Seven teams came into this offseason with a major need at the quarterback position. Those teams are the Browns, Jets, Cardinals, Vikings, Broncos, Bills, and Washington. All seven of them made significant moves to address their need. Some will influence their draft, some won’t.
The first team to address the quarterback position was Washington. Having exhausted their franchise tag limit on Kirk Cousins, they knew he would be leaving, so they brought Alex Smith over from Kansas City in a trade. This filled the need Washington had at QB, so they can use their pick at 13 overall on another position.
Whichever team landed Cousins would fill their need at QB as well. That team ended up being the Vikings, who signed him to a 3-year, unprecedented fully guaranteed $84 million deal. That’ll get it done.
Case Keenum was the Vikings’ quarterback last season, helping lead them to the NFC Championship game where they would lose to the eventual Super Bowl winning Nick Foles led Eagles. The Eagles decided to keep Foles as backup to Carson Wentz, keeping Foles off the market. The Vikings got their man and won’t need to use their pick at 30 overall on the position.
Keenum was allowed to leave, signing a deal two year deal with the Broncos. His addition offers the Broncos a temporary starter, which means they will still be looking at quarterback with their pick at 5th overall.
Also leaving Minnesota was former top pick, Teddy Bridgewater. He signed on with the Jets, which had also re-signed Josh McCown. Not only did these additions not definitively say the Jets feel like they solved their need at quarterback, they then make an aggressive move from 6th overall to 3rd overall, presumably with designs on taking one of the top quarterbacks in this draft.
The two primary threats the Jets were facing to get a QB they want are the Broncos at 5 and the Bills, who recently made a trade with the Bengals to move up to the 12 spot. The widely held belief being that they are not done and still have (or had) plans to make another trade to get into the top five, packaging their picks at 12 and 22. They signed former Bengals backup AJ McCarron as insurance in case they can’t find a deal to trade up and can’t find the guy they want at 12 overall.
Those Bills traded away Tyrod Taylor to the Browns for a third round pick. And the Browns subsequently traded 2017 second rounder DeShone Kizer to the Packers. Taylor has been a starter the past three seasons in Buffalo which means he can hold the job until the quarterback Cleveland takes at number one overall is ready.
That just leaves the Cardinals who signed Sam Bradford. Uh, yeah, no. They still badly need a QB. They pick at 15 overall.
This leaves us with five teams that will be looking at drafting a quarterback in the first round. All have picks in the top 15. Let’s review:
You can bet both the Bills and Cardinals will be trying to jump into the top ten and you can figure at least one will succeed. The other can just stay where they are and pick from what’s left.
A wildcard here would be the Giants (2), who have Eli Manning, but can’t be ruled out from drafting his replacement. With the Jets jumping up to 3rd overall, you have to figure either the Giants have their sights set on someone and/or their asking price is too steep.
What this means for the Raiders at ten is the more teams taking quarterbacks in the more elite prospects will be available at other positions. That number of QB’s appears to be four. It also makes the Raiders a potential trade partner for the Bills and Cardinals which would move them down either two or five spots should it happen.