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Myth busting - 1st round QBs have to start as rookies?

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There's this perception that if Paxton Lynch doesn't get a significant number of starts in 2016 he will "never be the face of the franchise" or he will never be an elite NFL QB. What does history tell us about 1st round QBs in their rookie season in the modern NFL?

Do you draft a QB in the first round and let him sit the bench as a rookie?
Do you draft a QB in the first round and let him sit the bench as a rookie?
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I'm going to use 1990 as my starting point for the modern NFL. Why? Because it seems like a good place to start and it gives us 26 NFL seasons to use. There have been 65 NFL QBs taken in the first round of the NFL draft since 1990 if you include the three guys taken in 2016. Below is a table showing how many games each of these guys started as an NFL rookie.

Year Drafted Pick QB Rookie Starts
1990 1 Jeff George 12
1990 7 Andre Ware 1
1991 16 Dan McGwire 1
1991 24 Todd Marinovich 1
1992 6 David Klingler 4
1992 25 Tommy Maddox 4
1993 1 Drew Bledsoe 12
1993 2 Rick Mirer 16
1994 3 Heath Shuler 8
1994 6 Trent Dilfer 2
1995 3 Steve McNair 2
1995 5 Kerry Collins 13
1997 26 Jim Druckenmiller 1
1998 1 Peyton Manning 16
1998 2 Ryan Leaf 9
1999 1 Tim Couch 14
1999 2 Donovan McNabb 6
1999 3 Akili Smith 4
1999 11 Daunte Culpepper 0
1999 12 Cade McNown 6
2000 18 Chad Pennington 0
2001 1 Michael Vick 2
2002 1 David Carr 16
2002 3 Joey Harrington 12
2002 32 Patrick Ramsey 5
2003 1 Carson Palmer 13
2003 7 Byron Leftwich 13
2003 19 Kyle Boller 9
2003 22 Rex Grossman 3
2004 1 Eli Manning 7
2004 4 Philip Rivers 0
2004 11 Ben Roethlisberger 13
2004 22 J.P. Losman 0
2005 1 Alex Smith 7
2005 24 Aaron Rodgers 0
2005 25 Jason Campbell 7
2006 3 Vince Young 13
2006 10 Matt Leinart 11
2006 11 Jay Cutler 5
2007 1 JaMarcus Russell 1
2007 22 Brady Quinn 0
2008 3 Matt Ryan 16
2008 18 Joe Flacco 16
2009 1 Matthew Stafford 10
2009 5 Mark Sanchez 15
2009 17 Josh Freeman 9
2010 1 Sam Bradford 16
2010 25 Tim Tebow 3
2011 1 Cam Newton 16
2011 8 Jake Locker 0
2011 10 Blaine Gabbert 14
2011 12 Christian Ponder 10
2012 1 Andrew Luck 16
2012 2 Robert Griffin 15
2012 8 Ryan Tannehill 16
2012 22 Brandon Weeden 15
2013 16 EJ Manuel 10
2014 3 Blake Bortles 13
2014 22 Johnny Manziel 2
2014 32 Teddy Bridgewater 12
2015 1 Jameis Winston 16
2015 2 Marcus Mariota 12

The average number of rookie starts for a first round QB since 1990 is 8.4, you'll note that the trend in the past few years is to start them. This was not the case a quarter of a century ago. The current trend appears to be, that unless they are severely deficient and doomed to fail in the NFL (Jamarcus the Hutt, Quinn, Tebow, Locker and Manziel), they will start a good number of games as rookies.

It is even more interesting if you plot this data using the pick# as the X values and the rookie starts as the Y values

Rookie QB pick slot vs rookie starts 1990-2015
From this plot we we would expect Paxton Lynch to start four games in 2016.