Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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Rookie Report – QB Edition

Welcome
everyone to the first installment to the 2008 Rookie Report. Each week during the regular season, the
report will cover trends, news items and analysis of notable performances by
the NFL’s 2008 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship
gold.

During
the preseason, the plan is to give a tiered analysis of rookies by position
each week. The preseason is crucial for evaluating rookies’ long-term fantasy
values as they are given the opportunity to gain valuable playing time and experience
they otherwise will not get the opportunity to during the regular season.

This
week’s edition will focus on breaking down the 2008 QB rookie class.Overall, the 2008 rookie class of quarterbacks
is weak compared to previous years as most of the top players in this class
have a low ceiling in terms of long-term potential. There will certainly be some surprises when
all is said and done; however, most of these guys will not be significant
impact players for your fantasy squads in coming years due to a lack of elite
talent in this year’s class.

Before
we go any further, the following is a breakdown of the 2008 quarterback rookie
class:

First Tier

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Positives: Good size and build. Above
average mechanics and footwork in pocket.
Ryan’s experience in a pro-style offense in college will certainly help
his development and learning curve.

Negatives: Ryan has a tendency to
struggle with accuracy and has an average arm.
There are also question marks surrounding his mobility and decision
making on the field.

Outlook: If Atlanta struggles early in the season; don’t
be surprised to see Matt Ryan as the Falcons starter by the middle of the
season to get his feet wet. Matt Ryan
was drafted in the first round as the future face of the franchise for years to
come. If Ryan is able to put everything
together, his upside is an above-average quarterback in the NFL.

Chad

Henne, Miami
Dolphins

Positives: Most well rounded QB
in this year’s draft class. Henne has a
good arm and quick release of the ball.
He also has, experience against top competition in college to prepare
him better for the NFL. Henne is a smart
QB who reads defenses well and makes good decisions on the field.

Negatives: Henne needs learn how
to move around the pocket when under pressure as he lacks mobility. Even though Henne reads defenses well, he has
a habit of locking onto his targets.

Outlook: Henne projects to be a very good quarterback,
and very well may end of being the best quarterback of this year’s rookie class. He will likely be the third quarterback
behind Josh McCown and John Beck in his rookie year, but expect Henne to be the
Dolphins signal caller of the future.

Tier 2

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Positives: Flacco has great size and the strongest arm of
this year’s rookie class. Ravens traded
up in the first round to acquire him and will give him every chance to succeed.

Negatives: Flacco has
a lack of experience under center as he was primarily a shotgun quarterback at Delaware. He also faced inferior competition and will have
a steeper learning curve than guys like Henne and Ryan. Mobility is a big issue as he does not move
well. He will need to work on his
mechanics as he has a tendency to release the ball low and displays poor
footwork in the pocket.

Outlook: Fantasy
owners and the Baltimore Ravens both have one thing in common when it comes to
Flacco in that both like to reach for him way too early in drafts. Flacco has a long way to go to develop into a
quality NFL quarterback, but the Ravens will give him every opportunity to
succeed after spending a first round pick on him. His physical build and strong arm are among
the best of this year’s rookie class; however, he needs to work on everything
else that makes a quarterback succeed at the NFL level.

So
before you go spend a high fantasy pick on Joe Flacco you need to answer for
yourself the following question:

If Flacco was really a quarterback worthy of
a first round pick talent wise, why did he have to transfer from the University of Pittsburgh
to Delaware
when he could not beat out Tyler Palko?

Josh Johnson, Tampa Bay
Buccaneers

Positivies: Josh Johnson is quick, mobile and accurate with a
quick release. He also has the mental
toughness and intelligence to succeed at the NFL level. He has the speed to scramble around in the
open field and make plays with his legs.

Negatives: Johnson’s situation is a tough one as Coach
Gruden has a history of destroying young quarterbacks mentally, and is quick to
move on to another quarterback at the first sign of struggles. He also only played against Division I-AA
competition in college, so there will be a dramatic adjustment process to the NFL
level talent.

Outlook: Johnson is
a project in a less than ideal situation with Gruden as his mentor, but he has
the most athleticism and talent out of any of this year’s rookie quarterback
class. He will begin his career on the
practice squad, but it is impossible to overlook the potential in Johnson as
his blend of skill, efficiency, and athleticism translates well to the NFL
level.

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