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Originally published January 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Page modified January 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM

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The class has potential to be among the best for QBs

The Luck-Griffin-Wilson trio going up against 1983 and 2004.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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It's too soon to say whether the quarterback class this season will measure up to the two greatest quarterback crops over the past 30 years. Those are groups distinguished by Super Bowl rings and Hall of Fame inductions:

Year: 2012

Draft position Player (team) College
First round (No. 1 overall) Andrew Luck (Colts) Stanford
First round (No. 2 overall) Robert Griffin III (Washington) Baylor
Third round (No. 75 overall) Russell Wilson (Seahawks) Wisconsin

An NFL-record five rookies started at quarterback in Week 1, and eight different rookie quarterbacks won a regular-season start this season. Luck broke the rookie record for passing yards with 4,374, Wilson matched the rookie record for touchdown passes with 26 and Griffin set the rookie record for passer rating at 102.4.

Year: 1983

First round (No. 1 overall) John Elway (Broncos) Stanford
First round (No. 14 overall) Jim Kelly (Bills) Miami-Fla.
First round (No. 27 overall) Dan Marino (Dolphins) Pittsburgh

There are some caveats here. Elway was drafted by the Colts and forced a trade while Kelly played in the USFL before coming to the NFL. The bottom line is that this draft included three Hall of Fame quarterbacks in addition to Todd Blackledge, Ken O'Brien and Tony Eason, who were also first-round choices and NFL starters.

Year: 2004

First round (No. 1 overall) Eli Manning (Giants) Ole Miss
First round (No. 4 overall) Philip Rivers (Chargers) N. Carolina St.
First round (No. 11 overall) Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) Miami-Ohio

There are three active QBs who've started multiple Super Bowl victories, and two of them were part of this draft. Throw in the prolific Rivers — who spent two years behind Drew Brees in San Diego — and this crop just might wind up matching 1983 for Hall of Fame QBs.

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