Who are the rookie quarterbacks most likely to see action in 2016?
1) Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams)
He is the only quarterback right now with the keys to the offense outright. He will be the starter Week 1 and be “their guy” all season long. He starts his NFL career with arguably the best young running back in the league (Todd Gurley) which help a lot. The big question is will any of the pass-catching options on the Rams’ roster decide to step up and become a trustworthy target for Goff. Training Camp and preseason will be critical as we’ll need this WR corps to elevate its play if Goff is to have a fantasy-relevant season as a rookie.
2) Paxton Lynch (Denver Broncos)
This was a close one between Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch. I think both will be starters by the 2nd half of the season. Mark Sanchez is a stop-gap for the Broncos while Lynch develops. When Sanchez starts costing them games, they will look for a spark with the big-armed rookie. Lynch fits very well into Gary Kubiak’s system with his underrated athletic ability. Lynch may have a decent showing in his rookie season due to the weapons around him (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders) and a solid running game with a host of capable running backs (C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, Ronnie Hillman).
3) Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles)
As mentioned above for Paxton Lynch, I think Carson Wentz will be the starter by the 2nd half of the season, but he may have to wait longer than Lynch. I put Wentz third because there are two QBs ahead of him on the depth chart. Sam Bradford has a giant contract and is viewed as the starter. Chase Daniel also has a large contract for a backup and he knows the offense very well. I’ll be the first to say I wasn’t as high on Carson Wentz as most during the draft process, but as I said before, he fits very well in the new offensive scheme in Philadelphia under Doug Pederson. He has two young talented receivers (Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor) and above average tight ends (Zach Ertz and Brent Celek) which is more than what Jared Goff has in Los Angeles.
4) Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)
He only gets to see the field if Tony Romo gets hurt, which is always a high possibility. Kellen Moore may be ahead of him on the depth chart, but Dak Prescott brings more versatility to the offense. Dallas will have to see that and dream of an offense with mobile quarterback Prescott running the read option with new stud running back Ezekiel Elliott. I really liked Prescott during the draft process and I believe he can be the future after Romo creating a dynamic trio of Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, and Prescott.
5) Cardale Jones (Buffalo Bills)
Tyrod Taylor is the starter right now, but two major factors may give Cardale Jones the opportunity to be a starter this season and for the immediate future. Taylor has struggled with injuries in the past and has only one more season under contract in Buffalo. They could see an opportunity due to injury or poor play by Tyrod Taylor to give Jones a shot to be the future at quarterback for this franchise. I don’t believe it will be early in the season, but most likely in the 2nd half. The problem he faces is a run heavy offensive attack and a possible lack of weapons in the receiving corps with Sammy Watkins possibly dealing with an injury all season.