NFL Rookie Quarterback Power Rankings

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NFL Rookie Quarterback Power Rankings

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

A major storyline of the 2012 NFL regular season was about the rookie quarterback. Rookies were coming into the league and doing things no had expected. We all thought that these guys were going to be good, but we had no idea how good they were going to end up being. All in all, eight rookie quarterbacks started games this season for NFL teams. For the purpose of these power rankings, I'm going to talk about guys who were the main starting quarterbacks or guys who were starters down the stretch so Ryan Lindley and Kirk Cousins will not be in it.

Three of the teams that started rookie quarterbacks made the postseason, and at the time of this slideshow, only one of those teams is left standing. Rookies used to get three development years, but that is no longer the norm. Especially with the success that these guys had, and how a lot of teams need to win as fast as they can, rookies are thrown right into the game to see whether or not they sink or swim.

As we go into 2013, some of these rookies are in better positions to succeed than others. Some are a part of teams on the rise, while others are going to have to fight for any playing time and deal with new regimes in charge of their organizations that may not necessarily want them around. Here are your NFL rookie quarterback power rankings.

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6. Brandon Weeden

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The former baseball player and Oklahoma St. quarterback is one of those rookies who may not have a starting job in 2013. The Browns traded back into the first round of the 2012 draft to get him. Weeden had a very uneven rookie season, finishing with more interceptions than touchdowns and being injured in the team's next to last game of the season. He went through a lot of the growing pains that rookies go through, except he will be 30 years old when the 2013 regular season kicks off. With a new coach and GM coming to Cleveland, you have to wonder how much longer Weeden may be there.

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5. Nick Foles

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After putting up very good pre-season numbers, Foles got his shot to start after a concussion sidelined Michael Vick. Foles finished with a record of 1-6 as a starter, but that wasn't entirely all his fault. Foles and Weeden have a couple of things in common. Both of their seasons ended in the next to last game of the season and both will be with teams that have new coaches and GM's. The difference is that Foles will be 24 this coming season and not 30. That alone, could give Foles a better shot of sticking with a new vision for the Eagles.

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4. Ryan Tannehill

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There were questions about Tannehill coming into the 2012 draft. Tannehill had only started at quarterback in college for one season after being a receiver. He came into camp and won the quarterback battle. The Dolphins now believe that they have their quarterback moving forward. Tannehill only threw 12 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, however, with improvements made to the receiving corps in 2013, those touchdown numbers should only increase. Will Tannehill be a star in the league? Only time will tell, but his numbers should get better.

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3. Robert Griffin III

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Now we get to the elite members of the 2012 rookie class. Griffin came into the league and did things rookies aren't supposed to do. After he played his first game against the New Orleans Saints, we knew we weren't dealing with a regular rookie. Griffin amassed over 4,000 total yards and scored 27 total touchdowns. Griffin's talents lead the Redskins to their first NFC East title since 1991. Then the playoff game happened. Already battling knee injuries, Griffin tore his LCL and ACL and just had surgery. He is questionable for the start of the 2013 season and has some durability questions.

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2. Andrew Luck

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The Indianapolis Colts went from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck at quarterback with one year in between. Not bad huh? Luck set the NFL rookie record for passing yards in a season and missed the touchdown record by one. Luck has some work to do. He needs to increase his completion percentage and not turn the ball over as much, but improvements along his offensive line would help that. Luck helped take a team that was the worst in football in 2011 to a wild card birth in 2012. He led them on many a late comeback, and the future looks bright in Indy.

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1. Russell Wilson

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Wilson is number one on these rankings. Wilson's team is the only one left in the NFL playoffs. He tied the rookie record for touchdown passes. Wilson and the Seahawks really took off when the offense went to more of a read option scheme. Wilson doesn't turn the ball over (he only threw 10 interceptions this season) and makes the plays when he has to. He provides a ton of leadership for the team. Not bad for a third round pick, taken five picks after a punter. The Seahawks haven't lost since November 25. In that time, Wilson has scored 14 touchdowns, either throwing or running and thrown just two interceptions.