In some cases, QBs suffer from a sophomore slump. This makes it ever-so important for decision-makers around the league to bring in reinforcements for these quarterbacks heading into their second year. It is imperative that the young QBs have the necessary help to take that next step in their second year, or else their career can seemingly go in the wrong direction.
Let’s take a look at each of the teams with a second year QB that is expected to start heading into the 2022 season by evaluating the reinforcements they were able to bring in on the offensive side of the ball throughout the offseason process that has included free agency, and most recently the 2022 NFL Draft.
New York Jets (Zach Wilson)
Notable veteran additions: G Laken Tomlinson, TE C.J. Uzomah, TE Tyler Conklin
Additions through the draft: Garrett Wilson (WR, Ohio State), Breece Hall (RB, Iowa State), Jeremy Ruckert (TE, Ohio State), Max Mitchell (OT, Louisiana)
The New York Jets have been the team that has added the most offensive pieces for their young QB during this offseason. C.J. Uzomah fills a need at tight end, and he showed last year that he can be relied upon at the position, a luxury that Zach Wilson has not had in his young career. Plus, they added a nice group of rookies that will look to make an immediate impact on this offense.
The Jets still have RB Michael Carter, WR Elijah Moore, and WR Corey Davis as well which means that Zach Wilson is now in a good position to develop.
New England Patriots (Mac Jones)
Notable veteran additions: WR DeVante Parker
Additions through the draft: Cole Strange (G, Chattanooga), Tyquan Thornton (WR, Baylor), Pierre Strong (RB, South Dakota State), Kevin Harris (RB, South Carolina), Chasen Hines (G, LSU), Andrew Stueber (OT, Michigan)
QB Mac Jones was actually the best of this bunch during the 2021 season. Jones had a strong completion percentage of 67.6%, and New England’s offense ranked 6th in the league in terms of scoring. But there is still a lot to be desired in this offense that lacks a true number one wide receiver. The Patriots think that DeVante Parker can be that for Mac Jones, which is why they
dealt a 2023 third round selection in exchange for Parker and a 2022 fifth round selection.
With a strong offensive line and run game, along with the additions of Parker and speedy Tyquan Thornton, Mac Jones will look to compete with the star-studded group of AFC QBs.
Jacksonville Jaguars (Trevor Lawrence)
Notable veteran additions: WR Christian Kirk, WR Zay Jones, TE Evan Engram, G Brandon Scherff
Additions through the draft: Luke Fortner (C, Kentucky), Snoop Conner (RB, Ole Miss)
Nothing seemed to go right for the Jaguars last season, and one could argue that Trevor Lawrence’s poor rookie season can be attributed to that situation. The talent and potential of Trevor Lawrence remains, and it is now the task of HC Doug Pederson to help bring it out. While the Jaguars mainly focused on bolstering their defense during the NFL Draft, they made several key moves in free agency that should bode well for this offense.
The revamped offense combined with a healthy Travis Etienne should lead to a major improvement for both Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars as a team.
Houston Texans (Davis Mills)
Notable veteran additions: RB Marlon Mack, WR Chris Conley, C Justin Britt, G A.J. Cann
Additions through the draft: Kenyon Green (G, Texas A&M), John Metchie III (WR, Alabama), Dameon Pierce (RB, Florida), Teagan Quitoriano (TE, Oregon State), Austin Deculus (OT, LSU)
Outside of Mac Jones, Davis Mills was quietly one of the best rookie QBs from last season despite being in potentially the worst situation. Davis Mills has likely earned the chance to prove himself again for this season, and the Texans actually made some nice selections during the draft. Kenyon Green is thought of as one of the best guards in the class, and John Metchie III and Dameon Pierce should look to make immediate impacts on this offense in 2022.
With even more improvement from Davis Mills this season he could prove to be the answer for the Texans moving forward at the QB position.
Chicago Bears (Justin Fields)
Notable veteran additions: WR Byron Pringle, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, TE Ryan Griffin
Additions through the draft: Velus Jones (WR, Tennessee), Braxton Jones (OT, Southern Utah), Zach Thomas (OT, San Diego State), Trestan Ebner (RB, Baylor), Doug Kramer (OL, Illinois), Ja’Tyre Carter (OL, Southern University)
Justin Fields has immense upside at the QB position based on his elite athleticism, and football intelligence and character. The problem for Fields is that it is hard to judge his development when the offensive situation was so poor last season, and it has not gotten much better. Last season the Bears ranked 29th in passing yards per game (188.6) and were 27th in points per game (18.3).
Chicago lost WR Allen Robinson and are now trusting Darnell Mooney to be the go-to target for Justin Fields with not much else behind him. The first offensive selection that the Bears made in the draft was WR Velus Jones out of Tennessee, and while he has shown good run-after-catch ability, it is likely that his biggest impact will be on special teams.
It appears that Fields will have a lot on his plate heading into this season that could be concerning for his development.
San Francisco 49ers (Trey Lance)
Notable veteran additions: WR Ray-Ray McCloud
Additions through the draft: Tyrion Davis-Price (RB, LSU), Danny Gray (WR, SMU), Spencer Burford (OL, UTSA), Nick Zakelj (OL, Fordham)
While the 49ers remain uncommitted to naming a starting quarterback at this moment, most signs point to Trey Lance getting the nod. Trey Lance displays a completely different skill set from Jimmy Garoppolo, so it will be interesting to see how Kyle Shanahan utilizes Lance assuming he is named the full-time starter. We saw Lance play in a limited fashion last season, so it is hard to take too much away from his performance. What we do know is that Kyle Shanahan always has a good grasp of what he wants to do offensively, meaning that Trey Lance should be put in a very solid position to find success.
The 49ers did not add particularly impactful pieces on offense in free agency, nor during the draft. However, the 49ers retain a solid offensive line and several playmakers in TE George Kittle and WR Brandon Aiyuk. It will be important to monitor the Deebo Samuel situation, which remains unclear as it currently stands. Samuel is the best weapon in this offense so it will be interesting to see what unfolds.
Regardless, the 49ers provide a stable foundation for Trey Lance to develop, which means we should have a good idea about the kind of player he will be assuming he takes the starting role this season.