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When I first posed the question earlier on which draft class was the best of all time, the only one that popped in my head was the 1983 draft class, and there is really only one reason for that class to be rated so high: quarterbacks. That class produced three Hall-of-Fame-caliber NFL quarterbacks.
The 2011 draft class had quantity at the quarterback position. As I said many times, in that class you had a boatload of high-caliber players who notched a whole lot of prototypical factors for the position.
Between Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, T.J. Yates, Colin Kaepernick, Ricky Stanzi, Jake Locker and Andy Dalton, there were a whole lot of players that fit into upper-echelon size, athleticism, arm strength, production and winning record categories.
However, as much as I liked the group and figured there would be at least four long-term starters in the bunch, with potentially up to seven, the only true "star" I saw was Cam Newton. That class is a great example of a quarterbacks class that possesses quantity but not necessarily true star power.
The 2012 draft class is a different story.
Three of the quarterbacks in this class (Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill) rate on a talent basis ahead of my second-ranked quarterback from the previous class.
Two of the quarterbacks from this class (Luck and Weeden), I am confident enough to say, will definitely be throwing for 300-plus yards on a regular basis on Sundays, and one of them (Luck) is the best quarterback prospect I have personally ever witnessed.
And, of course, there's a fourth quarterback (Robert Griffin) who is an absolute boom-or-bust player that already notches incredible tangibles, unique intangibles and a fanatical fan following.
I may have been comfortable predicting that the 2011 quarterbacks class would produce four long-term starters, but this 2012 class should produce one—or two, with an outside shot of perhaps even producing three—Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks.
That's the sort of thing people remember about a draft class.