Preseason Quarterback Competition Predictions

By Bryan Levy
Aug. 08, 2017

Which quarterbacks will end up at the forefront of the race in training camp competitions?

Coming into every season, certain franchises (often the same ones) seem to struggle when picking the man under center. So let's take a look at who's most likely to be victorious come Week 1.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have arguably the most interesting quarterback situation because of the fact that there are three decent options. Cody Kessler, who spent 9 games last season quarterback the Browns, is still winless throughout his career, with an 0-8 record as a starter. But Kessler has an advantage over both Brock Osweiler and Deshone Kizer. Kessler has familiarity with the system and the schemes. Kessler was no standout last season, but finished with 6 TDs and only 2 INTs and completed nearly 66% of his passes. We could look back and blame Kessler for not being able to get wins, but we shouldn't fault him completely. While Isaiah Crowell had a great season, the passing attack, with the exception of Terelle Pryor, was lackluster. Kessler and Osweiler likely stand the best chance at the starting job Week 1 because of their respective experience. Osweiler quarterbacked a team in the playoffs back in Denver, and while his season with Houston was horrific at best, he has looked good so far in camp. Considering he will start the first preseason game and play with the starters, Osweiler seems to be in the lead for the job. But make no mistake about it. I would be suprised if Kizer didn't end up starting a game for Cleveland this year. He just won't be the starter to begin the season.

Projected Depth Chart: Osweiler, Kessler, Kizer

New York Jets

The Browns are excited about their three options because they know that if one prevails, he will have the youth to lead the team into the future. The man leading the Jets quarterback race, however, is 38. Josh McCown landed with the Jets this offseason, which will be the 8th team he has quarterbacked. No quarterback has looked decent so far in camp and the scrimmages, but McCown seems to be the best bet. He has much more experience than both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, and has worked exclusively with the starters so far. Petty struggled when he was given a shot last year, and he seems to be buried at the bottom right now. Hackenerg, on the other hand, seems to barely have a chance at this point. Hackenberg supposedly got sent out of practice recently for breaking a huddle wrong, so I don't like his chances. No matter who heads this team for the upcoming season, I'd go as far as to say this offense could break the record for least points in a 16 game season, a record currently held by the 1992 Seahawks who had 140 points. This entire situation is best described as a disaster.

Projected Depth Chart: McCown, Hackenberg, Petty

Houston Texans

The Texans, compared to the other teams on this list, have the best chance to actually win the division. Many even thought they were a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender last season. With a spectacular defense, the Texans have a chance to outlast the Jaguars, Colts, and Titans and make the playoffs. But before we even look at the candidates, whoever wins will not have as much help as expected after Will Fuller went down in camp with a broken collarbone. Both Braxton Miller and Jalen Strong have a chance to step up behind DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller as the offensive focuses. Nonetheless, the best bet right now seems to be Tom Savage. DeAndre Hopkins, the lead receiver, spoke to the media on who he thought should be the quarterback, and Hopkins clearly stated that Savage should be the lead guy. That, and great reports on his play in camp proves Savage is most likely to be under center week one. But don't count out Deshaun Watson. The rookie from Clemson has also looked great in camp. Savage's play and familiarity give him the edge, but if Savage falters early in the season, expect Watson to step in considering how high the coaching staff is on him. That said, Savage is the main man right now, and should be throughout the start of the season.

Projected Depth Chart: Savage, Watson, Brandon Weeden

Denver Broncos

Rewind to the 2015-2016 season. The Broncos, led by Peyton Manning (and Brock Osweiler), took down Carolina in the Super Bowl. But that game wasn't won because of offensive play at the quarterback position. The Denver defense won that game. And this season, the defense will carry the team again. Last season, the Broncos were in a similar position compared to where they are now. Trevor Siemian led the quarterback race somewhat easily, but is trailed by former first round pick Paxton Lynch. Reports claim this season will be no different, as Siemian will start the first preseason game. But one question remains: will either quarterback be good enough to hold steady if the defense does its job? As far as I see, the Broncos aren't good enough to come out of the AFC without a consistent quarterback, but with better play at the position, they may be a top team in the league again.

Projected Depth Chart: Siemian, Lynch, Chad Kelly

Bears

Come the first preseason game, Mike Glennon will start for the Chicago Bears. Following him is Mark Sanchez, and then Mitch Trubisky. Glennon is certaintly being paid the money to be the starter, signing a 3 year, $45 million contract this past offseason. Trubisky, on the other hand, was treated like he would be a franchise quarterback, considering the Bears traded up to take him second. The future looks interesting for the Bears; Glennon is only 27, so if he ends up playing like a starter, the Trubisky pick might end up as a waste. Glennon will lead and open the season for Chicago, but the future is the concern. Why draft a quarterback at pick #2 only to throw money at a young quarterback who could start for this franchise down the line? The quarterback controversy is pretty set in stone with Glennon at the top, but the situation is confusing.

Projected Depth Chart: Glennon, Trubisky, Sanchez