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Ranking the first-round rookie quarterbacks after preseason Week 1

Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) attempts to pass against Atlanta Falcons during second half at MetLife Stadium.
Well, consensus begins to break down and validity appears to be more a function of personal bias than any definitive standard.
Over the course of time, PFF grades have served us well, not only in describing what took place but also when it comes to predicting what will happen going forward.
I think he has been given something of a pass because of the issues with low snaps and pressure.
PFF Grade when kept clean As our analytics team keep telling us, this is perhaps the biggest predictor of success going forward.
From a stable pocket, he was at least above average for an NFL quarterback and ranked third here.
PFF Grade when under pressure Data generated when pressured is not a particularly stable metric but can often give us a glimpse into what happened in the past, most notably Eli Manning when winning his second Super Bowl when under consistent pressure for nearly the entire playoff run.
Lamar Jackson wasn’t great under pressure but being harried on 58 percent of his dropbacks is a ton and that type of volume is always going to lead to issues even for the best players.
Perhaps the most surprising player in this mix was Josh Allen who easily exceeded his college accuracy number while pushing the ball well downfield – 16.7 yards on average.
While Rosen was the most volatile, much of this was caused by his lower sample size.

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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) attempts to pass against Atlanta Falcons during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

When considering the performances of the five rookie quarterbacks in Week 1 of the NFL preseason, it’s been consistently reported that both Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield played well. Beyond that? Well, consensus begins to break down and validity appears to be more a function of personal bias than any definitive standard.

Choosing the benchmark on which you judge, as you may expect, creates different results so let’s consider five different metrics and rank the quarterbacks in each.

PFF Grade

We think this is the grand-daddy of them all as it considers every variable that matters. Over the course of time, PFF grades have served us well, not only in describing what took place but also when it comes to predicting what will happen going forward. As you may expect, it gets better with bigger sample sizes, but we’ll go for now with what we have.

This is pretty much as you’d expect with the possible exception of Josh Rosen. I think he has been given something of a pass because of the issues with low snaps and pressure. While it’s important to consider these factors, the bottom line is, he offset the two nice throws he did make with twice as many negative grades.

PFF Grade when kept clean

As our analytics team keep telling us, this is perhaps the biggest predictor of success going forward. All the great quarterbacks generally make hay when the sun shines.

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