NFL Rookie QB Career Projections

Michael Karvelis

Who doesn’t love an NFL quarterback? It’s such a polarizing spot for a rookie to be in: franchise or bust?

In this article, I exercise my detailed way of seeing things. I am usually not too shabby when it comes to breaking down QB film (see below). I will start off with QB Name and College. The next is where the team drafted him. There will then be a projection of how I see his career panning out in the NFL. Then a ceiling and floor to portray the great and ugly I’ve seen. After that, I give pros and cons. Finally, a summary of the possible face of the franchise (is that copyrighted?) and my research. Without further ado, LET’s GOOOOOOOO!



Ian BOOK: Notre Dame

Draft: Saints (5th round)

Projection: borderline starter; good backup

Ceiling: top 15 starter

Floor: career backup


  1. Holds the ball WAY too long
  2. Deep accuracy comes and goes


  1. Good throw on the run accuracy
  2. Good ball placement on crossing patterns and sideline throws
  3. Pretty good at sensing pressure

I think Ian Book can remain in the league for years as a good backup and possibly a starter for a desperate enough team like Case Keenum. He has the ability to make NFL throws and has good enough athleticism to survive. Unfortunately, his processing of information is the slowest BY FAR I have ever seen since 2016.


Kyle TRASK: Florida

Draft: Buccaneers (2nd round)

Projection: Good starter

Ceiling: Top 10 starter

Floor: Borderline backup


  1. Tends to overthrow deep passes
  2. Holds ball too long sometimes
  3. Occasional tunnel vision
  4. Not the greatest at extending plays


  1. Toughness when taking hits
  2. Shimmers of accuracy on deep passes
  3. Good arm strength

I admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the film on Kyle Trask. He has a lot of work to do, but learning behind overachiever legend Tom Brady puts Tampa Bay in a good spot in 2 years if they keep good weapons. I could see this guy becoming a good starter based on his big time throwing ability.


Kellen MOND: Texas A&M

Draft: Vikings (3rd round)

Projection: Bottom 10 starter

Ceiling: Top 15 starter

Floor: Career backup


  1. Long time college starter, but never shocked the world
  2. Accuracy is inconsistent
  3. Weird mechanics
  4. Doesn’t recognize blind side pressure


  1. Throws bullets across the middle
  2. Athletically gifted

Kellen is a decent prospect, but I’m not sure how much better he can get despite being 22 years old. He is obviously athletic, but the production is very inconsistent. His throwing motion needs work because the wind up makes for easy strip sacks from behind. I like giving the guy a chance, but he will never be a top guy in my eyes. Top 15 if he works hard, but a very good chance of career backup.


Justin FIELDS: Ohio State

Draft: Bears (11th overall)

Projection: Top 10 starter; possible HOF

Ceiling: Top 5 QB; first ballot HOF

Floor: Decent starter


  1. Trusts his arm too much at times


  1. Very good pocket awareness
  2. Throw on the run is mostly amazing
  3. Cannon arm
  4. Decent running ability

I think Justin Fields is going to have a very good career. He has a huge arm, even though it does cause some misplaced and overthrown balls. His awareness to step up or even take a sack is pro level. Justin also showed his leadership and toughness by never quitting vs Alabama while playing from behind through injury. I have always been a fan and Chicago should fall in love rather quickly.


Felipe FRANKS: Arkansas

Draft: Undrafted (signed with Falcons)

Projection: Decent starter

Ceiling: Good starter

Floor: Good backup


  1. Reports of behavioral isssues
  2. 3+ years of starting, but inconsistent accuracy
  3. Holds the ball too long sometimes


  1. Can really zip the ball on quick routes
  2. Throws well on the run
  3. Good deep sideline passer
  4. Pretty good at finding holes in collapsing pocket
  5. Willing to take sacks

I am shocked nobody drafted this guy unless the behavioral stuff is a huge red flag. When he catches fire, he can make some really pretty throws. I am confident he can start for a few years after starting his career as a backup.


