Quarterback is the most important position in football. Without a solid quarterback, it is tough for a team to reach the playoffs, let alone win a super bowl. Several teams need an upgrade at the position, but a few are in more critical positions than others. Failed young quarterbacks and aging veterans are the biggest reasons these teams need a new leader behind center. While many teams are in need of one, only a few will decide to spend their draft capital on the position. Here are five teams that should draft a quarterback in 2021.
Five Teams That Should Draft a Quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft
The first of the teams that should draft a quarterback is the Detroit Lions. The Lions have been matched with Matt Stafford since they selected him in the 2009 NFL draft. Stafford is a great quarterback and has been statistically above average in several seasons with the Lions. However, Stafford has only led the Lions to two playoff appearances in his career and is 0-2 in those games.
Even with legendary receiver Calvin Johnson at his side, the Lions and Stafford could never manage to be a true contender. Stafford has played 12 seasons with the Lions but has only eclipsed eight or more wins four times. Stafford had a stretch of seven straight seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards, proving he is an elite passer. However, his lack of if post-season success shows his passing ability hasn’t translated to wins.
This isn’t all on Stafford, but his two playoff appearances in twelve seasons are less than you’d expect from a franchise quarterback selected first overall. With his age only increasing, the Lions may look to take advantage of their ability to get out of Stafford’s contract this off-season. If they don’t, he’ll be around till he is an unrestricted free agent in 2023. This will most likely lead to the Lions staying at the league’s basement for a few more years.
With the roster starting to get younger, getting their next franchise quarterback may be the smart move. Also, it can give Stafford a chance to play for a contender before his career is over.
The Giants have only seen two seasons of Daniel Jones, but this 25-game sample size is enough to see that they need to explore more options. The head coach that helped select Jones has already been fired, and the general manager may be on the way out. This would put new head coach Joe Judge and his eventual new partner in a position to select their own quarterback to build around.
We’ve seen a similar situation with the Arizona Cardinals and their decision to draft Kyler Murray first overall, just one season after selecting Josh Rosen in the first round. Jones has not done much in his first two seasons to argue against moving on. Jones has committed 49 turnovers in just 25 career games for an average of almost two turnovers per game.
It is difficult to rely on a quarterback who is almost guaranteed to commit multiple turnovers in every game. Among these turnovers was an awful 18 fumbles in his rookie season. This led the league and took Jones just 13 games to reach. This had Jones on pace for 20 fumbles in a 16-game season. This turnover problem makes it tough to argue in favor of Jones. Even if they don’t select a quarterback in the first round, it would be worth investing a draft pick in the first three rounds on a quarterback to at least offer some competition for Jones in 2021.
Jacksonville has just one win in 13 games this season. They are expected to have a top-three pick in the 2021 NFL draft. This puts them in a great position to potentially land Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville’s only current option for a long-term quarterback is former sixth-round pick, Gardner Minshew. Minshew has been a fine fill-in quarterback while the Jaguars rebuild, but they need to find a long-term option at the quarterback position.
Minshew is 7-12 as a starter, which isn’t too bad for a Jaguars team that has been less than average during those two seasons, but his decisions at times and lack of playmaking ability have limited his chances and have found him on the bench several times. He also has more career turnovers than games played, but unlike Jones, he does have more touchdowns than turnovers. Overall, Jacksonville is in a great position to draft a franchise quarterback with a top-three pick and two first-round picks total. While Minshew isn’t a terrible quarterback, he isn’t what you need out of a franchise quarterback.
The Saints have known only great quarterback play for the last 15 seasons with Drew Brees under center. In Brees’ first season with the Saints, he threw 4,400 yards and earned first-team all-pro honors. He followed this with 11 more pro bowl appearances and a super bowl victory. He has five 5,000-yard passing seasons and led the league in passing yardage seven times. The all-time leader in passing yards is now 41 and recently suffered a career-threatening rib injury that has put a post-Brees Saints in the spotlight.
Brees has also been suffering from decreasing arm-strength recently and the time is now to find Brees’ replacement before he decides to walk away. Getting a season or two behind the future hall of fame quarterback could be vital to the progression of whatever quarterback New Orleans selects. A potential pairing with Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book would be interesting for the Saints heading into the future.
Finally, the last of the teams that should draft a quarterback resides in Washington, D.C. Washington selected Dwayne Haskins in what is becoming a lackluster 2019 quarterback class. They are the third team on this list that has started a 2019 rookie quarterback in multiple games. Similar to the others, Haskins has struggled in his first two NFL seasons. Haskins is just 3-8 as a starter and has 21 total turnovers compared to just 12 total touchdowns. Haskins has made some progress as a leader. He earned a captaincy in his second year, but his play on the field has not translated.
Washington has an incredible defensive unit and they cannot afford to waste this defense waiting around for Haskins to potentially develop. They need to get another option on the roster who can grow with this young and talented defense before they miss the opportunity that they have. While Haskins may not be the answer in Washington, another Ohio State quarterback might be. Justin Fields has been incredible in college and would be a nice modern quarterback with rushing ability for Washington. Haskins’ lack of mobility is just another reason Washington needs to look elsewhere.