With Week One of the NFL preseason set to kick off on Aug. 9, fans and teams are eager to see how their players have been progressing after OTAs and training camp. Three teams in particular will have the future of their franchises debut this week: the New York Jets with Sam Darnold, the Buffalo Bills with Josh Allen and the Arizona Cardinals with Josh Rosen. Each team drafted a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the hopes that they will lead their respective team to the promise land some day.
Here is an update on each rookie quarterback before they head into their first action as professional football players, and where they presumably reside on their team’s depth charts at the moment.
The Jets selected Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft as the last piece in their rebuild to make the team competitive again. Darnold’s tenure with New York got off to a rocky start over a contract dispute, but it was finally resolved when he officially signed his rookie deal on July 30. Jets head coach Todd Bowles initially stated that Darnold will begin his tenure with the team behind veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. Darnold will have to prove himself of being worthy of moving up on the depth chart.
A week has gone by since these comments were made, and there seems to be a change of heart within the organization. Darnold has reportedly been impressing his coaches during his short time with the team, and may have a good shot at being under center when New York heads to Detroit to begin their regular season on Sept. 10. There is still a lot of time between now and then, but the Jets seem eager to see what Darnold can do on the field sooner rather than later. He will still begin the preseason as the third quarterback on their depth chart, but we’ll be monitoring his progress over the next few weeks.
Sam Darnold “has a very fair shot” of winning Jets’ starting QB job for regular-season opener, per sources. He has to keep progressing, preseason will be critical, and he probably is a year away, when he turns 22. But Jets love what they see and he has a legit chance to win job.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 6, 2018
The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs last season for the first time since the year 2000, but that didn’t stop them from making a switch at quarterback. It all started when the Bills traded their former starter for the past three seasons, Tyrod Taylor, to the Cleveland Browns. Then Buffalo traded up during the draft to select who they hope can be their franchise quarterback for years to come in Josh Allen. The series of trades was not too surprising, as Buffalo had been vocal about trying to move on from Taylor despite him being somewhat successful as their starter.
Although the Bills gave up quite a bit to draft Allen, they currently have him listed as their third-string quarterback on their depth chart and intend to bring him along slowly. Allen has also been practicing primarily with the third-team offense to this point, which coincides with the previous sentiment. The Wyoming product has had a mixed camp thus far, as he has impressed some days but has also had his share of bad practices. This is common for young quarterbacks, so Allen will only get better with more reps in Buffalo’s offense. Unless Allen dominates in the preseason, the best-case scenario for him seems to be beginning the season as the second-string quarterback ahead of Nathan Peterman and behind A.J. McCarron.
The Arizona Cardinals had an unfortunate amount of injuries at key positions last season, including quarterback. Despite these injuries, Arizona managed to finish the season 8-8, but still ended up missing the playoffs for a second straight year. After having a few different veteran quarterbacks lead the team over the past few seasons, the Cardinals decided it was time to go for a more youthful route and traded up during the 2018 NFL Draft to select Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick. They still signed a veteran quarterback in Sam Bradford, who at the moment is listed as their starter, but Cardinals fans have to be excited for their future with Rosen potentially leading the pack.
Rosen has reportedly looked good thus far in Arizona and is giving Bradford a run for his money to be atop the depth chart. Teams do not generally like to rush young quarterbacks if they have a capable veteran on the team, but Bradford’s notorious knack for picking up injuries may thrust Rosen into the starting role sooner rather than later. Either way, the Cardinals seem excited about what they’ve seen in Rosen thus far, and the preseason will bring his current progress to the public’s eye soon enough.