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Rookie quarterback rankings: Russell Wilson's on top

In this season of the rookie quarterback, no one saw Russell Wilson coming.

We knew all along that three rookies -- Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden -- would start in Week 1. Ryan Tannehill figured to have his chance with the Miami Dolphins sooner than later. Wilson was viewed as a project, a No. 3 quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

But training camp is made for guys like Wilson. The third-round draft pick -- considered a "reach" for the Seahawks by some draft analysts -- changed the narrative of the NFC West in one month of practice and three preseason games. Friday night's game was his chance to make his case to be the Seahawks' starting quarterback.

Wilson succeeded emphatically. He not only outperformed his competition in Seattle this month. He outperformed all the big-name rookie quarterbacks this week.

1. Russell Wilson

Wilson is our top-ranked rookie quarterback for this week because he had the most at stake and didn't flinch. In fact, he stepped up his game. His numbers are outrageous. He completed 13 for 19 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs. He had 58 rushing yards on just two attempts and led the Seahawks to 37 points in less than three quarters of action.

In previous weeks, Wilson's biggest flaw was occasional inaccuracy deep down the field. This time, he connected on throws over 30 yards to Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens. Whenever the Seahawks needed a play, Wilson delivered.

The kid just has some magic about him. He's going to be a lot of fun to watch for, oh, the next decade or so.

2. Andrew Luck

Luck vs. RG3 played out to expectations in many ways Saturday. Luck has more to overcome. He doesn't have the running game, offensive line or defense to support him like Griffin does. Luck appears preternaturally ready.

The numbers don't stand out: Luck threw for 151 yards and a score on 23 attempts. How Luck got those numbers was impressive. He's already so good at delivering passes under pressure. Pocket presence is an impossible skill to teach, and Luck doesn't flinch. There were at least three third-down conversions with bodies around him that only a dozen NFL quarterbacks could pull off. Luck already is in that group. The Indianapolis Colts were 7 of 11 on third downs while Luck was in the game.

3. Robert Griffin III

We get the sense that the Washington Redskins are keeping RG3 under wraps in the preseason, just like the Carolina Panthers did last year with Cam Newton. The offense is basic. The Redskins didn't put Griffin on the move often against the Colts. They didn't need to: Alfred Morris and the running game carried the team to two touchdowns.

Griffin had just 74 yards on 17 attempts, missing three bombs down the field. It was a solid, unspectacular preseason for Griffin. He often didn't see pressure coming. He looks like he belongs, and we can't wait to see more.

4. Ryan Tannehill

It's not a good sign for the Dolphins that Tannehill completed 11 of 27 passes against the Atlanta Falcons on a Friday night when he actually received good pass protection. At least four passes were dropped by Tannehill's receivers. We also counted four throws that were simply off target by Tannehill. He's not afraid to throw the ball into tight coverage, but Davone Bess is the only Dolphins receiver capable of making a play.

Tannehill has even more to overcome than Luck. There will be a lot of rough weeks for the Dolphins' offense.

5. Brandon Weeden

Weeden seems to have only one speed: fast. That's great on some routes, but he's struggling with timing on touch passes and some intermediate throws.

The speed of the game also looked fast for Weeden. He fumbled twice, was sacked three times and led the Cleveland Browns to just three points Friday night. He has endured a mediocre preseason, which is to be expected for a rookie quarterback on an offense without many weapons.

Honorable mention: Nick Foles

We couldn't end this post without throwing some love to the author of Nick Foles Fever. Based purely on the preseason alone, only Luck and Wilson outplayed Foles this month. He owns a big arm and has completed a number of difficult throws into tight windows. If Michael Vick struggles this year, you can bet Philadelphia Eagles fans will be calling for Foles. (Even if that's completely irrational this year.)

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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