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

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Two weeks of preseason football isn’t on the books yet, which means this year’s starting quarterbacks are one step closer to making their official debut. But how did the first-year signal seekers fare in their latest exhibition campaign? We’re glad you asked. Here’s our ranking of the top five rookie QB performances from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason:

Statistics: 7-11, 83 meters, 1 TD

The Colts may not have room for the unwritten Notre Dame product as Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger in tow behind Matt Ryan, but he showed a pro-level touch to close out the game against the Lions and a perfect downfield touchdown pass to be delivered to Samson Nacua in the last minute of the fourth quarter.

Statistics: 9-10, 129 meters, 1 TD

For the second consecutive week, the seventh-rounder is arguing that he should be on the Miami roster as a third QB, behind Tua Tagovalioa and Teddy Bridgewater. Even at a close loss, he looked good in the pocket and stood tall, especially for some pretty low blows. In a team whose other QBs are notorious for being conservative, that’s a nice development quality.

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

With a lot of electricity and little consistency in throwing, Willis put up a very Trey Lance-esque stat line against the Buccaneers, but look where Lance is now: starting at QB for an NFC title contender. In reality, Willis’ preseason has always been about confirming the physical gifts that justified his roster on day two in Tennessee. He has to grow as a rhythm passer to claim and maintain a top job, but his effortless scrambling and arm angle adjustments are obvious.

Statistics: 10-13, 143 meters

The Falcons’ third-rounder made his second promising preseason outing in as many games against the Jets on Monday night. He threw just three incomplete runs as he led Atlanta to a few field goals during his three series, and those drives could have easily added more points if not for penalties. Knight isn’t in a position to replace Marcus Mariota as the Week 1 starter, but if the former Titans and Raiders signal caller struggles early on, the Cincinnati Bearcats product looks set to be ready if his number is called.

Statistics: 6-7, 76 meters, 1 TD

K-Dawg picked a good time to show his best stuff as he’s the only QB here who can actually win a runway. His work was very limited against the Jaguars (eight snaps), but he was decisive in an up-tempo scoring drive that Mike Tomlin was happy with after the game. Better yet, he stood upright in frantic pockets, suggesting he can withstand the Pittsburgh O-line just as well, if not better, than his main competitor for the job: Mitchell Trubisky.

other notables

  • Matt Corral (panthers): The third-rounder showed some pizazz on his passes, but left Lisfranc early after a potential season-end injury, putting his bid for a backup job in Carolina indefinitely on hold.
  • Sam Howell (Commanders): While his downfield talent is impressive, Howell was nowhere near as effective as his debut, going 10 for 18 with an interception against the Chiefs in 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 while 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, alongside an equally efficient performance from fellow backup Nate Sudfeld. His numbers (14-for-23, 128 yards) weren’t showy, but they would have been better if there hadn’t been three drops. At the very least, he’s proven to have the accuracy Kyle Shanahan desires.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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