We are two weeks away from the NFL Draft. Each year, the intrigue revolves around teams that need to draft a franchise quarterback. This year is no different. It’s virtually a foregone conclusion that the Cincinnati Bengals will select Joe Burrow number-one overall. However, both Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert are considered worthy of being picked in the top ten. That’s where the intrigue begins. Most mock drafts have the Washington Redskins, with the second pick, selecting Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young and the Detroit Lions, the third pick, trading down. There will be plenty of drama with the 2020 NFL Draft team needs. All eyes will be on teams, that need a franchise quarterback, trying maneuver up the draft board.
2020 NFL Draft Team Needs: Quarterback
Teams Most Likely to Draft a Quarterback
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Of the NFL draft team needs, the Bengals need a franchise quarterback in the worst way. By grace or bad luck, they find themselves primed to add a franchise quarterback in this year’s draft. Ohio native Joe Burrow is widely believed to be that quarterback. And, rightly so. However, it is conceivable that the Bengals are offered a haul of draft picks to move out of the top spot and still land their quarterback of the future.
“Tank for Tua” was the theme of the Dolphins’ 2019 season. The shipped stars Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick in exchange for picks and it looked like they were headed straight for the top spot in the draft. The ‘Phins then went on to post a 5-4 record in the second half of the season and ended up with the fifth spot. However, the Dolphins have plenty of draft capital, picks five, eighteen and twenty-six and two in the second round, to work a trade into the top three picks. Is this the year they fill the void left by Dan Marino? I think the Miami faithful get their wish and land their franchise quarterback.
The Chargers dive into their 2020 NFL draft needs with the sixth-overall pick. There is every indication that the Chargers will take a quarterback. Tyrod Taylor is currently at the top of their quarterback depth chart and it’s unlikely they head into a new stadium with him as the starter. Whether it’s Tagovailoa or Herbert, the Chargers will likely have to move up to secure their franchise quarterback.
For starters, the Patriots let Tom Brady go in free agency. New England is now faced with entering the 2020 NFL season with Jarrett Stidham as their starter. Stidham, their 2019 fourth-round draft pick, showed promise posting the top-rated quarterback statistics in the 2019 preseason by throwing for 68 completion percentage, four touchdowns against one interception and a 102 passer rating. Head coach Bill Belichick has demonstrated the ability to get the most out of late-round quarterbacks. However, there are whispers that due to the strong relationship with the Lions, the Patriots could package picks and attempt to move up to number three.
5. Washington Redskins
Most mock drafts have the Redskins standing pat with the second-overall draft pick and selecting Young. It makes sense considering Washington had the twenty-seventh rated team defense. However, they did manage 46 sacks which ranked seventh in the league. That being said, the question is do owner Dan Snyder and the Redskins coaching staff trust Dwayne Haskins as the long term answer as the franchise quarterback? If the answer is no? Then one has to think that Tagovailoa is the pick.
Teams That Could Consider Drafting a Quarterback
Jon Gruden and Co. are heading into a new stadium with Derek Carr and newly-signed Marcus Mariota in tow. With that being said, industry-wide, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the Raiders move up to draft Tagovailoa. The signing of Mariota makes sense because he has a relationship with the Hawaiian native. The Raiders have the picks to move up with numbers 12 and 19. Add a third-round pick and they could easily move into the top three to get their quarterback of the future.
Do the Steelers need a quarterback? If I’m a Steelers fan, I’m concerned about the future. Both Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, thrust into starting roles due to Ben Roethlisberger‘s injury, had back-up written all over them. The Steelers desperately need the return of a healthy Roethlisberger. Although there is nothing to say that Roethlisberger’s arm talent has diminished, there has to be a concern for his ability to fend off Father Time. Without a first-round pick, the Steelers could look to add a quarterback in round two or three such as Jake Fromm or Jacob Eason.
Gardner Minshew took over for the injured Nick Foles and quickly became a fan favorite. The Jaguars have the ninth pick in this year’s draft and most mocks have them selecting on the defensive side of the ball. However, the Jags traded Foles to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round draft pick. Even though Minshew has increased the sale of stick-on mustaches, one has to wonder if the Jags could pass on Tagovailoa if he drops to them.
9. Detroit Lions
It seems as if the Lions are in the catbird seat for the 2020 NFL draft. They have the third-overall selection and have a myriad of needs on the defensive side of the ball. However, Matthew Stafford has suffered some injuries that put his longevity in question. These concerns have led to murmurs that Detroit could add their franchise quarterback of the future, Tagovailoa, ala the Green Bay Packers when they decided to draft Aaron Rodgers with Brett Favre still under contract. After all, the Packers have had the best overall quarterback play in the NFL over the past 30 years.
Two of these generations’ greatest quarterbacks are in the twilight of their careers. Both Drew Brees and Tom Brady have signed contracts that will have them playing through the 2021 NFL season. The back-up situation for both teams is tenuous. However, the Saints might feel more confident with the lightning-in-a-bottle Taysom Hill. The Buccaneers released Jameis Winston after failing to reach the promise of his draft position. Because both teams have little draft capital to make a move to the top of the draft, look for them to add a second-tier quarterback such as Fromm, Eason or Jordan Love.
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