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Second-Year Quarterbacks That Are Worth an NFL Prop Bet

Tua Tagovailoa and NFL Logo

Today, we’re talking about second-year NFL quarterbacks ready to make “the leap” from Year 1 to Year 2. Below, four of the five names saw significant playing time in 2020, with one inactive for all 16 games.

We will go over what you can expect as an encore presentation in Year 2 for each of the five quarterbacks taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.

Today’s list is in an order comprising quarterbacks least expected to make an impact in the player props realm to those most expected to. However, don’t think that the names listed below figure in as an actual prediction.

For example, Jordan Love is first on the list. But he’s just one injury to Aaron Rodgers away from taking the league by storm. So, take the order here with a fine grain of salt.

Anyway, let’s get to the quarterbacks worthy of a bet at NFL online sportsbooks.

Jordan Love (Green Bay Packers)

Love didn’t play a single down in 2020. And hey, it worked 15 seasons ago when Rodgers barely played as Brett Favre’s understudy for three seasons. And while Rodgers today does not know where he’ll be come September, we can assume he’ll remain at MVP Status in Green Bay.

Barring a major injury to Rodgers, it’s hard to bet anything on Love from a player props standpoint. However, Rodgers has been injury prone in the past, and Love is the only other quarterback on the Packers’ roster.

With that said, expect him to be the guy if Rodgers goes down with an injury or if the Packers shock the world and move him between now and September. But I think we have a better chance at discovering intelligent life on Mars before the Packers cut ties with Rodgers in 2021.

Now that’s a solid bet you can make with a friend and probably win. However, you can expect Love to at least play a little during the regular season. Knowing a Packers team that contains Rodgers will blow a few teams out, Love should get some reps. Plus, with 17 games and with the Packers boasting a 26-6 regular season record over the last two seasons, he may even play in a full game.

Note

It’s safe to bet that Love will throw a couple of touchdown passes, perhaps throw for a few hundred yards, and make a few mistakes. And yes, I’m being vague here, because it’s premature to expect anything significant from Love in 2021.

Don’t look for much production.

Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles)

You gotta feel for Hurts. The Eagles practically tore the team apart in 2020, and Hurts didn’t exceed anyone’s expectations in 2020. The guy is a poor man’s Lamar Jackson at best. At worst, he’s the NFL’s next great journeyman quarterback.

And while the media loved Hurts in 2020 because of his ability to make things interesting with his legs (don’t we all love old school quarterback play?), he simply lacks accuracy. With at least an adequate receiving unit in 2020, he completed just 52.3% of his passes.

The guy looked like Josh Allen during the latter’s rookie season—an inaccurate passer who made things interesting by scrambling around amidst being in way over his head. Now there’s no more Alshon Jeffery. DeSean Jackson is gone. And Zach Ertz is probably on his way out if the Eagles find a viable trading partner.

The only real talent at the skill positions are Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert. However, Sanders is injury and fumble-prone, while Goedert is a mystery as a TE1 if Ertz leaves.

Top that with an NFC East where Hurts must hang with a high-flying Dallas Cowboys offense along with stingy defenses from Washington and the New York Giants. Yes, the New York Giants will have a good defense in 2021, mark me.

Futher Info

Top that with an NFC East where Hurts must hang with a high-flying Dallas Cowboys offense along with stingy defenses from Washington and the New York Giants. Yes, the New York Giants will have a good defense in 2021, mark me.

So, if you thought Hurts was electrifying as a quarterback because of the hype, don’t buy it. He was fun to watch, but his meager passing statistics speak for themselves. Odds are, he will not make a Josh Allen-like leap in 2021 unless the Eagles draft blue-chip talent at receiver.

Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins)

Tua is the mystery for player props betting among second-year quarterbacks. The fifth overall pick posted respectable numbers with 11 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, a 64.1 completion percentage, 1,814 passing yards, and an 87.5 passer rating.

The downside? The kid looked like a game manager. And worse, he has Jacoby Brissett, a well-known stereotypical game manager, as his backup and new mentor. It’s safe to say that Tua is the biggest boom or bust futures bet on this list.

However, more upside exists. Tua can easily exceed his projected numbers when the time comes, given the surrounding talent. He has two good backs in Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin. His pass-catching unit comprises Will Fuller, Allen Hurns, Mike Gesicki, and Devante Parker.

Plus, the Dolphins have the sixth pick in the NFL Draft. So, if they go offense, especially with an offensive skill position player, Tua can make the leap in 2021 and give the Dolphins a legitimate franchise quarterback for the first time since the Dan Marino era.

So, ultimately, it’s not that he’s an unsafe player props bet for 2021. You just need to ask yourself whether betting on Tua is worth the risk. If you think his supporting cast is good enough for him to overachieve, then place the bet.

If you think he’ll go to the wayside like many former Miami quarterbacks since 2000, it’s best that you wager on the final two quarterbacks on today’s list.

Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals)

Burrow would’ve pulled off some decent numbers had a leg injury not ended his season. While he had a losing record of just 2-7-1, he completed 65.4% of his passes, tossed 13 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and threw for 2,688 passing yards.

He was on pace for 21 touchdown passes and 4,300 passing yards had he lasted the entire season. But given the futility of his offensive line, a serious injury was in the cards. He was also sacked 32 times in 10 games, which put him on pace for 51 sacks over 16 games.

Now, the Bengals must decide. Do they draft a left tackle and protect his blind side? Or do they reunite Burrow with former teammate JaMarr Chase?

In 2019, Chase put up monster numbers with Burrow at quarterback during their days at LSU. It would also give the Bengals a dangerous trio of receivers in Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Chase, if they were to go that route.

Can you say monster season from Burrow? Pray that his offensive line holds. He also has a solid running back in Joe Mixon.

Note

You can expect Burrow’s player props to go through the roof if the Bengals draft Chase. But the problem along the offensive line still exists, so taking the receiver is a risk plus an opportunity cost.

And yes, it can lead to another year-long physical beating for Burrow. And the human body can only take so much. You can bet a decent prop on Burrow, but be careful with this one.

It’s a safer bet to claim Burrow’s the biggest boom-or-bust prospect on this list.

Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers)

Unless you had a crystal ball or knew something we didn’t, Justin Herbert won you a lot of money for your bankroll if you took the risk and placed a prop bet on him back in 2020. He broke several records, including most touchdown passes by a rookie, most touchdowns overall by a rookie, and 300-yard passing games.

The guy did everything but win enough football games for the Los Angeles Chargers to make the playoffs.

What will his encore presentation look like in 2021? The Chargers provided upgrades on both sides of the ball, which will help Herbert. On defense, they’ll give him more chances to score. And signing Jared Cook at tight end helped negate the loss of Hunter Henry.

Look for Herbert to make the leap in 2021 and expect him to once again woo us in the player props realm. However, it’s premature to believe he is the second coming of Patrick Mahomes. But then again, did any of us see Herbert doing what he did in 2020?

Note

Don’t expect a Marino-Mahomes type of second season, but you can’t rule it out. Overall, Herbert will remain a solid player props bet in 2021.

Conclusion

Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts remain the biggest risks here. Love is a risk for the obvious reason of being stuck behind Aaron Rodgers. Barring an injury to Rodgers, expect little from Love. As for Hurts, he must improve his throwing mechanics before he becomes a serious player props bet.

Tua can make the leap if he takes more shots downfield. And with his supporting cast, it’s easy to wager that he will make the biggest jump of all the Year 2 quarterbacks. Burrow should pick up where he left off before his injury. And we can expect Herbert to once again put up big fantasy numbers. Which Year 2 quarterback do you like the best in player props? Let us know your thoughts!