Ranking preseason rookie QBs: Zach Wilson, Mac Jones lead the pack, Trevor Lawrence gets little help


Preseason football takes on another level of importance when your favorite team is sporting a shiny new quarterback, even if said signal-caller isn't guaranteed to start come Week 1 of the regular season. A handful of teams had rookie gunslingers to show off -- not to mention evaluate -- during the second weekend of preseason action. So which No. 1 picks fared best in their latest appearances? Which ones could use another long look before the real games begin?

Here's how we'd rank the five* first-round quarterbacks following their Week 2 preseason performances:

5. Justin Fields (Bears)

Week 2 stats: 9-19, 80 yards, 59.1 rating, 46 rushing yards

He wasn't bad, but this outing wasn't nearly as electric as his preseason debut. It didn't help that Andy Dalton and Co. left him a major deficit. Some throws were dicey, and he took one too many hard hits, but all in all, this was another step forward for a guy who clearly brings more juice than his counterpart. At the very least, he's always a threat to extend or change a play with his legs.

4. Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars)

Week 2 stats: 14-23, 113 yards, 73.3 rating, 9 rush yards, 1 sack

It was not entirely his fault, but Lawrence did not look comfortable against the first-team Saints defense for most of the night. He kept having to throw late and over the middle of the field (and should have been intercepted by Marcus Williams on one of those throws), largely because his receivers were not getting open quickly and his protection kept breaking down. The Jags' play-calling also did him no favors, as they were ultra-conservative with running plays and designed swing passes on early downs, setting themselves up with third-and-long repeatedly. Lawrence got in a bit more of a rhythm on his final two drives and got the Jags some points, but both of those drives stalled out in the red zone.   -- Jared Dubin

3. Trey Lance (49ers)

Week 2 stats: 8-14, 102 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 89.9 rating

This was a much-improved performance for Lance, who struggled quite a bit in his debut despite a highlight-reel bomb. After a shaky start, in which he put too much heat on short throws, looked a little hesitant in the pocket and deserved at least half the blame for a pick, the North Dakota State product headlined two strong scoring drives with a couple of precision bullets. He's still missing too many easy throws, but you can see the physical talent, and that's not even including the ground game in which he's yet to be featured.

2. Mac Jones (Patriots)

Week 2 stats: 13-19, 146 yards, 91.1 rating

Tom Brady, is that you? Just kidding. But if we're gonna give Cam Newton praise for coasting through the Eagles' backups, we'd better crown Jones for doing the same, if not more. What's not to like about what this kid did after replacing Newton? He made quick decisions. He successfully moved around the pocket. He delivered another beauty of a deep shot. And he showed off a surprising amount of zip on his passes. If he isn't in consideration to be the Pats' Week 1 starter, he should be.

1. Zach Wilson (Jets)

Week 2 stats: 9-11, 128 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 154.7 rating

Preseason stats are pretty darn meaningless. But the eye test is not. And Wilson is passing it with flying colors. Not only did the BYU product produce an efficient stat line in New York's win, but he once again showcased the fluid, flick-of-the-wrist arm talent that convinced the Jets to draft him No. 2 overall. Maybe, in real games, he'll throw himself into trouble, but he sure as heck seems capable of throwing himself out of it, too. This guy made some magic in limited Week 2 action, and he's got the stuff to make more.

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