By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The preseason is over. That is good news for everybody.
While the August games are a necessity for player evaluation and roster building, there’s still no questioning the fact that football games that don’t count just don’t have the same juice as the real ones.
And when those real games begin, we know at this point that two of the five quarterbacks selected in the top 15 picks of this year’s draft — Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson — will be starting for their teams in Week 1. We know another one — Justin Fields — will not be starting. And we think but don’t know that the other two — Trey Lance and Mac Jones — likewise will start the season on the sidelines.
UPDATE: The Patriots are now Mac Jones’ team.
However things pan out for the five first-round picks over the course of their respective careers, they’re sure to be linked for some time. And while we can’t predict the future for all of them at this point in time, we can take a look at what they did in the preseason.
Obviously, they’re working in different circumstances — some with starters, some with backups, at various points of various preseason games, in different game situations, under different conditions, with different directives from coaches and with different amounts of playing time. So the stat comparison by no means paints a full picture.
But, well, stats are fun. So let’s take a look.
1. Mac Jones, 36
2. Trevor Lawrence, 31
3. Justin Fields, 30
4. Trey Lance, 19
5. Zach Wilson, 15
1. Zach Wilson, 75% (15-for-20)
2. Trevor Lawrence, 70.5% (31-for-44)
3. Mac Jones, 69.2% (36-for-52)
4. Justin Fields, 61.2% (30-for-49)
5. Trey Lance, 46.3% (19-for-41)
1. Mac Jones, 388
2. Trevor Lawrence, 323
T-3. Trey Lance, 276
T-3. Justin Fields, 276
5. Zach Wilson, 191
1. Trey Lance, 3
T-2. Justin Fields, 2
T-2. Trevor Lawrence, 2
T-2. Zach Wilson, 2
5. Mac Jones, 1
T-1. Justin Fields, 0
T-1. Mac Jones, 0
T-1. Trevor Lawrence, 0
T-1. Zach Wilson, 0
5. Trey Lance, 1
1. Zach Wilson, 0
T-2. Justin Fields, 3
T-2. Trevor Lawrence, 3
4. Mac Jones, 5
5. Trey Lance, 6
1. Zach Wilson, 137.7
2. Trevor Lawrence, 106.5
3. Mac Jones, 97.3
4. Justin Fields, 90.2
5. Trey Lance, 83.0
Pro Football Focus Grade
1. Mac Jones, Patriots, 92.2
2. Zach Wilson, 85.7
3. Trevor Lawrence, 78.3
4. Justin Fields, 67.6
5. Trey Lance, 56.7
1. Justin Fields, 92 yards, 1 TD (11 carries)
2. Trey Lance, 16 yards, 1 TD (7 carries)
3. Trevor Lawrence, 9 yards (1 carry)
4. Mac Jones, 3 yards (3 carries)
5. Zach Wilson, 0 yards (0 carries)
What this means in the long term is … well, nothing. Preseason stats will be wiped away, real games will begin, and these young quarterbacks are sure to have their successes and struggles in the years to come.
Yet for now, from a Patriots perspective, the rookie out of Alabama whose athleticism was questioned by many draft experts has shown that he can at least hang with the rest of the first-round rookie class.