Every year, the NFL sees plenty of turnover at the quarterback position. In an attempt to steer a franchise in a new direction, teams often look to young QBs to right the ship. The upcoming season is no different. These five rookies face quarterback battles, and we think they’ll see significant time.
Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins
Dwayne Haskins is the most heralded QB prospect in Washington’s camp since Robert Griffin III — although the team is obviously hoping this experience turns out better than Griffin’s did.
Haskins is probably the most NFL-ready player on this list. He’s a big pocket passer with a strong arm who can make throws downfield dependably. That said, the team did acquire the reliable Case Keenum. Odds are Keenum will get the nod to begin the season with Haskins taking the reins in Week 5 or 6 (or earlier, if the team falters).
Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals
It seems like the Cincinnati Bengals have had Andy Dalton at QB and Marvin Lewis at coach forever. Now Lewis is gone, and Dalton may be the next to go if the team’s fortunes don’t reverse soon.
This offseason the Bengals added two QBs: Ryan Finley and undrafted free agent Jake Dolegala. While Finley is reportedly being considered as the backup — with Dolegala getting practice squad reps — Finley did not perform well in mini-camp while Dolegala impressed. Dalton has another two years on his Bengals contract, so he likely won’t go anywhere this season. Finley will likely serve in the backup role.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Probably the least likely to start Week 1 on this list (other than Finley) is Daniel Jones. Eli Manning’s play has declined rapidly over the last few seasons, but he’s got history as the Giants QB. Two Super Bowl rings carry a lot of weight in the NFL. When Manning steps down in favor of Jones, expect a fair degree of pomp and circumstance honoring the legend.
Plus, Jones may not be ready for the limelight yet. There’s no better spot for an unproven QB than behind an established vet the fans love. It doesn’t hurt that the franchise is in no rush to start Jones, possibly opting for a three-year plan. More likely? He sits the majority of this year, enters for mop-up duty in some late games, and begins 2020 as starter.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
The Broncos did a lot to reinvent their QB position this offseason, drafting Drew Lock and trading for Joe Flacco. Barring a horrendous training camp, Flacco will almost certainly start the season under center in Denver.
Lock will get consideration, however. There are questions as to what Flacco can do after his recent performance in Baltimore. He also struggled with injuries last year, so there’s a chance he won’t stay healthy. If so, Lock will get an opportunity to show what he can do sooner rather than later.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
When Kliff Kingsbury took the Arizona coaching job and inherited the No. 1 overall pick, his choice of Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray was almost a foregone conclusion. He even traded last year’s first-rounder, Josh Rosen, to open up the QB spot.
Of all the QBs on this list, Murray is the best bet to start Week 1. He has no real threat (backups Brett Hundley and Charles Kanoff won’t be franchise QBs any time soon). Plus, Murray ran the spread offense at Oklahoma — exactly what Kingsbury wants in Arizona. There may be talk of an “open competition” in camp, but rest assured Murray will be the guy.