August 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) looks to pass during their preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
When Pete Carroll announced that his third round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Russell Wilson, would be the starting quarterback on week one of the season for the Seahawks, it represented the tenth rookie or second year quarterback to earn a starting role for week one. According to Scott Hanson of NFL Network, that doubles the old record of five on week one.
The slew of young quarterbacks is magnified even more in the AFC South where 31-year old Matt Schaub is the only quarterback above the age of 24 and 22-year old Blaine Gabbert is even younger than Colts rookie Andrew Luck. Seemingly gone are the days of a long grooming project for a young quarterback to make way for an era in which quarterbacks are thrust in early or just sit for one year maximum.
And as this group of young quarterbacks that represents nearly a third of the league's starters develop, how they each fare for their respective teams will go a long way towards determining the future of each given team. In the future, when analysts look back at the drafts of 2011 and 2012, the ranking of Gabbert against the likes of Wilson, Luck, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton will likely be very indicative of the Jaguars' play for the next decade.