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Rodgers: Rookie QBs 'a lot more prepared' than I was

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In a two-week span, the AFC East has seen its trio of young quarterbacks put through the grinder.

While Buffalo's EJ Manuel has been benched in favor of a neck-bearded journeyman, both Miami's Ryan Tannehill and New York's Geno Smith have been publicly called out for their scattershot play.

Those growing pains haven't been enough to stop teams from thrusting this year's top rookie quarterbacks -- Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr -- into starting roles for clubs that nobody would mistake as Super Bowl-caliber.

It continues a trend that's seen all nine first-round quarterbacks selected from 2011 to 2013 start at least five games as rookies. With so many of those passers struggling, plenty point to the long incubation of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers behind Brett Favre as a more careful way to develop young arms. Rodgers, though, says he wouldn't have been ready to play in Year 1.

"Definitely not as prepared as the guys are now," Rodgers told reporters Tuesday, per Matt Vensel of The Star Tribune. "The guys coming out now are a lot more prepared than maybe myself and Alex Smith and Jason Campbell, the three guys who went in the first round in 2005; we're all still in the league and still playing. But definitely, you look at some of the guys who have been starting the past few years, they're a lot more prepared."

Even if that's so, teams have come no closer to cracking the code on drafting quarterbacks. Only four of those nine first-rounders picked between 2011 and 2013 will start for the teams that drafted them in Week 5. The other five have caused their teams plenty of heartache.

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