THE GOOD NEWS is that 2012 will kick off with a record five shiny new rookie starters under center. The previous record? Two. The bad news is that first-year starters have been horrid since 1990, with a combined 257-469 record. The chances of any of the five completing the ultimate assignment -- getting his team to the postseason -- is a long shot. But in all five situations, there's reason for optimism ... and a little pessimism too.
The assignment: Luck will have a smooth start. Coordinator Bruce Arians loves to run; his teams have never finished higher than 15th in pass attempts. Luck simply has to hand off to Donald Brown, use his tight ends
Good news: Luck excels on midrange passes, especially to tight ends. On throws of 20-29 yards last season, the Stanford QB hit on 26 of 44 passes for 843 yards, a terrific 19.2 yards per attempt. On those throws, he had seven TDs and no INTs.