As the 2023 NFL season kicked off, nine teams decided to entrust rookie quarterbacks with the responsibilities of being Week 1 starters. While some of these newcomers are thriving, others are grappling with challenges, raising the possibility of new faces under center next season.
In the fast-paced world of professional football, it often takes a few weeks for rookie quarterbacks to hit their stride. This is especially true in today’s NFL, where training camps are shorter, and preseason games are fewer.
Now, after three weeks of action, it’s an ideal time to evaluate how this year’s crop of rookie quarterbacks is faring. Let’s dive into a post-Week 3 ranking of these young signal-callers and see who’s making waves.
Brock Purdy: San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy has the enviable advantage of playing alongside a strong supporting cast and under the guidance of a skilled coaching staff. While this undoubtedly contributes to his impressive statistics, it’s worth noting that he’s not regressing after a successful eight-start rookie campaign. Purdy boasts a 67 percent completion rate, 8.1 yards per attempt, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, and an impressive 106.3 passer rating through three games. His clutch throws also set him apart as a top performer.
Jordan Love: Green Bay Packers
Jordan Love is in a learning phase, as evidenced by his 53.1 percent completion rate. However, the Green Bay Packers are entrusting him with significant responsibilities, and he has shown glimpses of his potential to carry the team in the near future. With seven touchdown passes and just one interception, Love’s 7.3 percent touchdown rate ranks second only to Tua Tagovailoa in the league.
CJ Stroud: Houston Texans
CJ Stroud, the Ohio State product, is living up to the hype. He has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 906 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. His stellar performance against the AFC South rival Jaguars in Week 3, where he threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-17 victory, solidifies his status as a potential franchise quarterback.
Joshua Dobbs: Arizona Cardinals
Joshua Dobbs’ resurgence with the Arizona Cardinals is a remarkable story. After two challenging starts with the Titans last year, he has thrived in Arizona. Dobbs, though limited to 82 pass attempts in three games, boasts a 72 percent completion rate and hasn’t thrown an interception. Additionally, he has added 93 rushing yards and a touchdown, showcasing his versatility and growth potential.
Anthony Richardson: Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Richardson faced skepticism about his NFL passing abilities, but he’s proving his accuracy with a 63.8 percent completion rate. His athleticism as a runner has translated well to the NFL, although he missed Week 3 due to a concussion. While Richardson’s talent is undeniable, he must learn to preserve his body better after dealing with injuries in his first two games.
Desmond Ridder: Atlanta Falcons
Desmond Ridder’s performance is a mixed bag. Playing under head coach Arthur Smith’s offensive scheme with a talented supporting cast, Ridder has moments of brilliance. He was an effective game manager in the season opener and excelled in a comeback win over the Packers. However, his Week 3 outing against the Lions was far from ideal, leaving fans puzzled about his consistency.
Sam Howell: Washington Commanders
Sam Howell’s journey has had its ups and downs. After a promising Week 2, where he showed potential, Week 3 was a disaster with four interceptions and nine sacks against the Bills. Despite this setback, there’s optimism among Washington fans that he can rebound from a challenging start to the 2023 season.
Bryce Young: Carolina Panthers
Bryce Young’s performance is closely tied to the circumstances in Carolina. The team’s struggles are reflected in his statistics: one touchdown, two interceptions, 4.2 yards per attempt, and a 66.6 QB rating in two games. While he has displayed flashes of brilliance, Young’s early struggles are indicative of the challenges faced by the No. 1 overall pick.
Kenny Pickett: Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett, in his second year, is experiencing regression in most areas. Sporting a 59.6 percent completion rate, 6.6 yards per attempt, four touchdowns, and three interceptions, Pickett faces an uphill battle. Despite facing tough opponents in the first two weeks, his Week 3 performance against the Raiders suggests a concerning trend for the young quarterback.
In the ever-evolving landscape of the NFL, these rookie quarterbacks are navigating the highs and lows of their debut seasons. While some are flourishing and others are facing adversity, time will tell which of them will truly make their mark in the league.