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Grading the rookie quarterbacks in Week 1 of the NFL preseason

Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Mason Rudolph were among the quarterbacks to make their NFL debuts on Thursday night.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is all about position battles and young guys showing what they’re capable of. Thursday night featured a ton of that as 24 teams kicked off the official first week of the NFL preseason.

In those contests, we were introduced to a lot of new quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield (Browns), Josh Allen (Bills), Lamar Jackson (Ravens), Mason Rudolph (Steelers), Kyle Lauletta (Giants), Luke Falk (Titans), Tanner Lee (Jaguars), Danny Etling (Patriots), and Alex McGough (Seahawks) were among those introducing themselves to NFL fans.

Let’s review how the rookie quarterbacks did on Thursday night.

Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Mayfield had a flashy debut going 11 for 20 for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 13 yards on the ground. The former Sooners stud connected with David Njoku for a touchdown (the second-year tight end also caught a TD from Tyrod Taylor). It was a solid performance from Mayfield who has been impressing the Browns coaching staff.

Grade: A-

Bills QB Josh Allen

Allen had the least impressive performance of the Bills’ three quarterbacks. He went 9 for 19 for 116 yards and a touchdown and added 29 rushing yards. His receivers didn’t help him as they had a few drops. That’s to be expected when you’re running with the third-team offense. He’s expected to sit back and watch from the bench to start the year, but will look improve throughout the preseason.

Grade: C

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

This was Jackson’s second game since the Ravens played in the Hall of Fame game. He didn’t do much of note in the passing game going 7 for 18 for 119 yards. His ability on the ground is one thing the Ravens particularly like about him and he showed his skills there with 21 rushing yards and nice march into the end zone.

Grade: B-

Steelers QB Mason Rudolph

Rudolph went 7 for 12 for 101 yards, which was a decent debut for the third-round rookie. He didn’t make any mistakes, was poised in the pocket and Steelers fans are pleased. Could he actually be the future in Pittsburgh, whenever Ben Roethlisberger retires?

Grade: B-

Giants QB Kyle Lauletta

Lauletta is currently the third-string quarterback for the Giants and went 6 for 9 for 48 yards in an unremarkable performance for the fourth round pick. He’ll be pushing for the rest of the preseason to unseat second-year QB Davis Webb as Eli Manning’s backup. Webb went 9 for 22 for 70 yards on Thursday. No Giants quarterback threw a touchdown pass against the Browns.

Grade: C

Titans QB Luke Falk

The Titans’ sixth-round pick went 10 for 19 for 105 yards and one touchdown. On a negative note, he was responsible for leading drives that resulted in a lost fumble, a punt and a turnover on downs. But the final drive for which he was on the field resulted in a 9-yard touchdown pass. Ending on a good note was nice to see for the rookie.

Grade: C

Jaguars QB Tanner Lee

Lee went 4 for 8 for 37 yards and added eight yards on the ground in his debut. He fumbled the ball twice (only one of which was lost), which isn’t good news for the rookie looking to find a place on the 53-man roster in Jacksonville.

Grade: D

Patriots QB Danny Etling

Etling played sparingly and went 2 for 5 for 21 yards in his debut. Not much is expected from the seventh-round pick this year, but Tom Brady was once a Patriots sixth-round pick. So, you never know what Etling’s future could look like.

Grade: C

Seahawks QB Alex McGough

The 220th pick in the draft went 10 for 13 for 48 yards in his debut. It was just 3.7 yards per attempt, so not much to write home about. But, no turnovers is good.

Grade: C+

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