Not a Rookie Anymore

NFL Combine 2014

As NFL teams begin to gear up for the preseason, last year’s rookies inch closer to their second year in the league and the weightier expectations placed upon them by fans and organizations alike.

The more experienced the player, the higher the expectations. It seems to be the way of all sports, but in the NFL, it is particularly true for quarterbacks. These guys are often seen as the face of a franchise, and for a few of last year’s rookie QBs, this may be the case sooner rather than later. Three of these players started more than half of last season; Teddy Bridgewater making twelve starts with the Vikings, Blake Bortles making thirteen with the Jaguars, and Derek Carr, starting the entirety of last season with the Oakland Raiders.

While these guys will be looked to for continued development by fans and coaches, it will be interesting to see what we can look for in them in terms of fantasy production. Out of all three QBs, it was Derek Carr who passed for the most yards last season, racking up 3,270 through the air, as well as the most TDs, amassing 21. Carr will benefit this season from the added threat of Amari Cooper, Oakland’s first-round selection this May, who will help the second-year quarterback stretch the field and add some explosion to the Raider offense.

Carr’s superior yardage and TDs totals last season were due in part to his sixteen total starts, however. It was Teddy Bridgewater who posted the highest passer rating of any rookie, finishing the season at 85.2. This year, Bridgewater’s efforts will be aided by the return of Adrian Peterson and the addition of deep-threat Mike Wallace. Peterson’s presence will certainly open up Minnesota’s passing game, while the Vikings are hoping Wallace will be able to help Bridgewater rack up some big-play yardage downfield.

It will be interesting to see how these QBs progress moving forward in their NFL careers. Bridgewater will certainly be looked upon to help continue the team’s improvement of last season. Bortles, who showed flashes of his play-making ability last year, is part of a Jaguars team that is still rebuilding in a few areas, but his presence on the field will certainly give the Jacksonville offense a boost. As for Derek Carr, the Raiders will look to him to build on his solid performance of a year ago and help restore competitiveness to the Raiders’ franchise.

We are still likely a season or two away from any of these guys becoming a real fantasy go-to, but it seems reasonable to expect some solid play from them this year nonetheless.

 

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