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2012 Quarterback Class Best Ever?
Leading up to the April draft, nearly every ESPN personality and every expert said Luck and Griffin were special, but Ryan Tannehill would be a bust because he wasn't ready to play at the NFL level. Fast forward eight months and we have five rookie QB's not only contributing to their respective teams, they are actually playing very well. Andrew Luck and RGIII could very well be in consideration for league MVP, not just Rookie of the Year. Tannehill has been playing great for the Dolphins, and Brandon Weeden has actually shown some great moments for the ailing Browns. Then there is a guy that no one talked about in Seattle, and that man is Russell Wilson. He quietly has the Seahawks sitting in a playoff position and has the highest QB rating in the NFL for the month of November.
It's hard to say that any draft class is better than another because of rule changes that have taken place over the years. If Dan Marino played in today's NFL, he may throw for 6,500 yards a season. But we can't deny the poise and talent that this year's class possesses.
With that being said, let's take a look at the stats for each player so far this year:
5. Brandon Weeden
Weeden has posted typical rookie numbers that a QB drafted in the top ten would produce on a bad team. He's thrown for over 2,800 yards and 13 TD's, which is good, but he also has 15 interceptions. Out of the five, he's had the most "rookie" moments this season. He tends to over throw open receivers and miss reads while checking down too quickly. These are things that can be fixed, but with taking his age into consideration, he has to have a short learning curve period. He's projected to throw for 3,400 yards and 18 TD's, which makes him a pretty appealing fixture for Cleveland moving into next season.
4. Ryan Tannehill
For someone with minimal experience at the QB position and playing on a team with mediocre talent, he's actually had a nice season. Tannehill has thrown for nearly 2,600 yards, but he only has 7 TD's compared to 12 interceptions. He has also added two TD's on the ground. Everyone dismissed Tannehill coming out of Texas A&M, but so far he's proven he at least belongs in this league, and should continue to grow. It's extremely helpful that he has his college head coach as his offensive coordinator.
3. Russell Wilson
Wilson has been the biggest surprise of the draft. Everyone felt the Seahawks were reaching on this pick and were also criticized for announcing him the starter over Matt Flynn. All of those critics have been silenced after a 7-5 start to the season and a possible playoff berth. Wilson has thrown for 2,400 yards and 19 TD's with only 8 interceptions. He is currently the highest rated QB in the NFL since November 1st. His leadership skills are unquestioned in the locker room and he has made this team a playoff contender.
2. Robert Griffin III
RGIII has taken the NFL by storm and is arguably the most exciting player in the NFL. His team is now 7-6 and deep in the playoff race in the NFC. Griffin has thrown for 2,700 yards and has also rushed for another 714, which is an NFL rookie record for a QB. He has 23 total TD's compared to 6 turnovers. Another rookie QB on the Skins, Kirk Cousins, came in when Griffin went down and led the Redskins to a come from behind overtime victory. This brings me to the downfall of RGIII. His talents are unquestioned, but his style of play leads me to believe he may have a short NFL career. He's a thin guy and not very durable, so if he continues to take big hits, he'll have a lot of 11 and 12 game seasons ahead of him, which could hurt the Redskins.
1. Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck is hands down rookie of the year in my opinion. He came in to a rough situation where the franchise was gutted after a 2-14 season a year ago. On a team full of rookies and a suspect offensive line, he's been sensational and has led them to 9 wins and has all but locked up a playoff spot. He's thrown for over 3,600 yards and has 22 total touchdowns. He does turn the ball over fairly consistently, but a lot of this is because of a very bad offensive line and young receivers that haven't developed chemistry with Luck. As he develops, these will become fewer and fewer, and we may be watching one of the greats develop right before our eyes.