The San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and New England Patriots all addressed long-term needs at the quarterback position by drafting Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones, respectively.
But that doesn't mean that any will start right away. Per the DraftKings Sportsbook, all three are underdogs to start in Week 1:
It isn't a huge surprise that the three rookies aren't favored Day 1 starters. The Niners have a veteran in Jimmy Garoppolo, and coming into the draft Lance was widely considered to be a high-upside project who might need to spend some time watching and learning.
Niners Ceo Jed York even said Wednesday he was fine with Lance sitting behind Jimmy G for a season or two (h/t Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports):
“We’ve talked about this internally. f we’re in a situation where Jimmy goes out and takes us to a Super Bowl again and has an MVP-caliber season, and does it again, there are worse dilemmas to be in. And Jimmy certainly has the ability to do that.
“Knowing it’s the most important position in sports, and it’s great to have a guy that you do believe in and has gotten you to a Super Bowl. So you don’t have to put the weight of the world on a rookie, whoever it was we were going to choose. And now that we know Trey is here, you don’t have to put the weight of the world on that kid’s shoulders. And he can grow into that position.”
The Bears also have a veteran in Andy Dalton they signed to a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason, so they have little need to rush Fields along. Granted, the rookie's athleticism and rushing ability would give the Bears' offense a different dynamic than Dalton can offer.
He may not start immediately, but Fields likely will be the starter at some point in his first year.
And then there is Jones, who will be battling veteran Cam Newton for New England's starting gig. Newton wasn't great last year, but his presence means the Pats don't have to rush Jones if he isn't ready.
You can also make a pretty strong argument that Jones will have to adjust to the downgrade in weapons going from Alabama to New England (he worked with four first-round wide receivers with the Crimson Tide in Henry Ruggs II, Jerry Jeudy, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith). With all due respect to Nelson Agholor, the Pats can't match those threats out wide.
Still, like Fields it's safe to assume Jones will see the field at some point in the 2021 season, even if it isn't in Week 1.
For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.
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