A Changing of The Guard: Matty Ice and 8 Other Up-and-Comers at Quarterback

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A Changing of The Guard: Matty Ice and 8 Other Up-and-Comers at Quarterback
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The position of quarterback is an iconic position; you can go from goat to hero, or vice versa, in the blink of an eye and over a matter of inches. It is the only position in sports where you can control the fate of not one, but two teams, almost single-handedly. The NFL has come to define itself by the quarterback position and the players who occupy it, perhaps more than any other league in sports defines itself by a single position.

We, as fans of the NFL right now, are witnessing a changing of the guard at this iconic and powerful position. The great ones who we have come to know and love (or hate), the Peyton Manning's, Tom Brady's, Drew Brees', and Donovan McNabb's, of the world, are advancing in age and well into their 30's, and, while they certainly have some good seasons left in them, will exist only in old highlight reels before long.

Then we have the generations just behind them, the ones that are in their prime, guys like Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Schaub. But then, behind them, are the young guys we have to look forward to watching for the next decade and half; Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Josh Freeman, and others. These are guys to excited about, and they're showing us that their time is now. Ryan is leading one of the best teams in the NFL, while all the others, save Stafford, have their teams in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Using 26 as the cut-off age, I'm going to rank the top nine young quarterbacks we have in the NFL today.

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