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Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The first-round rookie quarterback class bounced back in Week 4, with each finally showing a little bit of what made them such enticing prospects. Trevor Lawrence had an excellent game on Thursday night, while Justin Fields looked far different than in his Week 3 outing against Cleveland. Zach Wilson flashed big-time throws, and even Trey Lance got in on the action after Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf injury.

Note: Ranks are among all rookies at each position, and some grades are vulnerable to small sample sizes early in the season.

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PICK NO. 1: QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

Overall Rookie Grade: 54.0 (Rank: 4/6)
Week 4 Grade: 79.1

For the first time this season, Lawrence was largely mistake-free in a game. We saw a couple of special throws, too, and they came without the disastrous errors that punctuated his first three outings. Lawrence came very close to leading the Jaguars to an upset win against Cincinnati on the road and seemed to be playing far closer in rhythm within the offense. He is still tied for the lead in turnover-worthy plays, but he didn’t add to the total. Now the question becomes whether that was just a good game or if he has really turned a corner in his rookie season.

PICK NO. 2: QB Zach Wilson, New York Jets

Overall Rookie Grade: 61.4 (Rank: 2/6)
Week 4 Grade: 71.3

Wilson joined Trevor Lawrence by having his best NFL game this week. Unlike Lawrence, the primary difference between this game and Wilson's previous outings was not cutting down on major mistakes, as he still had three turnover-worthy plays. Still, Wilson made four big-time throws, which more than exceeded his total for the previous three games combined. He hit one of the throws of the week, connecting on a deep bomb to Corey Davis as he ran outside of the pocket. The BYU product also averaged 8.7 yards per attempt — 1.7 more than his previous high.

PICK NO. 3: QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

Overall Rookie Grade: 50.1 (Rank: 5/6)
Week 4 Grade: 52.1

Lance had seven snaps to his name entering Week 4, and his role likely wouldn’t have increased if it wasn’t for Jimmy Garoppolo‘s game-ending calf injury. That left Lance as the focal point, and he played 39 snaps, 24 of which were dropbacks. His accuracy was erratic — he completed just 50% of his attempts and recorded a 62.5% adjusted completion rate. The former North Dakota State star finished with 8.7 yards per attempt, but 76 of his yards came on a complete coverage bust to Deebo Samuel, which warps Lance's statistics. He flashed some ability, but it won’t necessarily be smooth sailing with him at quarterback.

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