The NFL's 2012 regular season began with a record five rookie starting quarterbacks under center on opening weekend. Josh and I have been playing professor along the way, grading each one on the year they've had so far.
Obviously, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are at the top of the class. Luck has a tendency to be overshadowed by the play of RGIII, but the two are playing in offenses that are extremely different from each other. Luck has done a very good job inside the pocket, making the necessary protection calls and keeping his eyes downfield instead of on the rush.
RGIII is playing at an incredibly high level. Not only have he and head coach Mike Shanahan done a great job of incorporating what RGIII did well in college, the rookie has done a near-masterful job of handling the blitz both with his legs and by finding his hot receiver the moment the pressure reveals itself.
For the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill's play has been a pleasant surprise. Anyone who tells you they saw his play ascending to the level we've seen through the first half on the 2012 season is simply being disingenuous. It will be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Mike Sherman starts opening things up even more for his young pupil after the bye week.
The Browns and Seahawks are bringing Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson along, though you have to think the pressure on Wilson is much greater, as his team is existing much as the Minnesota Vikings were prior to their bringing Brett Favre aboard a few years ago. They have a nearly complete team that needs better quarterback play if it wants to get over the hump and make noise not only in the division, but in the playoffs.
Let us know in the comments below what your grades are for each of the rookies so far in the 2012 season and where Josh and I may have gone astray in ours.