ESPN.com this weekend analyzed each of the NFL teams and which of them were likely to start one of their drafted rookie quarterbacks.
As we discovered last season, a rookie the likes of Dak Prescott, helped to completely change the Dallas Cowboys fortunes and make them into a Super Bowl favorite both by the second half of that season and heading into the 2017-18 NFL season. Lest we forget, Prescott was hardly among the top choices in last year’s Draft. Dallas ended up picking him in the fourth round (135th overall).
Houston Texans – Their odds of winning the 2018 Super Bowl were set at between 22-1 and 23-1 and have one of the best chances of making a Playoff run in what is probably once again going to be the worst division in the league. Houston used to have to contend with the Colts. Developing a franchise quarterback will be key to ensuring their domination in this division.
With Tom Savage on shaky ground, it’s just a matter of time before head coach Bill O’Brien installs rookie Deshaun Watson as starting quarterback.
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com writes:
The Texans can put a playoff-caliber team around Watson and ease him into NFL life without asking him to carry them. Think Mark Sanchez as a Jets rookie who made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game with a team that led the league in defense and rushing. That's the dream. Plus two more wins, and then a career.
Chicago Bears – The beginning of the Mitchell Trubisky era is upon us.
The pressure to play him will be intense, writes Graziano.
(Mike) Glennon doesn't have enough around him to succeed in enough of a way to hold off the rookie. The Bears' rebuild will begin earlier than the current coaching staff might like it to, and depending on how this year goes, it might be another coaching staff that has to continue it.
Denver Broncos - Trevor Siemian, 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch and Mr. Irrelevant (the last man picked in the Draft) Chad Kelly are all in the picture here.
"If Gary Kubiak were still the coach, Siemian would be the clear favorite," a person with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.
But the competition is between Siemian and Lynch, the coaching staff is new, and you can bet general manager John Elway is going to empower new coach Vance Joseph to make this decision on his own.
In a brutal division with a rookie head coach and a rough-looking first-half schedule, things could go badly for the Broncos. If they do, and if Lynch shows progress, they should see what he's got for the long haul.
Despite playing in such a tough division, Denver still had relatively short odds of winning Super Bowl 52 at 20-1.
- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com