How Have Recent Non-Rookie First Time Starters Fared?

In the NFL it’s almost taken as a given that a young inexperienced quarterback will likely struggle early in their career. Often rookie QBs are thrown into the fire without full knowledge of their team’s playbook or adequate preparation for the difficulties of playing QB at the NFL level. Most teams draft a QB with the intent of letting him learn for at least a year before starting but many times impatience or circumstance scraps that plan. So how do first time starters do when they actually are given the time that every NFL coach and GM will tell you that they need? That is what I am going to look at here. Here are the results from first time starts of non-rookie QBs in recent years:

Name Passing Yds Y/A TD/Int Score Exp/Yr
Colin Kaepernick 243 10.6 2/0 W 32-7 2Y/2012
Greg McElroy 185 7.7 0/1 L 17-27 2Y/2012
Terrelle Pryor 150 5.4 2/1 L 21-24 2Y/2012
Thad Lewis 204 6.4 1/1 L 10-24 2Y/2012
 Brian Hoyer 225 6.2 1/1 L 13-27  3Y/2012
 Scott Tolzien 339 10.0 0/3 L 13-27  3Y/2013
 Chase Daniel 200 6.7 1/0  L 24-27  4Y/2013
 Austin Davis 235 8.1 0/0 W 19-17  3Y/2014
 Ryan Mallet 211  7.0 2/1 W 23-7 4Y/2014
Tyrod Taylor 195 10.3 1/0 W 27-14 5Y/2015
Landry Jones 209 7.2 1/2 L 13-23 3Y/2015

I’m going to leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions rather than do much analysis. The teams are 4-7 in these 11 games. This doesn’t strike too much fear of a truly catastrophic game, most of these are within the norm of typical below average NFL game performances. There aren’t any really bad interception games except Tolzien. Also, a few of these players are true dual threat QBs such as Taylor and Kaepernick. This somewhat skews their passing numbers and understates their total production.