A record six QBs were drafted in the top 12 in this year's draft. Many expected QBs to be overdrafted but not like this. Absolutely bonkers. Now there will be immense pressure on this group to succeed, plus ample opportunity.

If any of us claimed to know how the careers of this historic class will play out, we would be lying. However, we can ballpark it and use history to provide answers to some frequently asked questions about first-round QBs for this group (Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, Michael Penix Jr., J.J. McCarthy and Bo Nix):

1. How many will be successful?

Two or three most likely. Only 41% of QBs drafted in the first round from 2011-20 (13/32) signed a second contract with their draft team. 

Of the previous two mega QB classes (2018, 2021), only two of the 10 1st-round QBs signed a second contract with their draft team (Trevor Lawrence will make it three). The 2021 class was a disaster.  

2. How many will have a standout rookie season?

Probably one. Think 2023 C.J. Stroud, 2021 Mac Jones, 2020 Justin Herbert. 2012 Robert Griffin III. 2011 Cam Newton

There were 69 QBs drafted in the first round from 2000 to 2023. 10 or fewer did ANY of the following as rookies: 

  • Make a Pro Bowl (10)
  • Average 20 fantasy points per game (nine)
  • Start a playoff game (nine)
  • Throw for 4,000 yards (five).

3. How often will they play as rookies?

A LOT. For the most part. Rookie QBs drafted in the first round average 10 starts in the last 10 seasons. 

Drake Maye could use development with the Patriots. But consider that only one top-three QB has started five or fewer games as a rookie in the last 15 seasons. Trey Lance (two). 

4. How many QBs sit out their rookie years?

Since Michael Penix Jr. was controversially drafted by the Falcons, it's worth mentioning Kirk Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles but started every game in six of the past nine seasons.

Jordan Love is the only first-round QB since 2012 with zero starts as a rookie (among 37 picks). Patrick Mahomes had one. 

Overall, nine first-round QBs had zero starts as rookies since 2000. Three had zero starts through two seasons (Chad Pennington, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers) and one through three seasons (Aaron Rodgers). 

  • 2020 Jordan Love
  • 2011 Jake Locker
  • 2007 Brady Quinn
  • 2005 Aaron Rodgers (none through three seasons)
  • 2005 Jason Campbell
  • 2004 Philip Rivers (none through two seasons)
  • 2004 J.P. Losman
  • 2003 Carson Palmer
  • 2000 Chad Pennington (none through two seasons)

5. Which rookie is the best bet?

Caleb Williams is a good bet to hit the over on his 3,500.5 passing yards total at DraftKings. 

Why? Well, he inherits one of the best WR cores for a QB prospect ever. 

  • Williams is the first top-five pick QB to inherit 2 WRs coming off 1,200-yard seasons as a rookie (D.J. Moore/Keenan Allen)
  • D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze combined for 4,247 receiving yards last season
  • Odunze led the FBS in Rec yards last season (1,640) 
  • The Bears offensive coordinator is Shane Waldron, who spent the last 3 years as the Seahawks OC. Geno Smith had at least 3,600 passing yards in each of the last two seasons, including 2023 with a star trio of WRs - D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett & Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Also, the Bears will play one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this season, have a promising offensive line and added playmakers in RB D'Andre Swift and TE Gerald Everett this offseason. 

6. How will they impact win totals as rookies?

No surprise here that expectations are way too high for rookie QBs in recent years, and you can capitalize on that. 

In terms of over/under preseason win totals in the last decade - the under is 12-4-2 for teams who drafted QBs in the top-12 picks with 10+ starts as rookies.

The only teams to hit the over were the 2023 Texans (C.J. Stroud), 2018 Browns (Baker Mayfield), 2018 Bills (Josh Allen) and 2016 Eagles (Carson Wentz). 

7. Who are the best fits?

Jayden Daniels in Washington with offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. First off, there's the obvious connection to Kyler Murray, who Kingsbury drafted first overall in 2019 as the Cardinals head coach. 

Murray and Daniels are the only QBs in FBS history with 40 Pass TD, 10 Rush and 1,000 Rush yards in a season.

Daniels figures to fit well in Kingsbury's air-raid offense that can capitalize on his dual-threat ability. LSU used at least three WRs at the sixth-highest rate (93%) among Power-5 schools last season. The Cardinals used three-plus WRs at the eighth-highest rate (69%) under Kliff Kingsbury (2019-22) and four-plus+ WR at the highest rate (18%). 

Bo Nix is also drawing Drew Brees comps after being drafted by the Broncos and Sean Payton. Nix set the FBS-record for Comp pct in a season (77%) last year, had the eighth-quickest time to throw (2.48 sec) and 22 Pass TD with 0 INT on throws in under 2.5 seconds. Brees set the NFL Comp pct record with Payton in 2018.  

8. Who will have the biggest fantasy impact?

Jayden Daniels. In 2023, he became the only player in the last 60 years to lead the FBS in both yards per pass attempt and yards per rush.  

If Kyler Murray's production under Kliff Kingsbury is any indication, the dual-threat QB should produce big fantasy numbers. 

From 2019-22, Murray ranked eighth among QB in fantasy points per game. 14th as a rookie, sixth in both 2020 and 2021, and ninth in 2022. 

9. Who has the best situation?

J.J. McCarthy in Minnesota. Per ESPN, McCarthy said if the NFL were like a recruiting process, he would have chosen the Vikings as his destination. Kevin O'Connell is his head coach. The Vikings signed RB Aaron Jones and McCarthy has a trio of studs to throw passes to.

The Vikings are the second team to draft a QB in the first round after a season featuring a trio of 900-yard receivers. The 2020 Chargers also did this, drafting Justin Herbert to pair with a supporting cast of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler.

10. How many QBs drafted No. 1 overall win a Super Bowl?

QBs are drafted first overall with the hopes of one day lifting the Lombardi Trophy. So, Caleb Williams is the 28th QB drafted No. 1 overall in the common draft era. Seven won a Super Bowl as a starting QB. Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Jim Plunkett and Terry Bradshaw.