Trends of Second Round QBs In Rookie Season As Levis Leads Titans

Trends of Second Round QBs In Rookie Season As Levis Leads Titans
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It's a new era for the Titans across Tennessee sports betting, as rookie Will Levis has been named the permanent starter over veteran Ryan Tannehill ahead of the team's road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.  Levis, the second-round pick out of Kentucky, impressed in last week's loss to the Steelers, enough to win the job moving forward for the rest of the season. 

His task is simple. Restore the Titans playoff chances, and give the Mike Vrabel-led team hope for the future in a divison that already features young, capable quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence and C.J. Stroud. 

With that in mind, BetTennessee.com dug into the recent rookie performances of second-round quarterbacks to gauge what sort of numbers Levis could put up with 9 games left in the regular season. With sample size and playing time varying widely across the board (a player like Jimmy Garoppolo didn't take a snap his rookie season, but is still listed as a notable second round pick), we utilized statistics like average passing yards per game, as well as interceptions per game, to quantify performance. 

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Recent Second Round QBs In Rookie Season

QuarterbackAvg. Passing Yds Per GameAvg. Passing Comp. % Per GameAvg. Passing TDs Per GameAvg. INTs Per Game
Kyle Trask (2021) --------
Jalen Hurts (2020) 205.6 yards 48.3%1.2 TDs0.8 INTs
Drew Lock (2019) 204 yards 64.1%1.4 TDs0.6 INTs
DeShone Kizer (2017) 192.9 yards 53.6%0.7 TDs1.5 INTs
Jimmy Garoppolo (2014) -- ------
Derek Carr (2014) 204.4 yards 58.1%1.3 TDs0.8 INTs
Geno Smith (2013) 190.4 yards 55.8%0.8 TDs1.3 INTs
Average 199.5 yards 55.9%1.0 TDs1.0 INTs

Tennessee betting apps list Levis as +3000 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Will Rookie Experience Be Best For Levis Long-term?

Fitting to the fickle nature of young quarterbacks in the NFL, performances of second-round draft picks during their rookie campaign vary widely, with some of the most successful ones not even jumping off the page. At the top of the list of course is the Eagles' Jalen Hurts, a now steady MVP candidate each season at operators like Caesars Sportsbook Tennessee

But Hurts' actual rookie campaign did little to wow NFL audiences, starting just four games and completing under 50% of his passes. The end of the Doug Pederson-Carson Wentz era in Philly meant Hurts' career didn't truly take shape until Year 2 under new coach Nick Sirianni, and blossomed in Year 3 as the team made a run to the Super Bowl. 

Other names on this list that have had NFL success can trace little back to their rookie performance. Garoppolo, while in the midst of a disastrous Raiders season currently, has a stout 43-20 mark as an NFL starter, and nearly won a title with the 49ers in 2019. But he didn't start a single game as a rookie as he backed up Tom Brady with the Patriots. 

Geno Smith, while now thriving with the Seahawks late in his career, might have suffered from playing too early as an NFL QB. He started all 16 games his rookie campaign, and while the Jets went a respectable 8-8, Smith threw just 12 touchdowns to 21 interceptions. He would lose his starting job in Year 2 in New York, and would have to wait another 7 years before a team fully committed to him again.

A better goal for Levis as far as rookie performances go would actually be the 2014 Oakland Raiders version of Derek Carr. While the team itself went 3-13, Carr started all 16 games and threw 21 touchdown to just 12 interceptions, plus a 58.1% completion rate. Like Carr, Levis takes over a team that doesn't have realistic Super Bowl expectations this season. Rather, the goal is for the former Kentucky Wildcat to prove he is the man for the job long-term. 

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Author

Thomas Leary is a news editor and writer for BetTennesseecom. He previously spent six years at Sports Business Journal, where he helped identify emerging sectors across sports business, such as legalized gambling, and helped launch a digital newsletter division. Thomas lives in Charlotte, N.C.