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Are Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer ready to start?

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Where do rookie QBs rank in fantasy? (1:31)

Where do Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer rank among rookie quarterbacks? ESPN's Field Yates, Matthew Berry and Mike Clay share their thoughts on where to rank this year's incoming QBs. (1:31)

Three of the better quarterback performances of Week 1 of the preseason were turned in by first-round draft picks Deshaun Watson of Houston, Mitchell Trubisky of Chicago and Patrick Mahomes II of Kansas City. Cleveland's DeShone Kizer, a second-round selection, also was impressive in his debut. Here's a closer look at each rookie signal-caller and whether he should be given consideration to start:

Jump to: Trubisky | Mahomes | Kizer

Houston Texans reporter Sarah Barshop on Watson:

Should your rookie QB be given strong consideration to start?

Yes -- and I believe he has been -- but he has a quarterback the Texans believe to be a better candidate right now in front of him in Tom Savage. Publicly, coach Bill O’Brien has not wavered from Savage as his starting quarterback. Though Watson is competing for the job, he has an uphill battle to unseat Savage.

What has been most impressive about your rookie QB?

O'Brien often comments on Watson's maturity and his strong work ethic. He also has mentioned his poise, something we saw on Wednesday night in Charlotte. "He plays the game in a calm way," O'Brien said. "Obviously, nothing's too big for him. He's been in big games. For his first NFL game -- I'm sure he was slightly nervous but it didn't show." And, physically, when plays were breaking down against the Panthers, Watson showed off his mobility by extending plays and creating passing lanes.

What's the biggest concern with your rookie QB at this point?

O'Brien hasn't been hesitant when he has said the biggest reason it's so tough for a quarterback to start as a rookie is being able to learn the team's complex playbook. In the preseason opener, Watson was right about 50 percent of the time in knowing the Texans' offensive schemes, which is "to be expected from a rookie," according to O'Brien. Savage has been learning the Texans' offense for four seasons now, so he has a big leg up there on Watson.

Barring injury, when do you think your rookie QB will become the starter?

Watson starting might have less to do with when he shows he's ready and more to do with Savage's play if he struggles and O'Brien feels like he has to make the switch. The head coach has shown in his past two seasons in Houston that he is not shy about benching his starting quarterback if he struggles, so Savage might have a short leash. We could see Watson as early as Week 5 after back-to-back games against the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, but it's more likely Watson plays later in the season.

What is the head coach saying about your rookie QB this week?

After Watson's performance in the preseason opener (15-of-25, 179 yards; three carries for 24 yards and a touchdown), O'Brien said Watson is a "smart and instinctive player." O'Brien said he thought Watson handled his NFL debut "pretty well," and though there were, of course, some things he would like to have seen done differently, he was happy with what he saw from Watson in his first NFL game.

Chicago Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson on Trubisky:

Should your rookie QB be given strong consideration to start?

Absolutely. Trubisky is the second overall pick of the draft. By virtue of that alone, he should be given strong consideration to start for Chicago. Since 2000, only three quarterbacks selected in the top 10 failed to start games as rookies -- Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers and Jake Locker. Mike Glennon is a journeyman quarterback who spent the past two seasons as a backup. When Trubisky is ready, he should start, even though Chicago already promised the job in 2017 to Glennon.

What has been most impressive about your rookie QB?

Mobility. Trubisky is extremely accurate on the run, especially when rolling to his right. The Bears are able to move the pocket much more when Trubisky is out there, as opposed to Glennon (6-foot-6), who is strictly a pocket passer. Trubisky also earns points for accuracy. Glennon's timing with some of the receivers looked off in the preseason opener against Denver.

What's the biggest concern with your rookie QB at this point?

Too much, too soon. Trubisky probably isn't ready to take over. Like any rookie quarterback, he still faces a steep learning curve. Don't forget, he started only 13 games at North Carolina. It's one thing to light it up against backups, but Trubisky must prove he can do it against the other team's starting defense. The Bears don't want to force it.

Barring injury, when do you think your rookie QB will become the starter?

Best guess is midseason or later. Chicago's schedule is daunting, meaning that Glennon -- if he keeps the job/stays healthy -- might have a difficult time winning games. If the Bears fall out of the NFC playoff race, the pressure to start Trubisky will reach a fever pitch. The best players play in the NFL, end of story. Trubisky sure looks like the best quarterback on Chicago's roster.

