorly as the numbers indicate.

    Minshew’s completion percentage was atrocious because of all the drops. A whopping seven of Minshew’s passes were dropped. It was an embarrassing showing by the Jaguar wide receiver reserves. That said, I can’t exactly say Minshew played well. Actually, Minshew was very fortunate in this game despite the drops. He was nearly picked in the early going because he held the ball too long and got hit as he released a pass as a result. Later, Minshew fired a pass behind a receiver on a slant, then heaved a pick-six when he stared down his receiver for what seemed like five seconds. Luckily for Minshew, the turnover was wiped out by a defensive hold.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Gardner Minshew had a mixed showing in the third week of the preseason. He began poorly by throwing the ball up for grabs in the end zone, and the pass should have been intercepted. He later rebounded with a great back-shoulder pass for 25 yards. His evening didn’t end well, however, as he coughed up a fumble.

    Minshew went 17-of-27 for 141 yards. He has looked better than expected, but I’m not sure he can be a viable No. 2 quarterback in the NFL just yet.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Gardner Minshew made some nice passes in the early part of the evening, including one down the seam to his tight end. He then tossed a pretty ball downfield, but it was dropped. One of his better throws was when he hit a receiver in between two defenders down the sideline for a gain of 20 yards. He also should’ve thrown a touchdown, but a score of his was called back because of two penalties.

    Minshew, however, made some mistakes. He was strip-sacked on one occasion, and he also took a sack in the red zone because he held the ball too long. Still, this was a sound performance from the rookie.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in his first NFL action. Minshew completed half of his passes, going 7-of-14 for only 46 yards. Some of his passes were way off the mark, and he took some hard hits in the pocket because he either held on to the ball too long or bobbled the snap. In fact, I counted three times that Minshew’s helmet popped off. Minshew does not look like an NFL quarterback.

  9. Drew Lock, Broncos Grade: D+
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Drew Lock did not play because of an injury.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Drew Lock did not play because of an injury.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Drew Lock bobbled the first snap from under center against San Francisco, which was not a good look, considering that he always operated out of the shotgun in his goofy college offense. Lock made a nice, early throw in between two defenders to DaeSean Hamilton, but things got worse from that point. He heaved some inaccurate passes and then was nearly picked because he threw off his back foot. Luckily for Lock, the defender dropped the ball. Lock’s good fortune ran out, however, as he landed on his throwing hand and had to be taken out of the game for the rest of the night.

    Lock finished 7-of-12, but for only 40 yards. Again, he should have been intercepted. Lock regressed from the performance in Seattle, and it’s clear that he has a long way to go before he becomes a viable starting quarterback in the NFL.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Drew Lock posted some solid numbers against the Seahawks – 17-of-28, 180 yards, one touchdown, one interception – but watching him play told a different story than that of the box score.

    Lock doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what he’s doing in the pocket. He often holds on to the ball too long. Doing so resulted in some sacks, including one in his own end zone that was ruled a safety. Lock threw off his back foot on several occasions; he fired too low on a third-and-11; and he had a second potential interception – a likely pick-six – that was dropped. It wasn’t all bad for Lock, as he made some quality throws, but it’s evident from his low pocket awareness and poor mechanics that he has a long way to go.

    HALL OF FAME GAME ANALYSIS: Drew Lock was an abomination in his debut, but don’t take my word for it. Head coach Vic Fangio said of Lock, “I was hoping for more” and “he wasn’t good enough, except for his scramble.”

    Fangio wasn’t kidding. Lock was 7-of-11, but for only 34 yards. He began by sailing a pass over Noah Fant’s head. He then was nearly intercepted on a pass behind his receiver. Lock followed that up with an overthrow toward his wide-open running back down the sideline for what should’ve been a touchdown. He had a near-pick later that was dropped. All of Lock’s completions were of the short variety.

    Lock showed absolutely zero pocket awareness, which is something he demonstrated at Missouri. He looked he had zero clue as to what was going on. He took a sack because he held on to the ball too long. He displayed poor footwork when pressured. He was guilty of a delay-of-game penalty. Lock was completely overwhelmed on every snap, and he was outplayed by his counterpart, Kurt Benkert, who was an undrafted free agent a year ago. Even worse, Lock was the worst quarterback in Denver uniform in this game, as Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien both outplayed him.

  10. Will Grier, Panthers Grade: D
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Will Grier’s stats from the preseason finale looked solid – 11-of-18, 189 yards, one touchdown and an interception – but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Grier’s longest completion was a 54-yard pass, but that was a short toss on a skinny post, and the receiver did all of the work. Grier had some nice completions, including his touchdown pass where his receiver easily beat rookie cornerback Justin Layne, but Grier made many more mistakes. He was responsible for three turnovers, two of which were fumbles that were the result of Grier holding the ball too long in the pocket. One lost fumble was returned for a 97-yard touchdown. Ron Rivera’s expression was priceless. He looked like he was thinking, “Why do I have to coach this bum?”

