Which NFL teams will draft a QB? 32 predictions

Is this the year the Kansas City Chiefs draft Alex Smith's heir? The question isn't when will the Cleveland Browns select a quarterback, but with which pick will it happen? Will the Washington Redskins draft a long-term project to develop behind Kirk Cousins?The...

Which NFL teams will draft a QB? 32 predictions

Is this the year the Kansas City Chiefs draft Alex Smith's heir? The question isn't when will the Cleveland Browns select a quarterback, but with which pick will it happen? Will the Washington Redskins draft a long-term project to develop behind Kirk Cousins?The...

11 Nisan 2017 Salı 00:10
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Which NFL teams will draft a QB? 32 predictions

Is this the year the Kansas City Chiefs draft Alex Smith's heir? The question isn't when will the Cleveland Browns select a quarterback, but with which pick will it happen? Will the Washington Redskins draft a long-term project to develop behind Kirk Cousins?

The quarterback needs for each team vary, which is why we leaned on NFL Nation reporters to predict whether the teams they cover would spend a pick -- in any round in this month's draft -- on the most important position on the field. Here are their answers:

Teams expected to draft a QB | Teams that are set at QB

With everything coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim have said over the past few months, the Cardinals will do everything in their power to take a quarterback if the right choice is there. This much we know: Whomever the Cardinals draft won't start in 2017 and will spend the season sitting behind starter Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton while he learns the playbook inside and out. If the right quarterback is available at No. 13, it's not out of the realm of possibility for the Cardinals to draft one in the first round. If not, picking a quarterback on the second day would be likely. -- Josh Weinfuss

Drafting a quarterback is far down the list of priorities right now, but it could happen. This would be a good time to get one in the middle or late rounds and develop him as a long-term backup, because Ryan Mallett is signed only through next season. Baltimore has drafted only one quarterback in the past five drafts, and Keith Wenning lasted one year on the practice squad. The Ravens don't have to worry about finding a starter; Joe Flacco is under contract through 2021. -- Jamison Hensley

If Tyrod Taylor had not accepted a $10 million pay cut and the Bills had released him last month, then I think quarterback would have been their go-to position at No. 10 in the first round. But now that Taylor is in the fold for at least another year, I foresee a quarterback going to Buffalo on Day 2 or possibly Day 3. For now, 2016 fourth-round pick Cardale Jones projects as their No. 2 quarterback, but he is an unknown, and the Bills have room for another developmental option on their depth chart. It would be good business for the Bills to keep taking swings at finding their franchise quarterback. -- Mike Rodak

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I say the Panthers will draft a quarterback only because "maybe" wasn't an option. Carolina hasn't selected a quarterback since making Cam Newton the top pick of the 2011 draft. Backups Derek Anderson and Joe Webb are in the final year of their contracts, and both are in the 30-plus age group. With eight picks and Newton recovering from surgery on his torn rotator cuff, it's time for Carolina to at least toy with the idea of taking a quarterback who could replace the 2015 NFL MVP should he get hurt again. -- David Newton

The Bears drafted only three quarterbacks (Dan LeFevour, Nate Enderle and David Fales) in the Jay Cutler era. That oversight (or neglect) forced Chicago to sign veteran Mike Glennon instead of turning Cutler's old job over to a homegrown talent. The Bears are high on Glennon, but drafting a quarterback is still a priority. The Bears probably don't take a quarterback at No. 3 overall, but it's easy to envision them grabbing one somewhere between Rounds 2 and 4. -- Jeff Dickerson

The Browns absolutely will draft a quarterback. It won't be with their first pick, but the Browns will take a quarterback either 12th or 33rd -- and if they don't, it will be a shock. Whether it's Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson at No. 12 or Patrick Mahomes II or Davis Webb at No. 33, the Browns must leave this draft with a quarterback to add something to a position of great need. -- Pat McManamon

