Young Quarterbacks On The Rise
A look at the NFL's rising stars at quarterback who have been drafted since 2014.
Young quarterbacks around the NFL are establishing themselves as stars.
"One of the most astounding statistics that I've seen in football in the last 25 years is the amount of young quarterbacks that are playing early and playing well," says ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL head coach JON GRUDEN. "They are coming into the league much more accomplished in terms of throwing the football and recognizing defenses."
Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys and Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles each started all 16 games as rookies in 2016, and have proven that young quarterbacks can play early and succeed in today's NFL. The league has now had at least one rookie quarterback start in a Week 1 game in nine consecutive seasons, the longest streak since at least 1950.
Prescott had 13 wins as a starter, tied with BEN ROETHLISBERGER (2004) for the most wins by a rookie starting quarterback in NFL history. His 0.9 interception percentage (23 touchdowns, four interceptions) is the lowest by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (minimum 200 passing attempts).
Wentz -- who was the first Eagles rookie to start at quarterback in a season opener since DAVEY O'BRIEN in 1939 -- passed for 769 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions through Week 3 and became the only rookie in NFL history with a touchdown pass and no interceptions in each of his first three games to start a season.
Prescott and Wentz are two of the many young quarterbacks taking the NFL by storm. Third-year quarterbacks JAMEIS WINSTON of Tampa Bay and MARCUS MARIOTA of Tennessee, along with fourth-year quarterback DEREK CARR of Oakland, all hope to build on their experience entering 2017.
Last season, Winston passed for 4,090 yards and became the first player in NFL history to record at least 4,000 passing yards in each of his first two sea sons (4,042 yards as a rookie in 2015). He has 50 career touchdown passes and became the fifth player in league history to throw at least 50 touchdown passes in his first two seasons.
Mariota threw multiple touchdown passes in eight consecutive games from Weeks 5-12 in 2016, the second-longest single-season streak in NFL history by a quarterback in his first two seasons, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO's streak of 10 games in 1984. He also became the first quarterback in NFL history to have three games with a 70.0+ completion percentage, at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first two seasons.
A few of the rising stars at quarterback who were drafted since 2014:
Derek Carr, Oakland
"I feel like we have a really good young quarterback in Derek Carr. Bottom line is that Derek's a good young player. He exhibits a lot of leadership. He's got tremendous arm talent; he can make all the throws. The great thing about Derek is he's a real hard worker. He understands the importance of working hard and putting in the time and really understanding his prep." -- Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio
Dak Prescott, Dallas
"I'm absolutely amazed with him. There is nothing I don't like about him. He was regarded as a project coming out of Mississippi State as a fourth rounder. He walked into that room and I never felt the presence of a young quarterback like I did with him. I said this was the most impressive young player I've ever been around at the position." -- FOX NFL analyst and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
"That's just who he is. I mean, it jumps out at you. He's a special guy. He sets the tone. I mean, we have a lot of good football players on this team, but from a leadership standpoint, Jameis sets the tone. He's the leader of our football team." -- Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee
"I think he can be a great, front-line Pro Bowl quarterback in the league. I don't have any doubts about that if he can stay healthy and they can add a few pieces to their receiving corps. He just has all the intangibles and all the qualities I am looking for personally." -- ESPN NFL analyst and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia
"We went on the road a year ago and worked out all the quarterbacks, just felt coming away -- gut feeling -- that Carson was going to be a special player, wherever he ended up. He's always wanting to get better, he's always wanting to learn, and those types of guys sometimes are hard to find. So I'm very confident and very comfortable that he's going to be one of those special guys in this league for a long time." -- Eagles head coach Doug Pederson
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