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Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson on Sept. 2 covers of SI

Colin Kaepernick appears on September 2 cover of Sports Illustrated (Peter Read Miller for SI; Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports)

The future of the NFL meets the past on the covers of this week's Sports Illustrated. 

In 2012, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson took the league by storm. This week's issue of SI features a four-cover regional series comparing each of the young quarterbacks to a past Super Bowl champion, showing ways in which the past could be prologue.

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Kaepernick transformed the 49ers after taking over for Alex Smith midway through the season, leading them within yards of a Super Bowl title. SI senior writer Austin Murphy details why Kaepernick is the new Steve Young, a Bay Area legend who won three Super Bowls in his career.

BURKE: Kaepernick poised to be one of 'the greatest quarterbacks ever'?

Robert Griffin III appears on September 2 cover of Sports Illustrated (Peter Read Miller for SI; Al Tielemans/SI)

Before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the playoffs, RGIII terrorized defenses with his unique combination of speed and arm strength. MMQB.com staff writer Jenny Vrentas writes that just because RGIII was "born to run," doesn't mean he can't become an all-time gunslinger like John Elway.

FARRAR: RGIII will reportedly start Redskins' regular-season opener

Andrew Luck appears on September 2 cover of Sports Illustrated (Robert Beck/SI; Andrew Hancock for SI)

Last year, Luck set the record for the most passing yards by a rookie in a single season. MMQB.com staff writer Robert Klemko writes that Luck is on a path to become Peyton Manning, the player he took over for in Indianapolis.

FARRAR: Can Luck maintain magic in Year 2?

Russell Wilson appears on September 2 cover of Sports Illustrated (Bill Frakes, Robert Beck/SI)

Height concerns caused Wilson to drop to the Seahawks in the third round of last year's draft. Remind you of anyone? SI senior writer Jim Trotter says that Drew Brees has blazed a path Wilson could easily follow.

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