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2023 NFL Draft Rookie QB Debuts, Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and More

Week 1 of the preseason is always exciting around the NFL, specifically for the rookies set to make their professional debuts. As the first-year players are set to begin their NFL careers, the quarterbacks are in the spotlight.

Below is a quick review of each NFL Draft Rookie QB Debut in week one of the 2023 NFL preseason.

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

Draft Round: 1 (No. 1 overall)

Performance: Young's debut was challenging, going 4 of 6 for 21 yards and taking a few big hits. He also took a hard hit on a completion to Adam Thielen. The Panthers didn't score on any of his three series. Young's resilience was evident, but his performance showed that there's room for growth as he adapts to the professional level.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

Draft Round: 1 (No. 2 overall)

Performance: Stroud's debut was less than ideal, finishing 2 of 4 for 13 yards with a 17.7 rating. An early interception to Jalen Mills on a third-and-long on the first possession of his NFL career highlighted a rough debut. Despite the rough start, Stroud's potential is undeniable, and he'll look to bounce back in the coming weeks.

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

Draft Round: 1 (No. 4 overall)

Performance: Richardson's debut was mixed, going 7 of 12 for 67 yards with an interception. He had a deep touchdown pass taken away when Colts wide receiver Alec Pierce couldn't haul the ball in. His interception came on the Colts' first possession, but his potential was evident in flashes.

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

Draft Round: 2 (No. 33 overall)

Performance: Levis entered the game in the second quarter for the Titans, relieving Malik Willis. He threw a game-ending interception in the final seconds of Saturday's loss to the Bears, finishing 9 of 14 for 85 yards (51.2 rating). Levis's performance was a mixed bag, but his confidence and ability to move the ball were promising.

Hendon Hooker, Detroit Lions

Draft Round: 3 (No. 68 overall)

Performance: Hooker has missed all of training camp, recovering from ACL surgery, and did not play in the preseason opener.

Jake Haener, New Orleans Saints

Draft Round: 4 (No. 127 overall)

Performance: Haener will make his debut for the Saints on Sunday against the Chiefs. Expectations are high for the young quarterback, and his performance will be eagerly anticipated.

Stetson Bennett, Los Angeles Rams

Draft Round: 4 (No. 128 overall)

Performance: Bennett debuted in the second quarter for the Rams on Saturday night, relieving Brett Rypien. On his first possession, Bennett led the Rams on a 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Puka Nacua. Bennett's poise and efficiency were impressive, finishing 6 of 11 for 53 yards and a touchdown.

Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders

Draft Round: 4 (No. 135 overall)

Performance: Aidan O'Connell had an excellent rookie debut. He looked poised, confident, and decisive from the pocket. AOC completed 15 of 18 throws for 141 yards, 1 TD pass, and a 117.8 rating. He is on my radar and will be a guy I am targeting on waivers in dynasty formats.

Clayton Tune, Arizona Cardinals

Draft Round: 5 (No. 139 overall)

Performance: Tune went 13 of 23 for 135 yards with a touchdown and an interception on Friday. He was particularly impressive on the Cardinals' first touchdown drive of the preseason, going 6 of 7 for 67 yards and finding Kaden Davis on a 7-yard pass. Despite an interception on his first possession, Tune's performance solidified his position as the backup to Colt McCoy if Kyler Murray does not return early in the 2023 season.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Cleveland Browns

Draft Round: 5 (No. 140 overall)

Performance: Thompson-Robinson impressed once again after entering the game in the third quarter Friday. He completed 9 of 10 passes for 101 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to David Bell. Thompson-Robinson's accuracy and poise have made him a contender for Cleveland's No. 2 quarterback job. His game is translating, and seeing how he progresses from here will be interesting.

Sean Clifford, Green Bay Packers

Draft Round: 5 (No. 149 overall)

Performance: Clifford lit up the stat sheet in his debut, going 20 of 26 for 208 yards. Despite two interceptions, the Packers scored 24 points in his nine possessions. Clifford's gunslinger mentality and experience at Penn State were evident, making him the clear frontrunner for the No. 2 quarterback job.

Jaren Hall, Minnesota Vikings

Draft Round: 5 (No. 164 overall)

Performance: Hall struggled in his debut, going 6 of 14 for 37 yards and being pressured on seven of his 16 dropbacks. His performance was limited, with only one pass attempt over 10 yards downfield. Hall's development will be a project for the Vikings' coaching staff.

Tanner McKee, Philadelphia Eagles

Draft Round: 6 (No. 188 overall)

Performance: McKee entered for the Eagles in the second quarter of Saturday's loss to the Ravens, going 10 of 20 for 148 yards. He's the clear frontrunner for Philadelphia's No. 3 quarterback job, showcasing crisp passes and confidence in the pocket.

Max Duggan, Los Angeles Chargers

Draft Round: 7 (No. 239 overall)

Performance: Duggan completed 2 of 3 throws for 19 yards in his debut.

Rookie QB Debut Quick Stats Roundup:

  • Bryce Young: 4/6 (67%), 21 yards, 72.2 passer rating

  • CJ Stroud: 2/4 (50%), 13 yards, 1 INT, 17.7 passer rating

  • Anthony Richardson: 7/12 (58%), 67 yards, 1 INT, 39.2 passer rating

  • Will Levis: 9/14 (64%), 85 yards, 1 INT, 51.2 passer rating

  • Jake Haener: 10/17 (59%), 105 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 71.9 passer rating

  • Stetson Bennett: 17/29 (59%), 191 yards, 1 TD, 89.9 passer rating

  • Aidan O’Connell: 15/18 (83%), 141 yards, 1 TD, 117.8 passer rating

  • Clayton Tune: 13/23 (57%), 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 70.0 passer rating

  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson: 9/10 (90%), 102 yards, 1 TD, 142.5 passer rating

  • Sean Clifford: 20/26 (77%), 208 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 80.3 passer rating

  • Jaren Hall: 6/14 (43%), 37 yards, 50.3 passer rating

  • Tanner McKee: 10/20 (50%), 148 yards, 74.6 passer rating

  • Max Duggan: 2/3 (67%), 19 yards, 84.0 passer rating


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