Steve Young (Late Bloomer)
Most people know the story of Young serving as Joe Montana’s backup for four seasons before finally getting his chance as the starter and ultimately forcing Montana to leave San Francisco and finish his career with the Chiefs. But most people forget that he went from winning the Heisman at BYU to playing in the USFL with the Los Angeles Express.
When the USFL ended, Young ended up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but was 3-16 as a starter over the course of two seasons. He was labeled a bust and sent packing after the Bucs drafted Vinny Testaverde first overall in 1987. It was only then that Young settled in as Montana’s backup and had to bide his time, eventually winning two MVP awards in his first four seasons as San Francisco’s starter.