Comparing Russell Wilson and rookie QB class to famed 1983 trio
When you think of superb rookie classes of NFL quarterbacks, you think of 1983 and Hall of Famers John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly.
But could this year’s crop of rookie QBs, including top trio Russell Wilson of the Seahawks, Robert Griffin III of Washington and Andrew Luck of Indianapolis, be better? Their statistics certainly look good.
Wilson, RG3 and Luck have already combined to lead their teams on 10 game-winning drives in 2012, according to pro-football-reference.com.
Back in ’83, Elway and Marino combined for three.
(Kelly didn’t play his NFL rookie season until 1986, despite being taken 14th overall in the 1983 draft by Buffalo, because he played in the USFL instead for two years.)
The 2012 trio is 21-15 as starters.
The 1983 trio was a combined 15-20 in their rookie seasons.
Marino led the Dolphins to the postseason and a memorable 27-20 loss to the Seahawks in a 1983 AFC divisional playoff matchup at the Orange Bowl. He threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions (Dave Krieg kept pace with him).
Elway’s rookie season was one to mostly forget – only 2.7 percent of his passes went for touchdowns. The Seahawks’ Wilson is stellar in comparison, with 6 percent of his passes going for touchdowns.
The 2012 trio is also way more mobile, combining so far for 1,228 yards rushing. The 1983 trio totaled only 389 yards rushing in their rookie seasons.
Time will tell if this year’s rookie quarterback crop can measure up to the 1983 trio, but it makes for a great debate.
One thing the '80s group has is height: All are at least 6 feet 3 and Marino is 6-4. Luck is 6-4, but RG3 is 6-2 and Wilson is, well, 5-11, right?
Rich Boudet is the Seattle Times' Sunday Sports Editor