Today an unprecedented 5 rookie quarterbacks are expected to make their first NFL starts for their respective teams. According to a stat I saw on ESPN, that is the first time in the Super Bowl era that has happened since 1968 & 1969. All these guys coming into the league with expectations of turning their teams fortunes around this upcoming season. In this article, I will rank the ones from lowest to highest that I think will make an immediate impact for not just their team, but your fantasy team in the near future.
#5. Brandon Weeden- Cleveland Browns. Weeden is the oldest (28) of all the 5 rookie quarterbacks starting Sunday. Cleveland drafted him out of Oklahoma State with the 22nd pick in the draft. He is also the oldest ever to be drafted in the first round. What is interesting about him which I did not know about until researching for this article is that after high school, he was drafted and played professional baseball from 2002 to 2006 but quit due to injuries and did not enroll to Oklahoma State until 2007. Nonetheless, he set numerous records in college and was a force to reckon with alongside fellow rookie, Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon as his prime target. How will Weeden fair this upcoming season? He is paired up with another promising rookie, running back Trent Richarson to help a struggling Cleveland offense than scored only 218 points all of last season which was 3rd worst in the league behind Kansas City & St. Louis. This year will be another tough one in Cleveland who lost 2 starters on defense & possibly may have another 2 facing possible suspensions but they may have found themselves a decent QB in Weeden & a play maker in Richardson if his knee holds up following two surgeries in 6 months.
#4. Ryan Tannehill - Miami Dolphins. Tannehill is the first quarterback Miami has drafted since Dan Marino and he may reap immeadeate benefits in the Dolphins offensive system as he is working with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman who was his head coach at Texas A&M for his entire collegiate career. Tannehill did not have much competition in preseason, competing for the starting QB job along with Matt Moore and David Garrard. Sherman is planning on running some of the same schemes for Tannehill that he was familiar with in college. Will it produce any immeadeate success? Not right away. The Dolphins may have the worst set of wide recievers in the entire league and it will be interesting to see how Tannehill will get the ball to them this season. If you watched "Hard Knocks" on HBO during the preseason, the Dolphins GM was quoted as saying about Miami's wide recievers that "We have 4's, 5's and 6's , and need 1's, 2's and 3's". Not much confidence or expectations for a team that need a change of ownership and management.
#3. Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks. Wilson came into the preseason not expecting to be named the starter but impressed head coach Pete Carroll so much that he named him the starting QB over Matt Flynn who was signed for 3 years in the off season. I see Wilson as one of the rookie QBs that will have immediate success this season based on the talent that surrounds him on offense. He has Marshawn Lynch to hand the ball off to and decent receivers such as Sidney Rice as a target. I would not be surprised if he leads this team to a wild card spot. Perfect way to start a NFL career for a 5 foot 10 third round pick who is the only QB this week whose team is favored to win according to Vegas odds makers.
#2. Robert Griffin III- Washington Redskins. Griffin, the 2011 Heisman winner comes into the league as one of the most sought after QBs in this years draft that Washington agreed to trade up with St. Louis, giving away 4 draft picks over the next 3 years just to ensure that they got him. What will his immediate impact be? Griffin comes into the league as one of the fastest QBs we have seen since Michael Vick posting a 4.4 in the 40 yard dash at the combine. That speed will come in handy facing opposing NFC East defenses that have defensive lines that can rush the QB. His only knock: Scouts are saying that he needs to learn how to keep the ball closer to his body and learn how to slide more. Can't expect much from the Redskins in a very talented NFC East this season but their future looks bright with RG3 leading the pack and owner Daniel Snyder willing to overspend to make them a contender.
#1. Andrew Luck- Indianapolis Colts. Probably the most polished QB in this rookie class as he is being called the best QB to come out of college since John Elway. He comes into the league as the most skilled coming from Stanford which uses a pro style offense. It is why the Colts decided to part ways with the popular Peyton Manning who was coming off major neck surgery. What can we expect from him? A young man who will have his share of growing pains with a rebuilding Colts team that will ask a lot out of him very early on. He will do his fair share of losing before he learns how to win which can be sooner if not later with his skill set as I see him making those around him better like the man he replaced, Peyton Manning.
Will this be the best QB class to come into the league since 1983? Remains to be seen just based on what we have seen from these guys in preseason and in college but they all appear ready to lead their teams out of their losing droughts. What also remains to be seen is what talent will be surrounded around them in the future to make them better.
Follow and send me feeback on Twitter @BronxCobra51 or use the Facebook plug in to comment. Thanks for reading!