    The announcers questioned Grier as well. When Grier threw an ugly interception, one of the broadcasters said, “Sometimes, I wonder what he sees back there.” Grier did not do well overall once again, and it’s fair to wonder if he’s even going to make the 53-man roster.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: I must note that I missed one drive of rookie quarterback Will Grier, as the NFL.com broadcast cut out the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. From what I saw otherwise, Grier didn’t look very good. Grier went 4-of-8 for 44 yards, though one incompletion was a drop by Ian Thomas. Grier could have been picked on another attempt, as he sailed a dangerous pass into tight coverage.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Will Grier had an abysmal showing. The stat line may not show it – 10-of-19, 75 yards – but Grier was atrocious. Most of his completions were short tosses, and that’s the good news. Grier telegraphed a pick-six on a play in which he didn’t see the defender. He was nearly picked on the next drive. He then sailed a pass over his receiver’s head on three consecutive attempts. And if that wasn’t bad enough, yet another potential interception was dropped, as Grier telegraphed where he was going to throw. Grier does not look like he belongs in the NFL.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Will Grier had a mixed performance in his debut. He made a horrible throw that was picked off when he started down his receiver for nearly five seconds. However, Grier later made a great back-shoulder throw to pick up nine yards. Grier finished 9-of-16 for 77 yards, a touchdown on a short dump-off to Elijah Holyfield and an interception.

  11. Clayton Thorson, Eagles Grade: F
    PRESEASON WEEK 4 ANALYSIS: Clayton Thorson ended up having his worst performance to date. He had an early interception where he telegraphed a pass, allowing Marcus Cooper to jump the route. Thorson then bounced a pass on a simple checkdown; held the ball too long and took a sack; had a running back in the flat and overshot him by a mile; sailed what should’ve been a 3-yard completion way over his receiver’s head; skipped what should’ve been a 3-yard completion to his running back; and fired way behind his receiver on fourth down.

    Thorson finished 12-of-26 for only 84 yards and an interception. He was one of the worst quarterbacks I’ve ever seen on any level. His teammates were so disgusted by his play that they were shaking their heads. I don’t know what happened to Thorson, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be completing routine passes. Missing one or two of them is bad enough, but it seems as though he either bounces or air-mails every short toss. It seems like he’s a major head case. That’s the only explanation I have. Regardless, it’ll be a complete shock if he makes the 53-man roster.

    PRESEASON WEEK 3 ANALYSIS: Clayton Thorson didn’t get to play in Week 3 because a thunderstorm ended the game early.

    PRESEASON WEEK 2 ANALYSIS: Clayton Thorson’s night began with some jitters, as he dropped a snap and nearly took a safety, but he rebounded with a nice, back-shoulder throw down the field, though the ball was ultimately dropped. Thorson then fired a 38-yard touchdown, though the pass was a bit underthrown. Luckily for Thorson, the cornerback was badly beaten, so it didn’t matter.

    Thorson continued to throw well, firing a nice pass on a slant in between two defenders to convert a first down. He then drew a couple of pass interferences, including one in the end zone. He had some bad moments late as well, however; he took a sack because he held the ball too long in the pocket, and he had an interception bounce off a receiver’s hands.

    Thorson finished 16-of-26 for 175 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He showed some major improvement this week, but still has a long way to go.

    PRESEASON WEEK 1 ANALYSIS: Team sources viewed Clayton Thorson favorably prior to the 2018 season in which the Northwestern quarterback struggled because of the poor talent around him. I expected Thorson to perform well against the Titans, but he was atrocious. His first pass was an underthrown ball to a player in the flat that should’ve been a routine third-and-1 conversion. Thorson’s next drive ended quickly, as he air mailed a ball way over the head of a receiver, allowing a Tennessee defender to come away with an interception. Thorson was nearly picked again after that on another throw that floated over his receiver’s head. Things didn’t get better for Thorson after that. He fired off his back foot, causing his pass to sail out of bounds. His final attempt was another overthrow, this time on fourth down.

    Words can’t truly describe how abysmal Thorson was. He was 2-of-9 for just seven yards and an interception. As mentioned, he could’ve been picked twice. It’s worth noting that Thorson had two passes that were dropped, but he did not look like he belongs in the NFL. Perhaps he’ll play better next week, but the Eagles better bring in someone to replace the injured Nate Sudfeld.

As a reference, here were my final preseason grades for the 2018 rookie quarterbacks:

Sam Darnold – A+
Baker Mayfield – A-
Chad Kelly – A-
Alex McGough – B+
Josh Rosen – B
Chase Litton – B
Josh Allen – C+
Lamar Jackson – C+
Mason Rudolph – C
Tanner Lee – C
Mike White – C-
Kyle Lauletta – D
Luke Falk – D
Danny Etling – D-
Logan Woodside – D-

As a reference, here were my final preseason grades for the 2017 rookie quarterbacks:

Mitchell Trubisky – A
DeShone Kizer – B
Patrick Mahomes – B
Deshaun Watson – B
C.J. Beathard – B-
Nathan Peterman – C+
Davis Webb – C
Joshua Dobbs – C-
Brad Kaaya – C-
Chad Kelly – Inc

For more of a reference, here were my final preseason grades for the 2016 rookie quarterbacks:

Dak Prescott – A+
Paxton Lynch – B
Connor Cook – B
Jacoby Brissett – B
Cardale Jones – B-
Carson Wentz – C+ (only played the first game)
Jared Goff – C
Cody Kessler – C-
Christian Hackenberg – D
Kevin Hogan – F

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