Odds released on QB competitions featuring 2018 rookies

Sam Bradford or Josh Rosen? Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield? Josh McCown or Sam Darnold? SportsLine breaks down QBs competitions involving the 2018 first-round picks.
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As soon as a quarterback is drafted in the opening round, the controversy begins.

When will the touted rookie get his chance? How long before the incumbent steps aside – or will he step up and secure his position?


Online sportsbook BetOnline has released odds for teams with flashy new QBs: which signal caller will start more games for that team, the veteran or the rook?

SportsLine analyst Adam Thompson picks a winner for each of the five teams with a QB competition on the horizon. 

Which QB will start more games for their team:


Baker Mayfield -150 (risk $150 to win $100)
Tyrod Taylor +110 (risk $100 to win $110)

Tyrod Taylor was brought in by Cleveland to be a placeholder -- a placeholder who led his team to the playoffs last year, but a placeholder nonetheless.

Mayfield wasn't selected No. 1 overall to sit on the pine. He is the seventh QB since 2009 to be taken No. 1 overall. Of the previous six, Jared Goff (Rams, 2016) is the only one not to start a majority of his team's games his rookie year -- he started seven.

Matthew Stafford started 10 in 2009, while Sam Bradford (Rams, 2010), Cam Newton (Panthers, 2011), Andrew Luck (Colts, 2012) and Jameis Winston (Buccaneers, 2015) each started all 16.

PICK: If Mayfield isn't the Week 1 starter, he'll be under center by mid-season. Take Baker.

Joe Flacco -1000 
Lamar Jackson +500

Lamar Jackson could end up being a great pick for the Ravens. But in terms of his immediate impact? Not so much.

The Ravens made it an off-season priority to secure targets to fit Flacco's style. He's among the highest-paid QBs in the NFL and has a Super Bowl title on his resume.

And, he doesn't get hurt. He's started all 16 games in nine of his 10 seasons in Baltimore, with an injury in 2015 limiting him to 10.

PICK: It's the NFL, and injuries can happen on any snap, which makes Flacco's high price (bet $1,000 to win $100) tough to bet on. But barring a terrible accident early on, Joe is the clear pick here.  


Josh Allen -140 
AJ McCarron +100

McCarron was the No. 2 QB in Cincinnati for four seasons before signing with Buffalo in the off-season. The Bills then traded Tyrod Taylor away -- before trading up to snag Wyoming's Josh Allen at No. 7.

Allen is an interesting case. Some experts believed he's the most NFL-ready of the bunch in the draft, while others thought he's the furthest away. Which camp is Buffalo in?

PICK: McCarron is a bridge QB. He signed a two-year, $10 million deal with incentives if he plays. That's not starter money, and this is Allen's team for the future. But with the Bills likely on the road to a total rebuild, I'll take a value pick on the underdog wager on McCarron as Allen learns the NFL way. 


Sam Darnold -150 
Josh McCown +110

There are some NFL analysts that believe Darnold could be the steal of the draft -- and he was taken No. 3 overall.

Darnold has the tools, and he comes from a big program that opened the playbook for him. He'll be a starter in New York in the near future.

But right away? Josh McCown is a bridge QB and he's embracing the role. The 14-year veteran played 13 games for the Jets last year and tossed 18 TDs to only nine INTs.

After failing to secure Kirk Cousins in the off-season, the Jets inked Teddy Bridgewater to a deal. Bridgewater started all 16 games in 2016 for the Vikings -- he had just 14 TDs and nine INTs, but 11 victories.

PICK: If McCown fails and the Jets want to go in another direction, Darnold may not immediately be that guy. The next in line might be Bridgewater.

I'll predict that happens -- but I'll also predict both are out by Week 10 and Darnold takes over from there. That scenario gives him seven starts in 2018, likely more than McCown individually.  


Josh Rosen -120 
Sam Bradford -120

The Cardinals are paying Bradford $20 million to be their QB this season. Would they actually bench him for a rookie? Maybe if the season goes south.

Which it might: Vegas has set the Over/Under on wins for Arizona this year at a paltry 5.5.

The Cards traded up to snag Rosen, with new coach Steve Wilks indicating the QB competition is open.

There's also the matter of Bradford's health. He started 29 of 32 games in 2015 and 2016. But knee injuries cost him all but seven games in 2013 and the entire 2014 season, and in 2017 he played in just two games as it was revealed his knee was degenerating from two ACL surgeries.

PICK: Bradford has thrown 56 TDs and 23 INTs in his last 38 starts. If any QB on the roster can find success for Arizona, it's Bradford. But if this season is simply building toward a brighter future, a rookie coach may want to work with his rookie QB and go into the future together. That, plus Bradford's questionable knee, gives slight value to Rosen. 

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Adam ThompsonStaff Analyst