Any football fan can clearly see it. Smell it. They can even taste it.
That's right. Football season has returned once again, and not a moment too soon. For the first time in quite a while, at least five rookie quarterbacks will be starting: Andrew Luck for the Indinapolis Colts, Robert Griffin III (RG3) for the Washington Redskins, Ryan Tannehill for the Miami Dolphins, Brandon Weeden for the Cleveland Browns, and Russell Wilson for the Seattle Seahawks.
All were very proficent and high profile quarterbacks in college, with each of them having their own unique skill sets, whether it be RG3's athleticism and strong arm, Luck or Weeden's arm, or Wilson's decision making and ability despite his height.
But despite all their talents, these teams are starting these rookies because that's the best way for them to move forward, and it's the only option they have to win games at this point. But out of all five, which one may be most likely to be the bust?
RG3 and Luck were the biggest and most highly profiled quarterbacks to come through the draft in quite some time, wih both having brought their teams to prominence and into the national spotlight. Both are young, have excellent football minds, and have the most upside of any rookie quarterbacks out there right now. With Luck, his experience calling plays in the huddle and playing in a pro-style offense will leave a smaller learning curve than RG3, who must adjust from the fast paced spread offense he operated at Baylor.
With Tannehill, he has great upside, despite having played quarterback for only two years at Texas A&M, but with former A&M offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who coached Tannehill, as the Dolphins' coordinator, along with the likes of an offensive minded coach like former Packers OC Joe Philbin, Tannehill will have an open opportunity, with the only question being who the Dolphins will throw to after the release of Chad Johnson and the lack of playmakers in the passing game.
With newly named Russell Wilson the starter, the question for him will be if he can continue his pre-season success against starters full-time. His height, being at 5'11, could become a factor, with very few quarterbacks being successful at 6'0. Whether he can boost that Seahawks offense with a Marshawn Lynch led ground attack remains to be seen.
Fingers will first be pointed towards the likes of one quarterack: Brandon Weeden. He has the arm, the height, and the capability. But his age, 28, means his window is a lot smaller than the likes of younger QBs like Luck, RG3, Wilson, or Tannehill, who are all 23 or younger. Also add in the fact that Cleveland still has no prove playmakers at receiver or in the passing game, and Weeden could struggle much sooner rather than later.
It's also nice to mention that he must play both the Steelers and the Ravens twice a year. Of the rookies starting, Weeden has the biggest chance since, as a result of his age, he must start winning, and quickly. Weeden's much smaller window and shorter career span will be the biggest obstacle weighed against him outside of tthe Browns' multple offensive problems.
In today's NFL, a quarterback is needed to get to that next level. Without that quarterback, a team will be hard pressed to reach that next level.