In the modern-day NFL, it's often in Year 2 when an eventual star quarterback comes into his own, finds his groove, and parlays previous flashes into consistent high-level play. 

There was Carson Wentz in 2017, Patrick Mahomes in 2018, and Lamar Jackson in 2019. Josh Allen took a mammoth third-year leap, although in his second season the rookie-year mishaps melted away into signs of the imminent MVP-vote-getting season ahead. 

And of course last year, Joe Burrow built on a strong rookie season cut short due to injury, and led the NFL in completion percentage and yards-per-attempt average en route to leading the Cincinnati Bengals to the AFC title. 

Of course, past results from other quarterbacks don't guarantee the second (or third) year eruption will continue to happen. But let's rank the passers from the 2020 draft class by likelihood of elevating their game to franchise-altering status. 


Unlikely, but not out of the question

6. Justin Fields, Bears

Fields is one of the most naturally talented young quarterbacks in football. He runs as fluidly as Deshaun Watson, has a bazooka for an arm, and has a strong control of where the football lands after releasing it. 

He's last on this list almost strictly due to his situation in Chicago. Fields unfortunately landed in the classic scenario in which the GM and coach who drafted him were fired after his rookie season, and now the new regime is more intent on cleaning up a messy cap situation than fielding a legitimate contender in 2023. Which is justifiable. 

Fields is simply the collateral damage in the dead-cap ridden Bears in 2022. Fields' supporting cast pales in comparison to what Wentz, Mahomes, Jackson, Allen, and Burrow had by Year 2 in their respective careers. Now, I can't stress enough how inherently gifted Fields is. And that can stretch a long way in the NFL. Breaking out in his sophomore NFL season will just be a massive uphill climb for the former Ohio State stud. 


5. Mac Jones, Patriots

I watched every Jones drop back in 2022 and believe he had one of the most overrated rookie quarterback seasons in quite some time. It felt like the praise for Jones got out of control. Even when New England went on a seven-game win streak, the team was winning not because of Jones' play but those around him and the defense. He operated an extraordinarily quarterback-friendly system decently well and once he faced strong defenses late in the season, his limitations hindered what the Patriots were capable of offensively.