The NFL beauty pageant is over and the future stars who paraded in front of the ESPN cameras last month are now rookies vying for playing time. But of the big name quarterbacks selected, who can make us cash in our NFL rookie prop odds?
Blake Bortles NOT to start Jacksonville Jaguars first 2014/2015 regular season game -350
Blake Bortles WILL start Jacksonville Jaguars first 2014/2015 regular season game +225
When a team as moribund as the Jacksonville Jaguars selects a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft, chances are said pick will open the season and give hope to a franchise that has been hopeless for far too long. In addition, it puts fannies in the seats and that’s never a bad thing for an NFL owner. However, the quarterback in question is Central Florida’s own Blake Bortles and it appears as though he will be learning rather than playing this season. At least that what head coach Gus Bradley recently stated:
"We do feel good about where Blake's at, but we feel like this time that he has under Chad, a year to develop, will be really good for him in the end result," Bradley said. "So our plan is to stay really strong with this."
Unless projected veteran starter Chad Henne gets injured then who am I to disagree because - I’ve traveled the world and the seven seas, everybody’s looking for something. Sorry, just channeling Annie Lennox and her Sweet Dreams, which come to think of it is exactly what Jaguars fans are hoping for when Bortles finally does get his chance to lock and load.
As of this writing, Bortles -350 to not start the first game is one of my NFL rookie prop picks.
Most Regular Season Starts for a Rookie Quarterback
Johnny Manziel +160
Teddy Bridgewater +200
Derek Carr +400
Blake Bortles +500
Tom Savage +550
AJ McCarron +1600
Aaron Murray +2000
*Zach Mettenberger +2000
David Fales +2500
Logan Thomas +3300
Tajh Boyd +5000
Garret Gilbert +6600
Jimmy Garoppolo +8000
Keith Wenning +8000
Okay, so let’s dispense with the obvious. Jimmy Garropolo will have the best seat in the house this year to watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots lay claim to yet another AFC East title but will get about as close to a start as you or I will. If something does happen to Tom Terrific then backup Ryan Mallet will take over the reins of the offense.
The same can be said for Tom Savage who is currently fourth on the depth chart in Houston but will no doubt be number three or perhaps even backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick (who inked a two-year $7.5 million contract with $4 million guaranteed) unless the injury bug strikes. Keith Wenning likewise will play second fiddle to Joe Flacco in Baltimore and the same can be said for sixth-round pick Garret Gilbert who is a project that may bear fruit at some point but certainly not this season in St. Louis with the Rams' brass still firmly behind Sam Bradford.
David Fales might be an interesting addition to your NFL picks at the great price of +2500 as he will likely be battling Jimmy Claussen in Chicago for the backup role to the injury prone Jay Cutler. However, the Bears are loaded with competition at the QB spot in camp and as a sixth-round pick, Fales may be deemed expendable even before the season gets underway.
Tajh Boyd at +5000 won’t get a sniff in New York behind the tandem of Geno Smith and Michael Vick while Aaron Murray will be a clipboard carrier in Kansas City if he makes it that far. Logan Thomas in Arizona will be another card carrying member of the clipboard collectors roaming the sidelines, hat on backwards and eager to get a few more reps in practice as the understudy to Carson Palmer. The same can be said of AJ McCarron who is an interesting prospect with tons of media scrutiny but will be second on the depth chart to Andy Dalton as the Bengals try to elevate themselves from postseason also-rans to Super Bowl contenders.
Johnny Manziel (+160) - Johnny Football should be and is the odds on favorite to reward the chalk eaters on this NFL rookie prop. The Browns continue to struggle and the pair of first round picks they spent a few years ago on Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson only confirmed just how miserable this franchise has been and continues to be. However, it would surprise no one if Manziel was named the starter over Brian Hoyer and played all year long.
Teddy Bridgewater (+200) - More than a few pundits early on had Bridgewater earmarked for the Texans with the first overall pick. Ironically, he almost made it to the second round before the Vikings plucked him from the pool with the 32nd overall and last pick in Round 1.
The Vikes have a new head coach in Mike Zimmer and he will have a huge decision to make as there are already two starters in Minnesota with Matt Cassel recently inking a two-year deal and their 2011 first-round pick and three year starter Christian Ponder in the fold. But Bridgewater is a true talent who landed on the laps of the Vikings and couldn't be ignored at number 32 despite their veteran signal callers under contract. It is clear that they believe Teddy is the bridge to a better future but will they throw him into the fire when they have a pair of veterans from whom he can learn the trade? I think not.
Derek Carr (+400) - The Raiders need a shot in the arm and Derek Carr could provide it but he will have to bide his time while Oakland decides if Matt Schaub can return to form. The team sent a sixth-round pick to Houston for Schaub and even though the veteran quarterback restructured his contract, the Raiders will still be shelling big money if this bet pays off. I say Carr is a no-go here.
Zach Mettenberger (+2000) - At 20-1 Zettenberger shouldn't be in the chalk category but I believe he could be the rookie QB who could prevail. First off he's playing for Tennessee who has nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing everything they've done in the recent past the other way. First order of business would be removing Jake Locker from the starting role and giving Mettenberger a whirl. Why the hell not?!
It's a new coach with Ken Whisenhunt replacing Mike Munchak with a new attitude and no allegiance to a first-round mistake the Titans made three years ago when they selected Locker. The kid Mettenberger has great size and was a dynamic passer for LSU until he got injured in the regular season finale. And the other thing he has going is that the backup Charlie Whitehurst is no great shakes so he should land the backup role if he plays his cards right. Chances are the Titans will carry only two quarterbacks which leaves Mettenberger just an injury away from a starting job.