May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass during organized team activities at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-US PRESSWIRE
During his weekly column on Sunday, Dan Pompei with the National Football Post presented a list of the best rookie quarterbacks during the Super Bowl era. You won't find a quarterback who had a better rookie season than the one Dan Marino had with the Miami Dolphins in 1983. Then you get past the next three, from Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, Carolina's Cam Newton and Atlanta's Matt Ryan, all of whom entered the league within the past eight seasons. What does that tell you about the NFL today?
Two Bengals continue the list consecutively with Andy Dalton (at No. 5) and Greg Cook (at No. 6), who held virtually every Bengals rookie quarterback record until Dalton was drafted by the Bengals during the 2011 NFL Draft.
5. Andy Dalton, 2011 Bengals. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Cincinnati but somebody forgot to tell Dalton. He went 9-7 after the Bengals had gone 4-12 the year before. He came in after the lockout and played like he had been in Jay Gruden’s offense for years. Dalton threw 20 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and went to the Pro Bowl.
6. Greg Cook, 1969 Bengals. It’s easy to forget him because he only threw three passes after his rookie season. But Bill Walsh thought Cook could have been one of the all-time great had he not torn up his shoulder in his rookie year. Cook had a passer rating of 88.3 that year, and averaged 9.41 yards per attempt.
Pompei rounds out the list with Buffalo's Jim Kelly, Baltimore's Joe Flacco with back-to-back St. Louis Rams' in Sam Bradford and Marc Bulger.