There is no doubt that last years serving of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin to the draft provided the NFL with two immediate starters at quarterback, both capable of turning their respective new teams into regular victors. More importantly though, last years draft also brought to the league yet another franchise quarterback who was not considered worthy of being a first round pick back in April - Russell Wilson.
Wilsons third round selection, and subsequent victory in the Seattle fight for the starting quarterback job was the latest in a recent trend of lower-round rookie quarterbacks that have not only become day one starters for their teams, but have led them to play-off appearances in much the same manner as the coveted Luck and Griffin have done. Andy Dalton, being Wilson's predecessor, has led the Bengals to consecutive play-off appearances.
With the likes of Newton, Luck and Griffin stealing headlines for the last two years, not much was made of the true value that should have been placed on the likes of Dalton or Wilson. What is certain though is that they were not considered remotely worthy of mixing with the number one picks. It is this that leaves a relatively unique situation in respect of the 2013 draft. With no standout college star that the NFL has been eagerly anticipating guaranteed to take the number one spot, the likes of Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and EJ Manuel have become the subject of much debate and consideration as to where their true value lies, and how high they should be taken by a quarterback-needy team.
With most critics confident that these are by no means 'elite' talents, the majority feel that mid-to-low first round selections is the best that the likes of Smith truly deserve. But, if recent rookie precedents are to be considered, then surely Geno Smith has every chance to become the franchise calibre quarterback that Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton have become? Neither of these two were considered 'franchise', but would almost certainly now be top-end first round selections.
By no means is this a commitment to Geno Smith or Matt Barkley revolutionising a franchise, but consideration should be given to those recently 'less coveted' quarterbacks, and just how significant they now are to their respective franchises. Come day one of the 2013 draft, a high quarterback selection should not be laughed at too prematurely.