6. Josh Allen ~ Buffalo Bills
This may surprise some people because of the fact that Buffalo just made the playoffs last season. However, this team overachieved in a week AFC conference that was represented by three surprise teams in the postseason and was led by Tyrod Taylor who is no longer on the roster. Taylor was replaced by a very inexperienced A.J. McCarron and rookie Josh Allen who the team traded up to draft. Unless McCarron wins the starting job and impresses early, the pressure wil be on Allen to carry the Bills back to the playoffs. That makes this a tough situation for a young quarterback who has a lot of potential but struggled with accuracy on the college level. The fact Allen is under scrutiny for off the field behavior may shorten the amount of tolerance the Bills organization and fans have with the rookie passer if he is not an instant success.
5. Baker Mayfield ~ Cleveland Browns
We all know the struggles the Browns have had to try to find a franchise quarterback. This year the front office was public about the fact that they were going to attempt to fix the problem once and for all. They did so by bringing in Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield. The amount of pressure that this puts on both of these passers to change the destiny of a franchise has to feel downright overwhelming. The best thing they could do is let Taylor ride out a year while Mayfield has time to learn from the bench but I have a feeling that the fans will be restless at the first sign of struggle and will call for the rookie to step in and start his career.
4. Sam Darnold ~ New York Jets
The quarterbacks in front of Darnold on this roster appear to be suitable for now but do carry some question marks about their ability to carry a franchise and neither one of them seems to be the answer for the future. However, they should be able to buy some time for Darnold to work his way into the starting job and when he does he should have some fairly decent weapons at his disposal. Nobody expects much out of the Jets anytime soon, so the pressure should be low. The bad part is that we finally comes in it will most likely be because the team is struggling and he wil be expected to shine immediately.
3. Lamar Jackson ~ Baltimore Ravens
Jackson has the luxury of being a project quarterback, not one who is expected to step in and save a franchise. He’s on a decent team that is working to improve its offensive line and wide receiver talent. Joe Flacco could have a good handful of seasons left so this is virtually a no pressure internship for a younger passer who is brimming with talent. It could be a long time before we see Jackson on the field for a regular season game and when we do, I would imagine the excitement will match the hype.
2. Josh Rosen ~ Arizona Cardinals
I’m not a huge fan of Rosen as a quarterback but I think he lands in a great situation for a passer and could end up with a career similar to Alex Smith. The Cardinals are not a bad team especially with David Johnson back in the fold and ready to rumble. Sam Bradford is the only piece standing in the way of Rosen starting for Arizona this year and anyone who knows the veterans injury history, should believe it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” the rookie makes his debut this season. Rosen is considered the most NFL ready quarterback by many expersts and when it happens, he will be throwing passes to one of the greatest wide receivers of all time.
1. Mason Rudolph ~ Pittsburgh Steelers
Not only did the Steelers draft their replacement for Ben Roethlisberger, they may have actually selected his clone. They both are big and tall and love to throw the rock down the field. Roethlisberger had been very sincere about the fact that he wasn’t going to decide beyond playing one more season. Now, with Rudolph breathing down his neck, he claims he’s going to play three to five more years. This should not only give Rudolph time to learn from one of his hero’s but it could drive him to go out and steal the job from the future Hall Of Famer earlier then most fans and analysts would expect.