I watched all of the top rated young NFL quarterbacks (QB) on every throw over the weekend. I rank them in this order: . 1. Jordan Love, 2. Justin Fields, 3. Mac Jones, 4. Trevor Lawrence, 5. Kyle Trask, 6. Kellen Mond, 7. Tua Tagovailoa, 8. Trey Lance and 9. Zach Wilson.
Love looked the best out of all of them. He went 12/17 for 122 yards with a long of 34 yards and a QB rating of 110.4 (espn.com).
Love did not just look the best out there of all these young signal callers because of his statistics either. Love looked the best among them because he looked the smoothest and most ready to start on opening day.
I really like Fields, he was my QB1 prior to the 2021 NFL Draft. Fields had some real hiccups against Miami early on. Fields however, rebounded and looked like a dynamic play-maker when he was on the move throwing or running. Fields seemed to get more comfortable as time went on.
The performance of Jones (my pre-draft QB2) was impressive against Washington. Jones had command of the Patriots offense. He played with swag and it is just a matter of time before he is named as the starter.
Jacksonville’s prized rookie, Lawrence, got sacked right out of the gates and sacked again a little later on. Lawrence however fought back showing tenacity and rebounding to make a couple of strong and decisive throws downfield. While he did not do anything earth shattering, he also did not make any dangerous looking throws either. Solid outing. Lawrence struck me that he was overthinking everything and trying too hard.
Trask (my pre-draft QB3) got in against Cincinnati later in the second half. Trask looked tough and fearless in the pocket, but he struggled with his accuracy deep on several attempts. Trask threw an interception which was returned for a touchdown (but called back due to a penalty) and another pass hit a defensive back in the hands, but he could not hold on. Trask also poorly managed the clock at the end of the game down by five points. None of that sounds good, but the saving grace for Trask was his ability to thread the needle into tighter coverages several times in the intermediate route level. Trask looked like a gunslinger type capable of making pro throws and he appeared to get more comfortable as time went on, which bolds well long term.
I feel Minnesota has something in their rookie field general. Mond made some nice looking throws and he was even faster looking than Fields when he ran the football. The Vikings need to seriously consider starting Mond over QB Kirk Cousins if the coaching staff wants to keep their jobs.
I have liked Tagovailoa since he threw that amazing touchdown pass back at Alabama in the National Championship Game back in 2018. However, Tagovailoa surprisingly was not that spectacular looking against Chicago and Fields out-played him. Tagovailoa was 8-11 for 99 yards, but he threw a costly interception in the end zone in the second quarter that really put a real damper on his entire performance.
No question, Trey Lance made the biggest splash out of any of these youngsters on his nice looking 80-yard touchdown throw against Kansas City. However, outside of that big play, Lance went a domestic 4-13 for 48 yards. He also could not elude four sacks (fumbled once) and he threw two very dangerous passes that hit defensive backs right in the hands, but both were dropped.
It was the ‘dink and dunk’ show for Jets’ rookie Zach Wilson, as the coaching staff kept him on a very short leash. Wilson was efficient at managing the ball within the perimeters of extremely conservative game planning efforts. Wilson did have one errant pass in the red zone that could have spelled trouble, but it was just out of reach of the Giants’ defensive back. I walked away least impressed by Wilson.
Comparing apples to apples, I just liked what I saw out of Love the best. Love looked the most dynamic and consistent of the group. Green Bay has something in their second-year QB. Love looked good in the pocket and he made quick and decisive decisions. He also threw the most accurately with the most velocity downfield. He has one touchdown throw to credit and only one really bad looking pass that fell harmlessly to the turf.
Love’s performance leads me to believe the Packers should trade QB Aaron Rodgers, who continues to create issues internally within the organization. After Rodgers managed to leverage the Packers getting receiver Randall Cobb back (while playing arm-chair GM), now he is lobbying to bring back a linebacker who has been out of football for close to 600 days. Rodgers is out of control.
Love is ready to lead the Packers. His strong performance hopefully will give Green Bay’s management the confidence they need to pull the trigger to either trade, cut or put Rodgers out to pasture on some reserve list.
It is time for Green Bay to move on from Rodgers and go with Love.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.