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Expectations for top-10 quarterbacks taken in 2019 NFL Draft

The 2019 NFL Draft bolstered the notion this year’s top quarterbacks aren’t seen in a favorable light overall. Just three quarterbacks were selected in the first round, and only four in the first two rounds.

So what does that mean for these young quarterbacks going forward? Likely, many of the top-10 quarterbacks selected in the 2019 NFL Draft will not be called into action at all this coming season barring injury. Though, we know at least one will get his shot to start from the beginning of training camp.

Here, we check in on the expectations for these rookie passers in 2019.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (No. 1 overall)

Who is standing in his way? Nobody. Josh Rosen was shipped to Miami in a trade on Day 2 of the draft, leaving Murray as the unchallenged starter in Arizona.

The Cardinals did some really great work bolstering their receiving corps in the remaining rounds of the draft. Murray shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to talent on the field. Yet we do worry about Arizona’s offensive line, which is still in bad shape. That said, Kliff Kingsbury’s offense should give Murray a running start into the NFL, and we expect a dynamic rookie season from the Heisman winner.

Projected stats:

  • 16 starts
  • 3,900 yards passing with 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions
  • 500 yards rushing with four touchdowns

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (No. 6 overall)

Who is standing in his way? Eli Manning, and it sure sounds like the Giants want him to stay in front of Jones for the foreseeable future. General manager Dave Gettleman floated the idea that it could be three years before Jones plays.

Are we buying what Gettleman is selling? Not really, even though we’re convinced he absolutely does believe it. At some point in the coming season, Eli Manning’s struggles will become obvious and the Giants will lose enough games that Jones will be thrown to the wolves. That’s not a good thing. He isn’t ready to start at this level. And even if he were mentally quick enough to process NFL defenses, his physical tools are pretty average.

Projected stats:

  • Five starts
  • 950 yards passing with four touchdowns and five interceptions
  • 75 yards rushing

Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins (No. 15 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Case Keenum might be, but it would be shocking if Washington kept Haskins on the bench in favor of a journeyman backup who was below average last year as a starter in Denver.

Washington has an intriguing offense. We expect Jay Gruden to pound the rock with Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice (and maybe Bryce Love this fall?). In the passing game, the addition of Haskins’ college teammate Terry McLaurin adds some juice. Tight end Jordan Reed remains one of the best in the business. If Josh Doctson ever lives up to his expectations things could get very interesting.

Projected stats:

  • 16 starts
  • 4,100 yards passing with 20 touchdowns and 18 interceptions
  • 140 yards rushing with one touchdown

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (No. 42 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco. That’s who. John Elway has made it clear that the offense is Flacco’s this year, too, and that Lock is there to be the backup for now.

The way we see this playing out is that Flacco is just average enough that the Broncos have a shot at the playoffs until late in the season. Then, he’ll have a few bad games and Denver will be eliminated, ushering in the Lock era.

Projected stats:

  • Two starts
  • 400 yards passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions
  • 20 yards rushing

Will Grier, Carolina Panthers (No. 100 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Former NFL MVP Cam Newton, and perhaps even Taylor Heinicke due to head coach Ron Rivera’s old-school approach.

If Newton stays healthy there’s no chance Grier even sniffs the field for the Panthers in 2019. In fact, Carolina is likely hoping that Newton stays healthy enough to parlay the Grier pick into a trade in a couple of years. Still, we’re not counting on Newton to play all 16 games, meaning Grier might get into a game at some point.

Projected stats:

  • One start
  • 250 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception
  • 15 yards rushing

Ryan Finley, Cincinnati Bengals (No. 104 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Eight-year starter Andy Dalton and potentially even Jeff Driskel, depending on how new head coach Zac Taylor views him and the rookie out of NC State.

This is just a guess, but it wouldn’t be shocking if Taylor got tired of Dalton’s mediocrity at some point in the coming season. If Cincinnati is floundering in November or December, Finley could easily get some looks under center. Dalton is essentially a lame duck with no guaranteed money left on his current deal.

Projected stats:

  • Three starts
  • 430 passing yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions
  • Five rushing yards

Jarrett Stidham, New England Patriots (No. 133 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Trying to remember his name… Oh yeah, that guy. Tom Brady wants to play a few more years, at least. The six-time Super Bowl champ has earned the right to pretty much keep playing as long as he wants. He’s stayed remarkably healthy throughout his career, too, and New England’s offense is loaded with running backs to help keep him that way.

The Patriots want Stidham to stay on the bench for as long as possible. He may start games in New England at some point. It just won’t be any time soon.

Projected stats:

  • Zero starts, no stats

Easton Stick, Los Angeles Chargers (No. 166 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Philip Rivers is still in his prime, and Tyrod Taylor is the backup. Heck, Cardale Jones might be ahead of Stick this summer.

A huge project, Stick was a winner at North Dakota State but showed very average passing skill during the Shrine Game and the combine. He might not even stick on the roster heading into the season.

Projected stats:

  • Zero starts, no stats

Clayton Thorson, Philadelphia Eagles (No. 167 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld are both locks for the final roster this year. Many around the league are high on Sudfeld’s potential, and unless Thorson really impresses this summer he could be a practice-squad candidate — at best.

Projected stats:

  • Zero starts, no stats

Gardiner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 178 overall)

Who’s standing in his way? Nick Foles is the undisputed starter in Jacksonville, and it would be surprising if Minshew jumped Cody Kessler on the depth chart.

Minshew has a shot to develop into a backup. Yet his physical limitations could limit his development at the NFL level. We don’t see him hitting the field whatsoever this year.

Projected stats:

  • Zero starts, no stats
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