Rookie QB Power Rankings: Gap closes on Mac Jones after wild OT loss


Time for a deep breath.

Two rookie quarterbacks -- the New York Jets' Zach Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers' Trey Lance -- enjoyed much-needed byes in Week 6, getting a chance to reset after five whirlwind weeks of NFL action.

Their fellow 2021 first-round draft picks will get some time off soon too, but for now, they're still enduring the rollercoaster of life as a young NFL quarterback.

NFL Power Rankings 2021: Where each team stands entering Week 7

Case in point: New England Patriots QB Mac Jones, who nearly lost and won Sunday's game in a span of about 30 seconds at Gillette Stadium.

So, did Jones' up-and-down performance affect his standings in our weekly rookie QB power rankings? Let's break it all down.

Editor's Note: We'll track the progress of the first-round quarterbacks every Tuesday in our rookie quarterback power rankings. The rankings are based on a combination of recent performances and potential impact, so QBs who are starting get preference over those currently in reserve roles.

1. Mac Jones, New England Patriots

Week 6 stats: 15 for 21, 229 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Season stats: 150 for 211, 1472 yards, 7 TD, 6 INT, 89.6 passer rating

So much for Jones being a "boring" QB. The 23-year-old threw a back-breaking pick-six to fellow Alabama alum Trevon Diggs and a 75-yard bomb to Kendrick Bourne on back-to-back plays in Sunday's wild overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys.


It was a "mixed results" day for Jones, who was 4-for-4 on passes that traveled at least 20 yards but misfired on a few must-have attempts, including the interception to Diggs.

Patriots fans should be encouraged by Jones' mental toughness and improvement with the deep ball, but Trevor Lawrence is closing the gap on the leaderboard. A bounce-back performance (and a win) against the New York Jets next weekend would help Jones' cause.

2. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Week 6 stats: 25 for 41, 319 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Season stats: 129 for 216, 1465 yards, 7 TD, 8 INT; 26 rushes, 121 yards, 2 TD; 75.5 passer rating

Maybe the Jaguars should move to London, after all. Lawrence had his best game as a pro across the pond, playing mistake-free football to help Jacksonville hang on for his first NFL win.

The No. 1 overall pick displayed his rocket arm on his lone touchdown pass to Marvin Jones Jr., and his completion percentage might have been higher without a few Jags drops. Alas, the Jaguars have a bye in Week 7, so Lawrence's push for the top spot in these rankings will have to wait an extra week.

3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

Week 6 stats: 16 for 27, 174 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 6 rushes, 43 yards

Season stats: 53 for 99, 632 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT; 26 rushes, 102 yards, 1 TD; 67.4 passer rating

The Bears are steadily increasing Fields' workload, as evidenced by his passing attempt totals in his last three games (17, 20 and 27). The Ohio State product is handling things relatively well, too, with second-year wide receiver Darnell Mooney the primary beneficiary of his increased volume.

We're still waiting on Fields' breakout game, though, and the Bears haven't scored more than 24 points in any of his starts to date. Oh, and Chicago's next four opponents are the Buccaneers, 49ers, Steelers and Ravens. Good luck kid.

4. Zach Wilson, New York Jets

Week 6 stats: N/A (bye week)

Season stats: 98 for 171, 1117 yards, 4 TD, 9 INT; 62.9 passer rating (five games)

Wondering why Wilson is near the bottom of this list? He didn't play Sunday and still leads all rookie QBs in interceptions.

5. Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

Week 6 stats: N/A (bye week)

Season stats: 25 for 48, 354 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 27 rushes, 133 yards, 1 2-PT; 88.4 passer rating

Lance's time as a starter might be temporarily over. Jimmy Garoppolo (calf injury) returned to practice Monday, while Lance was sidelined with a knee issue.


If Garoppolo is healthy, you'd have to assume he's the guy in Week 7 as San Francisco aims to snap a three-game losing streak against the Colts.