BATSBY Sports takes a whimsical, numbers-based look at the Top 25 Quarterback Draft Classes Of The Super Bowl Era, a countdown which dates back to 1967 — the first year of the “common draft” between the NFL and American Football League, in advance of the rival leagues’ formal merger in 1970.
For the most part, this gallery favors depth and quality over a class which produced a single Hall of Famer … but little else of significance.
QB CLASS OF 1992
NOTABLES: Jeff Blake, Ty Detmer, Tommy Maddox, David Klingler, Craig Erickson, Kent Graham, Bucky Richardson, Casey Weldon
SKINNY: The 1992 class was a respectable group of marginally productive quarterbacks and long-term clipboard holders. For example, the most coveted passer at the time was Klingler — the ill-fated successor to Boomer Esiason in Cincinnati — and he never reached 2,000 yards passing or seven TDs in a single campaign. The secondary wave of Blake (21,711 career yards, 134 TDs), Detmer (6,351 yards passing, 34 TDs), Erickson (drafted twice in 1991-92), Graham (7,801 yards passing, 39 TDs) and Maddox (6,250 yards passing, 38 TDs for 2002-03) were dutiful performers in various low-key roles.
QB CLASS OF 1991
NOTABLES: Brett Favre, Craig Erickson, Todd Marinovich, Browning Nagle, Scott Zolak, Bill Musgrave, Dan McGwire
SKINNY: For this countdown, Brett Favre (71,838 yards passing, 508 TDs) owes a small debt of gratitude to Craig Erickson (5,973 yards passing/34 TDs for 1993-94). Otherwise, the 1991 class might have been ignored altogether. Yes, Favre (three-time NFL MVP with the Packers, after the Falcons traded him in 1992) was a first-ballot Hall of Famer … but once-touted passers like Marinovich (1,345 career yards), Musgrave (402 yards passing), McGwire (745 career yards) and Nagle — selected one pick after Favre in Round 2 — were marginal flops, at best.
QB CLASS OF 1978
NOTABLES: Doug Williams, Bill Kenney, Pat Ryan, Matt Cavanaugh, Gifford Nielsen
SKINNY: If pro teams, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were willing to take a chance on Doug Williams in Round 1 of the ’78 draft — a time when there was an absurd bias against black quarterbacks — then how did University of Washington standout Warren Moon fall through the cracks that same year? The Hall of Famer Moon (49,325 career yards, 291 TDs from 1984-2000) tossed the most perfectly tight spirals of my lifetime, and it’s amazing to think that 28 NFL clubs ignored that arm-cannon coming out of college. With Moon going undrafted, and thus not technically qualifying for this countdown, this class’s burden of subsequent responsibility falls onto Williams (16,998 yards passing, Super Bowl XXII MVP) and Kenney (4,348 yards passing, 27 TDs with the Chiefs in 1983).
QB CLASS OF 1975
NOTABLES: Steve Bartkowski, Steve Grogan, Pat Haden, Bob Avellini
SKINNY: Bartkowski (7,373 yards passing, 61 TDs for 1980-81) was one of the NFL’s most underrated passers of the 1970s/80s, a crime for a guy who completed 60-plus percent of his passes over four straight seasons (1982-85). He was also a star with the 1980 Falcons — the third-best Atlanta squad of the Super Bowl era (after 1998 and 2016). The Patriots’ Grogan enjoyed a sterling 16-year career, passing for 26,886 yards and 182 TDs. He also owned the NFL’s seasonal record for QB-rushing touchdowns (12 in 1976) that stood for two decades. In a run-heavy era, Avellini enjoyed modest success with the Bears (secondary role to Hall of Fame rusher Walter Payton), passing for 2,000 yards in Chicago’s NFC Central-winning campaign of 1977. And Haden (9,296 yards passing, 52 TDs) might have been more celebrated with the Rams, if he hadn’t gotten injured prior to their berth in Super Bowl XIV.
QB CLASS OF 2014
NOTABLES: Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron
SKINNY: Can you believe it? Blake Bortles accounted for 4,428 yards passing and 37 total touchdowns (35 passing) in his second pro season, leading many to think the Jaguars absolutely knocked their super-secretive pick from 2014 out of the proverbial park; and two seasons later, Bortles had Jacksonville on the brink of its first Super Bowl berth in franchise history … before falling to New England in the final minutes.
