Aug 24, 2021 6 min read

When have recent rookie quarterbacks taken over?

When have recent rookie quarterbacks taken over?

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Matt Nagy made it official on Tuesday, declaring Justin Fields the starter for Saturday's preseason finale while Andy Dalton rests to start Week 1.

Bears fans who can't wait to see Fields start will have to do just that.

Still, the team's current situation is not unique in the NFL. Many teams invest a high draft pick on a rookie quarterback with a veteran already in tow. Both the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots fall into this category with the Bears this year. For better or worse (mostly worse), we even saw a very similar situation with the Bears when Mike Glennon and Mitchell Trubisky came to the team in 2017.

Of course, Glennon got the nod from John Fox early but was benched in favor of Trubisky just four weeks into the season.

But what about the other recent young passers who have come into the league? How long did they have to wait and how exactly did they come into the starting spot?

Let's look at the first-rounders from the last five years (plus a few others) and see how they got their first start, who they replaced, and where they are now.

Jared Goff - Los Angeles Rams

2016 draft:  1st pick
First start: Week 11, 2016 vs. Dolphins
Stats: 17-31, 134 yards, o touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Case Keenum (benched)
Rookie season stats: 1,089 yards, 5 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 63.6 quarterback rating (7 starts)
Career snapshot: Named to the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018. Led Rams to Super Bowl LIII and became youngest quarterback ever to win the NFC Championship game. Traded to the Detroit Lions in the 2021 offseason.

(USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz - Philadelphia Eagles

2016 draft: 2nd pick
First start: Week 1, 2016 vs. Browns
Stats: 22-37, 278 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Sam Bradford (traded in preseason)
Rookie season stats: 3,782 yards, 16 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 79.3 quarterback rating (16 starts)
Career snapshot: Named to the Pro Bowl in 2017. Suffered torn ACL in 2017 en route to the playoffs. Super Bowl LII champion. Traded to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2021 offseason.

Paxton Lynch - Denver Broncos

2016 draft: 26th pick
First start: Week 5, 2016 vs. Falcons
Stats: 23-35, 223 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Trevor Siemian (injury)
Rookie season stats: 497 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 79.2 quarterback rating (2 starts)
Career snapshot: Played with the Broncos from 2016-2017 as a backup. Released prior to the 2018 season. Spent 2019 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL in 2021.

Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys

2016 draft: 135th pick (4th round)
First start: Week 1, 2016 vs. Giants
Stats: 25-45, 227 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Tony Romo (injury)
Rookie season stats: 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 104.9 quarterback rating (16 starts)
Career snapshot: Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016. Named to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2018. Suffered broken ankle in 2020. Signed a four-year extension with the Cowboys in the 2021 offseason worth $160 million with $126 million guaranteed.

Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs

2017 draft: 10th pick
First start: Week 17, 2017 vs. Broncos
Stats: 22-35, 284 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Alex Smith (rest)
Rookie season stats: 284 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 76.4 quarterback rating (1 start)
Career snapshot: 2018 MVP. First-team All-Pro in 2018, named to the Pro Bowl 2018, 2019, and 2020. Super Bowl LIV champion. Signed a ten-year, $503 million extension in 2020 with the Chiefs, the first professional athlete to sign a deal worth half a billion dollars.

(USA Today Sports)

Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans

2017 draft: 12th pick
First start: Week 2, 2017 season vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Stats: 15-24, 125 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Tom Savage (benched)
Rookie season stats: 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 103.0 quarterback rating (6 starts)
Career snapshot: Named to the Pro Bowl 2018, 2019, and 2020. Led the NFL in passing in 2020. Signed a four-year, $177 million extension with the Texans prior to the 2020 season. Currently under investigation for sexual assault allegations and his status for the 2021 season is uncertain.

DeShone Kizer - Cleveland Browns

2017 draft: 52nd overall pick (2nd round)
First start: Week 1, 2017 vs.  Steelers
Stats: 20-30, 222 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Brock Osweiler (benched in preseason)
Rookie season stats: 2,894 yards, 11 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, 60.5 quarterback rating (15 starts)
Career snapshot: Traded to the Green Bay Packers in 2018. Spent time with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans. Currently a free agent.

