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How did 2017 NFL Draft quarterbacks do in 2019?

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From Patrick Mahomes to Chad Kelly

NFL: Pro Bowl Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With Josh Allen about to go to into his third season, it’s worth a look at those who just finished their third season. Here’s a look at the ten quarterbacks who were drafted in 2017 and how they fared in 2019. What kind of jump did they make?


Mitchell Trubisky
First Overall
Chicago Bears

Trubisky took a step back in 2019 from what he and the Bears were able to achieve in his second year. Trubisky played in 15 games this past season compiling an 8-7 record and missing the playoffs. The Bears previously had gone 11-3 on 14 games with Trubisky and won the NFC North in 2018.

Trubisky also took steps back in completion percentage (63.2%), yards (3138), and touchdowns (17). On a positive note, Trubisky also dropped his interceptions from 12 in 14 games to ten in 15 games.

Looking at some advanced statistics, Trubisky’s QBR from ESPN dropped from 70.8 to 40.6, his quarterback rating dropped from 95.4 to 83.0, and his air net yards per attempt (ANY/A) dropped from 6.59 to 5.04.

Regardless of your area of measurement, in most categories Trubisky took a step back in 2019

Patrick Mahomes
Tenth Overall
Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes’s 2019 was about as good as humanly possible culminating in a comeback Super Bowl win and Super Bowl MVP award.

Statistically, Mahomes did throw for less yards, touchdowns, and slightly lower completion percentage than his historic 2018 season where he took the league by storm. However, he also significantly lowered his interceptions from 12 in 2018 to five in 2019.

From an advanced statistic perspective, Mahomes’s QBR dropped two points to 78.0 and his quarterback rating dropped from 113.8 to 105.5. Despite those decreases, his ANY/A only dropped .51 yards to a still incredibly impressive 8.38 air net yards per attempt.

Regardless of Mahomes’s statistical regression, his team’s achievements far outweighed those reductions. There is no doubt that the Chiefs are world champions in large part due to the dynamism of Mahomes.

Deshaun Watson
Twelfth Overall
Houston Texans

Watson’s 2018 and 2019 seasons were nearly identical with the primary difference being that he played in 15 rather than 16 games in 2019. Statistically, Watson had negligible decreases in yards, attempts, and completion percentage. The only other traditional stat change of note was an increase in interceptions from nine to 12 while playing in one less game.

While statistically Watson’s passing seasons were similar, many were expecting to see a more significant jump because of an improved offensive line. In 2018, Watson led the league in times sacked (62) and yards lost from sacks (384). Those numbers came back to earth in 2019 with 44 sacks and 257 yards lost. While Watson hit the deck less in 2019, that did not lead to significant increases in his production.

As far as advanced statistics, Watson again had negligible decreases in ANY/A and quarterback rating. He did, however, actually see an increase in his QBR from 60.7 to 69.5. Another example of why no individual advanced stat ever seems to capture the whole story; while some go up, others go down based on the same play on the field.

Day 2 Quarterbacks

DeShone Kizer
52nd Overall
Cleveland Browns

Davis Webb
87th Overall
New York Giants

Both Kizer and Webb currently sit on their third teams in three seasons, with Kizer now on the Las Vegas Raiders and Webb on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad. Neither took a snap in 2019.

Day 3 Quarterbacks

C.J. Beathard
104th Overall
San Francisco 49ers

Joshua Dobbs
135th Overall
Pittsburgh Steelers

Nathan Peterman
171st Overall
Buffalo Bills

Brad Kaaya
215th Overall
Detroit Lions

Chad Kelly
253rd Overall
Denver Broncos

None of the Day 3 QBs selected in 2017 took a snap in 2019, with C.J. Beathard being the only player still with the team that drafted him. Dobbs was traded from Pittsburgh to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nathan Peterman is currently with the Raiders, Brad Kaaya is a free agent, and Chad Kelly is on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad.

You can follow me on Twitter @NickBat and look for episodes of “The Nick & Nolan Show” podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network.