Six Sophomore QBs Who Will Breakthrough And Be The Best In 2022 & Beyond?

July 10, 2022
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There’s no doubt that Mac Jones had the most dominant rookie season out of all the six QBs. The question is, will that streak last. Many different QBs had downfalls and disadvantages for their failures, such as poor coaching, the wrong team, or more formidable opponents.

Out of all the rookie QBs, Mac was the only one to make the playoffs, showing him as the most dominant one which was surprising. This article aims to delve deeper into the team and see which QB has the best chance to succeed in their sophomore year and which ones aren’t going to do much.

QB Statistics

The first and most important thing to observe is the QBs stats. Although the team can affect these, it’s still crucial to the player’s talent. Mac Jones had a dominant season, throwing for 3801 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, finishing with a 92.5 QB rating.

Although he didn’t play an entire season, Trey Lance’s few starts did prove promising, as he had 603 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions with a 97.3 QB rating. A very underrated pick, Davis Mills was overlooked due to how low he was in the draft class but he had a decent year with 2664 yards, 16 touchdowns, and ten interceptions, with an 88.8 QB rating.

These three QBs, however, didn’t have the best luck. Justin Fields finished the season with 1870 yards, seven touchdowns, and ten interceptions (73.2 QB rating). The highest anticipated draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, did put up a dominant 3641 yards, but sadly threw for only 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions (71.9 QB rating).

Zach Wilson had a very poor rookie season, ending with a disastrous 2334 yards, nine touchdowns, and 11 interceptions (69.7 QB rating). In terms of stats, it’s clear that Mac Jones takes the cake on this one by a long mile, and can be shown to be dominant later on.

Coaching

In terms of coaching, some of these QBs don’t have the most dominant coaches. Some even have coaches with little to no experience. Mac Jones has the great and dominant Bill Belichick by his side, with a record of 290-143 (66 win percentage).

The Jaguars recently got a new coach for Lawrence. Doug Pederson isn’t the worst, as he got a record of 42-37 (53 win percentage) but maybe it’s enough to push Lawrence in the right direction. The Texans coach, Lovie Smith, has been mediocre over the years. However, with an 89-87 record (50 win percentage) he may be more focused on succeeding this season than tanking for Mills.

One of the biggest complaints for the Bears was coaching, and now Fields has a new coach, Matt Eberflus. Being a rookie coach, it’s hard to tell where he will land but he sure isn’t the worst on the list. As successful as the 49ers have been in recent years, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t have much stats to show for it, with a record of 39-42 (48 win percentage), making it hard for Lance to succeed.

Wilson has the worst of coaching, as Robert Saleh is not only entering his second year, but he and the Jets went 4-13 last season, so Wilson and he got a lot of work to do. In terms of coaching, Mac remains dominant in that category as Belichick is a coaching mastermind compared to everyone else.

Defense

As much as QBs are responsible for the offense, their record can be affected by the poor defense on their team, so it’s worth looking at it. Patriots’ defense was dominant last season, only giving up 302 points and 5284 yards. Unfortunately, the 49ers weren’t too far behind, with 365 points and 5834 yards.

The Bears had a decent defensive year but not the best, as they gave up 407 points and 5384 yards. The Texans followed by giving up 452 points and 6535 yards. The Jaguars and Jets were getting dominated defensively last season, as the Jaguars gave up 457 points and 6002 yards, and the Jets gave up 504 points and 6760 yards.

Not to sound like a broken record, but it seems that Mac has the best defense by his side, and that goes a long way since it ensures Mac more room to make mistakes if he messes up.

Sophomore Strength Of Schedule

The last thing to look at for this year is the strength of schedule. Although the odds may be against many of these QBs, they can dominate against east teams.

The Jaguars are ranked 26th hardest schedule (.469), so they can easily cruise by with Lawrence’s skill. The Bears are ranked 24th in strength of schedule (.471), so Fields can hopefully improve on his second year. The Texans have the 19th most challenging schedule (.488), which is right in the middle for Mills, along with Wilson and the Jets, who have the 17th hardest schedule (.495).

These two, however, will be struggling to be dominant, as the Patriots have the 16th most difficult schedule (.498) and the 49ers have the FIFTH hardest (.533), so Lance and Mac must fight harder to be dominant. According to this, it seems that Lawrence has the easiest ride in terms of the schedule this year and if all goes right he should look to improve.

Conclusion

It’s hard to really say that any of these QBs are terrible since they are just blooming into the NFL, but many are shown to be more successful than others.

If they had to be ranked based on all these factors above, this would be the list of who will be most dominant and who won’t:

  1. Mac Jones
  2. Trevor Lawrence
  3. Justin Fields
  4. Davis Mills
  5. Trey Lance
  6. Zach Wilson

Obviously, this is all speculation, as any QBs can turn the tides, have a breakout season, and bring success to the team. However, this looks to be how the league will be for now.

It’s good to see Mac Jones have the best odds to succeed, and hopefully, he lives up to the hype and can be a deep playoff contender in the coming years. 

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