A lot of teams have moved on from longtime QBs and gone a different direction this year. Matt Ryan was shipped to Indianapolis, Deshaun Watson to Cleveland, and Carson Wentz to Washington.
Russell Wilson went to Denver while Aaron Rodgers extended his stay in Green Bay. Though many teams have fixed their QB problems, plenty more are in a position to use the first round of this year’s NFL draft to snatch a player out of this draft’s crop of arm talent.
The Steelers haven’t had a losing season in almost two decades. It’s an incredible feat that may be very difficult to extend into its 20th year. Big Ben retired, and although Pittsburgh made a move to acquire former second overall pick Mitch Trubisky, it’s not a done deal that the Steelers are content with their current QB room.
Mason Rudolph has had his chances to show his ability and has come up short, and the Steelers are looking for their next franchise QB. Don’t count them out of drafting a guy in the first round to succeed Mitch, should he be unable to get the job done in a division ripe with star young quarterbacks.
The Texans moved on from Deshaun Watson this offseason, and they had to. They got some draft capital back for a guy who was never going to play for them again anyways, so really in hindsight, it’s free draft picks. Kyle Allen was signed over and they still have former day two pick Davis Mills who showed flashes last season.
Both options are uninspiring, but Houston has a lot more problems on their roster outside of the quarterback position.
It’s a team not looking to win right now, so maybe it’d be best to wait another year for a quarterback. But, they very well could take one if they fall in love with a guy in the first round, or draft someone to sit a year and wait for reinforcements before throwing him out there to fail.
If a rookie QB is the Week 1 starter for Houston, it’s not going to go well, no matter who that guy is.
New name and new starting quarterback, Washington is rebranding right now, with a possible sale of the franchise in the works.
All three current in-house QBs wouldn’t shock me if they got significant playing time next season. Taylor Heinicke has proven to be a formidable option and Ryan Fitzpatrick will always bring some magic, though he’s coming off a serious hip injury.
They traded for Carson Wentz, likely as a one-year option to see if they can get anything out of him before going to get a QB next year.
They have some options when it comes to quantity, but it’s not great quality. They could easily get a guy in the first round to replace Wentz once the time comes.
Detroit, despite having a poor season on record, wasn’t all that bad last season. Former Rams Pro-Bowler Jared Goff actually had a decent season, and if they can get him some more weapons, maybe he can be the future for a failing Lions franchise.
But, they are still in the mix for a first-round QB, likely one at the end of the round. I’ve seen a lot of mock drafts predicting Desmond Ridder to Detroit at the end of the first round, and that’s about the only realistic and logical move they could make for a quarterback.
Look for them to wait a year, like most teams are. But, one of these teams supposedly waiting is going to see the QBs fall, and someone will pounce.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With Brady coming out of retirement, this option seems plenty less likely than it was just a bit ago. Kyle Trask is the only young QB on this roster, and if they feel like Brady is only coming back for another year and then that’ll be it, Tampa could theoretically draft now to save themselves for the future.
Learning under Brady is also not a bad way to improve a young QB either, so Tampa could go that route.
New Orleans Saints
This option doesn’t seem very likely with the re-signing of Jameis Winston and the acquisition of Andy Dalton. They also have Ian Book on the sidelines to compete as well.
But, if unimpressed by Winston as the future, maybe they snag a flier on a guy who maybe drops too far as teams are waiting a year for their future gunslinger.
Like Houston, Atlanta is a long way from competing right now. They let Matt Ryan go to the Colts, and they replaced him with former elite pick Marcus Mariota.
Mariota hasn’t been a starter in a few years, so he may be a bit rusty, but the lack of a QB here isn’t the only gap in their roster. Like Houston, they may take a QB in the first round, but they won’t be the week one starter, and it’d be best to let them sit a year in this struggling franchise.
Carolina has left some room open for another quarterback with Sam Darnold and PJ Walker as their only active quarterbacks listed on the roster right now.
Darnold has been unable to live up to the potential that the scouts threw on him, and he won’t be Carolina’s starter in 2023 unless, of course, he is able to replicate his four-game stretch from the beginning of last season.
Carolina needs a future leader at the QB position, and Darnold just isn’t that guy. They need a future QB, so it’s this year or next to find their guy.
The Seahawks traded away Russell Wilson, and the core from the old successful Seahawk days is now all gone. Drew Lock looks to be competing with Geno Smith and Jacob Eason for the starting job as it stands right now. That’s by far the worst QB room in the NFC and one of the worst in all of football.
Seattle surely won’t go into an NFL season with those options at QB, and drafting a QB is one of their biggest current needs. They’re a favorite to take one early, but it’s not at all a guarantee as Pete Carroll and company won’t draft a quarterback early unless they know they can succeed Russell Wilson as the future of the franchise.
Take a look at our projected first 16 picks here!