Week 1: How the top QB prospects fared

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk (4) passes the ball in front of Montana State linebacker Josh Hill (58) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Without a franchise quarterback it is tough to win in the National Football League.

With a new regime at the helm, General Manager Brandon Beane and Head Coach Sean McDermott have loaded up on picks for the 2018 draft, which includes two first round selections.

The 2018 class is considered by many analysts to be “talent rich” at the quarterback position with players from Power 5 and Mid-Majors earning praise as potential franchise changers.

Here’s a look at how the prospects fared in Week 1:

#1 – Sam Darnold, USC Vs. Western Michigan: Win (49-31)
23-33, 289 yards, 2 INT

After an offseason of hype, Darnold and the Trojans were in for a fight against the Mustangs – a fight they probably weren’t expecting.

Darold was also sacked twice as USC and WMU were tied at 28 with nearly eight minutes left to play in the game.

There is a long way to go in the season, and one game isn’t an indication of whether Darnold is or isn’t potentially the best quarterback in the draft.

#2 – Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State Vs. Tulsa: Win (59-24)
20-24, 303 yards, 3 TD

Mason Rudolph’s best friend is still James Washington.  The duo combined for more than 1,000 yards through the air a season ago and they didn’t skip a beat as Rudolph and Washington connected six times for 145 yards – with 117 of those yards coming on scores of 40 and 77 yards in the win over the Golden Hurricane.

A fourth-year senior, Rudolph passed OSU head coach Mike Gundy and is now third in program history in career touchdowns with 58.

The one knock on Rudolph is he’s not often asked to read defenses and go through his progressions.

#3 – Josh Rosen, UCLA Vs. Texas AM: Win (45-44)
35-59, 491 yards, 4 TD, 2 Fumbles

Helping lead the second largest comeback in FBS history in impressive. Throwing for 292 yards and four touchdowns IN THE FOURTH QUARTER is equally impressive.  But the first three quarters were pretty forgettable for Rosen and the Bruins.

His offensive line and wide receivers didn’t do him any favors – a recurring theme from 2016.

Rosen got lucky but some of his throws during the comeback were B-A-D bad.  His toss to Darren Andrews to pull the Bruins within 44-31 was underthrown and nearly picked off (it went right through a defender’s hand).  But, a little luck goes a long way, right?

Rosen’s touchdown to Theo Howard to make it a 44-38 ball game was a throw off his back foot with a defender in his face and was more of a prayer that was answered, than a good throw.

If Aaron Rodgers makes the same play, it’s considered great. But Josh Rosen isn’t Rodgers.  It’s a long season and Rosen will have ample opportunity to brush this game off.

#4 – Luke Falk, Washington State Vs. Montana State: Win 31-0
33-39, 311 yards, 3 TD

If Luke Falk had struggled against Montana State, there’d be cause for concern.  He was nearly perfect, completing all 20 of his passing attempts in the first half.

We’ll see how he fares against an improved defense in Boise State, which sacked Troy’s quarterback four times and accounted for three turnovers.

#Pac12AfterDark might be the most entertaining thing about QB prospects for Bills fans this season.

#5 – Lamar Jackson, Louisville Vs. Purdue: Win (35-28)
30-46, 378 yards, 2 TD
107 rush yards

The encore performance for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner started off with a bang.  Close to 500 all-purpose yards is impressive.

The theme throughout Week 1 was ranked teams having to battle through adversity, and Jackson and the Cardinals did just that.  Jackson’s TD toss to give the Cardinals was placed near-perfectly.

#6 – Jake Browning, Washington Vs. Rutgers: Win (30-14)
17-30, 289 yards, 2 TD

Maybe Week 1 was just too much for quarterbacks. Browning got beat-up behind the Huskies offensive line – but showed toughness.

His best throw of the night might have been his 18-yard TD to Miles Gaskins.  Browning stood in the pocket, took a shot and dropped in a dime to Gaskins with inches to spare in the end zone.

The QB finished with 284 yards and two touchdowns but only completed a little more than half of his passes.

#7 – Josh Allen, Wyoming Vs. Iowa: Loss (24-3)
23-40, 174 yards, 2 INT

This was not the start to the season Josh Allen was looking for. There was plenty of preseason hype and Allen, by some, has been billed as a guy who could go No. 1 overall.

Time to come back to earth.

From the fourth quarter meltdown against Nebraska last season, in which Allen turned the ball over five times, playing against the best defense he’ll likely face all season Allen fell flat.

Allen now has one touchdown and seven interceptions in seven games against Power 5 schools.

The senior will have a chance to bounce back in two weeks when the Cowboys play Oregon.

#8 – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: Win Vs. UTEP (56-7)
19-20, 329 yards, 3 TD

This was a cakewalk for Baker Mayfield, as it should have been.  The big test is Week 2 against Ohio State…on the road in Columbus.

#9 – Quinton Flowers, South FloridaWin Vs. San Jose State/Win Vs. Stony Brook

South Florida is one of the few teams that kicked the season off the final weekend in August. After a sluggish start against San Jose State, Quinton Flowers powered the Bulls to a 42-22 win.

USF struggled again against Stony Brook and were tied at 17 in the 4th quarter.

Flowers only completed 19 of his 32 attempts for 186 yards and two touchdowns. He was also picked off once.  He’s a known dual threat and led USF with 67 rushing yards.

His two TDs tosses weren’t pretty.  He threw behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who nearly had to turn all the way around to haul in the score.  His 65-yarder to Tyre McCants was slightly under thrown. McCants made an adjustment – but against better defensive backfield, there’s a good chance his pass is broken up or intercepted.

#10 – Jarrett Stidham, Auburn Vs. Georgia Southern: Win (41-7)
14-24, 185 yards, 2 TD, INT, Fumble
17 rush yards, TD

It wasn’t necessarily a slow start for Jarrett Stidham, but he was without his top running back and wide receiver who were suspended for the Tigers’ season opener.

The final five minutes of the first quarter were somewhat forgettable for the quarterback, who was picked off throwing over the middle and had a fumble returned for a touchdown by the Eagles.

Stidham wasn’t bad but there is plenty of room for improvement.

#11 – Deondre Francois, Florida State: Loss Vs. Alabama (24-7)
19-33, 210 yards, TD, 2 INT

Deondre Francois’ season ended with a knee injury late in the fourth quarter of the Seminoles’ season opening loss.

He made some nice throws, but also threw a pair of costly interceptions in the loss to Alabama.

Rankings based on CBSSports.com.

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