Sharp handicappers are aware that almost half of the NFL’s 32 teams look like they could really use some help & the 2015 NFL Draft is a great way to add some depth.
There are never enough quality Quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, thus we often see the teams possessing quality QBs almost always in the Playoffs and making a run at the Super Bowl. Few positions in professional sports are as important as QB is in football, and finding and getting and then keeping a Grade A Signal Caller is no easy feat as the number of guys who actually have the physical ability and size, can handle the pressure and the intense speed of the game and manage an offense as well as a game itself is indeed very rare. And despite some 20 college QBs who may be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft (April 30-May 2) in Chicago in two months, there are probably only 6 to 8 of those 20 who really have all those proverbial tools to lead an NFL team. Winning and succeeding on the college level in smaller conferences with smaller players on the amateur level is one thing, but doing the same thing in the professional ranks is a completely different animal and quite often some players many never heard about until the NFL Draft (Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles) or those deemed average and chosen in the lower rounds (Tom Brady, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach) end up making it big in the NFL while others who seemed to be Can’t Miss Prospects actually end up being the brunt of seemingly never-ending jokes.
Yeah, you know some of the names. Tim Tebow, Eric Crouch, Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf, Troy Smith, Matt Leinart, Chris Weinke, Jason White to name a few. These day winning the Heisman Trophy—for a QB—may even be like some kind of Kiss of Professional Death, brother. So, who knows exactly what The Future holds in store for Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. Time will tell. Anyway, in my mind, there are like 15 teams—almost half of the 32-team league—who would be wise to draft a QB this year. But with like only 6 to 8 QBs being worthy of selecting in the NFL Draft, helping current QBs improve and signing new ones from other places are about the only other way to go about Growing An NFL QB™.
Let’s take a look at the 15 teams—in Draft order—that could probably uses a QB (or two) and a solution or two for those teams from what may still be out there and what they are currently working with depth-wise. Let’s dance. Again, the teams needing QBs to me are in Draft order with their selection number to the left of their names. Obviously, not all teams need a QB, although it seems all 32 NFL clubs could always probably use an extra one. They’re like AA batteries. Few teams really have two QBs these days and an injury to a starting star QB often means Fear and Loathing In Fill In The Blank...
1—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current QBs: Josh McCown, Mike Glennon
A QB They Should Pick: Marcus Mariota (Oregon)
What They Will Do: Tampa Bay will likely go with Sunshine State boy and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston from Florida State at #1 and appease the local masses.
The Skinny: Even if the the Bucs draft Winston or Mariota, it will still take years for this choppy NFC South team to get any better.
Current QBs: Zach Mettenberger, Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst, Jordan Palmer, Alex Tanney
A QB They Should Pick: Marcus Mariota (Oregon) or Jameis Winston (FSU)
What They Will Do: Draft DT Leonard Williams of USC. Or maybe Dante Fowler, Jr.
The Skinny: If the Bucs take Winston at #1, the Titans should take a gamble on Mariota but logic says they go with Zach Mettenberger in 2015. Sounds like a political slogan.
Current QBs: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
A QB They Should Pick: Garrett Grayson (Colorado State) or Shane Carden (East Carolina)
What They Will Do: Pick a Pass Rusher in First Round and then hope one of better prospects is still around. Washington will likely ride the Cousins-Griffin duo until one shines or someone else comes into the picture.
The Skinny: This position will continue to hamstring the Redskins.
6—New York Jets
Current QBs: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms
A QB They Should Pick: Marcus Mariota (Oregon) or Jameis Winston (FSU) if available in Round 1; Bryce Petty (Baylor) or Sean Mannion (Oregon State) beyond that.
What They Will Do: This will probably depend on the availability of Winston or Mariota and the thought is that they’ll be gone by #6, forcing the Jets to again go with Geno Smith and Michael Vick and whomever they end up taking (at QB) in one of the later rounds.
The Skinny: Remember Joe Namath?
