Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
And who might the hottest rookie quarterback be you might ask?
Look no further than the awkwardly tall Mike Glennon who was drafted in the third round.
Few people, including myself, expected much from Mike Glennon as a professional quarterback. Although his arm talent was impressive coming out of NC State, he seemed to lack the consistency and poise required of a guy who was to be the future of any NFL franchise. Yet, only eight months later, Glennon has taken full command of the starting spot in Tampa Bay and is performing with incredible efficiency for any NFL quarterback, let alone a rookie.
The 6’6” QB has completed an impressive 62 percent of his passes with a passer rating of 91.6. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes and only four interceptions on the season. To put that into perspective, only three quarterbacks in the league (Rodgers, Bradford, Foles) have thrown more touchdown passes with fewer dropbacks than Glennon, per PFF.
In addition, Glennon is currently in the midst of a three-game winning streak after the Buccaneers started off the season 0-8.
On the other side of the line will be a defense that has given up the fewest points in the NFL while dominating opponents all season long. The Carolina Panthers are fourth in defensive third-down conversion percentage and also second in the league in first downs allowed per game.
The Panthers are also in the middle of a win streak of their own, having won seven straight games, including a 31-13 shellacking over the Bucs in October.
However, Glennon did play well in that loss throwing for a career-high 275 yards while completing 59 percent of his passes. He also managed to avoid any interceptions.
But this is supposedly a different Bucs team than what Carolina faced over a month ago and Glennon has matured at a rapid pace.
Clearly this rematch will be the biggest test Mike Glennon has faced all year. If he somehow finds a way to be productive against this stout unit, we can officially declare him to be the best rookie quarterback in the NFL.
Personally, I still have my money on EJ Manuel as the most promising signal-caller of the 2013 draft class, but Glennon has continued to make a case for himself with each passing week.
Don’t forget, Manuel beat the Panthers in Week 2, scoring more points (24) than any other team has so far on this defense.
One thing the Panthers need to be mindful of is getting caught looking ahead to next week’s matchup against the Saints. This Buccaneers squad has been playing well as of late and is not a team to be taken lightly.