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New era: Record number of young QB starters in NFL

We've spent a lot of energy this month talking about young quarterbacks, from the big names like Andrew Luck and Jake Locker to Nick Foles Fever taking over Philadelphia.

If it seems like there are more young quarterbacks making noise in the NFL than ever before, well, the facts bear it out. Our research department points out that the previous high for Week 1 starters in their first or second seasons is five. There will be at least nine this year, and Russell Wilson could make it 10.

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The last season in which there were five young starters was 2002, when Quincy Carter, Mike McMahon, Michael Vick, Drew Brees and David Carr all were opening their career. It's safe to say this group will have more success between Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill and Jake Locker.

Times have changed. If it's the sophisticated collegiate passing attacks or coaches more willing to bend their schemes, it's obvious that quarterbacks can succeed earlier.

NFL Network and NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote a great piece Wednesday looking at why teams are throwing young quarterbacks into the fire more quickly. Eighteen of the last 20 rookie quarterbacks selected in the first round of the NFL Draft have started at least one game.

Jeremiah points out that coaches have become more involved in the draft process of late, and they are more likely to play "their guy" right away.

That's one reason why we expect Pete Carroll to choose "his guy" Russell Wilson in Seattle to continue the trend of young NFL starting quarterbacks.

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