Current QBs: Jay Cutler, Jimmy Clausen, David Fales
A QB They Should Pick: Garrett Grayson (Colorado State) or Chris Bonner (Colorado State-Pueblo)
What They Will Do: A tough call. What they should do is cut bait with Cutler, but with new Head Coach John Fox coming in, Chicago may give the mercurial Vanderbilt grad one more chance as they slowly rebuild for Better Days in the NFC North.
The Skinny: This position (and Cutler) will continue to hamstring the Bears.
9—New York Giants
Current QBs: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib
A QB They Should Pick: Garrett Grayson (Colorado State), Chris Bonner (Colorado State-Pueblo) or Sean Mannion (Oregon State)
What They Will Do: Pick an OL in Round 1, and hope someone decent is around? Yes, you need a QB, G-Men. And yes, it would be a good idea to get a big guy with a strong am to get the ball to WR Odell Beckham for years on end. Eli’s past his prime.
The Skinny: Since The Pillsbury Throwboy—Jared Lorenzen—is no longer plying his wares, New York NFC will go with Manning The Younger until he makes them bat-crap crazy. Division II gunslinger Bonner (6-6) would be a gamble, but could be the story years from now.
10—St. Louis Rams
Current QBs: Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Austin Davis
A QB They Should Pick: Sean Mannion (Oregon State) or Shane Carden (East Carolina)
What They Will Do: The Rams will pick a talented and speedy WR in Round 1 and then may try to land one of the third-tier QBs in the latter rounds, unsure if Bradford ever becomes what they thought he could become. They should definitely aim to get the best QB available in their minds in either Round 2 or 3. They’ll probably wait and settle for someone they’ll cut.
The Skinny: Hill is impressive enough to start if Bradford doesn’t come around but getting someone like Mannion, Carden or even CSU-Pueblo’s Bonner would be prudent for St. Louis.
Current QBs: Connor Shaw, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Tyler Thigpen
A QB They Should Pick: Sean Mannion (Oregon State) or Bryan Bennett (SELA)
What They Will Do: Stick with the platoon system, with Hoyer likely getting the start Opening Day and hope Heisman Trophy winner Manziel gets his act together, although he seems too short and his hands too small to be a player to build an offense around.
The Skinny: Two (First Round) chances to get another decent QB. But they’re the Browns. Like the Jets and Bears, this position will continue to hamstring this team for years.
13—New Orleans Saints
Current QBs: Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin
A QB They Should Pick: Bryce Petty (Baylor), Chris Bonner (Colorado State-Pueblo), Bryan Bennett (SELA) or Cody Fajardo (Nevada)
What They Will Do: Taking Petty or Bonner in Round 1 won’t fill immediate needs so New Orleans may hope to get a quality QB in Rounds 2-7.
The Skinny: The Saints are in a great position and will somehow magically plug in another great QB in The Big Easy when Brees is gone. Best idea for the Who Dats is to get a Petty or a Bonner and let them be groomed by future HoF Brees in his waning years.
15—San Francisco 49ers
Current QBs: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Josh Johnson
A QB They Should Pick: Bryce Petty (Baylor), Sean Mannion (Oregon State) or Cody Fajardo (Nevada)
What They Will Do: The 49ers will probably snag a talented WR in Round 1 and then, like so many others, hope a decent QB they like is still around in the latter rounds.
The Skinny: With former DC Jim Tomsula taking over as new Head Coach and Kaepernick and Gabbert so young and raw, the Niners will probably put off drafting a QB they can build around for the future, although, like the Saints, they would be really wise to act on it (picking a QB) in this particular Draft.
Current QBs: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage, Thad Lewis, Case Keenum
A QB They Should Pick: Brett Hundley (UCLA) or Bryce Petty (Baylor)
What They Will Do: Who knows. It would seem early (in the Draft) to commit to Hundley or Petty, but with the AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts having Andrew Luck for the next decade, it would be wise to invest in a quality QB...or two. More is better, right?
