It is really no surprise the teams with the top two picks in the upcoming draft have a need at quarterback. Nine teams can be considered to have a need at quarterback. Let’s take a look at each team.
Teams very likely to draft a quarterback
The Browns passed on Carson Wentz in 2016, leaving the front office decision makers still in the hunt for a franchise quarterback. Hue Jackson said, the Browns, “will not trade the first overall pick”, and while anything is possible, it does not seem likely the Browns will draft a quarterback at number 1 overall. Logic says the Browns will target a quarterback with the 12th overall pick. It could be a trade up scenario, especially if a domino falls by a team selecting a quarterback in the top 10. Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson are likely targets.
GM Rick Smith Confirms Houston will select a quarterback. The Texans have the 25th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. If the Texans choose to stay at 25 and draft a quarterback in the first round then perhaps Patrick Mahomes is on the radar. The Texans could also move up to get Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson.
Carson Palmer has been an excellent fit in Bruce Arians’ version of the Air Coryell offense. Presumably not all quarterbacks will be a good fit in Arians’ system, because they need to be big quarterbacks who can take a hit. The system is designed to push the ball down the field, and it takes time for receivers to map that much landscape, which often leads to the quarterback taking hits. Deshone Kizer and Davis Webb are the largest of the top prospects, but might be a reach with the 13th pick. Perhaps the Cardinals will package the 45th pick to move into the back-end of the first round or stay at number 45 and see who falls to them.
Dan Snyder and Jay Gruden have a tough decision to make with Kirk Cousins’ future in Washington. Cousins is currently playing on his second franchise tag (23.9 million). It is not likely for him to receive a third franchise tag in 2018 as it would cost approximately 34.5 million. If Snyder and Gruden choose not to commit with Cousins on a long-term deal then drafting a quarterback makes a lot of sense. It is very possible they are waiting to see how the NFL draft unfolds before making a decision on Cousins.
Teams that will possibly draft a quarterback
San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and the Buffalo Bills round out the remaining teams that might be in the market for a quarterback.
The 49ers are rumored to be patiently waiting for the Redskins to make a decision on Cousins. The Chiefs might look for a younger quarterback to groom under Alex Smith. Tom Coughlin has yet to commit the Jaguars to Blake Bortles. The Jets drafted Christian Hackenberg in the second round in the 2016 draft, and it is unclear if the coaching staff believes in him. The Bills semi-committed to Tyrod Taylor this off-season, but only gave him a 2 year deal.
At least 2 quarterbacks should be drafted in the first round, and possibly 4 if teams move up the the back-end of the first round. We have to also consider the possibility of a surprise team in the market for a quarterback.