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Matt Ryan on top of the King young QB list


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Peter King >


I could go back to 2003 (Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich, Tony Romo), or I could factor in the great 2004 class of Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub (who threw for 330, 436, 221 and 357 yards Sunday, respectively). But I'll throw out this 10-man class of Sunday's young starters -- all those who started and are 26 or younger -- and rank them by how I think their careers will pan out:

Player, Team Age, Starting seasons, Skinny

1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta, age 24, 2: Started this season 2-0. Now 13-5 as a pro.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, age 25, 2: Threw for 261 yards in loss to Cincinnati

3. Jay Cutler, Chicago, age 26, 4: Rebounded from opening nightmare to beat Pitt.

4. Joe Flacco, Baltimore, age 24, 2: Finally has Baltimore O on equal footing with D

5. Mark Sanchez, NY Jets, age 22, 1: Even Namath didn't start the '65 opener

6. Trent Edwards, Buffalo, age 25, 2: Masterful at NE in opener, and beat TB Sunday

7. Matthew Stafford, Detroit, age 21, 1: Lions know they can't rush the kid

8. Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia, age 25, 0: Could backup McNabb for 2 more years.

9. Brady Quinn, Cleveland, age 24, 1: He'll get too beat up in Cleveland to be judged fairly.

10. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland, age 24, 2: A 52% passer in 21 career outings.

A final note: Think of all the talent headed to the league in 2010: Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow of Florida and Ole Miss' Jevan Snead, and more. It's going to be a young-armed league for a while.


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