What is the head coach saying about your rookie QB this week?

John Fox frequently compliments Trubisky, but he doesn't go overboard. Fox says the Bears are still committed to Glennon. Keep in mind, the Bears have to be mindful of Glennon's psyche. They can't lose him mentally before the regular-season games. That's why Fox is taking a somewhat measured approach when discussing Trubisky with the media.

Kansas City Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher on Mahomes:

Should your rookie QB be given strong consideration to start?

No. Alex Smith has won more than two-thirds of his regular-season starts for the Chiefs, so he deserves to keep his job until either he shows he's in decline or one of Kansas City's other quarterbacks proves he's better than Smith. Neither of those things has happened yet.

What has been most impressive about your rookie QB?

His ability to make some impressive throws. Mahomes had a four-play stretch early in camp that was dazzling. It included a dart to the middle of the field while sprinting to his right, a deep fade, a back-shoulder and then a touchdown. It's easy to see why the Chiefs thought so much of him.

What's the biggest concern with your rookie QB at this point?

Just the usual thing with a rookie quarterback, which is a tendency to make mistakes. Mahomes tries to force the ball into coverage at times, which might be something a quarterback can get away with in college but not the NFL. He had a three-interception practice early in camp.

Barring injury, when do you think your rookie QB will become the starter?

Not until 2018. The Chiefs are committed to Smith as their starter, and it's difficult to picture anything that could realistically happen other than injury to change that. But next season the Chiefs could save about $17 million in cap space by releasing Smith, who then would be in the final season of his contract.

What is the head coach saying about your rookie QB this week?

"It's not because of [Tyler Bray's] performance in the game. I thought he actually did very well ... and Patrick did a nice job, too. It gives [Mahomes] an opportunity to step up and work with that second group and see what he can do there. It's not something [Tyler] didn't do. [Tyler] is playing well. But Patrick has also done a nice job. In order to step up with that group, Pat would have had to [make] progress." -- Andy Reid on promoting Mahomes to No. 2 quarterback this week.

Cleveland Browns reporter Pat McManamon on Kizer:

Should your rookie QB be given strong consideration to start?

Absolutely. Kizer threw for 184 yards and a game-winning touchdown in one half of play in the preseason opener. By his coach's admission, Kizer took strides forward from the team's intrasquad scrimmage. Kizer's arm strength is eye-opening, but he has to learn to play the NFL game. Kizer might not be there yet to be the starter -- he has yet to face a first-team defense -- but coach Hue Jackson recognizes that reality and is giving Kizer more first-team reps.

What has been most impressive about your rookie QB?

His attitude. Kizer has been nothing but a professional to this point. He has accepted his role, accepts where he is and simply works to get better. At the same time, he has a competitive fire a team wants in a quarterback. When Brock Osweiler was announced as the starter against the Saints, Cody Kessler called it part of the process. Kizer bristled, saying he's a competitor and wants to play. But he never second-guessed his coach or questioned the decision. He simply went out and played better.

What's the biggest concern with your rookie QB at this point?

The leap from the college spread system that is focused on pace and calling plays quickly to an NFL game that requires pre- and post-snap reads and protections and hot reads and all the other things that a quarterback has to decide in seconds is not easy. Jackson said there are "hidden" things Kizer must improve. The first is calling the play in the huddle, something he never did at Notre Dame and is learning in Cleveland. The second is the complex progressions and reads that the average fan or media member does not see. That growth might happen in practice but it might best happen in games.

Barring injury, when do you think your rookie QB will become the starter?

The safe guess is Kizer starts after the trip to London and the bye week, on Nov. 12 in Detroit. The bold guess is the season opener because neither Osweiler nor Kessler has seized the opportunity to win the starting job. But if Kizer keeps improving, it might be impossible to keep him off the field. That being said, he has yet to face a first-team defense, so the best situation for when he starts is Week 5. That would allow him to play his first game against the Jets, a game at home that should be winnable.

What is the head coach saying about your rookie QB this week?

That it's training camp and he's still learning. Quarterbacks coach David Lee, though, was more pointed; he flat-out said Kizer is not ready, that more time is needed on fundamentals, reads, progressions and calling plays. Jackson's actions, though, made a slightly different statement as he gave Kizer more reps with the starters. Where Kizer takes himself from this point is basically up to him. The opportunity to win the job is there, though the climb is uphill.