Jared Goff was the worst quarterback in the NFL last season, and had one of the worst rookie quarterback seasons in modern history. This year, Goff is averaging 8.04 ANY/A, the 2nd-best in the NFL, and is on pace to set the NFL record for the largest year-over-year increase in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt.
Dak Prescott had one of the best rookie quarterback seasons of all time in 2016, taking Dallas from the basement to the division crown. Prescott averaged 7.86 ANY/A last year, and isn’t far behind this year: he’s at 7.13 ANY/A, 7th-best in the NFL.
Carson Wentz had a very up-and-down rookie season, ultimately finishing with poor numbers and showing a lack of big play ability. This year, he’s having an MVP-caliber season: he ranks 5th in ANY/A at 7.55, and leads the NFL with 23 touchdowns as his Eagles have a 8-1 record.
When was the last time the NFL had three sophomore quarterbacks this good? In short, it hasn’t, at least not since the merger. The second-best trio came in 1999, and that’s only if you want to include 28-year-old Kurt Warner. That year, of course, Warner was the AP MVP, Peyton Manning ranked 2nd to Warner in ANY/A, and Charlie Batch ranked 13th in ANY/A. Brian Griese also produced league-average numbers as a second-year quarterback in 1999.
In 1984, Dan Marino of course led the NFL in ANY/A; Patriots QB Tony Eason, another first round pick, led the NFL in interception rate and ranked 5th in ANY/A; John Elway ranked 15th in ANY/A; Ken O’Brien ranked 21st, Todd Blackledge 28th, and Jim Kelly was in the USFL.
Right now, three of the top 10 quarterbacks by anyone’s measure are second-year players. And it’s not hard to argue that Goff, Wentz, and Prescott have been three of the top six most valuable quarterbacks this season. The least statistically accomplished this year is Prescott, who has a 16/4 TD/INT ratio, has rushed for another 4 TDs, and has the Cowboys 5-3 and ranked 5th in scoring, with two of the three losses coming when Dallas scored 30 and 31 points. Right now, the NFL is experience a trio of sophomore quarterbacks playing at high levels like never before.