Ranking the Rookie Quarterbacks

Ranking the Rookie Quarterbacks

It’s beginning to look like the 2012 draft class is shaping
up to be a banner year for quarterbacks. Obviously it’s too early to tell for
sure about a few of these guys (hint: Nick Foles), but there are currently
seven rookies starting at the most visible position in football. Now we want to
know how you would rank them.

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III get the most attention,
and for good reason. Numbers one and two in the selection process by the Colts
and Redskins have lived up to the hype, each having helped transform their
respective clubs into playoff contenders in short order. RG3 has by far the
best numbers in his rookie class, completing 66% of his passes for almost 3,000
yards while throwing 18 touchdowns to four picks, and adding another 700 yards
and six scores on the ground. Luck has put the Indianapolis offense on his back
forever, attempting the second-highest number of pass attempts in the NFL this
season en route to a 9-4 record.

Also chosen in the first round, Ryan Tannehill in Miami and
Brandon Weeden in Cleveland have remained a bit more anonymous for a pair of
bad teams. Separated by 14 picks, the two have had fairly similar up-and-down
seasons with nearly identical numbers, right down to their 5-8 records. However,
Tannehill was considered a project coming out of college, while the Browns were
hoping for more immediate gratification from the 29-year-old Weeden. Both are prospects, but not nearly as polished as the top dogs.

Then there is the constantly underrated Russell Wilson, who
went 13 picks before Foles in the third round. Unlike Foles though, Seattle
installed the 5’11” Wilson as the starter after winning a preseason competition,
and they've never looked back. With a staunch defense and power running game, Wilson
has been able to play more of a game-manager role, but with an efficient 94.9
passer rating, and a couple of game-winning drives. Plus, the Seahawks would make
the tournament if the season ended today.

Something tells us sixth-rounder Ryan Lindley for Arizona
won’t come in very high on anybody’s list.

We’re curious to see where Eagles fans would place Foles on
a list against his peers. However, there are no defined criteria. You could go
based on the seasons they are having, or the potential they have to grow into
franchise quarterbacks. Myself, I’m going with a cross between the two, if that
makes sense. It’s difficult to place Foles on this list when five of the seven
have been playing since Week 1, therefore I couldn’t justify putting him ahead
of Wilson even though he might be limited by his stature. Then again, scouts believed
Tannehill and Weeden had more potential than both of them, but neither has
shown the dramatic improvements Foles has.

Tough call. Here’s my list. Critique and share your own.

1. Luck

2. Griffin
III
3. Wilson
4. Foles
5. Tannehill
6. Weeden
7. Lindley

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Zach Ertz making significant strides after offseason work with Carson Wentz

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Zach Ertz making significant strides after offseason work with Carson Wentz

The same Zach Ertz who's never had more than four touchdowns in a season now leads all NFL tight ends in touchdown catches. With four.

It's all part of the natural evolution between Ertz and Carson Wentz.

Ertz shares the NFL TD catch lead among tight ends with the Buccaneers' Cameron Brate and the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski.

And going back to last year, Ertz has six touchdown catches in his last seven games and eight in his last 13 games.

In his previous 40 games? He had five touchdown catches.

“I think it's just all the offseason work with Carson," Ertz said. "I think the coaches have a lot of confidence in me down there, and I think that stems from all the red-zone emphasis that we had all spring and summer.

"And then I’ve just made plays, the offensive line has held up, I think Carson is putting the ball in amazing spots, and I just go up and get the ball. I have the easy part."

Ertz had TD catches to give the Eagles 14-0 leads against the Giants and Cards and then caught two last Thursday that turned a 10-3 deficit into an 18-10 lead as the Eagles beat the Panthers in Charlotte.

He's the first Eagles tight end with four TD catches through six games since Pete Pihos in 1955.

“The biggest thing is A) He puts in the work and B) He’s a really intelligent football player," Wentz said. "He knows coverages, recognizes things, knows when he’s hot (on a blitz).

"He’s really kind of in my head. He knows when I’m about to change his route, those types of things. With a guy like that, that knows how to create separation and play on time and be on the same page as me, that makes it tough to stop."

The touchdowns are most notable, but Ertz is off to the best start of his career in every category. His 34 catches and 405 yards are both second-most among all NFL tight ends to Travis Kelce's 37 and 423 (in seven games).

The Eagles, 5-1, face the 3-2 Redskins Monday night at the Linc. Ertz already has 54 career receptions against the Redskins – third-most ever by a tight end.

“It’s just Year 2 in this system," he said. "I’m a lot more comfortable in my role this year as opposed to last year. I was hurt, missed two games, and I was slowly integrated back into the gameplan.

"I think this year I’m extremely confident in my role, I think they have the confidence in me to go out there and make plays when my number’s called, and it’s not going to be 10 targets every game. Last week it was two targets, 20 yards. It’s going to vary each and every week but I’m very happy with how they’re using me right now."

Ertz and Nelson Agholor are the first Eagles tandem with four touchdown catches each through six games since Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams each had four back in 1992.

The red zone was a point of emphasis this offseason, and Wentz's numbers in the red zone are off the charts – 62 percent completion percentage, nine touchdowns, no interceptions and a 112.8 passer rating, fourth-highest in the NFL.

Ertz is third in the NFL with five red-zone first-down catches and fourth in the NFL with both six red-zone receptions and 49 yards.

“It’s timing," Wentz said. "It’s a timing thing and being on the same page.

"Red zone’s all about making plays. Playmakers making plays and playing on time down there is so crucial and that’s something we’ve really focused on. I think we’ve gotten better at all our spots on playing on time but he’s a guy that we feel creates mismatches and we take advantage of them."