The NFL draft is now just under a week away from commencing. This year the position with the most variability seems to be the quarterback class. There is an unease around the NFL as teams decide if this will be the right year to draft their next man up. Next years quarterbacks class is touted to be one of the best in recent memory, making 2017’s very hard to evaluate. However, this offseason many teams have moved on from household names and are in need of someone to run the offence.
Every NFL Team That May Draft A QB In Round 1
Cleveland Browns – Pick(s): #1 & #12
Cleveland has been searching for a franchise quarterback since the turn of the millennium, but it has not been for lack of trying. In the past ten years, the Browns have drafted three QBs in the first round and none have played a full 16 game season as a starter. They might take another swing this year with the 12th overall pick. Mitchell Trubisky is the number one QB prospect in this years draft and has publicly said he would like to play for the Browns. The Browns beefed up their offensive line this offseason in a attempt to not let another QB get beat up before he can get his feet wet in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers – Pick(s): #2
The Niner’s team that went to the Super Bowl in 2013 is almost fully dismantled and Colin Kaepernick was one of the final dominos to fall. Even though San Fransisco had success in recent years with Kaepernick and Alex Smith, it has been a while since they had a true franchise QB. For the Niners to become competitive again, they need a lot of help in all areas on the field. Quarterback might be where they choose to start. With the second overall pick, the Niner’s may elected to go quarterback. They can have the choice of anyone they want and if the fit is right, why not start the rebuild off with a QB?
Chicago Bears – Pick(s): #3
The Jay Cutler era is over and the Bears are now looking to give the team a makeover. Like San Francisco, the Bears need a lot of help everywhere on the field but if the fit is right, why not draft a QB? The Bears o-line helped Jordan Howard run for 1,313 yards in only 13 starts. This should allow a young quarterback to not getting banged up. A young trio of Jordan Howard, a potentially healthy Kevin White and a fresh young quarterback, could be the spark that the Bears need to bring them back to relevance.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Pick(s): #4
The Jags currently have a young quarterback in Blake Bortles but he might not be their long term solution. Since coming into the league, Bortles has thrown the second most INTs in the NFL. That might be enough for the Jaguars front office to re-evaluate the position. The decision to draft a QB with the fourth overall pick is unlikely but could happen. The Jags have broke the bank on free agents over the past two years and have made a statement they want to win now. If they think Bortles can only bring them limited success, then this pick could be used on his replacement.
New York Jets – Pick(s): #6
The Jets are one year removed from being one of the most talented teams in the NFL. They were also a tie-breaker away from the playoffs in 2015. Since then, the team has fallen apart in almost every way. Drafting a quarterback would be a good place to start on the path back to success. The Jets have drafted a quarterback in each of the last four drafts so it is clear, they recognize their weakness at the position. The only QB of that group to start a full season was Geno Smith. He is no longer on their roster. The Jets also signed Josh McCown to a deal this offseason. This could imply that New York may be waiting until next year or hoping that one of their younger prospects takes his next step forward in 2017.
Los Angeles Chargers – Pick(s): #7
Philip Rivers will not be around forever and the Chargers could soon be looking for his successor. Considering the Raiders, Broncos and Chiefs offseason improvements, it will be very hard to find a way into the playoffs in the AFC West. The Chargers could begin their re-tooling by drafting a young quarterback and have him develop under Rivers. A new quarterback could learn from the bench as Rivers plays out the remained two years (third year option) of his contract. A comparable situation was how Aaron Rodgers came into the league. Rodgers spent three years as Brett Favre‘s backup before becoming a starter and one of the leagues best at QB.
Buffalo Bills – Pick(s): #10
The Bills looked like they were moving on from Tyrod Taylor at the end of the regular season, but then proceeded to restructure his contract. Due to the contract restructuring, Taylor could be a Bill for only one or for five more years. The Bills seem uncertain as to what to do with Taylor and could take a QB with the 10th pick overall. If they pick a QB it would be because they want to permanently replace him or simply do not trust him enough. QB is a big question mark for the Bills moving forward and trying to find the solution this year seems very likely.
New Orleans Saints – Pick(s): #11 & #32
The Saints reason to take a quarterback is almost the exact same as the Chargers. New Orleans also has the luxury of deciding how much longer Drew Brees will be a Saint. The difference between the Saints and the Chargers, is that Brees might be able to play another four years. The Saints also have two picks in the first round; a luxury that LA does not have. If one of the top three or four QBs remain on the board at pick 32; the Saints could be ready to pounce.
Arizona Cardinals – Pick(s): #13
Carson Palmer had a season to forget in 2016 and the Cardinals would like to find their next quarterback sooner, rather than later. If the Cardinals are ready to start rebuilding, a QB would be a great pick at #13. The Cardinals offensive line got banged up last year and should be a lot better this season. A young quarterback would stay clean and have Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and David Johnson helping him out. However, if they believe Palmer will bounce back in 2017, they might stay away.
Washington Redskins – Pick(s): #17
The Redskins nearly imploded after Kirk Cousins was franchised tagged for a second time, creating speculation he might not be their answer at quarterback. Preparing for life after Cousins could be the perfect use of the 17th pick overall. For whatever reasons, Washington does not feel that Cousins is worth the money he is asking for. If Washington wants to move on, they can draft a QB they feel will be their long term solution. If that happens, they can trade Cousins or let him play out another year under the franchise tag.
Houston Texans – Pick(s): #25
Of all the 2017 ‘contenders’, the Texans are the only team without a starting QB. The Brock Osweiler experiment failed and he was finally shipped out to Cleveland where his future remains uncertain. It would be shocking if the Texans did not draft a QB here. If any of the top three quarterback prospects are on the board when the Texans pick, they must select him. Some of the Texans players also know they could draft a QB. DeAndre Hopkins attended Clemson University, like Deshaun Watson and on Monday said “pretty sure he’d like to throw me the football”. If the Texans want to win now, they need to draft a QB.
Kansas City Chiefs – Pick(s): #27
Alex Smith has proven he is able to win at the NFL level but has still failed to become an ‘elite’ QB. The Chiefs could draft a quarterback with their first round pick and if Smith falters, give him playing time. Even if KC drafts a quarterback and he does not get playing time in his first year, it is a great idea to have Smith’s successor developing in the same system. However, the Chiefs have bigger concerns than upgrading at quarterback. The option to take a QB is not likely but could still happen.