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Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are expected to be the first two picks in the draft tomorrow night. One thing you might not know about the two is that Goff is nearly two years younger than Wentz. Goff, who played three years at California but did not redshirt, was born on October 14, 1994; as a result, he’ll be 21.88 years old on September 1st of this season. Wentz was a fifth year senior for the North Dakota State Bison last year, and was born on December 27th, 1992.

There have been 103 quarterbacks drafted since 1967 in the first round of the NFL draft. Goff will be the 15th youngest as of September 1 of that season, while Wentz will be 15th oldest by that same measure.

QuarterbackYearTmPickBirthday9/1 Age
Tommy Maddox1992den2509/02/197121.00
Michael Vick2001atl106/26/198021.18
Alex Smith2005sfo105/07/198421.32
Drew Bledsoe1993nwe102/14/197221.55
Matthew Stafford2009det102/07/198821.57
Josh Freeman2009tam1701/13/198821.63
Jameis Winston2015tam101/06/199421.65
Heath Shuler1994was312/31/197122.67
Jason Campbell2005was2512/31/198123.67
Kerry Collins1995car512/30/197222.67
Carson Wentz201612/30/199223.67
Carson Palmer2003cin112/27/197923.68
Mark Malone1980pit2811/22/195821.78
Teddy Bridgewater2014min3211/10/199221.81
Marcus Mariota2015oti210/30/199321.84
Blaine Gabbert2011jax1010/15/198921.88
Jared Goff201610/14/199421.88
Dan Marino1983mia2709/15/196121.96
Bert Jones1973clt209/07/195121.98
Terry Bradshaw1970pit109/02/194822.00
JaMarcus Russell2007rai108/09/198522.06
Chris Miller1987atl1308/09/196522.06
Tim Couch1999cle107/31/197722.09
Andre Ware1990det707/31/196822.09
Todd Marinovich1991rai2407/04/196922.16
Kyle Boller2003rav1906/17/198122.21
Dan Pastorini1971oti305/26/194922.27
Archie Manning1971nor205/19/194922.29
Ryan Leaf1998sdg205/15/197622.30
Cam Newton2011car105/11/198922.31
Blake Bortles2014jax304/28/199222.34
Art Schlichter1982clt404/25/196022.35
Steve Spurrier1967sfo304/20/194522.37
Marty Domres1969sdg904/17/194722.38
Jerry Tagge1972gnb1104/12/195022.39
Peyton Manning1998clt103/24/197622.44
Trent Dilfer1994tam603/13/197222.47
Don Horn1967gnb2503/09/194522.48
Tommy Kramer1977min2703/07/195522.49
Ben Roethlisberger2004pit1103/02/198222.50
John Reaves1972phi1403/02/195022.50
Todd Blackledge1983kan702/25/196122.51
Steve McNair1995oti302/14/197322.54
Robert Griffin2012was202/12/199022.55
Bob Griese1967mia402/03/194522.57
Daunte Culpepper1999min1101/28/197722.59
Cade McNown1999chi1201/12/197722.63
Steve Fuller1979kan2301/05/195722.65
Jim Harbaugh1987chi2612/23/196323.69
Rich Campbell1981gnb612/21/195822.70
Greg Landry1968det1112/18/194621.71
Dan McGwire1991sea1612/18/196723.70
Ken O'Brien1983nyj2411/27/196022.76
Donovan McNabb1999phi211/25/197622.77
Troy Aikman1989dal111/21/196622.78
Greg Cook1969cin511/20/194622.78
Richard Todd1976nyj611/19/195322.78
Mike Phipps1970cle311/19/194722.78
Steve Bartkowski1975atl111/12/195222.80
Mark Sanchez2009nyj511/11/198622.81
Sam Bradford2010ram111/08/198722.81
Brady Quinn2007cle2210/27/198422.84
Andrew Luck2012clt109/12/198922.97
Rex Grossman2003chi2208/23/198023.02
Jim McMahon1982chi508/21/195923.03
Tim Tebow2010den2508/14/198723.05
Doug Williams1978tam1708/09/195523.06
David Carr2002htx107/21/197923.12
Kelly Stouffer1987crd607/06/196423.15
John Elway1983clt106/28/196023.18
Jake Locker2011oti806/15/198823.21
Jack Thompson1979cin305/19/195623.29
Vince Young2006oti305/18/198323.29
Matt Ryan2008atl305/17/198523.29
Matt Leinart2006crd1005/11/198323.31
Jay Cutler2006den1104/29/198323.34
EJ Manuel2013buf1603/19/199023.46
Rick Mirer1993sea203/19/197023.46
J.P. Losman2004buf2203/12/198123.47
Christian Ponder2011min1202/25/198823.52
Chuck Long1986det1202/18/196323.53
David Klingler1992cin602/17/196923.54
Marc Wilson1980rai1502/15/195723.54
Patrick Ramsey2002was3202/14/197923.55
Jim Kelly1983buf1402/14/196023.55
Joe Flacco2008rav1801/16/198523.62
Byron Leftwich2003jax701/14/198023.63
Eli Manning2004sdg101/03/198123.66
Jim Everett1986oti301/03/196323.66
Philip Rivers2004nyg412/08/198122.73
Jeff George1990clt112/08/196722.73
Johnny Manziel2014cle2212/06/199221.74
Jim Plunkett1971nwe112/05/194723.74
Aaron Rodgers2005gnb2412/02/198321.75
Vinny Testaverde1987tam111/13/196323.80
Steve Pisarkiewicz1977crd1911/10/195323.81
Phil Simms1979nyg711/03/195523.83
Joey Harrington2002det310/21/197823.86
Tony Eason1983nwe1510/08/195923.90
Akili Smith1999cin308/21/197524.03
Ryan Tannehill2012mia807/27/198824.10
Chad Pennington2000nyj1806/26/197624.18
Jim Druckenmiller1997sfo2609/19/197224.95
Brandon Weeden2012cle2210/14/198328.88