In the aftermath, however, this class has been riding the coattails of Garoppolo (shepherded the 49ers to Super Sunday last season), Carr (annual threat for 4,000 yards passing, 20-plus TDs) and Bridgewater, who recently inked a $63 million contract with the Panthers after guiding the Saints to an undefeated run in Drew Brees’ absence last year.
QB CLASS OF 1986
NOTABLES: Jim Everett, Mark Rypien, Bubby Brister, Chuck Long, Jack Trudeau, Hugh Millen, Stan Gelbaugh
SKINNY: The partial strength of this class lies with its depth, as Long, Trudeau, Millen and Gelbaugh all had genuine starting opportunities, here and there, through the years.
That said, Everett (one Pro Bowl, 34,837 yards passing, 203 TDs), Brister (14,445 yards passing, 81 TDs) and Rypien (one Super Bowl ring, two Pro Bowls, 18,473 yards passing) — the three linchpins of the group — enjoyed the most decorated NFL careers.
QB CLASS OF 1989
NOTABLES: Troy Aikman, Rodney Peete, Billy Joe Tolliver, Steve Walsh (supplemental draft), Timm Rosenbach (supplemental draft)
SKINNY: Aikman never passed for 4,000 yards or 25 touchdowns in a single campaign — the modern-day benchmarks of rock-solid quarterbacks. However, that didn’t stop Aikman (three Super Bowl rings from 1992-95) from being a no-brainer inductee for the Hall of Fame.
The supporting talents from this class include: Peete (16,338 yards passing, 76 TDs), Tolliver (10,760 yards passing, 59 TDs), Rosenbach (3,098 yards passing, 16 TDs in 1990) and Walsh (7,875 yards passing, 40 TDs), the Cowboys’ No. 1 pick in the 1989 supplemental draft — just a few weeks after Dallas tapped Aikman as its next savior.
QB CLASS OF 2018
NOTABLES: Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Mason Rudolph
SKINNY: Three years from now, this class might hold a top-10 ranking, building upon the lightning-fast starts of Jackson (2019 NFL MVP), Allen (29 touchdowns last year) and Mayfield (annual threat for 4,000 yards passing/25 TDs).
At the same time, it remains to be seen whether Darnold (just 11-15 as a starter), Rosen (no clear path to a starting gig in Miami) or Rudolph (squandered a golden chance to become the Steelers’ long-term answer last year) can break out of the doldrums in the coming years, especially with two strong waves of quarterbacking prospects entering the NFL in the next 15 months.
QB CLASS OF 2005
NOTABLES: Steve McNair, Kerry Collins, Rob Johnson, Todd Collins, Kordell Stewart, Stoney Case, Eric Zeier
SKINNY: McNair (one AFC title, 31,304 yards passing, 211 total TDs, 2003 NFL MVP) and Kerry Collins (40,922 yards passing, 208 TDs) were superb quarterbacks during their time, piloting the Titans (1999) and Giants (2000) to the Super Bowl, respectively.
The secondary wave of Stewart (14,746 yards passing, 77 TDs; 3,532 total rushing/receiving yards, 43 TDs), Todd Collins (4,457 yards passing in only 21 NFL starts), Zeier (3,520 yards passing, 16 TDs), Case (62-percent passer in 2000 with Detroit) and Rob Johnson (5,795 yards passing, 30 TDs) offer depth to a solid class.
QB CLASS OF 1985
NOTABLES: Randall Cunningham, Bernie Kosar (supplemental draft), Frank Reich, Steve Bono, Rusty Hilger
SKINNY: After the 49ers’ disappointing 10-6 campaign in 1991 (no playoffs), a large number of San Francisco fans wanted Steve Bono — and not future Hall of Famer Steve Young — to eventually succeed Joe Montana as the franchise’s starting QB.
In January 1993, Reich, subbing for an injured Jim Kelly with Buffalo, engineered the greatest comeback victory in NFL playoff history (down 32 points in the third quarter).
In the long run, though, Cunningham (one NFL MVP, four Pro Bowls, 29,979 yards passing, 242 total TDs) and Kosar (23,301 yards passing, three AFC title-game losses) were the redoubtable stars of this class, playing at stellar levels throughout the 1980s and 90s.
