Steve Young may have enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling just a pinch of jealousy toward the league’s current quarterbacks.

Football in 2024 is a game Young “could only dream of playing,” the former San Francisco 49ers and BYU legend said while appearing on Roku’s “The Rich Eisen Show” Monday.

His blend of accurate, intellectual passing ability coupled with athletic mobility and creativity outside the pocket made him a rare bird in his 1990s heyday, but the NFL’s current landscape is completely slanted in favor of the style of QB that Young helped to invent.

“I was the oddity 20 years ago, and now my game is the prototype. It’s how you do it,” Young told Eisen. “It’s the guys who are just dominating the league. My theory is you cannot get to the Super Bowl and win a Super Bowl unless you have one of those guys.”

Young likened today’s quarterbacks to “superheroes,” stating the impossibility of reaching any sort of postseason success without one.

“The key is that they have the sophistication in the passing game to be able to stand in there, call the play in the huddle, decipher through the defense and get the ball out in a really effective and efficient way, yet be able to put the Superman cape on here and there whenever it’s useful,” Young said. “The game has become a game of these superheroes, and if you don’t have one, you can’t go to the Super Bowl.”

Here’s what else Young had to say regarding some of the NFL’s notable quarterbacks.

On 2023 MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson

“What he’s great at is that quickness and ability to make people miss, it’s uncanny.

“... You cannot get to the Super Bowl unless you develop into a sophisticated passer of the football, that’s how you get there. ... (The Ravens) fired their (offensive coordinator), got new talent at wide receiver and fundamentally said, ‘We’re going to throw the football and develop Lamar into one of the sophisticated passers so he can join the conversation with Patrick (Mahomes), Josh (Allen), Joe (Burrow) and others.’

“I really tip my cap to Lamar because he just craves what I just talked about, he craves to be that guy. There might be some shortcomings as he develops, but right now he looks unbeatable, he’s a guy that can do it all.”

Steve Young and Brock Purdy sat down to talk about football. They focused on faith instead
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On current 49ers QB Brock Purdy

“Brock is amazing. ... You might be able to make the case that there hasn’t been a more efficient quarterback in the history of the game in how he played this year.

“He did everything that you would want a Super Bowl quarterback to do in those key moments. He’s young, it’s amazing. There’s gonna have to be a movie about him at some point. I’ve interviewed him and think that he’s a fascinating human being.

“I think that he’s one of the best in the league and he does it in his own Brock Purdy way. I’ve said it for over a year, let Brock cook! Give him a play, let him figure it out, and he will figure it out. He’s got a special mind.”

On Jared Goff’s career resurgence in Detroit

“He’s an efficiency aficionado. Jared is incredibly efficient and also very bold when he needs to be. In many ways, Jared has been a revelation, and I think that we don’t appreciate him as much as we should.”

On former Utah State star Jordan Love’s breakout campaign

“It looks like he’ll join that group of Patrick (Mahomes), Josh (Allen) and now Lamar (Jackson) and Joe (Burrow). ... Even though he’s young and this is his breakout time, I felt like he’s gonna be one of those guys.

“There’s only a handful (of quarterbacks) every year that are gonna be in the Super Bowl or in the thick of it, but he’s gonna be one of those guys ... it was a revelation to see the Jordan Love show and maybe what it’s gonna look like in the future.”