Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones and Zach Wilson are slated to make their pro debuts this week. Is there any wisdom in immediately tossing them into a fantasy lineup? Or is the smarter play to use defenses playing against quarterbacks with no pro experience?

With this kind of deal, it’s always fun to roll out the numbers of similar players who’ve been in the same kind of situation in the past. Every situation is different and must be considered on its own merits, but it provides a general lay of the land.

In the last 10 years, 31 quarterbacks selected with first-round picks have made their debuts, and they’ve gone 10-20-1 in those games. On average, they’ve completed 18 of 31 passes for 220 yards, with an additional 22 rushing yards. In those 31 starts, I’m seeing 34 TD passes and 7 TD runs.

Seven of those 31 quarterbacks, including half of the last six, have thrown for over 300 yards. Another three have gone over 270, which is also healthy total. Marcus Mariota tossed 4 TDs in his first game, while 10 others have thrown 2 TDs.

Probably the two most notably debuts (for fantasy purposes) would be Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III in 2011 and 2012. With both of those of those guys, it was clear from the first game that they were going to be factors – that they should have been picked earlier in fantasy drafts, and that the NFL landscape had shifted.

There have been a couple of notable debuts the last two years, with Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert.

These 31 rookie quarterbacks haven’t made quite as many mistakes as you might think, with a combined 78 sacks, 33 interceptions and 23 fumbles (8 of which were recovered by the other team). If you had production over 16 games (an NFL season up until now) it would be 40 sacks, 16 interceptions and 4 lost fumbles – below-average, but something short of a gold mine.

For these 2021 quarterbacks (and it’s looking like Trey Lance and Justin Fields will need to wait) Lawrence to me looks like the one most likely to maybe surprisingly put up top-10 numbers right out of the box. He is also (I think) more likely than Jones or Wilson to maybe serve up a healthy portion of sacks and turnovers.

2011Cam Newton, Ariz.L 21-28422210-04181
2011Christian Ponder, Minn.G.B.L 27-33219220-02310
2011Jake Locker, Tenn.N.E.L 14-34229111-12110
2011Blaine Gabbert, Car.L 10-16139113-0220
2012Robert Griffin III, N.O.W 40-32320201-02420
2012Andrew Luck, Chi.L 21-41309131-1390
2012Ryan Tannehill, Hou.L 10-30219031-02-40
2012Brandon Weeden, Clev.Phil.L 16-17118042-02250
2013EJ Manuel, Buff.N.E.L 21-23150200-00230
2014Blake Bortles, S.D.L 14-33254120-03240
2014Teddy Bridgewater, Minn.Atl.W 41-28317000-00271
2014Johnny Manziel, Clev.Cin.L 0-3080020-03130
2015Marcus Mariota, T.B.W 42-14209400-0260
2015Jameis Winston, T.B.Tenn.L 14-42210222-04180
2016Carson Wentz, Phil.Clev.W 29-10278202-0210
2016Paxton Lynch, Den.Atl.L 16-23223112-06180
2016Jared Goff, LARMia.L 10-14134000-01110
2017Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.Min.L 17-20128111-11220
2017Patrick Mahomes, Den.W 27-24284010-02100
2017Deshaun Watson, Cin.W 13-9125000-03671
2018Baker Mayfield, Oak.L 42-45295222-22100
2018Sam Darnold, NYJat Det.W 48-17198210-02-10
2018Josh Allen, Buff.LACL 20-31245120-05320
2018Josh Rosen, Ariz.Sea.L 17-20180100-01130
2018Lamar Jackson, Balt.Cin.W 24-21150011-031190
2019Daniel Jones, NYGat T.B.W 32-31336202-25282
2019Kyler Murray, Ariz.Det.T 27-27308210-05130
2019Dwayne Haskins, Buff.L 9-24144000-03140
2020Justin Herbert, LACK.C.L 20-23311110-02181
2020Tua Tagovailoa, Mia.LARW 28-1793101-1100
2020Joe Burrow, Cin.LACL 13-16193011-03461
2021Trevor Lawrence, Hou.????????
2021Zach Wilson, NYJat Car.????????
2021Mac Jones, N.E.Mia.????????

—Ian Allan