As the NFL season is coming to a close and the draft order is being finalized, many teams around the league should be looking to upgrade, or even change, their situation at quarterback. So here is a look at the (possible) quarterback changes in the NFL.
5 (predicted) Quarterback Changes in the NFL
The first of the possible quarterback changes in the NFL: Pittsburgh. After a 1-3 start to the NFL season, the Steelers have recovered slightly since their early-season collapse. However, I believe that this season should be Ben Roethlisberger‘s final season under center in Pittsburgh. He has not been good this season and ranks 32nd (out of 37) in PFF rankings. He looks out of place in a young Steelers team and moving on from him would be the best option for Pittsburgh to improve into the future.
Malik Willis, quarterback, Liberty – Malik Willis has both of the makings that an elite NFL quarterback needs, good mobility and a good arm. He has also enjoyed success in college with Liberty and given the pick that the Steelers hold, he could be the ideal pick as the heir to Ben Roethlisberger.
The quarterback situation in Carolina isn’t very clear. They have had a combination of Cam Newton, PJ Walker, and Sam Darnold starting under center. None of them have been good enough. Sam Darnold has been especially disappointing due to the draft capital that the Panthers gave up to get him from New York. PJ Walker didn’t have many expectations but hasn’t been good enough to warrant the team putting their future into his hands. Cam Newton came back to Carolina with a chip on his shoulder and lived up to the hype in their week ten matchup against Washington. He then proceeded to have arguably the single-worst game from any quarterback this season against Miami and get benched.
Given their draft position, they probably will have their pick of the quarterbacks in the top ten this year. However, I do not believe that any of the quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class are good enough to warrant such a high pick. Matt Corral seems to be the only exception, but even he could be taken later. Thus, I think that they should trade down (to about 15-20), gain more capital, and take either Corral or Kenny Pickett at the spot they end up at.
The Broncos have had two primary starters at quarterback this year, in Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. Teddy Bridgewater has been extremely average, but he has not shown any promise towards the future due to his age. Drew Lock has not looked good whatsoever, recording a 33.6 PFF rating, just over half of Big Ben’s rating this season. They have a very talented roster and an upgrade to the quarterback position could even see this team competing in the playoffs.
I believe that the Broncos, out of all teams on this list, should look the least into the draft and should instead focus on a trade for a veteran quarterback. Russell Wilson has hinted at his discontent with the state of the Seahawks and could be an option this offseason. Also, this year may be Aaron Rodgers‘ final season in Green Bay and he could be looking for a move to a roster where he could compete early on, as the Broncos have.
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team currently has 4 quarterbacks on their roster. Taylor Heinicke who has been extremely inconsistent and unreliable over the past two years, really only showing his skills against the Buccaneers in their matchups. Kyle Allen could compete for the starting role but, honestly, does not seem close to the solution in Washington.
Garrett Gilbert, who at the age of 30 has not shown enough at the NFL level to be considered for the starting role. Finally, Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably the best and most consistent starter on this roster, but at the age of 39, he is not getting any better and will probably regress even further in the next few years. It’s only natural WFT will have one of the quarterback changes in the NFL.
This team has the opportunity to address their need at this position in many different ways. They have quite a complete roster, a good defense, and good offensive weapons, so a veteran quarterback could be intrigued by playing in the capital. They could also target the draft this year. They are projected to hold the 12th overall pick, and with the current quarterback class, they could have their pick of the bunch. Whether that be Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, or even Malik Willis.
The final but most obvious of the possible quarterback changes in the NFL. The Texans have a very difficult situation at quarterback. Longtime starter Deshaun Watson has refused to play for the franchise amidst legal issues. Veteran Tyrod Taylor struggles with injuries and looks unlikely to hold down the starting role. Finally, rookie Davis Mills has been alright in the role, but is not starting quality and does not seem like the longterm answer at the position.
The Texans are predicted to have the 3rd overall pick in the draft this year. That is far too early to draft any of the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL draft class. The Texans have a few options this offseason. Firstly, they could attempt to trade away Deshaun Watson and in return get picks and a starter to help rebuild the franchise, perhaps to the Giants or the Panthers.
Secondly, they could trade down in the draft and take a shot at one of the rookie quarterbacks. Lastly, and the option which I think is the best, they should attempt to “tank” this upcoming season and then take a quarterback in the 2023 draft class, such as Bryce Young or CJ Stroud to solve the mess.
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