Some notable age divergences among top-5 QBs in the same class:

  • In 1971, Jim Plunkett, Archie Manning, and Dan Pastroni went 1-2-3 in the draft: Plunkett was the oldest, at 23.74 years as of September 1st, 1971, while Manning and Pastorini were a year-and-a-half younger.
  • In 1993, Drew Bledsoe and Rick Mirer were the first two picks, but Mirer was born 25 months earlier than Bledsoe.
  • In 1999, Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, and Akili Smith were the first three picks: Couch was 22.1 years old as of September ’99, making him the youngest in the group, while Smith had just turned 24 before the start of the season.
  • Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were traded for each other, of course, and both were born in 1981. But Manning was born in January, and Rivers in December, so Rivers is actually 11 months younger than Manning.
  • Mark Sanchez was born 15 months before Matt Stafford, and both went in the top 5 of the ’09 draft.

There’s no real trend about the younger player going first (or second) or being better (or worse), but the sample size is obviously really small. I do think it’s interesting when the older quarterback goes first, as their college production may have been inflated by because more physically mature. Was that enough to vault Plunkett over Manning or Pastorini? Or Manning over Rivers? On the other hand, do teams place a high value on youth, leading to things like Bledsoe over Mirer, Smith falling behind Couch and McNabb, and Stafford over Sanchez? It’s impossible to say, since age is one of hundreds of factors that go into draft choices.

But it is worth noting that Goff is on the younger end of the spectrum for a quarterback prospect, and Wentz is on the older end. All else being equal, I’d go for the younger guy, but obviously all else is not equal when discussing a Pac-12 prospect and an FCS prospect. Especially when the FCS prospect ended his college career with five rings.

  • Youngest QB (Maddox) to second-oldest (Druckenmiller): 3.95 years

    Second-oldest (Druckenmiller) to oldest (Weeden): 3.93 years


  • Alejandro

    I see the key to being a Steelers legend at quarterback is to get drafted on your birthday (Bradshaw, Maddox) or your half-birthday (Roethlisberger).

    • Well, those ages are as of 9/1 🙂

      • Alejandro

        I deserve that for not reading the columns correctly! So the actual key is to be born on September 2nd or March 2nd. My point that the Rooneys might be hardcore astrologists still stands.

  • Anders

    What I find most amazing is how much has been said about Wentz age by plenty draftnicks, but nobody looks and see how old many other QBs was coming out. I doubt people cared about Palmer’s, Flacco’s or Manning’s age coming out.

    The only QB I remember where age was talked about was Weeden for good reason.

  • Andrew Healy

    I actually think the five rings is an argument against Wentz. They won the first three with Brock Jensen at QB. And Jensen actually posted better numbers: http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/brock-jensen-player-stats