Thursday was yet another rough outing for the first overall pick from this year's draft. Jared Goff finished 6 for 16 with 67 yards, a pick and a touchdown in the Rams' 27-25 loss to the Vikings. Goff's play through the preseason has been uninspiring enough that head coach Jeff Fisher said he'll be the third-stringer, behind Case Keenum and Sean Mannion, a third-round pick last year, when the season opens.
The first overall pick in the draft is a third-stringer.
It's not unusual for a quarterback drafted in the first round to start his rookie season in the backup spot. What is unusual is that a signal caller picked first overall, after a massive trade to get him, is likely to be a healthy scratch when the season opens.
Goff looks confused on the field. Sometimes his throws are on the money, sometimes they're way off. He's also taken a battering behind a Rams offensive line that continues to struggle with pass protection, despite the presence of left tackle Greg Robinson, the second overall pick in 2014. It doesn't help either that the team's terrible receiving corps keeps dropping his passes.
Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin didn't play last night, but Goff's struggles have come with the starters as well as the backups. He finished the preseason 22 for 49 with a 45 percent completion rate, 232 yards, a woeful 4.7 yards per attempt, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 55.8 rating.
But don't worry, said Fisher.
"He's not ready, but he's really, really made significant progress," the Rams coach said. "He's much better now than he was when we started."
That's elite coachspeak.
But Goff will get it turned around, right? The Rams can afford to be patient, right?
Here's the problem. Who on the team's coaching staff has any experience developing quarterbacks? Fisher's history with quarterbacks is abysmal. The offensive coordinator is a tight ends coach. Quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke has experience working with preparing draft picks at IMG Academy, but he's never coached a quarterback in the NFL.
Underscoring the coaching issue is the fact that Goff comes from an Air Raid offense in college, and Air Raid quarterbacks have not had much success in the NFL.
Worse, outstanding preseason play from Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick, and Paxton Lynch, late first round, has overshadowed the first and second overall picks in the draft. It's still too early to judge Goff's career and the trade the Rams made to get him, but it's not off to a very good start.
WENTZ MIGHT BE THIRD-STRINGER TOO: Fractured ribs have sidelined the second overall pick in this year draft through the preseason, so he might end up on the third string, too. Of course, Chase Daniel's play for the Eagles last night might give the Eagles pause before they put Wentz on the inactive list.
PLAYERS JOIN KAEPERNICK'S PROTEST: Colin Kaepernick was joined by 49ers teammate Eric Reid in national anthem protest. Kaepernick was joined by Reid in remaining seated for the national anthem this week. Seattle CB Jeremy Lane stands behind Kaepernick and sits during national anthem. Lane said that he will continue to sit until he feels as if "justice is being served."
PUTTING WORDS TO ACTION: Colin Kaepernick donating first $1 million of salary this year to community organizations. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback discussed his protest and the underlying issues, along with what he is doing to create solutions.
KAEPERNICK PLAYED WELL: Kaepernick also played a pretty good game. He looked comfortable in Chip Kelly's offense and made it much harder for the team to cut him.
OUT OF CLEVELAND: Barkevious Mingo looks like he's glad to be out of Cleveland. The Patriots most recently acquired player was forcing fumbles, making stops and looking like a different player than the guy we saw in Cleveland.
HACKED: Christian Hackenberg struggles in Jets loss. His O-line wasn't much help either. Hackenberg went 11 for 31 with a measly 54 yards and a pick-six, conjuring visions of Mark Sanchez.
WHAT HAPPENS TO SANCHEZ? Mark Sanchez didn’t even play in preseason finale. So does that mean they're going to trade him?
RECORDS ON THE LINE: Adrian Peterson, Eli Manning, others poised to climb the all-time leaderboards. Eli could join a very select group this season.
JOHNSON'S SUSPENDED SUSPENSION: Eagles RT Lane Johnson expected to be available for season opener. The threat of a 10-game suspension still looms large, but the NFL is still waiting for his "B" sample.
DRAFT COMING TO PHILLY: The 2017 NFL Draft will take place in Philadelphia. It's finally official. Worth noting, the Eagles don't have a first-round pick in the draft next year. They gave it up as part of the Carson Wentz trade.