Now that the first five weeks of the NFL season are in the books, we have seen enough of these three rookie quarterbacks to give them a fair evaluation.
So far, comparatively speaking, this has been quite a successful campaign for rookie quarterbacks this season, and the fact that these players have been this effective without an offseason program makes their accomplishments that much more impressive.
Let's take a look at how the three starting quarterbacks are doing so far this season.
By far, the rookie that is making all of the headlines is Cam Newton. We all knew of Newton's physical abilities, but he has surpassed all of our expectations. He's not just putting up big numbers for a rookie, he's near the top of the league. He makes plays with his legs, and teams have to prepare for his threat to run.
For all of the things he has done well, he has had his share of bumps. He has thrown a lot of interceptions. Still, Carolina fans have to happy with what is in store for their team. The only problem is, the Panthers aren't winning a lot of games, but as Newton continues to improve, so should Carolina's record.
Gabbert got his first start in Week 3, which happened to be played in a monsoon against the Carolina Panthers. So really, we only have two "real" games to judge Gabbert on.
So far, Gabbert has been largely unspectacular. He has not made too many colossal mistakes (save the bizarre "fumble" against the pylon versus the Bengals), but he's not exactly setting the world on fire either.
I give him credit for letting Maurice Jones-Drew handle the load and not trying to do too much.
When Dalton came out of TCU, everyone knew he was a natural leader and had a great feel for the game. The only question was whether his unimpressive arm could survive in the NFL.
So far, Dalton has done nothing but impress me with his ability to throw the football. He has brought his team back late in games and is finding a way to move the offense with some consistency. In fact, this Bengals offense is probably a little more dangerous with a rookie Dalton than a veteran Palmer.