2022 NFL preseason rookie QB rankings: Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder headline top five Week 2 performances – CBS Sports

2022 NFL preseason rookie QB rankings: Kenny Pickett, Skylar Thompson headline five Week 2 performances - CBS Sports

Two weeks of preseason football is almost in the books, which means this year’s rookie quarterbacks are one step closer to making their official debuts. But how did the freshman signal callers fare in their last exhibition performance? We’re glad you asked. Here is our ranking of the top five rookie QB performances from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason:

Statistics: 7-11, 83 yards, 1 TD

The Colts may not have room for the undrafted Notre Dame product considering Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger are behind Matt Ryan, but he showed a pro touch to close out the game against the Colts. lionsdelivering a perfect downfield touchdown pass to Samson Nacua in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Statistics: 9-10, 129 yards, 1 TD

For the second straight week, the seventh-rounder makes the case that he belongs on Miami’s roster as the third QB, behind Tua Tagovalioa and Teddy Bridgewater. Even in a close loss, he looked calm in the pocket, standing tall especially for fairly deep hits. On a team whose other QBs are notorious for being conservative, that’s a nice developmental quality.

Statistics: 7-17, 80 yards, 1 TD, 42 rushing yards

With plenty of electricity and little pitching consistency, Willis posted a very Trey Lance-esque stat line against the pirates, but look at where Lance is now: starting at QB for an NFC title contender. In truth, Willis’ preseason was always just about confirming the physical gifts that prompted his Day Two pick in Tennessee. He needs to grow as a pace passer to claim and retain a top job, but his effortless climbing and arm-angle adjustments are apparent.

Statistics: 10-13, 143 yards

The Falcons’ third-round pick put together his second promising preseason outing in as many games Monday night against the Jets. He threw just three incompletions while leading Atlanta to a pair of field goals over his three series, and those drives could have easily resulted in more points if not for penalties. Ridder isn’t capable of supplanting Marcus Mariota as the Week 1 starter, but if the former Titans and Raiders signal caller struggles early, the Cincinnati Bearcats product looks like he’ll be ready if his number is called.

Statistics: 6-7, 76 yards, 1 TD

K-Dawg picked a good time to show off some of his best stuff, considering he’s the only QB here in a position to actually win a starting job. His work was very limited against the Jaguars (eight snaps), but he was crucial in a quick scoring drive that had Mike Tomlin happy post-game. Better yet, he stood tall in rushing pockets, suggesting he can hold up against Pittsburgh’s transitioning O-line as well as, if not better than, his main competition for the job: Mitchell Trubisky.

Other celebrities

  • Matt Corral (Panthers): The third-rounder showed some zip on his passes but exited early after suffering a potentially season-ending Lisfranc injury, indefinitely delaying his bid for a backup job in Carolina.
  • Sam Howell (Commanders): While his lower arm talent is impressive, Howell was not nearly as effective as his debut, going 10 for 18 with an interception against the bosses on a bad day for Washington’s offense.
  • Bailey Zappe (Patriots): The fourth-rounder got a lot of work after Mac Jones against the Panthers, and he showed short-area accuracy, but he also threw a bad pick-six trying to make a short sideline throw.
  • Brock Purdy (49ers): Iowa State’s Mr. Irrelevant made a quiet bid for the 49ers’ No. 2 job against the vikings, along with a similarly effective outing by fellow backup Nate Sudfeld. His numbers (14-for-23, 128 yards) weren’t eye-popping, but they would have been better if not for three drops. At the very least, he proved he has the accuracy that Kyle Shanahan craves.

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