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Kiper: Good luck with rookie QB starting

With as many as three NFC West teams seeking quarterbacks this offseason, I joined Mel Kiper Jr.'s media conference call Wednesday with added interest.

One point Mel drove home hard: We tend to have unrealistic expectations for rookie quarterbacks.

The St. Louis Rams' Sam Bradford was exceptional by rookie standards -- and he was the NFL's 25th-rated passer out of 31 qualifying quarterbacks.

Mel scoffed at evaluating whether a quarterback was "the guy" after the player's rookie season.

"If you evaluate them on one year, you will (usually) say they are not the right guy," Kiper said. "We need a reality check on how we evaluate quarterbacks."

With that in mind, I went through ProFootballReference.com's database looking at how first-round quarterbacks fared as rookies while playing for current NFC West teams. I went back to 1976, the Seattle Seahawks' inaugural season, so that the time frame would be equal for all four teams.

The chart helps set expectations for 2011 if the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers or Seahawks draft and then start a quarterback selected in the first round.

1976-2010 NFC West Rookie First-Round QBs