When Jared Goff trots out on the Coliseum grass for his NFL debut this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, history will not be on his side when it comes to quarterbacks recently drafted No. 1 overall in their first pro start.
All six quarterbacks taken first overall in the last decade made their debut at some point of their rookie season, and only one didn’t look like a complete train wreck in his first taste of pro football: Cam Newton, who posted a 65.6 QBR and 110.4 QB rating in a 28-21 loss to the Cardinals, tallying over 400 yards passing and three total touchdowns.
Note: It wasn’t Jamarcus Russell’s first start but his first game in which he received the majority of reps, replacing Josh McCown in the second quarter.
Even with Cam’s solid premiere, the group averaged 247 yards passing, a 51 percent completion rate, 1.2 touchdowns, 2.1 interceptions, and a sub-60 QB rating. And this includes two stars in Newton and Luck and two solid starters in Bradford and Stafford.
Goff faces a defense surging of late, ranking fourth against the pass in Football Outsiders’ efficiency rankings, featuring a couple of nightmares on the defensive line in Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh.
History is not on Goff’s side as he takes his first steps as an NFL starter.