Greg Cote

Rivalries of quarterbacks taken 1-2 in NFL Draft

Jared Goff, left, after being selected by Los Angeles Rams as their number one pick and Carson Wentz, after being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles as their number two pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft greet fans at Selection Square in Grant Park, Thurs., April 28, 2016, in Chicago.
Jared Goff, left, after being selected by Los Angeles Rams as their number one pick and Carson Wentz, after being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles as their number two pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft greet fans at Selection Square in Grant Park, Thurs., April 28, 2016, in Chicago. AP

Quarterbacks selected 1-2 in the NFL Draft. It intrigues not just because that is sports’ glamour position, but because of the historic rarity. Though three of the occurrences have been just since 2012, it has happened only eight times overall in 81 drafts since 1936.

It also intrigues, maybe more so, because it creates an instant rivalry between two men forever compared and judged against each other. As it has happened, 1 vs. 2 has rarely been debatable. There has tended to be one man soaring and succeeding, the other falling and failing.

A synopsis of 1-2 QBs, in inverse chronology:

▪ 2016: #1 Jared Goff (Rams, out of Cal) vs. #2 Carson Wentz (Eagles, North Dakota State) — Verdict: Obviously, way too soon to call, but Wentz clearly is out the gate fastest. He has 769 yards and five TDs for 3-0 Philly and is an early rookie of the year frontrunner, while Goff is expected to spend his rookie year learning, not playing, on the L.A. bench.

▪ 2015: #1 Jameis Winston (Bucs, Florida State ) vs. #2 Marcus Mariota (Titans, Oregon) — Verdict: Too soon to call, but very slight early edge to Winston. He has 4,971 yards, 30 TDs and already has made a Pro Bowl. Mariota is at 3,541 and 23.

▪ 2012: #1 Andrew Luck (Colts, Stanford) vs. Robert Griffin III (Redskins, Baylor) — Verdict: Still incomplete, but Luck with a huge lead. He’s at 15,571 yards, 107 TDs and three Pro Bowls. RG3 is 8,287, 40 and one Pro Bowl. But beyond the stats, Luck still is ascending while Griffin seems to have bottomed out.

▪ 1999: #1 Tim Couch (Browns, Kentucky) vs. #2 Donovan McNabb (Eagles, Syracuse) — Verdict: McNabb in a landslide. He had 37,276 yards, 234 TDs and six Pro Bowls. Couch had 11,131, 64 and zero.

▪ 1998: #1 Peyton Manning (Colts, Tennessee) vs. #2 Ryan Leaf (Chargers, Washington State) — Verdict: You’re kidding, right? Manning had 14 Pro Bowls, 71,940 yards and 539 TDs in Hall of Fame career. Leaf: 3,666 yards, 14 TDs and eternity as a draft bust.

▪ 1993: #1 Drew Bledsoe (Patriots, Washington State) vs. #2 Rick Mirer (Seahawks, Notre Dame) — Verdict: Bledsoe in a mighty rout. He had four Pro Bowls, 44,611 yards and 251 TDs. Mirer was at zero, 11,969 and 50.

▪ 1971: #1 Jim Plunkett (Patriots, Stanford) vs. #2 Archie Manning (Saints, Mississippi) — Verdict: Plunkett, but it’s close. He had no Pro Bowls but won two Super Bowls, and had 25,882 yards and 164 TDs. Manning had two Pro Bowls, 23,911 and 125.

▪ 1954: #1 Bobby Garrett (Browns, Stanford) vs. #2 Lamar McHan (Chicago Cardinals, Arkansas) — Verdict: McHan, but sort of by default. He had 9,449 career yards and 73 TDs. Garrett played only nine games that one year, his career summarily ended because he turned out to be a stutterer, which proved an insurmountable challenge to calling plays.

THIS AND THAT

▪ Broncos’ Trevor Siemian’s 312 yards, four TDs, zero picks and 132.1 rating last week was the best first career road start by a QB.

▪ Redskins' DeSean Jackson had his 29th career TD of at least 40 yards last week, tops among active players and 10th all time.

▪ What Browns' Terrelle Pryor did vs. Miami last week was historic. Previous player with at least 120 yards receiving, 30 passing and 20 rushing in a game was Frank Gifford in 1959.

▪ Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski's 53rd field goal of 50-plus yards last week surpassed Jason Hanson for the most in NFL history.

▪ The 30 300-yard passing games are second most ever after three weeks, and the 2,186 points scored are third most.

▪ Miami’s Jarvis Landry reached 200 career catches in only his 33rd career game. Giants’ Odell Beckham reached the plateau in his 30th game.

▪ Vikings' eight sacks last week at Carolina tied for third-most in club history. Minnesota had nine in a game once in 1970 and again in'93.

▪ Packers' Aaron Rodgers in his career at Lambeau Field: 143 TDs vs. 26 interceptions and the highest home passer rating (110.2) in history for minimum 1,000 attempts.

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