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NFL Week 6 Rookie QB Notes: Trevor Lawrence Continues to Grow in First Win;  Mac Jones sizzles and sparkles


Week 6 was a well-deserved mid-term break for two of the NFL’s rookie passer.

Jets QB Zach Wilson and 49ers passer Trey Lance both got weeks off early, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for either guy. Wilson’s struggles through five games are well and fairly documented, while Lance’s first shot at the start came a week before a 49ers break.

Guys like Justin Herbert are the exception, and so far in the 2021 season, the five rookies in the first round – and one who was selected in the third round – have all looked like, well, of rookies, through six weeks of the NFL season.

With four passers still in action on Sunday, there were still plenty of college students looking for good grades as we approach the middle of the 2021 NFL season. Here’s how they ranked:

MORE: How the Cowboys, Dak Prescott came back twice from behind to beat the Patriots in overtime

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Trevor Lawrence: B +

Statistics: 25/41, 319 yards, one touchdown

Lawrence continues to grow as an NFL quarterback, with Sunday’s victory over the Dolphins being his most successful performance to date as a passer.

The prodigy threw an absolute dime at Marvin Jones Jr. for a touchdown (which made a nice catch from the back) and looked sharp and precise when on the move and coming out of the pocket.

While there have been more than a handful of drops – and a few shots that could (and should have) been withheld – Lawrence shows more and more control over the Jaguars offense as Jacksonville cashed in his first W of the season, and of the Lawrence era.

NFL Week 6 Rookie QB Notes: Trevor Lawrence Continues to Grow in First Win;  Mac Jones sizzles and sparkles
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Justin Fields: B-

Statistics: 16/27, 174 yards, one touchdown, one interception; Six carries, 43 rushing yards.

Fields’ third start showed the same for the rookie passer – things are going a bit fast there, but the positive i

Although his lone interception came on a very, very questionable referee failure, there are some bright spots to remember: Fields is still developing a good rapport with Darnell Mooney and Allen Robinson, he uses his legs to escape situations. difficult and it is generally precise.

Fields, however, looks a bit indecisive with the ball at times, which is expected of a novice passer. He will get stronger as he progresses this season (and if his offensive line gives him more time there).

NFL Week 6 Rookie QB Notes: Trevor Lawrence Continues to Grow in First Win;  Mac Jones sizzles and sparkles
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Davis Mills: C +

Statistics: 29/43, 243 yards, no touchdown, two interceptions; 2 rushes, five meters

Mills emerging as a solid passer is a bright spot for an otherwise lost season for the Texans. “Solid” might not be enough to anoint him as the ferryman of the future, but in the absence of Tyrod Taylor (and Deshaun Watson’s inactivity), Mills has plenty of time to grow and learn.

Mills started the day with an assist 14 of 18, but finished 29 of 43 with two second-half interceptions that doomed the Texans against the Colts. Mills has shown his ability to expand games and increase in the pocket, which has been his hallmark so far this season.

Texans coach David Culley has said Tyrod Taylor will be the starter once he returns from injury, but if Mills continues to blink it will be difficult for Houston to keep him off the field for long.

NFL Week 6 Rookie QB Notes: Trevor Lawrence Continues to Grow in First Win;  Mac Jones sizzles and sparkles
(Getty Images)

Mac Jones: B

Statistics: 15/21, 229 yards, two touchdowns, one interception (Pick 6)

Jones has been most productive this season doing what he’s been asked to do: a lot of stuff under, a lot of throws behind the line of scrimmage and a reliance on midfield for efficient work.

Sunday was a bit the same: Jones worked a lot below and in midfield, with plenty of short throws to help shift the Patriots offense down the field. Jones had a few shots over 20 yards, including challenging the Cowboys high school late in the game to give New England the lead. It was more of a bad cover than an optimal pitch. (He also had a Pick 6 to put them in that position, too.)

At some point, Jones will be asked to reach levels two and three, as CBS analyst Tony Romo said on the show. A propensity to throw deeper hasn’t been needed yet, but if the Patriots’ running game continues to be poor, New England could rely more and more on Jones as the season progresses.



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