*Gregg Rosenthal watches the NFL's rookie quarterbacks every week and ranks their performances based on that week only. *
It was a banner week for the NFL's rookie class. Brandon Weeden checked off a big item on his rookie quarterback bucket list. The group went 4-1 overall, with every victory coming against winning teams. Ryan Tannehill, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson all are up for Pepsi Max Rookie of the Week Honors.
It was a tough call for the top spot this time.
RG3 continues to do everything he's asked. The Redskins have a great balance between his called runs and a relatively conservative passing attack that still hits big plays. Griffin's throws usually are short, but they are precise. That's how you lead the league in completion percentage and stay in the top five in yards per attempt.
Griffin's running ability against the Minnesota Vikings puts him over the top. He's the best red-zone quarterback in the league. (We might as well call the red zone the RG3 Zone.) And as John Madden said, Griffin might be the fastest quarterback ever to play in the NFL. Griffin also might be an MVP candidate.
Wilson was electric in the first and fourth quarters against the New England Patriots. Early on, it was all about improvisation. Wilson showed off his deep accuracy late, connecting on a number of long throws up the seams. On a day when the Seahawks' run game was quiet, Wilson averaged more than 10 yards per attempt and threw for three scores. His best two games of the year have come the last two weeks.
Tannehill didn't throw the ball deep like in past weeks, but he was very effective. We continue to be impressed about the little things in Tannehill's game, like how he handles incoming blitz pressure. The second play on the highlight reel below shows how he has a knack for delivering the ball just before being hit.
The Rodney Dangerfield of this rookie class would have contended for the top spot in most weeks. Browns correspondent Marc Sessler notes that Weeden is much calmer in the pocket than early in the year. He's mostly eliminating mistakes.
Still, the Browns' passing attack is far better than a year ago. Weeden took a big hit in this game and kept playing. He bounced back from his interception. His best quarter was the last one. With a big assist from Cleveland's offensive line, Weeden is making progress. He only gets knocked here because of seven consecutive three-and-outs made him a little less consistent than the guys above.
Luck has owned the top spot in our weekly rankings in three of his four games. Against the New York Jets, he finally looked like a rookie. New York seemed to scramble Luck by showing him a lot of different looks. He wasn't able to create plays when pressured like previous weeks.