Although the Texans coaching staff has been singing the praises of fellow QB Tom Savage this offseason, Watson appears to be impressing as well. O'Brien qualified the Clemson product as being "wise beyond his years" and also said he's adjusting nicely to the challenges that have been put on Watson's plate, which is a very encouraging sign given the complexity of the O'Brien's offensive system. However, the coach admitted that Watson is "not nearly where he needs to be to be a full-time starter in this league," so it seems the rookie will need to make significant strides in advance of Week 1 in order to earn the starting gig.
After the aforementioned moves, Manning has exchanged the broken down Victor Cruz for Marshall while adding one of the promising tight ends from a stacked class of rookies. With Marshall and Engram joining wideouts Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, competent pass-catching backs Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen and tight end Will Tye, the Giants boast their best array of skill-position talent of the last decade and perhaps Manning's entire career. Unfortunately for Manning, he's regressed significantly as he prepares for his age-36 season, struggling with deep passes (52.8 QB rating on throws of 21-plus yards in 2016) and being saddled with an uninspiring head coach (Ben McAdoo). However, Manning has the weapons at his disposal to reach his heights of the past.
The average annual value of $25 million narrowly tops Andrew Luck's $24.6 million to set a new NFL record, though Matt Stafford and Kirk Cousins will both push for similar contracts in the coming weeks. Carr was limited throughout the Raiders' offseason program while recovering from a broken fibula suffered in Week 16, but he should be a full participant at the start of training camp as he looks to build on a strong 2016 campaign. He'll benefit from one of the league's best supporting casts, with RB Marshawn Lynch and TE Jared Cook joining a unit that already boasts an elite offensive line and wideout duo. Given the new contract and the talent surrounding him, Carr will universally be expected to improve upon last season's mark of 7.0 yards per pass attempt. His completion percentage (63.8) and TD:INT ratio (28:6) were impressive, but he'll need to have more success throwing deep to be mentioned among the league's elite quarterbacks when the discussion moves beyond salary.
Reportedly, only Taylor has looked ready to run Rick Dennison's offense entering the season. That's been the case all along, but the Bills are hoping someone will step up and give the coaching staff some comfort if Taylor should suffer an injury. So far that's not really happening, but Yates has more experience as a pro and also has experience with Dennison, putting him in the second spot in the pecking order for now, though the situation could remain fluid as the youngsters behind him get more chances.
The drafting of former University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya in this year's draft initially seemed to put Rudock's hold on the No. 2 job in question, but it doesn't sound as if Kaaya has been able to pick up the playbook quick enough to serve as legitimate competition. Meanwhile, Rudock has a year of experience in OC Jim Bob Cooter's offense and has shown marked improvement from 2016 during offseason practices. Things could always change prior to Week 1, but Rudock seems unlikely to lose his role unless Kaaya puts on a show during the preseason.
Bridgewater still has a long way to go to return from last year's catastrophic knee injury, but being cleared to throw passes to teammates and participate in individual drills has encouraged many with his progress. While he still can't go through team drills, run full speed, plant or cut on his left leg, or absorb contract to his knee, Bridgewater's 2017 campaign hasn't been written off yet. Without a timetable for Bridgewater's return, though, Sam Bradford will remain Minnesota's starter for the foreseeable future.
Davis plays with a style different from Russell Wilson and Boykin, as he lacks a dual-threat quality in his game, but that doesn't mean he'll assume the No. 3 spot on depth chart. The 28-year-old boasts more starting experience than his counterpart and given Boykin's legal troubles this summer, Davis may be a safer option to backup Wilson this fall. Look for more updates on the competition to come throughout training camp.
While Mahomes shouldn't challenge Alex Smith for the starting job this season, the rookie gunslinger has instilled confidence in his coaches early in his career. The Texas Tech product should get a season under his belt as a backup to an established veteran, which will put him in a good position to learn as he prepares to take the reins as soon as 2018, or earlier should Smith suffer an injury.
Goff took a notoriously long time to grasp the Rams' playbook as a rookie last season, when he didn't earn his first start until Week 11. From there, Goff looked nothing like a No. 1 overall pick, finishing with a 54.6 completion percentage, 5.31 yards per attempt, and five touchdowns versus seven interceptions. In the wake of a coaching staff overhaul, however, Goff appears to have adjusted to McVay's scheme much better this offseason. While that reportedly comes thanks to simplified terminology and concepts, it remains to be seen whether Goff can translate his improved understanding into on-field success.
While Cook is still getting second-team reps as well, this is a positive development for Manuel. The former Bills starter will likely need to win the backup job in order to remain on the 53-man roster come Week 1.