Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Mac Jones have been a disaster: Explaining the NFL rookie QBs' early-season issues

It hasn't been an explosive start to the season for the NFL's rookie quarterbacks. The five first-rounders from April's draft have combined to go 1-9 as starters so far, with their only win coming when one of the rookies (Mac Jones) beat another (Zach Wilson). On 378 pass attempts, they've completed 57.4% of them, averaged 5.8 yards per attempt and thrown nine touchdown passes and 18 interceptions.

They've collectively posted a 26.4 Total QBR, which is -- and there's no way to slice this -- awful. We might have been spoiled by impressive rookie seasons in years past, but if we go back to 2018 -- the last draft with five first-round quarterbacks -- that group had posted a collective QBR of 47.2 by the time Week 4 rolled around. Just two of those five quarterbacks from three years ago had started a game, but Baker Mayfield had already become a folk hero by leading the Browns to their first win in almost two years, and Sam Darnold and Josh Allen each had victories under their belt. They would finish the season with a collective QBR of 42.4, a mark this year's passers will need to get hustling to match.

Let's look at the four rookie first-round quarterbacks who have started a game this season and take a closer look into what's going on with them, focusing closely on their Week 3 performances. (This leaves out Davis Mills, who was drafted in the third round, and No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, who has been used almost exclusively as a short-yardage runner.) We probably can't draw long-term conclusions from what we've seen, but there are certainly things to keep an eye on for each in the weeks to come.

I'll start with a rookie who had one of the worst starts in league history to kick off his career and explain why the problems stretch well beyond the guy taking snaps in Chicago:

Jump to a rookie QB:
Justin Fields | Mac Jones
Trevor Lawrence | Zach Wilson

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Numbers so far: 14-of-35 passing (40%) for 138 yards with no TD passes, one INT; 7.0 Total QBR (32nd in NFL); 14 carries, 46 yards, 1 TD