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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Palmore

Five Young Quarterbacks to Watch Closely This Season

With the first week of preseason football in the books, many teams are getting some initial answers on any questions they may have about their quarterbacks. Here are five quarterbacks to look out for as the preseason continues and the regular season gets underway.

5, Trey Lance

Image provided The Mercury News

Trey Lance made his preseason debut last Friday night against the Packers and looked very good in limited action. He completed 4/5 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown pass. The highlight of the game from him was a deep touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Danny Gray. Lance has a lot of pressure on him as the number three overall pick in the 2021 Draft as the 49ers gave up a lot of assets to move up and trade for him.

Trey Lance will bring athleticism and a flare to the quarterback position that the 49ers did not necessarily have with Jimmy Garoppolo. Although Garoppolo won a majority of the games he played in for the Niners, his inability to stay healthy and clear ceiling made the Niners want to move in a different direction. Trey Lance may be in the best situation possible as a young quarterback with Kyle Shanahan as there arguably is no better coach who will figure out how to utilize him. Unlike most young quarterbacks however, Lance is playing for a team that has Super Bowl hopes and expectations so the room for error will be very marginal. Keep an eye on how Trey Lance plays this year and where the 49ers finish in a division with the defending champion Rams playing in it.

4, Jalen Hurts

Image provided by NBC Sports

Jalen Hurts is entering year three in the NFL with hopes to build upon his second year in which he led the Eagles to the playoffs. Last year, Hurts had 16 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns as showcased his dual threat ability at the position. In last Friday's preseason opener against the Jets, he led an impressive touchdown drive in which he went 6 for 6 throwing the ball. This year is a big year for Hurts and the Eagles as they believe they have a chance to win the NFC East and potentially make some noise in the playoffs.

There has not been a repeat winner of the NFC East in quite some time and with Dallas having a very questionable offseason, it is not crazy to think the Eagles to find themselves winning the division. With the addition of AJ Brown, Devonta Smith heading into his second year, and other weapons such as Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurts should play very well in year three.

3, Tua Tagovailoa

Image provided by Houston Chronicle

A few years ago, the Dolphins were "Tanking for Tua" and three years later, the Dolphins are now starting to question that move. When they took Tua with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 Draft, they passed on now superstar Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Tua has struggled with injuries and helping Miami stretch the ball down the field. Although he has not been terrible, he needs to validate being a top five draft pick and he can do that this year.

The Dolphins went and got Tyreek Hill in a trade with the Chiefs, Jaylen Waddle will only be better in year two, and they acquired Raheem Mostert along with Chase Edmonds. The Dolphins also hired an offensive coach in Mike McDaniel to try and spice it up on that side of the ball. To his credit, Tua has handled this situation well because the Dolphins were rumored for a while to be interested in Deshaun Watson, which can mess with the mind of a lot of young quarterbacks. This is a big year three for Tua and the Dolphins have a chance to make some noise this year.

2, Trevor Lawrence

Image provided by Jaguars Wire

Trevor Lawrence was viewed as a generational prospect coming out of high school and during his playing days at Clemson. He never really experienced losing at any point in time, but got a large dose of it in his first season in the NFL. Lawrence threw for 3,641 yards but only had 12 touchdowns and threw 17 interceptions.

To Lawrence's credit, he did start in all 17 games for the Jaguars this year and was able to play through the huge Urban Meyer controversy last year. Meyer was hired as the head coach of the Jaguars in the offseason prior to last year and made questionable decisions and displayed unprofessional behavior that resulted in him getting fired in the middle of the season. With the additions of wide receivers like Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, and the hiring of Doug Pederson as the head coach, Lawrence should make significant progress in year two.

1, Justin Herbert

Image provided by Draft Kings Nation

Through just two seasons in the NFL, Justin Herbert has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the league. He has thrown for 9,350 yards and 69 touchdowns and is only going to get better. Herbert makes playing the quarterback position look easy because he has amazing arm talent along with accuracy. The Chargers definitely need to make the playoffs this season because if Herbert gets a chance to compete on that stage, he will definitely make noise.

When Herbert was asked to play essentially at kickoff against the Chiefs after Tyrod Taylor's injury, he looked as poised as you'll find a rookie quarterback. That was the first indication that Herbert would be a superstar in the NFL and with all the weapons the Chargers have to compliment him, there's no reason why the Chargers should not be able to make a run this year.

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