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Rookie QB Week 3 rankings: Andrew Luck edges RG3

Gregg Rosenthal will watch every snap that that the five NFL rookie starting quarterback take this year and rank them based on their performance that week. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Quarterbacking looked too easy for our five rookie starters in Week 2. Things got back tougher this week, especially for the quarterbacks not drafted in the top. Remember: These rankings are for this week's performance only.

1. Andrew Luck

I thought the Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was Luck's strongest start to date. It was his most accurate game, although he has a strange tendency to miss by a lot when he misses. Luck was terrific on third down, largely because of his feet. He's so effective running. All four of his runs went for first downs, totaling 50 yards. Two of them came on third-and-long. He bails out his offensive line plenty, although protection was better in this game overall.

Luck is fighting uphill, expecting Donnie Avery and T.Y. Hilton to run precise routes. Indianapolis Colts receivers dropped at least five passes in this game. Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny fooled Luck a few times. The deep ball has not been Luck's strength yet.

If not for a missed Adam Vinatieri chip shot and very conservative end-game playcalling, Luck should have his second win. He's in the top 10 in the league in yards touchdowns, sack percentage, and yards per completion. He makes his teammates better already. We give Luck a slight edge again this week over ...

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2. Robert Griffin III

It's hard to know where the bad protection ended and RG3's tough first half began, but the Washington Redskins could not get anything going before halftime against the Cincinnati Bengals. Sometimes he held the ball too long, usually he had no chance.

Griffin continues to take a pounding. He rushed the ball 12 times and was officially "hit" 13 more by the Bengals' defense. It's hard to imagine the option remaining such a big part of the Redskins' offense. He can't keep up that pace all year and sometimes needs to find ways to get rid of the ball faster or avoid hits when running.

The velocity of his passes and his quick release are elite traits. He was accurate in this game from the pocket and mostly made good decisions. The losee wasn't on him.

3. Ryan Tannehill

ATL's supplemental draft expert/Dolphins homer Henry Hodgson talked up Tannehill's performance to me as poised. I didn't see it. There's a strong case to be made this overtime loss to the New York Jets was Tannehill's worst individual game.

The Jets got absolutely no pressure on Tannehill, even when they sent extra rushers. Tannehill was just inaccurate for most of the game. I chart "bad passes" and Tannehill had the second-worst percentage in this game of any rookie quarterback performance this year. He just isn't that comfortable when throwing from the pocket and often leaves before pressure arrives. Miami is at its best running.

Tannehill only threw the ball twice in the Dolphins' first 10 snaps from scrimmage. The big arm remains, as does the aggressiveness. Tannehill's best plays were Jets defensive pass interference penalties because he's not afraid to give his receivers a chance to win. But even some of his completions could have gone for more yardage if they were more on target. In fairness to Tannehill, Anthony Armstrong had one of the worst games you'll ever see from a part-time receiver.

4. Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson's Hail Mary will go down in history. (Even if he called the wrong play.) It will also erase any questions this week about whether the rookie is ready to lead this team. It seems like very little of the playbook is open to Wilson and he bails running to the right very often. The Seahawks are last in the league in yards per passing attempt on the season. The team is not asking Wilson to do much, but he still has a tendency to pull the ball down too quickly and run.

The Seattle receivers don't help. It's not a good sign that Golden Tate is the team's best option. A shaky penalty wiped out what would have been a game-sealing interception thrown by Wilson on a bad decision.

Wilson has just enough good moments -- like his 22-yard strike to Sidney Rice on the final drive and the play below -- for us to want to see more. But winning games will be tough for Seattle to do each week while getting so little from the passing game.

5. Brandon Weeden

The final numbers didn't look that bad (237 yards, one score, two picks) for Brandon Weeden, but that's mostly because he threw 46 passes. The bad habits from Week 1 were all there. He was wild with his throws. He was slow to make decisions, which made his deep passes late to get to their mark. Cleveland's best plays were usually dump-offs. Weeden should excel at the deep ball, but the Browns missed a number of chances at shot plays.

Weeden is at his best when he's in the shotgun and making quick decisions, just like he did in college. The Browns should tailor their offense more to him because things just don't move fast enough when he drops back from center. His protection was not the problem this time.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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