Full-Season Predictions for Rookie NFL QBs
Starting a rookie quarterback used to be a signal that your NFL team was in full-fledged rebuilding mode. The jump from college to the pros was simply too much, too fast. Recently, however, we've seen young signal-callers like Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton and, of course, Cam Newton make big splashes their rookie years at the game's most difficult position.
Why is this? Well, for one thing, the spread-type offenses that have been prevalent in college football for years have started to gain traction in the NFL. More and more we see teams spreading the field, putting the quarterback in the shotgun and asking him to run uptempo sets in order to take advantage of defenses caught in base personnel.
Another thing helping out rookie quarterbacks is the emphasis on protecting the quarterback and the very liberalized passing rules the NFL has been operating under the past several years. Whereas it used to be very difficult for receivers to gain much separation, wideouts are finding much more success creating targets for their quarterbacks.
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