There were 10 Rookie Quarterbacks drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. Starting with the Chicago Bears trading up for Mitch Trubisky at the number two overall spot and ending with Mr. Irrelevant Chad Kelly being drafted by the Broncos. In between those picks, we saw prospects such as Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, and Joshua Dobbs find homes.
The question that surrounds all these picks are whether they will see playing time right away or will they be relegated to backup duty. The 2017 draft didn’t provide a no-brainer day one starting rookie quarterback, leaving us to predict the winners and losers of the draft.
In addition to deciding whether a rookie quarterback is a winner or a loser, it is important to look at who is being affected by the rookie. A recently drafted rookie quarterback can help a receiver or even bump an incumbent out of a starting job.
Take players like Mike Glennon and DeAndre Hopkins into consideration. One makes the winner list and one makes the loser list in this article. Neither are rookie quarterbacks but both have situations changed by rookie quarterbacks.
So, let’s look at the Rookie Quarterbacks who are winners and losers from the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rookie Quarterbacks; Winners and Losers
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
First up on the winner list is Deshaun Watson. Watson was selected 12th overall by the Texans. The Texans were already a good team, making the playoffs with Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage at quarterback last year. The quarterback position has historically been a problem for the Texans and now add national championship winner Deshaun Watson.
Watson makes this list because of the opportunity in front of him. Savage is the only thing stopping him from taking over the starting job in Houston. The Texans have weapons surrounding him with DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Lamar Miller. Now they add Watson who is a multi-dimensional quarterback to lead them.
Watson should take this job from day one, and because he is surrounded by such a great team, this situation couldn’t have played out much better. Deshaun Watson makes the winners list and will be a winner for the Texans this season.
Speaking of DeAndre Hopkins, he will be a huge beneficiary with Watson part of the Texans.
This one’s obvious, isn’t it? Hopkins was plagued by bad quarterback play last year and his stat line showed it. Hopkins had 954 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2016 with Osweiler and Savage throwing him the ball.
Placing Watson in the mix at quarterback helps immensely for Hopkins. Watson will be able to get the ball to Hopkins more often which is what the Texans want.
Expect Hopkins to return to his 2015 days when he had 1,521 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns
A Cleveland Browns quarterback making the winners list? Are you kidding me?
Yeah, believe it. Kizer makes this list because he has one of the easier paths to starting in 2017. The current Browns quarterback depth chart is as follows: Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler, Kevin Hogan, and DeShone Kizer.
It’s hard to think Osweiler will be on the opening day roster for the Browns if he’s anything like he was for Houston last year. Kizer has better skills than Hogan so it isn’t hard to see Kizer passing Hogan on the depth chart.
The only one standing in Kizer’s way is Cody Kessler. Kessler showed some signs of improvement last year as a rookie but at the end of the day, I believe Kizer is better than Kessler.
Kizer’s opportunity to become a starting quarterback from day one lands home on the rookie quarterback winners list for 2017.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
I don’t think Mahomes will challenge for the starting job this year, but his situation is intriguing. Mahomes becomes the heir apparent to Alex Smith and will be able to sit for a year and learn all the ins and outs of Andy Reid’s offense.
When Mahomes came out of Texas Tech, it was thought that he would need a year to sit and develop. He couldn’t have landed in a better situation. Andy Reid is an offensive guru who will be able to develop Mahomes as a passer. When Smith is out of Kansas City, Mahomes will be able to step in and fill the void.
Mahomes being drafted by Kansas City and being able to learn from one of the best offensive minds in the NFL lands him on the winner’s list for 2017.
Mike Glennon, Chicago Bears
The Bears signed Glennon to a contract this offseason that guarantees him 18.5 million dollars. Glennon is largely unknown at the NFL level, but it was assumed that he would be the Bears starter in 2017. Then the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky with the number 2 overall pick.
Should Glennon wins the starting job, every bad play he makes will be questioned. If he throws an interception, it will become “when will we see Trubisky?” If Glennon shows that he is a capable quarterback for the Bears, we will be asking why the Bears traded up to get Trubisky if they signed Glennon.
Eventually, I believe Glennon will lose his job this season to Trubisky and for that reason he makes the losers list for 2017.
Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Before last year with Jared Goff, the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft had traditionally become a day one starter for their teams. Trubisky is going to continue the change in trend and be a backup when the 2017 season starts.
The Bears signed Mike Glennon to a lucrative contract intending for him to be the starter, relegating Trubisky to the bench.
The Bears quarterback situation is such a mess that both Trubisky and Glennon become losers for the 2017 NFL season.
Davis Webb/Joshua Dobbs, New York Giants/Pittsburgh Steelers
I grouped these players together because they landed in very similar situations. Both were hyped up in the pre-draft process as quarterbacks who could surprise and end up as starters for quarterback-needy teams.
Webb is now stuck behind Eli Manning and Dobbs is stuck behind Ben Roethlisberger. Barring injury, those quarterbacks are not being dethroned. Both Webb and Dobbs will now become a starter in waiting and we won’t know what could’ve been for these two prospects.
The lack of competition and no realistic route to the starting job lands both Webb and Dobbs on the rookie quarterback loser list for the 2017 NFL season.
In recent seasons, we’ve seen rookie quarterbacks drafted to start right away. This draft may change that. Almost all quarterbacks drafted will start the year as a backup. Those with a realistic shot at starting must at least compete for a starting job. The NFL seems to be headed in a direction where less is expected of rookie quarterbacks, and it is expected that they sit and learn for a year.
Predicting winners and losers for rookie quarterbacks is difficult because we don’t know how situations will play out and which quarterbacks will end up starting. Also, we don’t know if we will see a season changing injury like that of Tony Romo where Dak Prescott took over and led the Cowboys to an incredible season. Look for more rookie quarterbacks to end up on the loser list rather than winners in seasons to come.