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

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Two weeks of preseason football are all but within the books, which implies this 12 months’s rookie quarterbacks are one step closer to creating their official debuts. But how did the first-year signal-callers fare of their latest exhibition motion? We’re glad you asked. Here’s our rating of the highest five rookie QB performances from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason:

Note: The Falcons’ Desmond Ridder, one among the highest QBs from this 12 months’s draft class, is scheduled to play against the Jets on Monday night.

Stats: 14-23, 128 yards

With by far the biggest workload of the QBs here, Iowa State’s Mr. Irrelevant made a quiet bid for the 49ers’ No. 2 job against the Vikings, alongside a similarly efficient outing from fellow backup Nate Sudfeld. His numbers weren’t gaudy, but they’d’ve been higher if not for 3 drops. On the very least, he’s proven he’s got the accuracy Kyle Shanahan covets.

Stats: 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 in tow behind Matt Ryan, but he showed pro-level touch to shut the sport against the Lions, delivering an ideal downfield touchdown pass to Samson Nacua in the ultimate minute of the fourth quarter.

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Stats: 9-10, 129 yards, 1 TD

For the second consecutive week, the seventh-rounder is making the case he belongs on Miami’s roster as a 3rd QB, behind Tua Tagovalioa and Teddy Bridgewater. Even in an in depth loss, he looked poised within the pocket, standing tall especially for pretty deep strikes. On a team whose other QBs are notorious for being conservative, that is a pleasant developmental quality.

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

With a number of electricity and little throwing consistency, Willis posted a really Trey Lance-esque stat line against the Buccaneers, but look where Lance is now: starting at QB for an NFC title contender. In fact, Willis’ preseason was at all times nearly confirming the physical gifts that warranted his Day Two selection in Tennessee. He must grow as a rhythm passer to assert and retain a top job, but his effortless scrambling and arm-angle adjustments are apparent.

Stats: 6-7, 76 yards, 1 TD

K-Dawg picked a very good time to indicate a few of his best stuff, considering he’s the one QB here in position to really win a starting job. His work was very limited against the Jaguars (eight snaps), but he was decisive in an up-tempo scoring drive that had Mike Tomlin blissful post-game. Higher yet, he stood tall in frenetic pockets, suggesting he can withstand Pittsburgh’s transitioning O-line just in addition to, if not higher than, his chief competition for the job: Mitchell Trubisky.

Other notables

  • Matt Corral (Panthers): The third-rounder showed some zip on his passes but exited early after suffering a potentially season-ending Lisfranc injury, indefinitely postponing his bid for a backup job in Carolina.
  • Sam Howell (Commanders): While his downfield arm talent is impressive, Howell wasn’t nearly as effective as his debut, going 10 for 18 with an interception against the Chiefs in a down day for Washington’s offense.
  • Bailey Zappe (Patriots): The fourth-rounder got a variety of work after Mac Jones against the Panthers, and he showcased short-area accuracy, but he also threw a nasty pick-six attempting to make a brief sideline throw.
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