QB CLASS OF 2008
NOTABLES: Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Chad Henne, Matt Flynn, Josh Johnson, Brian Brohm
SKINNY: Ryan (one NFL MVP, four Pro Bowls, 51,186 yards passing, 330 TDs, nine consecutive seasons of 4,000 yards passing) and Flacco (one Super Bowl ring, 40,067 yards passing, 218 TDs, six straight seasons of 3,600 yards passing from 2009-14) are the obvious torch-bearers from this class.
And don’t forget about Flynn, who co-owns the Packers’ franchise mark for single-game touchdown passes (6, sharing the record with Aaron Rodgers).
QB CLASS OF 1999
NOTABLES: Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, Tim Couch, Shaun King, Cade McNown, Akili Smith, Brock Huard, Joe Germaine
SKINNY: The 1999 QB class had a ton of hype coming in, touting five passers selected within the first 12 picks (Couch, McNabb, Smith, Culpepper, McNown).
But over time, only McNabb (one NFC title, six Pro Bowls, 37,276 yards passing, 263 TDs), Culpepper (three Pro Bowls, 24,153 yards passing, 149 TDs) and Brooks (20,261 yards passing, 123 TDs) carved out robust pro careers.
Couch was this class’s most heralded passer coming out of college, representing the first-ever draft choice for the expansion Browns (No. 1 overall). But shoulder injuries and a galling lack of supporting talent in Cleveland precluded Couch (11,131 career yards passing, 64 TDs) from enjoying a consistent breakout in the NFL.
One caveat here: If McNabb makes the Hall of Fame someday … this group has the potential to move up a slot or two.
QB CLASS OF 2011
NOTABLES: Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert, Terrelle Pryor (supplemental draft), T.J. Yates, Ryan Mallett
SKINNY: The 2011 class started out on fire, with Newton (one NFC title, three Pro Bowls, 29,041 yards passing, 240 total TDs) claiming NFL MVP honors in 2015, while leading the Panthers to a Super Bowl berth.
Kaepernick (NFL record-holder for most QB rushing yards in a playoff game) initially showed all the promise of 10-year star, before politically charged events essentially ended his career too early. To be fair, though, Kaepernick also turned down a guaranteed one-year contract with the Niners in 2017 … thinking better offers would come down the pipe. (Wrong.)
And don’t forget about Dalton, who led the Bengals to five consecutive playoff berths in his first five campaigns. On the down side, Dalton (31,594 yards passing, 226 total TDs) has never won a postseason outing, and he’s likely to sit behind rookie Joe Burrow this fall — assuming the Cincinnati front office doesn’t trade Dalton after the draft.
QB CLASS OF 2016
NOTABLES: Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Brandon Allen, Jeff Driskel, Nate Sudfeld
SKINNY: The triumvirate of Goff (one NFC title, two Pro Bowls, 14,219 yards passing, 93 total TDs), Wentz (one Pro Bowl, 14,191 yards passing, 100 total TDs) and Prescott (two Pro Bowls, 15,778 yards passing, 118 total TDs) evoke early comparisons to the legacy trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning (2004 class), in terms of prodigious passing numbers, robust team success and possible busts in Canton down the road.
On the flip side, of the six names listed above, only Goff has guided his team past the Divisional Playoff round (as the starting quarterback), leading the Rams to Super Bowl 53 last year. So, the group needs more sustainable production to crack this countdown’s top 10 in relatively short order.
QB CLASS OF 1977
NOTABLES: Tommy Kramer, Steve DeBerg, Vince Evans, Vince Ferragamo, David Whitehurst, Cliff Stoudt
SKINNY: This sneaky-good class had tangible talent and absurd longevity — with the quintet of Kramer (24,777 yards passing, 159 TDs), DeBerg (34,241 yards passing, 196 TDs), Evans (9,485 yards passing, 66 total TDs), Whitehurst (6,205 yards passing, 28 TDs) and Stoudt (4,506 yards passing, 23 TDs) accounting for 61 NFL seasons.
Let’s also not forget about the Rams’ Ferragamo, the only quarterback of the group to start a Super Bowl (SB 14 against the Steelers).
