Get ’em started
The top quarterbacks taken in the past three NFL drafts usually have been thrust into starting roles immediately. Here’s a look at their rookie seasons:
E.J. Manuel, Buffalo: 16th overall, Florida State. Started Week 1, missed five games because of torn knee ligament; 11 TD passes, nine interceptions, 77.7 QB rating.
Geno Smith, N.Y. Jets: 39th, West Virginia. Started all season for 8-8 team; 12 TDs, 21 INTs, 66.5 rating.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis: first, Stanford. Started all 16 games, set a rookie record for passing yards and wins by a rookie QB drafted first overall (11), leading the Colts into the playoffs; made the Pro Bowl; 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 76.9 rating.
Robert Griffin III, Washington: second, Baylor. Best rookie QB rating in history (102.4); 20 TDs, five INTs, also ran for 815 yards; elected to Pro Bowl; led Redskins to playoffs.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami: eighth, Texas A&M. Started all 16 games; 12 TDs, 13 INTs, 76.1 rating; also started all 16 games last season.
Brandon Weeden, Cleveland: 22nd, Oklahoma State. Started Week 1 and missed only one game; had a Browns rookie record 3,385 yards, with 14 TDs, 17 INTs, 72.6 rating; lost his job last year to Brian Hoyer and was released by the Browns after the season; signed with Dallas.
Brock Osweiler, Denver: 57th, Arizona State. Peyton Manning’s backup. Nuff said.
Russell Wilson, Seattle: 75th, Wisconsin. Started every game, had 26 TDs, 10 INTs and a then-record 100.0 rating for rookie QB; made Pro Bowl; won Super Bowl in his second season.
Cam Newton, Carolina: first, Auburn. Passed for then-rookie record 4,051 yards; had 21 TDs, 17 INTs, 84.5 rating; started all 16 games and made Pro Bowl.
Jake Locker, Tennessee: eighth, Washington. Backed up Matt Hasselbeck all season.
Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville: 10th, Missouri. Started 14 games, had 12 TDs, 11 INTs, 65.4 rating, sacked 40 times, lost five fumbles; now with 49ers.
Christian Ponder, Vikings: 12th, Florida State. Started 10 games after backing up Donovan McNabb; had 13 TDs, 13 INTs, 70.1 rating.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati: 35th, TCU. Has started all 48 games, and has three playoff appearances; as a rookie had 20 TDs, 13 INTs, 80.4 rating.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco: 36th, Nevada. Backed up Alex Smith as a rookie; helped 49ers to Super Bowl in second season.