We know how good those first guys were, but we have yet to see how good these guys will be.
History almost always looks better than the present. That's why "no one will ever touch Michael Jordan" or "Jerry Rice will never be dethroned" when in reality if we wait long enough someone will come along with skill sets that surpass the best, and we won't see it till they're not playing any more and we look at them though the same nostalgia-fueled glasses that we looked at other legends. Remember Walt Fraizer and Raymond Berry? Those were the guys before Jordan and Rice, that "no one would ever beat" and they got beat. Not for a long time, but it happened.
That brings me to Quarterbacks. The most important position in football. If you have a great QB you have a great team. That's the end of the argument. It doesn't matter what else a team has, if it doesn't have a QB, it doesn't have a chance. Look at the 2012 Vikings: they had a decent game manager at QB for most of the season, Christian Ponder completed 62% of his passes and had 18 TDs to 12 INTs, and the Vikings went 10-6 behind the one of the greatest comebacks from injury in NFL history and a decent defense to boot. The 2004 Colts had the 24th ranked rushing attack and the 29th ranked defense in the league, but Peyton Manning also threw for 4557 yards, 49 TDs, only 10 INTs, and completed 67% of his passes that year. They went 12-4.
And THAT brings me to the 2012 draft class. That year 2 Quarterbacks were drafted that we know are franchise players, and another 2 that have shown the potential to be such. As you may have guessed, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are franchise players, and Robert Griffin III and Nick Foles have shown that potential. This made me wonder, what is the average numbers of such players in each draft? If we assume that RG3 and Foles show what they have so far, or go more to an average of what they have so far, and both show to be Franchise players that gives the 2012 draft 4 franchise QBs in one draft, two of which were drafted in the third round.
Before this, the 1983 draft class was the benchmark for great QB classes. It produced three Fall of Famers and two solid starters, all in the first round. The 2012 class has produced 4 QBs that have produced very high level numbers, and one that has put up very nice numbers.
This class has already got one super bowl and 6 playoff appearances in just 7 combined seasons. The only one that has failed to make the playoffs was RG3 and the cluster**** that was the Washington Redskins. The 1983 class has 2 super bowl wins in total and that took a combined 46 seasons. this is 1 in 7. The 1983 class also only had one pro bowl appearance in 1983-84, the 2012 class has 6 in 2012-13.
What I'm not trying to say is that the 2012 draft class is destined to be better than the 1983 class. What I am saying is that when you hear someone say that there's no way that the 2012 class will be anywhere near as good as 1983, ask them who Raymond Berry is.