For extra-credit purposes … DeBerg was the placeholder quarterback for three different Hall of Famers in three different NFL markets — Joe Montana (49ers), John Elway (Broncos) and Steve Young (Bucs).
QB CLASS OF 1979
NOTABLES: Joe Montana, Phil Simms, Steve Fuller, Jack Thompson, Steve Dils, Jeff Rutledge
SKINNY: Simms (one Super Bowl ring, two Pro Bowls, 33,462 yards passing, 205 TDs) and the Hall of Famer Montana (two NFL MVPs, three All-Pro campaigns, four Super Bowl rings, seven Pro Bowls and 40,551 yards passing) absolutely carried this unheralded-at-the-time class into the top 15.
A lot has been made of Montana falling to the 82nd pick in 1979, but here’s the deal: It was also the 49ers’ first selection that year (Round 3), thanks to poor trades preceding Bill Walsh’s arrival with San Francisco.
QB CLASS OF 2001
NOTABLES: Drew Brees (Chargers draftee), Michael Vick, A.J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels, Quincy Carter, Chris Weinke, Jesse Palmer, Mike McMahon
SKINNY: This class had immense potential 19 years ago, with Vick (No. 1 overall pick with the Falcons) and Carter (Cowboys) showing immediate flashes of stardom with their original clubs, before getting sidetracked by off-field issues.
There were also moderate hopes for Feeley, Palmer, McMahon and even Rosenfels as sustainable diamonds in the rough … before things fizzled over time.
So, what makes the 2001 class stand out with this countdown? Vick (22,093 yards passing, 167 total TDs) and the Hall of Fame-bound Brees (one Super Bowl ring, 13 Pro Bowls, future Hall of Famer, 77,416 yards passing, 547 passing TDs, five 5,000-yard campaigns) accomplished enough to warrant a slot in the top 15.
QB CLASS OF 2017
NOTABLES: Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, C.J. Beathard, Joshua Dobbs, Nathan Peterman, DeShone Kizer
SKINNY: Hollywood writers couldn’t script a better career launch for Mahomes, who captured NFL MVP honors in 2018 (5,097 yards passing, 52 total TDs) … and then in 2019, led the Chiefs to their first Lombardi Trophy in 50 years.
As such, if the league were to hypothetically conduct a redraft of every active player this summer, Mahomes would likely be the No. 1 overall pick.
Watson (two Pro Bowls, 9,716 yards passing, 85 total TDs) has enjoyed a similarly stellar start in the pros, collecting back-to-back AFC South titles for the Texans, while flirting with an otherworldly completion rate of 70 percent over the previous two seasons. And when it comes to signing a long-term extension in the next year, look for Watson’s contract to rival that of Mahomes.
Trubisky has demonstrated flashes of real-world and fantasy-related brilliance over the last three campaigns, but it also hasn’t made the Bears consistent contenders in the brutal NFC North; and the proverbial leash may be short this coming season, with Chicago adding Nick Foles to the QB depth chart.
All told, this rock-solid class has great potential for cracking the top five someday, assuming Trubisky doesn’t become an expendable asset with his original club … similar to Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota with the Buccaneers and Titans, respectively.
QB CLASS OF 1984
NOTABLES: Steve Young (USFL supplemental draft), Boomer Esiason, Jeff Hostetler, Jay Schroeder, Steve Pelluer, Ben Bennett
SKINNY: Yes, Young (33,124 yards passing, 232 TDs, two-time NFL MVP) signed with the USFL (L.A. Express) before the Bengals could corral him at No. 1 overall. But the Hall of Famer was still part of the Class of 1984 (Buccaneers) … as part of a special USFL-only draft, which included Canton enshrinees Reggie White and Gary Zimmerman.
Esiason became the star of the Bengals, collecting NFL MVP honors in 1988 and notching 37,920 yards/247 TDs over 14 seasons. Hostetler (16,430 yards passing/94 TDs) won a Super Bowl with the Giants. Schroeder (20,064 yards passing/114 TDs) started 99 games and Steve Pelluer tallied good stats in 1988 (3,139 yards passing/17 TDs) … before the Cowboys landed Troy Aikman.
