By: Brianne Dempsey
Here we are, half way through the season, and there is very little doubt that beyond the top 3-5 teams in the NFL this year, there’s been a lot of chaos. Many of the perennial top teams are struggling. Teams that used to be “gimme” wins are winning games no one expected. I mean come on – the Raiders have a winning record through Week 8.
After taking note of the teams who are now struggling after having moderate to high success in recent years, there is one trend I started to notice – who their quarterbacks are. And more specifically, when they were drafted.
Even as recently as last year there were articles being written speculating as to whether the 2012 class of quarterbacks had the potential to go down in NFL history as one of, if not the best draft class at the position. The number of playoff, Pro-Bowl and even Super Bowl appearances by these quarterbacks was quite impressive. There seemed to be a changing of the guard, guys like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning seemed to be on their way out (though they showed us this past week they most certainly still have it). This newer crop of quarterbacks had taken the league by storm and seemed to have finally settled into their roles with their respective teams.
But look at where they all are now. 2012’s number 1 draft pick, Andrew Luck has his team at a paltry 3-5 and is looking pretty bad on all these nationally televised games. Lucky for Luck, his division may just be one of the worst in football this year, and they’re still leading it. The 2nd overall pick from 2012, another quarterback – doesn’t even have his starting job anymore. Robert Griffin III lost his job to a 4th round pick from the same draft class – Kirk Cousins (8th quarterback to be taken that year). As much as Cousins seems to be a little more stable and suit Gruden’s offense a bit better, the Redskins have a losing record as well. Sticking with guys that started in the NFC East – take a look at Nick Foles (7th QB drafted that year). While the Rams do have a winning record, Foles bombed out of Philly after such high hopes were placed on him with Chip Kelly’s offense.
Russell Wilson (6th QB taken) is having quite the off year after last year’s Super Bowl appearance. While the team is 4-4, they sure don’t look like last year’s Seahawks. Ryan Tannenhill (3rd QB drafted) and his Dolphins were the laughing stock of the NFL just a few weeks ago before Miami fired Philbin.
And while I know he was a 2011 draftee, I’m going to throw Colin Kaepernick in this mix as his style of play is often compared to the quarterbacks mentioned here, and he did not get his first start until 2012 when Alex Smith got hurt. The Niners seemed to finally be breaking out of the dark years with regular playoff appearances. San Francisco announced today he would be benched in Week 9 against the Falcons.
Instead of being one of the best Quarterback draft classes, I think 2012 might be in the running for the most cursed. Only two are still paired with the coaching staff that drafted them, either through trades or coaches being relieved of their duties. And honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that number drop again this year should the Colts and Arians keep playing the way they have been in these nationally televised games. So what do you think? Is the 2012 QB draft class still in contention for one of the best ever, or has this crazy 2015 season put them in contention for one of the most disappointing?