It's become a given that without good play of your quarterback, it's tough to win in this league, let alone win a Super Bowl. Teams are constantly scouring the NFL Draft every year for the next best thing. For now, it seems as though the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins have found their answers in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, respectively.
But others look throughout the league for younger, non-rookie quarterbacks that will take less time to develop than most rookies, and some find success. The Cowboys did with Tony Romo, and the Texans did with Matt Schaub. This begs the question: what other possible quarterbacks are out there that have starting potential with other teams? Here are five that could help jumpstart a franchise:
1. Ryan Mallet - New England Patriots
Highly decorated out of Arkansas, the young Mallet, at age 24, had all of the tools coming out, but character concerns and questions of maturity dropped him to the third round, where Bill Belichick snatched him up and surely took him though the Belichick school of hard knocks. A third stringer his rookie year, he beat out Bryan Hoyer in training camp, and is the lone backup behind Tom Brady. A possible successor to the Brady era, Mallet is certainly worth a trade and long looks should he hit free agency.
2. Nick Foles - Philidelphia Eagles
Foles is put on this list because of his special status. First, he was a sleeper in the 2012 draft, and he had a good enough training camp to beat out incumbent Mike Kafka for the backup role behind Michael Vick, who has never made it through a full season. Foles is surely to see the field sooner rather than later, and with Reid's ability to develop decent quarterbacks, Foles could certainly have the potential to keep an NFL franchise afloat.
3. Colin Kaepernick - San Francisco 49ers
This guy could have been the starter last year had Alex Smith not revitilized his career last season. Kaepernick was drafted in the second round for a reason. But for now, he remains a talented backup with huge potential, and arguably one of the most intriguing. So far, when Kaepernick has seen the field, he has been used for his running ability, which has caught opposing defenses off guard. And all teams know of are his great mobility, but we have yet to see extended time from him in a real game. But, many agree that the team would still have success with him under center. Jim Harbaugh needs to be careful that he doesn't have a quarterback controversy brew. But with Alex Smith on board for at least three more years, Kaepernick will be one to watch.
4. T.J. Yates - Houston Texans
The most established bacup on this list, Yates showed his ability when Schaub went down last season, even leading the Texans to its first ever playoff win over the Cincinatti Bengals. While Yates did have his bad moments, he did well enough for a team that is quarterback-needy to take a chance on the former UNC quarterback.
5. Kirk Cousins - Washington Redskins
Yet another rookie, Cousins was a quarterback that had as high as a second round grade on him entering the 2012 Draft. The Redskins got a steal in the fourth round, as Cousins has the ability to be starting quarterback worthy. He played well enough in his debut against the Atlanta Falcons such that the Redskins still had a shot at defeating the Falcons. Being behind RG3, Cousins won't get any big time opportunities at starting, and is a name that teams will consider when looking for a young quarterback already in the league with starting capability.