The NFL’s QB Conundrum

With the retirement of the best regular season QB, in Peyton Manning, earlier this year. As well as the possible suspension of one of the best overall QB’s ever for the first four games next year in Tom Brady you have to ask one question. Is the Quarterback position changing and is it any good?

With the Rams trading up into the number 1 slot from 15 expecting to pick a quarterback as well as the laughable Browns projected to pick one, if they don’t trade down. There begs a question, is Jared Goff or Carson Wentz worth that high of a pick?

It is well known that this year that this is a down year for available quarterbacks in both he draft and free agency. Free agency has come and gone with a career backup, Chase Daniel, getting 21 million dollars, only 2 million less than the guy he is sitting behind, Sam Bradford. Thats a lot of money for a guy that has never started a game and could possibly supplant a former number 1 overall pick in Bradford. The rest of free agency isn’t much better as it was a bunch of backups that either got old or lost all their talent.

The draft is typically known for a infusion of talent at many positions and the past few years the top quarterbacks have been productive early. This year seems different, however, as both top quarterbacks are not the “new prototypical QB”, which I will go into more in-depth after the draft. Essentially the new prototype is a dual threat with a rocket for a arm, some examples are Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, and Robert Griffin III, before the injury.

Neither of the top quarterbacks this year have eye pooping stats in all those categories, Goff who is from Cal is a pocket passer. On the other hand, Wentz from FCS North Dakota State has the potential to be the new prototype but does not have the production in college as he was hurt for half a year and started for only a year and a half. Again, is a top 3 pick worth either, or both, of these guys, especially when a premier style and size left tackle and defensive back compared to Deion Sanders are also available?

I do not think that either pick is worth it on either quarterback unless you have other pieces around him. This is one thing that most GMs fail to understand and I do not really get it. Unless you have solid and proven pieces at receiver and offensive line the quarterback is not as much of a factor as once thought. For example when AJ Green was drafted he had a established, albeit disgruntled, QB in Carson Palmer on the Bengals, they also chose to draft Andy Dalton in the second round. Palmer got traded so Dalton was trust into the starting job with Green as his go to receiver. I think that after going to the playoffs in each season that has worked out really well.

Lets look at the other side of the coin, the Browns. Theres a reason they keep picking so high in the draft, they can’t find a franchise QB right? Wrong, they can not find a franchise offensive threat, as in running back, receiver, or tight end. They have drafted well on the line getting 2 all pro’s in Joe Thomas and Andy Mack before both left, while having countless others be solid in the middle of the line. They also have rostered 22 QBs in the past 20 seasons, but yet that is what they are trying to grab in the first round while overlooking other needs.

The Browns are just the fore most team that had QB problems as 15 teas have valuable quarterbacks as starters. 8 teams have players that are too soon to tell, as in they are still in their rookie contract and haven’t shown either greatness or disappointment. So that leaves 7 teams with questions about their QB situation for this year and at least 15 for next year with another upwards of 9 teams having questions about the future after this year. Thats 25% of the teams for next year and over 50% for the year after having questions for one reason or another.

The most common thing among the 7 for this year is that 4 teams, the Rams, Browns, Lions, and Dolphins have no clear cut elite receiver. The Dolphins have Jarvis Landry who could be one of the best in the game but is still young. These teams should focus on giving weapons to their team before getting a QB, maybe even draft one later in the draft there are plenty.

When looking at the best young teams, the Jaguars, Jets, Broncos, Panthers, Vikings, and Buccaneers, they all have weapons for their young QB. The Jags have the tandem of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, the Jets have Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, Broncos Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Panthers with Kelvin Benjamin and Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr., the Vikings have Stefon Diggs and Jarius Wright, and lastly the Bucs have Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins all standing over 6’5.

These teams have built the receiving and line through the first few rounds of the draft outside of a few grabbing the QB of the futures early but they were known commodities in Jameis Winston and Cam Newton. They have gotten proven commodities in free agency and stashed young QB’s behind the veterans for some time and not put them into a fire without a safety blanket.

Slowly but surely, the quarterback position has gotten worse as more teams have missed on young QB’s and hit on some late in the draft and fail to develop them. Take Washington’s approach in 2012 when the took RG3 number 2 and Kirk Cousins as a backup plan in the third round. RG3 is gone but Cousins is one of the elite QB’s now, teams need to start to do that more and get skill and other necessary positions early in the draft when they are known commodities. It is better to hit on a known commodity in a other position early and miss on late round QB while having a veteran than to miss on a 1 round QB and have no fall back option.

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