QB CLASS OF 1987
NOTABLES: Vinny Testaverde, Rich Gannon, Jim Harbaugh, Steve Beuerlein, Don Majkowski, Chris Miller, Kelly Stouffer (supplemental draft), Cody Carlson
SKINNY: The 1987 class shares similar traits with the ’77 grouping, featuring a deep corps of long-term assets … but likely none of the Hall of Fame variety.
Testaverde (two Pro Bowls, 46,223 yards passing, 275 TDs), Gannon (one AFC title, one NFL MVP, two All-Pro campaigns, four Pro Bowls, 28,743 yards passing, 180 TDs), Harbaugh (26,288 yard passing, 129 TDs, led the 1995 Colts to the AFC title game) and Beuerlein (one Pro Bowl, 24,046 yards passing) absurdly combined for 66 NFL seasons.
After that, Majkowksi (12,700 yards passing), Miller (19,320 yards passing, 123 TDs), Stouffer and Carlson enhanced the stature of a deceptively strong group.
QB CLASS OF 1993
NOTABLES: Drew Bledsoe, Mark Brunell, Trent Green, Elvis Grbac, Rick Mirer
SKINNY: The 1993 class touted two saviors (Bledsoe, Mirer … the 1-2 picks in the draft), but Grbac (16,774 yards passing, 99 TDs) and Green (28,475 yards passing, 162 TDs) enjoyed fruitful careers, as well.
Bledsoe (44,611 yards passing, 261 career TDs) led New England to the Super Bowl in his fourth season. Five years later, he was an unwitting pawn in Tom Brady’s overnight rise to fame; but let’s credit Bledsoe for guiding the Pats to victory in the 2001 AFC title game (after Brady’s injury).
And if he doesn’t suffer a knee injury during the 1999 preseason, perhaps Green — not Kurt Warner — sparks St. Louis to a Lombardi Trophy later that season.
Finally, Brunell (three Pro Bowls, one Lombardi Trophy as a backup, 32,072 yards passing, 199 total TDs) might be the Greatest NFL quarterback to be drafted behind another QB from the same school in the same year (Billy Joe Hobert).
QB CLASS OF 1973
NOTABLES: Dan Fouts, Bert Jones, Ron Jaworski, Joe Ferguson, Don Strock, Gary Huff
SKINNY: Bert Jones (one NFL MVP, one passing title, 18,190 yards passing, 138 total TDs) certainly had the raw talent to join Dan Fouts (43,040 yards passing, 254 TDs) in the Hall of Fame; but injuries ultimately hindered one of the most underrated quarterbacks of the 1970s.
Speaking of Fouts (one NFL MVP, four passing titles, six Pro Bowls), it’s amazing that middling-arm passers like Gary Huff and Gary Keithley were snagged ahead of him in the draft.
Jaworski (one NFC title, 28,180 yards passing, 179 TDs) and Ferguson (29,817 yards passing, 196 TDs) carved out rock-solid careers as starters … while the perpetually tan Strock might have been the most famous backup QB of the 1980s (with the Dolphins).
Strock’s greatest pro moment: For The Epic In Miami playoff game between the 1981 Dolphins and Chargers, Strock (coming off the bench) and Fouts became the only competing quarterbacks in NFL history to eclipse 400 yards passing in the same postseason outing.
QB CLASS OF 2012
NOTABLES: Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III, Brock Osweiler
SKINNY: Think about it. Neither Luck (abrupt retirement during the 2019 preseason) nor Griffin (backup in Baltimore) — the top two picks from the 2012 draft — are currently starting at the NFL level; and yet, this class still holds up remarkably well, over time.
Wilson (one Super Bowl ring, two NFC titles, six Pro Bowl 29,734 yards passing, 246 total TDs) remains on a steady track for the Hall of Fame someday. Cousins owns elite-level averages of 4,215 yards passing, 30 TDs and 68-percent passing over the last five seasons (Redskins/Vikings).
Tannehill captured NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors with the Titans last season, leading into a mega-extension with Tennessee; and Foles led the 2017 Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history, knocking off Tom Brady in the process.
QB CLASS OF 2005
NOTABLES: Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell, Kyle Orton, Matt Cassel, Derek Anderson, Charlie Frye
SKINNY: At this pace, Rodgers (one Super Bowl ring, two NFL MVPs, eight Pro Bowls, 46,946 yards passing, 392 total TDs) will be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame in 10-12 years.
