Skip to main content

Instant Debate

Which 2018 first-round quarterback will win the most games in 2019?

All five of the quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft made at least seven starts last season. As starters, the Browns' Baker Mayfield and Ravens' Lamar Jackson led the rookie QBs with six wins apiece, followed by the Bills' Josh Allen with five, the Jets' Sam Darnold with four and Josh Rosen (then with the Cardinals) with three.

The experience these players gained in Year 1, as well as the offseason acquisitions made by their respective teams, play a big role in the increased expectations for the QBs, including Rosen, who will compete for the starting job after being traded to the Dolphins.

So, which 2018 first-round quarterback will win the most games in 2019?

I see all five of these quarterbacks making positive strides in Year 2. That said, I think Sam Darnold and the Jets will finish with the most wins of the bunch, and nine wins is all it will take.

New York is an entirely different team than it was last year at this time. First-year Jets head coach Adam Gase will elevate Darnold's game. The addition of running back Le'Veon Bell and improvements made on the offensive line will help the young QB, as well. Bell was the best back in the league two seasons ago, and I think people forget just how good he is because he sat out the 2018 campaign. The defense also got major boosts this offseason with the signing of C.J. Mosley and selection of third overall pick Quinnen Williams. The winningest quarterback of the group this season will be Cleveland's Baker Mayfield. He has arguably the best offensive line and no doubt possesses the best supporting cast of the bunch. With two of the most productive wideouts in the NFL and a host of talent at the other skill positions, Cleveland's offense will be scary. Plus, the Browns' defense, which gave up 24.5 points per game in 2018, improved this offseason with the additions of DT Sheldon Richardson and DE Olivier Vernon. GM John Dorsey also added five defensive players, including CB Greedy Williams, to the mix via the draft.

The Browns have an extremely tough out-of-division schedule, but I think Mayfield can lead this group to 10 wins. Even nine wins could put him at the top of this quarterback class in 2019. Lamar Jackson will be second to Mayfield in wins this season, followed by Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and finally Josh Rosen. All five of these young quarterbacks will see success at one point or another, but 2019 is Josh Allen's year to shine. He'll lead the Bills to an 11-5 record and playoff berth. Baker Mayfield's Browns and Lamar Jackson's Ravens won't be far behind.

I really like how GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott have built this team from the trenches out, adding center Mitch Morse, guard Quinton Spain and rookie guard/tackle Cody Ford on offense, as well as an aggressive pass rusher in first-round draft pick Ed Oliver. The Bills' big offseason additions will allow them to play a physical brand of football. Buffalo won't be flashy but will surprise a lot of teams this season. There figures to be a logjam atop the AFC North in 2019, but Lamar Jackson's Ravens still boast a more complete roster and more experienced leadership than Baker Mayfield's Browns. It'll be close, but Cleveland will wilt under the spotlight, and Jackson's Baltimore squad will come out a game ahead with nine wins. Baker Mayfield will lead Cleveland to 12 wins and the Browns are going to the Super Bowl! Or they are going to lose 12 games because, well, it's Cleveland. There really is a lot of volatility with the Browns, and it feels like there is no in-between. But talent-wise, I'm all in on them.

I will say, the quarterback with the highest win-total floor will be Lamar Jackson. He led the Ravens to a 6-1 regular-season record as a starter last year, with the lone loss coming at Kansas City after Patrick Mahomes completed a miracle fourth-down pass that never should have happened. The Ravens crushed the draft and brought in Mark Ingram to surround Jackson with a lot of talent heading into 2019.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content