Davis MILLS: Stanford

Draft: Texans (3rd round)

Projection: Good starter

Ceiling: Very good starter

Floor: Good backup


  1. Not the greatest arm strength
  2. Inexperience
  3. Inconsistent accuracy


  1. Top QB out of High School
  2. Played at Stanford (well coached; he’s smart?)
  3. Nice deep passes
  4. Decent pocket footwork

I’m not personally super high on Davis Mills. I get that Stanford plays a role, but film must speak. His doesn’t scream star. He could be very good. I think he needs at least a year to develop his anticipation.


Trevor LAWRENCE: Clemson

Draft: Jaguars (1st overall)

Projection: MVP; HOF

Ceiling; First ballot HOF

Floor: Decent starter


  1. Holds the ball too long at times
  2. Not the best pre snap


  1. Elite arm strength
  2. Pin point accuracy
  3. Athletic
  4. Pretty good speed for a tall QB
  5. Tough

I am not a huge hype guy. This Trevor guy is going to be a great QB. I don’t see a scenario where he isn’t. He looks like a 5 year vet already. I have never been so confident in someone’s ability.



Draft: Colts (6th round)

Projection: Top 10 starter

Ceiling: Possible HOF

Floor: Career backup


  1. A bit turnover prone
  2. Short
  3. Inconsistent accuracy


  1. Started a lot of games in college
  2. Gamer
  3. Good arm strength
  4. Tough
  5. Athletic enough to extend plays

I am so ecstatic my Colts got this guy. He doesn’t wow you every play, but he seems to have the heart of a lion. He takes hits for the team and appears fiery. I do hope the turnovers turn down, but I’ll take Brett Favre 2.0



Draft: Jets (2nd overall)

Projection: Top 5 starter

Ceiling: Top 3 QB; Possible HOF

Floor: Decent starter


  1. Played at BYU
  2. Ball can float at times


  1. Very good arm strength
  2. Athletic
  3. Gorgeous touch on sideline deep passes

Yknow? Zach hasn’t gotten that much hype, but I think the Jets have their guy. Something about his placement on passes makes me a believer. Was he flawless? No. Was he really promising? Yes.


Trey LANCE: North Dakota St (FCS)

Draft: 49ers (3rd overall)

Projection: HOF; MVP

Ceiling: First ballot HOF

Floor: Good starter


  1. FCS is not the big guys
  2. Not much experience
  3. Sporadic for now with accuracy


  1. Gigantic arm (best I’ve seen since 2016)
  2. Athletic
  3. Tough

Trey Lance has the most potential in this draft. He makes plays kids dream of making on Madden. Trey is tough, athletic, big bodied, and has a cannon. He is very raw, but wow. This kid is special.


Mac JONES: Alabama

Draft: Patriots (15th overall)

Projection: Top 15 starter

Ceiling: Top 15 starter

Floor: Career backup


  1. Played with a lot of weapons
  2. Average arm strength
  3. Not the most athletic


  1. Tough
  2. Smart
  3. Doesn’t try to be someone he’s not

Patriots, this is your new Tom Brady. I do NOT think Mac (Michael McCorkle lol) is a talented guy. Best part for Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels? Neither was Brady. This kid is tough and smart and was the best Crimson Tide QB maybe ever. But, that’s saying nothing. His career will be fine, but only with the right system


I believe this year’s QB class is 6 guys deep. 4 of them could be studs. There you have it. Cry or vouch, the choice is yours. I like my chances after guessing the following right:

  1. Tim Tebow would STINK
  2. Andrew Luck > RG3
  3. Both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota weren’t great
  4. Sam Darnold > Josh Rosen
  5. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson (minus massage parlors) would be amazing
  6. Daniel Jones > Dwayne Haskins


Finally, here is my rank of the 2021 class!

  1. Trey Lance
  2. Trevor Lawrence
  3. Zach Wilson
  4. Mac Jones*
  5. Justin Fields
  6. Sam Ehlinger
  7. Kyle Trask
  8. Kellen Mond
  9. Davis Mills
  10. Felipe Franks
  11. Ian Book

*indicates System Quarterback

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