What do the first two preseason performances for Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota tell us about their potential success in the regular season?
How concerned should fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers be with Winston, the No. 1 overall draft pick, being ranked 76th overall among quarterbacks this preseason? Or the No. 2 overall pick, Marcus Mariota, who is also outside of the top 50 quarterbacks for preseason passer rating?
Last year, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the top-rated rookie quarterback in the preseason among those that were drafted in the top 100 and that translated into the regular season.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was next among rookie quarterbacks drafted in the top 100 in preseason passer rating, but Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr did better in the regular season.
Here is a look at what the top-drafted quarterbacks this year have done through two preseason games, comparing them to the full preseasons for last year’s quarterbacks that were drafted in the top 100:
2015 ROOKIE QBsJameis Winston, No. 1, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winston has completed 53.1 percent of his passes, no touchdowns and one interception for a 62.1 rating, ranked 76th in preseason passer rating.
Marcus Mariota, No. 2, Tennessee Titans
Mariota has had only half the pass attempt of Winston but has been slightly more efficient, completing 75 percent of 16 attempts with no touchdowns and one interception for a 78.4 rating. Mariota is ranked 59th in preseason passer rating.
Garrett Grayson, No. 75, New Orleans Saints
Grayson, a third-round pick for the Saints and scheduled to be one of Drew Brees’ backups, has a better completion percentage and rating than Winston. Grayson has completed 60 percent of his 25 passes without a touchdown or interception and a 79.9 rating.
Sean Mannion, No. 89, St. Louis Rams
To date, Mannion has been the most efficient of the 2015 rookie quarterbacks drafted in the top 100. He has completed 70 percent of his 20 passes with a touchdown, no interceptions and a 107.5 rating. That rating puts him 22nd among preseason passers.
So how do those numbers compare to the 2014 rookies – both in their rookie seasons and this preseason, their second go-rounds?
2014 ROOKIE QBsBlake Bortles, No. 3, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bortles had a solid showing as a rookie in the regular season, completing 58.9 percent of his passes, but had 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions on his way to a 69.5 rating. He was much better in the preseason, when he completed 62.7 percent of his passes with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 110.0 rating.
Johnny Manziel, No. 22, Cleveland Browns
Manziel was used almost twice as much in the preseason as he was in the regular season. He threw 59 passes in his initial preseason but completed only 50.8 percent of them with two touchdowns and an interception for a 76.7 rating. He was largely limited in the regular season, completing only 51.4 percent of his 35 passes with no touchdowns, two interceptions and an abysmal 42 passer rating.
Teddy Bridgewater, No. 32, Minnesota Vikings
Last year, Bridgewater was the top-rated rookie in the preseason and that translated into the regular season. In the preseason, he registered a 111.2 rating (18th in the league overall), completed 61.2 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and no interceptions. In the regular season, his completion percentage went up (to 64.4) but his rating fell to 85.2 as the touchdowns-to-interception ratio was 14-to-12.
Derek Carr, No. 36, Oakland Raiders
Carr was used moderately last preseason, throwing 45 passes, completing 66.7 percent of them, for four touchdowns, one interception and a healthy 108.2 rating. He proved to be the second-best quarterback among the rookie class in the regular season, completing 58.1 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a 76.6 rating.
Jimmy Garoppolo, No. 62, New England Patriots
Garoppolo was used more than many in his rookie preseason. He threw 79 passes, completing 58.2 percent of them for five touchdowns and only one interception, equaling a 99 passer rating. However, like Manziel, Garoppolo was limited in the regular season, but for very different reasons. The Patriots have an established starting quarterback in Tom Brady, translating to only 27 attempts for Garoppolo. He completed a solid 70.4 percent of them, had one touchdown, no interceptions and a 101.2 rating in the regular season.