Muscle Sport Magazine

2016 NFL Draft Quarterback Class Regular Season Grades

Now that the 2016 NFL regular season has come to a close, it’s interesting to reflect and see how the most important position on the field panned out for the teams who invested draft picks at quarterback. While any draft selection – especially the quarterback – takes a full three years to get a proper gauge on, rookie season grades are more or less a measuring stick on how the organization views them with sufficient playing time or not.

Any quarterback picked after the fourth round is basically a team taking a flyer on a prospect and not expecting him to even make the final roster, let alone contribute. A Tom Brady comes around once in a lifetime, so the fifth through seventh rounders usually end up becoming journeymen backups.

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1 – JARED GOFF (1st round, 1st selection), RAMS – After being coddled, the top pick was finally named the starter for Week 11. Although Goff had an 0-6 record and finished with paltry stats, the players around him will not be fitted for Canton busts any time soon and he is not the type of player at this stage of his career than can carry the load. For the Rams sake, they had better hope that brighter days are ahead. GRADE: C

2 – CARSON WENTZ (1st round, 2nd selection), EAGLES – Was he worth the package that the Eagles parted with to trade up? Wentz started all 16 games and threw for more than 3,000 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 picks and had some nice moments. But he tailed off somewhat after a fast start and he will have to make some improvements in Year Two for the Philly boo-birds to be kept at bay. GRADE: B

3 – PAXTON LYNCH (1st round, 26th selection), BRONCOS – Drafted to be the hopeful heir apparent to the retired Peyton Manning, Lynch got his feet wet as a rookie with three appearances (two starts). With Trevor Siemian struggling more as the season went on, Lynch should get a solid chance to prove his draft position by battling fore the starting job in training camp next season.  GRADE: B


4 – CHRISTIAN HACKENBERG (2nd round, 51st selection), JETS – A red shirt season for the Penn State product and nothing was accomplished at all until Week 17 when he finally dressed and practiced the Jets playbook instead of running the scout team. Why general manager Mike Maccagan reached for Hackenberg where he did made little sense then and even less now. Quarterbacks picked long after him got their game uniforms dirty and seemed to have survived quite well for themselves. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

5 – JACOBY BRISSETT (3rd round, 91st selection), PATRIOTS – Pressed into action early on due to Brady’s four-game suspension and an injury to Jimmy Garappolo, Brissett played in three and started two games with mixed results (1-1 record) before he, too, went down with an injury. GRADE: B-

6 – CODY KESSLER (3rd round, 93rd selection), BROWNS – A disastrous one-win season in Cleveland was a little bit brighter with the play of this rookie signal caller, who started eight games and threw six touchdowns against two interceptions. Kessler is not being viewed as the long term answer at the position, but at least he can be trusted with the stick. GRADE: B+


7 – DAK PRESCOTT (4th round, 135th selection), COWBOYS – Amazingly led America’s Team to an NFC-best 13-3 record after starting all 16 games once Tony Romo went down with an injury in the preseason. 23 touchdowns, four interceptions and 3,667 yards made Prescott an instant star. GRADE: A+

8 – CARDALE JONES (4th round, 139th selection), BILLS – Received mop-up duty in the second half of the Week 17 loss to the Jets (?) after basically being red shirted, a la Hackenberg. The only reason why he was even active is because Tyrod Taylor – who was the starter for the majority of the season – had a quirky contact stipulation about getting a big pay day in the event of an injury.

9 – KEVIN HOGAN (5th round, 162nd selection), CHIEFS – Released in September and signed by the Browns, Hogan saw some bullpen action in four games. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

10 – NATE SUDFELD (6th round, 187th selection), REDSKINS – The number three quarterback on the roster did not see any action as a rookie. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

11 – JAKE RUDOCK (6th round, 191st selection), LIONS – A late cut who was signed to the practice squad a day later, Rudock was eventually put on the active roster in November for the remainder of the season without seeing the playing field. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

12 – BRANDON ALLEN (6th round, 201st selection), JAGUARS – Third on the depth chart who did not see any action. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

13 – JEFF DRISKEL (6th round, 207th selection), 49ERS – Was cut in September right before the season was to begin and claimed off waivers the following day by the Bengals, where he sat all season third on the depth chart. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

14 – BRANDON DOUGHTY (6th round, 223rd selection), DOLPHINS – After being cut in September, was signed to the Dolphins practice squad and spent the season there. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

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