The Skinny: This team is Chock Full O’QBs right now but doesn’t seem happy with any of them. The Texans will probably play it by ear.
Current QBs: Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, Nick Foles
A QB They Should Pick: Brett Hundley (UCLA), Bryce Petty (Baylor) or Chris Bonner (Colorado State-Pueblo)
What They Will Do: A tough call here. It will probably depend on who is available, and Philly may be tempted by some of the other skill position offensive players (WR, RB) still left on the board at this point in the round. If Hundley or Petty were available at #20, I’d bite, just knowing how hard it is to find good QBs and that the quality starts to thin out after the 8th-best guy (QB) or so. Same old, same old, Bubba.
The Skinny: Actually not three bad QBs to start a season out with and if they get their guy and he ends up working out, the Eagles could enjoy one of the deepest and talented QB Depth Charts in the league. A really big if though.
Current QBs: Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, Landry Jones
A QB They Should Pick: Brett Hundley (UCLA), Bryce Petty (Baylor) or Chris Bonner (Colorado State-Pueblo)
What They Will Do: Pick a CB (Marcus Peters or Trae Waynes) in Round 1 and hope a decent QB is around in Rounds 3-8, a mistake Pittsburgh always makes despite its reputation as a good team at the Draft.
The Skinny: Hundley and Petty likely will be gone by the Steelers pick in Round 2 so maybe someone like the 6-foot-6-inch Division II bomber from Colorado-State Pueblo, Chris Bonner would be like Big Ben II. A perfect fit, Bonner and the Pittsburgh Steelers, if you ask me.
Current QBs: Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert
A QB They Should Pick: Brett Hundley (UCLA), Bryce Petty (Baylor), Chris Bonner (Colorado State-Pueblo) or Sean Mannion (Oregon State)
What They Will Do: Pick a good, young WR in Round 1 and then hope, like so many others, that Hundley, Petty, Bonner or maybe Mannion is around in Round 2. If not, Denver may be looking at EC’s Carden, Nevada’s Fajardo or maybe Nick Marshall out of Auburn.
The Skinny: The Broncos will more than likely get Peyton Manning back for One More Spin and getting a fresh QB or two ASAP is the obvious thing for GM John Elway and this organization. This team is getting Old and needs to start getting Young.
No Round 1 Pick—Buffalo Bills
Current QBs: EJ Manuel, Kyle Orton, Jeff Tuel
A QB They Should Pick: Sean Mannion (Oregon State), Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion), Connor Halady (Washington State) or Taylor Kelly (Arizona State)
What They Will Do: Who knows. But Buffalo should have a really good shot in Round 2 at Hundley or at a decent QB from Rounds 3-7 if they want to use the Draft Pick for the oh-so valuable position. The Bills need another solid QB and best act on it now.
The Skinny: Buffalo traded its First Round pick (#19) to the Cleveland Browns and are (now) the only NFL team without a pick in the Opening Round of the NFL Draft. The Bills have some good young working parts on offense (QB EJ Manuel, RB CJ Spiller, WR Sammy Watkins) and the Bills today acquired RB LeSean McCoy from the Eagles. So, somehow getting their QB for The Future in Round 2 or maybe Round 3 would be wonderful but it will all depend on whether teams draft and what new head Coach Rex Ryan thinks about Manuel, Orton and what he presently has to work with at the QB spot.
My Top 15 College QBs in the 2015 NFL Draft
1—Marcus Mariota, Oregon
2—Jameis Winston, Florida State
3—Brett Hundley, UCLA
4—Bryce Petty, Baylor
5—Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
6—Sean Mannion, Oregon State
7—Chris Bonner, Colorado State-Pueblo
8—Shane Carden, East Carolina
9—Nick Marshall, Auburn
10—Bryan Bennett, SELA
11—Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion
12—Cody Fajardo, Nevada
13—Connor Halady, Washington State
14—Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
15—Bo Wallace, Mississippi