The NFL's Best Young Quarterbacks

Forrest KobayashiSenior Analyst IDecember 19, 2007

The National Football League has a lot of intriguing young quarterbacks who will become terrific leaders in each of their offenses in the near future.

Some of the names may be recognizable, and some may not be to the typical viewer. It generally takes a young quarterback a couple of seasons to get used to life in the pros, the speed of the professional football game, and the more sophisticated defensive schemes. This article will highlight some of the game's best young quarterbacks, each who has a bright future ahead in the pros.

Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos

Ever since the day that Jay Cutler was drafted, many coaches in the league felt that he had the ability to become a special player.

Though there are times when he is inconsistent in throwing the football, Jay sports a rocket arm and is a true playmaker. His consistency is one thing that is currently holding him back, but once he gets more playing experience and has been in the league for a few years, he could become one of the games elite passers.

Jay Cutler exhibited great poise in the pocket when he played at Vanderbilt University, and it is starting to show with every game he plays for Denver. Cutler will be a fantastic quarterback one day—his statistics could very well end up being similar to Peyton Manning in his prime, as Cutler plays with another top young receiver, Brandon Marshall.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

So much for that Eli Manning trade; Rivers looks to be the better quarterback out of the two, and I believe that his potential for growth is much higher as well. Rivers was originally drafted by the New York Giants, but was traded on draft day to the San Diego Chargers in exchange for Eli Manning and a great deal more.

Rivers will be a fantastic NFL quarterback in his prime. He has made slight adjustments to the gun-slinger, sidearm approach he took at North Carolina State, but his throwing style (which scouts had questioned) didn't seem to be that big of an issue when he actually got to the pros.

Rivers will eventually need some more receiving targets, but I like his potential to grow and become an elite signal caller in the National Football League.

Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings

Compared to the other two quarterbacks I have discussed, Jackson is truly a boom-or-bust prospect.

Drafted out of a small I-AA school (Alabama State), Jackson started the 2007 season out horribly. He has made some improvement as the season has gone on, showcasing his arm strength and mobility to succeed as an NFL passer.

His decision making must improve though, and his potential rests solely on the shoulders of head coach Brad Childress and his ability to develop him. If Childress takes a pro-active approach to helping Jackson improve, his value will skyrocket, and he could become the best quarterback in the NFL. On the flip side, if he continues to struggle in future seasons, he could become the next David Carr: plenty of potential, but ultimately, failed expectations.

All three of these quarterbacks show a great ability to throw the football, and are young enough to make significant changes in their game so that they can become eventual pro bowl caliber field generals. We will have to examine all three very closely as they continue their young NFL careers.

Honorable Mentions (as noted by responses): Derek Anderson, Trent Edwards