The NFL playoffs will begin on Saturday afternoon when the Seahawks host the 49ers. You can find complete Wild Card weekend schedule here. At the highest level of football, you need a well-rounded squad to compete, but the one that’s out of the question is always a quality starting defender. Some of them have been stars all their lives, while others have had to work their way up from the bottom.

Here’s where each of the starting QBs in the playoffs played their high school football and how they were graded and ranked as rookies.

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Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs

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High School: Whitehouse (Texas)

Rating: Three stars

Now, Mahomes was just the most dynamic defender on the planet three-star prospect in middle school. He was ranked No. 12 among dual-threat quarterbacks and just No. 398 overall in the class of 2014. The crazy numbers were always there, though. As a senior, he threw for 50 touchdowns and ran for another 15. Mahomes also excelled in baseball, throwing a 15-hitter that year.

Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles

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High School: Channelview (Texas)

Rating: Four stars

Hurts was ranked highly compared to Mahomes, but was still only No. 192 overall in the class of 2016. 28 other Texas players were also ranked ahead of him. In his senior year, Hurts posted 26 passing touchdowns and 25 rushing touchdowns. This season, Hurts posted fourth highest QBR in the NFL.

Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills

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High School: Firebaugh (California)

Rating: Three stars

Now a regular MVP candidate, Allen was largely unknown in high school. To be fair, he didn’t blossom into the star he is today until his third season in the NFL. In 2015, he was ranked No. 199 overall in his recruiting class and fifth among dual-threat quarterbacks. After sending out a mass email to every college coach, he received only two scholarship offers: from Eastern Michigan and Wyoming.

Brock Purdy – San Francisco 49ers

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High School: Perry (Arizona)

Rating: Three stars

The least experienced QB in this group, Purdy has only started five games in his pro career, but won them all. Purdy went 27-13 as a starter at Perry and was named the Arizona Republic High School Football Player of the Year. However, as a senior, he was ranked No. 839 in his class.

Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals

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High School: Athens (OH)

Rating: Four stars

Unlike some other QBs on this list, it seems like Burrow was always expected to do great things. In high school, he had four stars and a .9003 GPA. Burrow had 17 college offers, eventually settling on Ohio State before transferring to LSU, where he won a national title. He led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in just his second season.

Kirk Cousins ​​- Minnesota Vikings

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High School: Holland (Michigan)

Rating: Three stars

Cousins ​​was another relatively unknown recruit. He didn’t even make the top 1,300 recruits in the 2008 class and barely cracked the top 50 among pro quarterbacks. Cousins ​​received just five college offers, and he settled on Michigan State. He has been on four NFL Pro Bowl teams.

Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars

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High School: Cartersville (Ga.)

Rating: Five stars

Lawrence seems to have been born into this world fully formed as a star quarterback. He was ranked No. 1 as a rookie in the 2018 class and had a .9999 rating as a prospect. Lawrence had 24 college offers and chose Clemson, where he won a national championship. Jacksonville selected him No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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High School: Junipero Serra (California)

Rating: N/A (1996)

Brady is proof that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. At first, he couldn’t even start for an 0-8 JV team and finished his high school career with 3,702 yards and 31 touchdown passes. Brady went on to Michigan, where he had to sit behind Brian Griese for two years. The Patriots later selected him 199th overall in the NFL draft. He won seven Super Bowls and continues to grow.

Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers

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High School: Sheldon (Oregon)

Rating: Three stars

Herbert also falls into the category of late bloomers. Although he threw for 37 touchdowns and rushed for 10 more as a senior, he was only ranked No. 659 in the recruiting class of 2016. When his high school career ended, Herbert had just four college offers. He finished second in the NFL this season behind Mahomes in passing yards.

Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

High School: Haughton (Louisiana)

Rating: Three stars

Prescott also had to earn his way. He was ranked outside the top 600 recruits in the 2011 class and was No. 20 among dual-threat quarterbacks. After leading his team to the 2010 District 1-AAAA Championship, he went to Mississippi State, where he broke numerous records and was twice named first team All-SEC. After arriving in Dallas, he posted the highest passer rating (104.9) by an NFL rookie quarterback.

Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens

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High School: Boynton Beach Community (FL)

Rating: Three stars

Now arguably the best rushing quarterback of all time, Jackson was ranked just No. 12 among dual-threat QBs in high school and No. 409 overall in the class of 2015. However, Jackson’s athleticism shined through—he was a track star and once passed a football 100 yards. Lamar was the unanimous NFL MVP in just his second season with the Ravens.

Daniel Jones – New York Giants

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High School: Charlotte Latin School (NC)

Rating: Two stars

Jones posted some remarkable numbers in high school, totaling 6,997 passing yards and 98 touchdowns. However, this did not bring him national attention. He was ranked No. 58 among dual-threat QBs in his class. After committing to Princeton, he transferred to Duke, where he had to walk on to make the team. The Giants drafted him No. 6 overall, and he eventually replaced Eli Manning as their starter.

Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins

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High School: St. Louis (Hawaii)

Rating: Five stars

Tagovailoa falls into the category of instant stars. In high school, he threw for 33 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. He finished his career as the MVP of the Elite 11 and was ranked as the No. 1 dual-threat QB in his class and No. 32 overall. Tagovailoa had 17 college offers but chose Alabama, where he won the Heisman. However, Tua has suffered multiple concussions this season and may not be available for the playoffs.

Geno Smith – Seattle Seahawks

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High School: Miramar (FL)

Rating: Four stars

Smith was also a highly touted high school QB. As a senior, he threw for 3,089 yards and 30 touchdowns. He made the top 100 of all players in his class and was ranked No. 3 at his position. Smith chose West Virginia over nine other college offers, including Alabama. This season, Smith became a Pro Bowler for the first time in his nine-year NFL career.