Baker Mayfield - Cleveland Browns

2018 draft: 1st pick
First start: Week 4, 2018 vs. Raiders
Stats: 21-41, 295 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Who he replaced: Tyrod Taylor (injury)
Rookie season stats: 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 93.7 quarterback rating (13 starts)
Career snapshot: Browns quarterback from 2018-present. Led Browns to first playoff appearance since 2002.

Sam Darnold - New York Jets

2018 draft: 3rd pick
First start: Week 1, 2018 season vs. Detroit Lions
Stats: 16-21, 198 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Josh McCown (benched)
Rookie season stats: 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 77.6 quarterback rating (13 starts)
Career snapshot: Jets starting quarterback from 2018-2020. Traded to the Carolina Panthers in the 2021 offseason.

Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills

2018 draft: 7th overall selection
First start: Week 2, 2018 vs. Chargers
Stats: 18-33, 245 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
Who he replaced: Nathan Peterman (benched)
Rookie season stats: 2,074 yards, 10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 67.9 quarterback rating (11 starts)
Career snapshot: Bills starting quarterback from 2018-present. Named to the Pro Bowl in 2020. Signed a six-year, $258 million contract extension with the Bills in the 2021 offseason.

Josh Rosen - Arizona Cardinals

2018 draft: 10th pick
First start: Week 2, 2018 season vs. Chargers
Stats: 15-27, 180 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Sam Bradford (benched)
Rookie season stats: 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 66.7 quarterback rating (13 starts)
Career snapshot: Traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and was released in 2020. Signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad in 2020. Currently a free agent.

Lamar Jackson - Baltimore Ravens

2018 draft: 32nd pick
First start: Week 11, 2018 vs. Bengals
Stats: 13-19, 150 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, 119 yards rushing
Who he replaced: Joe Flacco (benched)
Rookie season stats: 1,201 yards, 6 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 84.5 quarterback rating (7 starts), 695 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns.
Career snapshot: 2019 MVP, first-team All-Pro in 2019 and named to the 2019 Pro Bowl.

Kyler Murray - Arizona Cardinals

2019 draft: 1st pick
First start: Week 1, 2019 vs. Lions
Stats: 29-54, 308 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Josh Rosen (traded during draft)
Rookie season stats: 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 87.4 quarterback rating (16 starts), 544 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns.
Career snapshot: 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Daniel Jones - New York Giants

2019 draft: 6th pick
First start: Week 3, 2019  vs. Buccaneers
Stats: 23-36, 336 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Eli Manning (benched)
Rookie season stats: 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 87.7 quarterback rating (12 starts)
Career snapshot: Starting quarterback for the Giants 2019-present.

Dwayne Haskins - Washington Football Team

2019 draft: 15th pick
First start: Week 9, 2019 vs. Bills
Stats: 15-22, 144 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Case Keenum (injured)
Rookie season stats: 1,365 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 76.1 quarterback rating (7 starts)
Career snapshot: Released by the Washington Football Team in 2020. Current backup on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Joe Burrow - Cincinnati Bengals

2020 draft: 1st pick
First start: Week 1, 2020 vs. Chargers
Stats: 23-36, 193 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Andy Dalton (released)
Rookie season stats: 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 89.8 quarterback rating (10 starts)
Career snapshot: Suffered torn ACL midway through rookie season.

Tua Tagovailoa - Miami Dolphins

2020 draft: 5th pick
First start: Week 8, 2020 season vs. Los Angeles Rams
Stats: 12-22, 93 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions
Who he replaced: Ryan Fitzpatrick (benched)
Rookie season stats: 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 87.1 quarterback rating (9 starts)
Career snapshot: Entrenched starter for the Dolphins heading into 2021.

Justin Herbert - Los Angeles Chargers

2020 draft: 6th pick
First start: Week 2, 2020  vs. Chiefs
Stats: 22-33, 311 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
Who he replaced: Tyrod Taylor (injured)
Rookie season stats: 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 98.3 quarterback rating (15 starts)
Career snapshot: Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2020.

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