ESPN’s Ron Jaworski made comments earlier this week that raised a few eyebrows, suggesting that he believed Cardinals signal-caller Logan Thomas has been the best rookie quarterback he’s seen so far this summer (link via Marc Sessler of NFL.com).
“When I plugged the tape in yesterday morning and I saw Logan Thomas, I was shocked,” Jaworski said on ESPN yesterday, referring to the Cards’ contest against Houston. “He was fantastic in this game. He’s big, strong and he can rip throws. … Of all the rookie quarterbacks that I’ve watched so far – yes, early in the preseason – Logan Thomas has been the best that I have seen.”
Even if Jaworski’s assessment of Thomas is spot-on, the sixth quarterback selected in this year’s draft may not have the opportunities for playing time that many of the guys selected ahead of him will have. Carson Palmer isn’t an elite QB, but for a Cardinals team expecting to compete for a postseason berth, he’s the more reliable option than the rookie at this point.
On the other hand, players like Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, and Derek Carr will play for teams who combined for a total of 17 wins in 2013. While the Browns, Vikings, Jaguars, and Raiders may have aspirations of a playoff spot, it would be somewhat surprising if any of those clubs actually earned one.
As such, those situations are more ripe for a rookie quarterback to receive a more significant opportunity, to help him develop and learn his new team’s system in preparation for contention in a year or two. Perhaps a strong performance from one of those rookie signal-callers in 2014 could even help his club contribute immediately.
Still, for now, veterans like Brian Hoyer, Matt Cassel, Chad Henne, and Matt Schaub remain penciled in as starters, so there’s no guarantee that any one of those rookies makes a huge impact this season. What do you think? Which rookie do you expect to have the most productive 2014 campaign?