Next Sunday when the full slate of games kick off for the start of the regular season, five rookie quarterbacks will be starting for their respective teams, which sets an NFL record by more than doubling the previous record set last season of two.
By having a rookie starting at quarterback, it means that most of the teams are in a rebuilding phase, so we don't expect any of these teams to do too much, but there could definitely be some potential stars in the making in the 2012 class.
It's not a surprise to very many people that Andrew Luck looks like an NFL veteran already. All the experts deemed him "NFL ready" before he was drafted and, from what we've seen during the preseason, they were right!
The Colts could surprise some people this year. Let's not put them in the playoffs just yet, but I do think Luck can lead this team to six or seven wins in his rookie season.
Projected Stats: 3,300 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs
Robert Griffin III
RGIII hasn't disappointed the nation's capitol faithful thus far and he got the best of Andrew Luck in their preseason match up. He hasn't ventured outside of the pocket too much, so his durability will still be a question mark as we get into the regular season.
Most QBs with his playing style are often injured. The difference between RGIII and a guy like Michael Vick is pocket presence.
RGIII has looked good standing in the pocket and throwing from the pocket during the preseason, and I don't expect the regular season to be any different. The Redskins are still the worst team in the NFC East, even with Griffin under center. They will improve though and finish the season with seven wins.
Projected Stats: 2,900 yards, 18 TDs, 9 INTs, 455 yards rushing, 3 rush TDs
Weeden is not a traditional rookie because he's currently older than Aaron Rodgers and hasn't started a game yet.
The Browns have one of the worst offenses in the league and did little to improve that during the offseason. Richardson has missed the entire preseason so we don't know what to expect from the run game, so Weeden may have some pressure when he drops back.
I like Josh Gordon, who could become a reliable target with his big body. The Browns have one of the toughest schedules in football and Weeden has to face the Steelers and Ravens defense each twice. This isn't going to bode well for his development and potential numbers. It's going to be a long season, and the Browns will probably only win three games this year.
Projected Stats: 2,020 yards, 13 TDs, 20 INTs
The Miami Dolphins are a train wreck. I was actually hoping Tannehill would not start this year because he's going to get destroyed. He has a roster of number three and four receivers after the Dolphins traded away their only quality receiver in Brandon Marshall.
The ownership is a mess, the coaching staff is brand new and already a mess (mainly by agreeing to do Hard Knocks), and the team is in disarray.
Tannehill is going to take his lumps for sure, and this team will be lucky to win five games this year. One of the questions about Tannehill coming out of college was if he would be NFL ready and most of the experts said no. The Dolphins are forcing the issue here and it may hurt their young QB.
Projected Stats: 1,950 yards, 12 TDs, 17 INTs
Wilson was the biggest surprise out of this group to get the starting job for his team. The Seahawks just gave Matt Flynn a big contract, but Wilson flat out beat him during the preseason and will now be the signal caller in Seattle.
Like RGIII, Wilson is a dual threat QB and could really make this a playoff caliber team.
The NFC West is weak and I do expect the 49ers to win the division, but they won't run away with it like last season. Russell Wilson has a lot of weapons around him and could flourish in Pete Carroll's system. They might not make the playoffs this year, but this team will be better than most people give them credit for. Seattle wins eight games this season.
Projected Stats: 2,250 yards, 17 TDs, 11 INTs, 595 yards rushing, 2 rush TDs
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