NFL Rookie Quarterbacks Progress Report: Preseason Week 1

The first week of the 2012 NFL Preseason is over.

A main focus for all teams during the preseason is seeing what their rookies have to offer. Especially with quarterbacks, the game experience is a perfect test of whether or not they can handle the pressures of the pros.

Here’s a look at what the 2012 draftees and some standout undrafted rookie quarterbacks did in Week 1 of the 2012 preseason.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (No. 1 Overall)

There was a lot of hype surrounding Luck coming into his first NFL game. It didn’t take long for him to deliver. He completed his first pass for a touchdown and never looked back, finishing with 188 yards and two touchdowns on 10 of 16 passing. Peyton who?

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (No. 2 Overall)

Much like Luck, Griffin stepped onto the field with high expectations and didn’t disappoint. The former Heisman winner threw the only touchdown of the game and displayed impressive pocket presence. So far, Griffin has avoided doing anything bust-worthy.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (No. 8 Overall)

After a lackluster training camp performance, Tannehill inserted his name into the Dolphins’ starter conversation. The rookie racked up 167 yards and one touchdown on 14 of 21 passing and proved that he deserves some consideration as a first-year starter for Miami.

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns (No. 22 Overall)

Even with an insignificant amount of snaps, Weeden looked ugly as the Browns’ No. 1 passer. He completed only three of his nine passes, compiling a meager 62 yards and one interception while also taking a sack. Not a promising start for Cleveland’s supposed quarterback of the future.

Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos (No. 57 Overall)

The former Arizona State gunslinger didn’t get too many opportunities to impress in his first NFL game, but he made the most of the few snaps he had. Despite throwing only seven passes, he compiled 38 yards, including an impressive 19-yard touchdown strike to Jason Hill.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (No. 75 Overall)

Cue the quarterback controversy in Seattle, thanks in large part to Wilson’s first outing as an NFL passer. Not only did Wilson dominate through the air (12 of 16, 124 yards, one touchdown, one interception), but he also made his mark in the run game with a 32-yard scoring scamper. Watch your back Matt Flynn.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles (No. 88 Overall)

Even with injuries to starter Michael Vick and backup Mike Kafka, the Eagles appear to be in a semi-safe place with Foles on the roster. He stepped in and completed 6 of his 10 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Foles might not be a starter, but he proved that he’s a capable backup.

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (No. 102 Overall)

Considered by many to be one of the most NFL-ready of the 2012 rookie quarterbacks, Cousins proved the opposite in his first NFL action. The former Michigan State star completed only 9 of his 22 passes for 74 yards and one interception. There’s a reason he’ll be backing up Griffin for the rest of his time with the Redskins.

Ryan Lindley, Arizona Cardinals (No. 185 Overall)

Despite some early struggles, Lindley could be a dark horse as the Cardinals’ quarterback of the future. He offers plenty of the tools that NFL clubs want in a passer, but needs to refine his accuracy and decision making. Completing only 50 percent of his passes for 166 yards and an interception is a decent start, but improvement must come soon.

B.J. Coleman, Green Bay Packers (No. 243 Overall)

Displaying confidence and bravado, Coleman stepped in during garage time for the Packers and played well. The Chattanooga product completed four of his eight passes for 36 yards and gave the Green Bay coaching staff some comfort in his abilities as their No. 3 quarterback.

Chandler Harnish, Indianapolis Colts (No. 253 Overall)

In his first NFL appearance, Mr. Irrelevant proved that he isn’t so irrelevant. Harnish stepped in late for the Colts and proved there’s another rookie quarterback worth mentioning on the team. Throughout his snaps, Harnish looked confident and collected, completing all three of his passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. He won’t be nipping at Luck’s heels, but he showed that he’s worth more than a passing glance.

Jarrett Lee, San Diego Chargers (Undrafted)

If you didn’t know who Lee was before his first NFL appearance, you should now. A former LSU Tiger, Lee made his mark for the Chargers in their victory over the Packers. After a slow start, he played well and showed the confidence you rarely see from an undrafted rookie. Lee finished the game with 235 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception while completing 15 of his 22 passes. If he can keep this up, the Chargers might be forced to keep three quarterbacks on the roster.

Austin Davis, St. Louis Rams (Undrafted)

Considering the injury history of starter Sam Bradford, the Rams will need some solid depth at the quarterback spot. Davis didn’t blow the Colts defense away, but completed 66 percent of his passes for 84 yards and wasn’t a total letdown. There’s potential in the former Southern Miss gunslinger.

Kellen Moore, Detroit Lions (Undrafted)

Moore, a proven winner during his days at Boise State, is battling for the Lions’ final quarterback spot. Completing 4 of 14 passes for 40 yards and one interception isn’t going to help, though. He looked shaken and uncomfortable.

Other undrafted rookies, including Case Keenum (Houston Texans), Nick Stephens (Tennessee Titans), Matt Blanchard (Chicago Bears), Dominique Davis (Atlanta Falcons) and Chester Stewart (Baltimore Ravens) played this past week but failed to make a notable impact.

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