In five years, who will be the best NFL QBs?


In five years, who will be the best NFL QBs?

Of all the young quarterbacks in football, who will be thebest five years from now?Its an important question. Which young QB would you want tobuild your team around? By young, Im talking incoming rookies and soon-to-besecond year players. Im talking Robert Griffin and Andrew Luck and Cam Newton,that bunch.Whos your favorite for the future, and why?Heres my top-five list.1. Cam Newton (6-5, 248 lbs., 22 years old) He is, and willcontinue to be, better than Andrew Luck. He has a stronger arm, for starters.He flicks bullets around the field like Aaron Rodgers. Hes a betterscramblerrunneroverall athlete than Luck. Hes so big and quick, hes thebest goal-line running back in the NFL. Theres never been a quarterback like Newton. Hes the LeBronJames or the Kevin Durant of the NFL -- a unique phenomenon in the history ofthe sport who will win multiple MVPs.
2. Andrew Luck (6-4, 234 lbs., 22) A rich mans Alex Smith,and heres what I mean. Smith does everything at about a B level. The way heruns, throws, reads the field, all of that -- hes B. Hes not A at anything(unless you count not turning the ball over a physical attribute), and hes notC at anything, either. Luck is the same as Smith, except hes A at everything,not B. But he doesnt have any A attributes like Cam Newton. Luck has an Aarm, not A. Hes an A athlete, not A. Hes even a bit methodical when heplays, like Smith. Dont get me wrong -- I think hell be a perennial ProBowler. But he may never be an MVP. 3. Robert Griffin III (6-2, 223 lbs., 22) He ran a 4.4140-yard dash at the Combine, the fastest time by a quarterback since MichaelVick in 2000. You could make the case that one day Griffin will be a bigger, smarter Vick, whichwould probably make him a Hall of Famer. Heres why hes third on my list. Eventhough hes bigger than Vick, hes not big. Hes Steve Youngs size. So, hesmuch smaller than the linebackers, unlike Newtonand Luck. When he tries to take advantage of his top-notch speed and scramble,hes going to get hit and hes going to get hurt. Thats what happened to Young-- he got concussed so many times he had to retire. Vick has had concussions,too. Pretty soon, the small, fast quarterbacks get hit so violently they haveto stop running, stay in the pocket, and then theyre not so special. Griffin could set theleague on fire in his rookie season -- hes that good -- but Id be nervousbuilding my team around such an injury-risk long-term.

4. Jake Locker (6-2, 234 lbs., 23) Locker is a lot like Griffin -- fast,scrambles, takes huge hits. While Griffinthrows one of the best, most accurate deep balls, Locker is one of the best atthrowing on-the-run. He can throw hard and accurately no matter how fast hesrunning. Ive never seen anything like it. He was very good the few times heplayed his rookie season for the Titans -- he even came one play away frombeating the Saints. If he can avoid injuries hell be a very good player in theNFL.5. Colin Kaepernick (6-4, 230 lbs., 24) Hes done nothingin the NFL to warrant this ranking. He was one of the worst QBs in thepreseason, recording a rating below 30. Andy Dalton, another rookie, led theBengals to the playoffs. Shouldnt he be No. 5? No. I bet Kaepernick turns outbetter than Dalton.Kaepernick is an extraordinary athlete. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at thecombine. He could be the Niners big, deep-threat wide receiver right now. ButHarbaugh wouldnt dream of that -- hes grooming Kaepernick to be hisquarterback of the future. Kaepernick can throw a football as hard as anyone,he just needs to improve his footwork and his accuracy, i.e. quarterbackskills. Hes way behind Daltonand all these other quarterbacks in that department. But hes got Harbaughteaching him -- a huge advantage.

Grant Cohn is a contributing writer for

49ers snap count: Buckner never comes out against Bears

49ers snap count: Buckner never comes out against Bears

CHICAGO – Rookie DeForest Buckner continues to be one of the most heavily-used defensive lineman in the NFL.

Buckner, whom the 49ers chose with the No. 7 overall pick, was one of just two defensive players to be on the field for every snap during the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

Buckner is playing an inordinate number of snaps on the line, which generally consists of a handful of players who rotate in and out of the game. Buckner was credited with five tackles in the game.

Shaun Draughn, who opened the season as the 49ers’ No. 2 running back before briefly losing playing time to Mike Davis and DuJuan Harris, has returned to be Carlos Hyde’s backup. Draughn saw action on 25 offensive plays, while Hyde played 33 snaps.

Colin Kaepernick started his seventh game of the season and played the first 45 snaps before he was benched. Blaine Gabbert finished up, as he was on the field for the 49ers’ final 13 plays.

Neither quarterback experienced much success. Kaepernick completed one of five attempts for 4 yards. He was sacked five times and gained 20 yards on six running attempts. Gabbert was four of 10 for 35 yards. He was sacked late in the game for a safety.

Here’s a look at the complete playing time of every 49ers player on offensive, defensive and special teams:

58 -- LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Joshua Garnett, RT Trent Brown
53 -- TE Vance McDonald
45 -- QB Colin Kaepernick
39 -- WR Quinton Patton
38 -- WR Torrey Smith
37 -- WR Jeremy Kerley
33 -- RB Carlos Hyde
25 -- RB Shaun Draughn, TE Garrett Celek
19 -- WR Chris Harper
14 -- WR Rod Streater
13 -- QB Blaine Gabbert
5 -- TE Blake Bell
2 -- RB DuJuan Harris

63 -- CB Jimmie Ward, DT DeForest Buckner
62 -- LB Nick Bellore, SS Antoine Bethea, CB Tramaine Brock
59 -- SS Jaquiski Tartt, LB Ahmad Brooks
51 -- LB Eli Harold
48 -- LB Gerald Hodges
47 -- DL Glenn Dorsey
28 -- DL Chris Jones
23 -- CB Rashard Robinson
21 -- DL Ronald Blair
14 -- LB Michael Wilhoite
13 -- DL Quinton Dial
11 -- LB Tank Carradine
2 -- DB Dontae Johnson, DB Vinnie Sunseri, DB Keith Reaser
1 -- DL Mike Purcell

Special teams
27 -- Johnson
23 -- Bell, Aaron Burbridge
22 -- Wilhoite
20 -- Draughn
19 -- Sunseri
17 -- Marcus Ball, Streater
12 -- Bellore, Tartt
11 -- Bradley Pinion, Harris
10 -- Kyle Nelson, Celek, Robinson, Purcell
8 -- Ward, Jones
7 -- Kerley
6 -- JaCorey Shepherd, Reaser
5 -- Phil Dawson
4 -- Buckner, Brooks, Blair
2 -- Andrew Tiller, Staley, Beadles, Garnett, Brown, Dial
1 -- Harper

Did not play
OL Marcus Martin

Not active
QB Christian Ponder
RB Mike Davis
CB Marcus Cromartie
LB Aaron Lynch
T John Theus
TE Je’Ron Hamm
DL Quinton Dial


Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.