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Ranking the second-year NFL quarterbacks: Who is the best?

Second year Quarterbacks!
JACKSONVILLE, FL - MAY 31: Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) during Jacksonville Jaguars OTA Offseason Workouts on May 31, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ranking the second-year quarterbacks

A lot of people thought last year was one of the worst Quarterback classes of all time, those people so far, have been proven right. Today we are going to rank the six best headed into their second year. While so far none of these guys looks elite, time still exists for that perception to change, will it? We will soon find out! Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the NFL!

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6)Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

Lance is the most challenging evaluation on this list. This is mainly due to the insufficient snaps in the past two seasons (178 in spot duty last season with San Francisco after only one full game against North Dakota State in 2020).

After a year of working with 49ers players and coaches in practice, there has been constant speculation about Lance’s readiness. In my view, the 49ers don’t worry about Lance’s arm strength. They want him to continue using all the skills he’s acquired in game-simulated settings and navigating the chaos from within and outside of the pocket.

Lance is in the best position of any of these quarterbacks because he has the right coach and a good team around him. My issue is the throwing motion is off, and he has issues reading defenses. When he did play last year, he wasn’t impressive.

5)Zac Wilson, New York Jets

Wilson’s rookie season could not have been worse. Wilson went 3-10 as a starter and had the league’s lowest completion rate (55.6%) of all full-time quarterbacks. He was injured and lost four games to that. His supporting cast was also poor.

He did, however, settle down later in the season. Wilson had five passing touchdowns and two interceptions in his last seven games. Wilson’s QBR increased slightly over that period — from 24.8 in his first six starts to 31.0 in his last seven games — and the Jets were happy with the results. Wilson was blitzed 32% in the last two months. He had less time to pass (32.9 seconds per attempt, compared with 3.1 earlier this year) but was still more productive.

The Jets had a great offseason and look to be much improved, so now the onus is on Wilson to prove that he is a quality NFL starter. I don’t think Jets fans will like that answer.

4)Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Fields enters the crucial Year 2 with very few playmaking options. Byron Pringle, third-round selection Velus Jr and Darnell Mooney is also an option. These options should help, but they are not enough. The Bears look like they are in the midst of a slow rebuild which doesn’t help Fields, who has big-time ability.

According to the Bears, they are pleased with Fields’ offseason development. Fields has improved his mechanics (quicker release) and throwing ability. The Bears are thrilled for Luke Getsy, the offensive coordinator, who should give Fields more freedom. The issue here is it almost looks to me like Fields is set up to fail, and that’s a shame because, in a better situation, he may be the best of the six quarterbacks from last year. Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the NFL!

3)Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars

Lawrence’s primary targets were 32-year-old Marvin Jones Jr. and slot receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. Lawrence was tied for the league lead with 17 interceptions. Lawrence was not given a chance due to the circumstances in which he found himself. Urban Meyer was his Head Coach, and the culture was horrible.

Lawrence was unable to figure out the blitz. He ranked last in yards per attempted (4.9) and 30th in off-target percentage (26.5%) after 141 attempts.

With the additions of wide receivers Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and tight end Evan Engram, the Jaguars have rebuilt their passing game in free agency. The return of Travis Etienne Jr. from injury should help. Lawrence now has to realize his full potential.

Lawrence does not have the it factor of a Joe Burrow, and while his receivers look much better on paper than last year, I don’t see it; Kirk is good, but Jones and Engram have never impressed me. I think Lawrence can end up being a solid quarterback but never elite.

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2)Mac Jones, New England Patriots

“Poise and efficiency,” that’s Mac Jones. The Alabama product ranked eighth in the NFL in third-down accuracy (63.9%) among players with at least 100 such attempts last season. It will be essentially the same system with the same head coach, and they will streamline things for him.

My issue is they never let Jones push the ball down the field last year, and even if they do, I think there are serious questions as to whether or not he can do that in the NFL. We may have seen Jones’s ceiling last year. He is not a quarterback you win because of. Plus, the receivers are not very good, and overall the Patriots roster looks worse than last year.

1)Davis Mills, Houston Texans

The third-round pick was a good quarterback last year, completing 66.8% of his passes for a poor team. Mills was 11th in the NFL for third-down accuracy in passing, with 70 of 110 passes completed (63.6%) and Jones (63.9%), respectively, among rookies.

Some teams were concerned about Mills’ injury record, including multiple knee surgeries he had in high school. It seems he has overcome it.

The third-round pick was the best of this group last year, and when you watch him, he seems on the road to being a legit starter in the NFL. Too bad he is not playing for a legit organization.

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