In the meantime, let’s not bypass the rock-solid contributions from Smith (former No. 1 overall pick, two playoff victories, 34,068 yards passing, 208 total TDs), Fitzpatrick (32,866 yards passing, 229 total TDs, the only QB in NFL history to eclipse 400 yards passing in three straight games), (Orton (18.,037 yards passing, 101 TDs), Campbell (16,771 yards passing, 87 TDs) and Cassel (3,116 yards passing, 27 TDs in 2010) … who incredibly didn’t start a single game in college (lagging behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC).
QB CLASS OF 1998
NOTABLES: Peyton Manning, Matt Hasselbeck, Brian Griese, Charlie Batch, Ryan Leaf
SKINNY: Manning (3rd in all-time passing yards/passing TDs) belongs on the Mount Rushmore of greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, possessing two Super Bowl rings, four conference titles, five NFL MVPs, seven All-Pro campaigns, 14 Pro Bowls and an automatic Hall of Fame ticket in 2022.
After that, Hasselbeck (36,638 yards passing, 212 TDs, one NFC title, three Pro Bowls), Griese (19,440 yards passing, 124 total TDs), Batch (11,085 yards passing, 61 TDs) and Leaf (perhaps the most notorious bust in draft history) bring a certain aura to this class — for wildly different reasons.
QB CLASS OF 2000
NOTABLES: Tom Brady, Chad Pennington, Marc Bulger, Tim Rattay, Chris Redman
SKINNY: Pennington (17,823 yards passing, 102 TDs, two NFL completion-percentage titles, two NFL Comeback Player of the Year awards), Bulger (14,407 yards, 81 TDs from 2003-06), Redman (12-year NFL career) and Rattay (4,853 yards passing, 31 TDs) carved out reasonably productive careers with various clubs.
However, the strength of this class begins and ends with Tom Brady, the famed 6th-round pick (199th overall — or 134 slots after Giovanni Carmazzi) and arguably the most clutch quarterback of all time.
At last count, Brady has amassed 74,571 yards passing, 563 total TDs (541 passing), three NFL MVPs, three Super Bowl MVPs, 14 Pro Bowls, 17 division titles and six Lombardi trophies.
QB CLASS OF 1971
NOTABLES: Archie Manning, Jim Plunkett, Joe Theismann, Ken Anderson, Dan Pastorini, Lynn Dickey
SKINNY: The line of barstool debates starts at No. 3, with the 1971 class producing one single-season passing champion (Dickey), two NFL MVPs (Anderson, Theismann), four Pro Bowlers (Manning, Theismann, Pastorini, Anderson) and two Super Bowl-winning QBs — Theismann and Plunkett — with the latter capturing two Lombardi trophies with the Raiders (1980, ’83).
The only knock here? No Hall of Famers. All told, the six-pack absurdly racked up 149,774 yards passing and 890 passing TDs. Whew!
QB CLASS OF 2004
NOTABLES: Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub
SKINNY: Roethlisberger (two passing titles, two Super Bowl rings, six Pro Bowls, 56,545 yards passing, 382 total TDs), Rivers (eight Pro Bowls, 59,271 yards passing, 400 total TDs) and the recently retired Manning (57,023 yards passing, 373 total TDs, two Super Bowl rings) are all strong bets for the Hall of Fame someday … albeit in different years.
For good measure, Schaub has one passing title, two Pro Bowls, 25,467 yards passing and 140 career touchdowns. Not bad for a still-active afterthought here.
QB CLASS OF 1983
NOTABLES: John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Ken O’Brien, Gary Kubiak, Todd Blackledge, Tom Ramsey, Babe Laufenberg
SKINNY: Say hello to the most revered QB draft class in history.
Elway (51,475 yards passing, 300 TDs, one NFL MVP, two Super Bowl titles, five AFC championships), Marino (61,361 yards passing, 420 TDs, one NFL MVP, one AFC title) and Kelly (35,467 yards passing, 237 TDs, four straight AFC titles) were all no-brainer picks for the Hall of Fame.
The secondary goodness from Laufenberg, Ramsey, Blackledge, Kubiak, O’Brien (25,094 yards passing, two Pro Bowls) and Eason (11,142 yards passing, one AFC title) adds depth to a supreme crop for all time.