The Cowboys opted not to address the backup to Dak Prescott with a high-priced veteran in free agency and instead signed Kellen Moore to a one-year deal after he missed last season with a broken ankle. Had they added a Josh McCown type along with Moore, then I would have answered no to this question. Without the veteran, the Cowboys need another arm. They went from the fourth round in 2009 (Stephen McGee) to the fourth round last year (Prescott) without selecting a quarterback in the draft. While they have said they need to look to the defense in the draft, they will take a quarterback in the middle to late rounds as a potential backup of the future. -- Todd Archer

You're talking about a general manager in John Elway who used two draft picks on quarterbacks during the four seasons he had both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler on the roster. One of those quarterbacks -- Trevor Siemian -- was the team's starter in 2016 and will be difficult to unseat as the starter this time around. Elway and coach Vance Joseph have said Siemian and Paxton Lynch will battle it out in training camp for the starting job, but with 10 draft picks it's a good bet the Broncos will use a second- or third-day pick on a quarterback. Elway likes to have a developmental prospect somewhere, either on the roster or on the practice squad. -- Jeff Legwold

The Lions have two quarterbacks on the roster, and general manager Bob Quinn has said he would like to draft a quarterback every year or two for development as backups to starter Matthew Stafford. With Stafford and Jake Rudock, there isn't a true need at the position, but the Lions could take a quarterback with a third-day pick. It's not a lock the Lions will draft a quarterback, but Detroit will surely add a third (if not a fourth) arm for spring workouts and training camp. Also, a seventh-round quarterback could be an option here if the player is right. -- Michael Rothstein

Even if the Texans had been able to acquire Tony Romo, they would still be looking at quarterbacks in the draft -- maybe even in the first round. There are still a lot of questions marks at the position for Houston, but the Texans do need to draft and develop a signal-caller to hopefully stop this quarterback carousel they have been dealing with since the franchise's beginning. Houston has drafted only three quarterbacks since 2005 (Alex Brink, T.J. Yates and Tom Savage), and none of them have started more than seven games for the Texans. -- Sarah Barshop

The Jaguars don't know if Blake Bortles is the long-term answer after a disastrous 2016 season, so they have to have a backup plan in place other than Chad Henne and Brandon Allen. It's not likely the Jaguars will take a quarterback in the first several rounds, unless they really like one who slips and is surprisingly available, so expect a mid-round pick to be used on one. -- Mike DiRocco

This is an excellent year for the Chiefs to draft a quarterback, perhaps in the first round for the first time since 1983. Alex Smith has two seasons left on his contract, giving the Chiefs plenty of time to groom a quarterback to step into the starting lineup by 2019. The Chiefs have two backups on their roster, but neither Tyler Bray nor Joel Stave entered the NFL as a draft pick. The Chiefs have 10 draft picks this year, so they have the resources to move up a few spots in the first round to take a quarterback such as Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, if they so desire. -- Adam Teicher

The Chargers have drafted a quarterback just once under the direction of general manager Tom Telesco -- Brad Sorensen in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. However, both Telesco and coach Anthony Lynn have said they want to bring in a young quarterback to learn behind franchise signal-caller Philip Rivers. The Chargers had private workouts with Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer. And offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt attended Nathan Peterman's pro day at Pitt, so the team is doing its homework. -- Eric D. Williams

It's not a must, since Drew Brees is still thriving at age 38. But it's definitely a strong possibility -- maybe 50-50 at this point -- since the Saints have five picks in the first three rounds. Even if they trade one of those picks for Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, they'll be filling one of their biggest needs before the draft, freeing up their options. It would be a surprise if the Saints draft a quarterback as high as No. 11, since they are still in win-now mode and have glaring needs on defense. But someone such as Patrick Mahomes at No. 32 or No. 42 or Joshua Dobbs in Round 3 is an intriguing possibility. -- Mike Triplett

Eli Manning is 36 years old, and the Giants haven't been coy about their interest in finding his eventual replacement. They would be foolish not to at least be doing their due diligence. But picking 23rd and with a weak quarterback class, it's unlikely they find an answer in the first two rounds, unless either Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson suffers an unlikely tumble. The most likely scenario is the Giants grab a quarterback in the middle rounds, someone such as Pittsburgh's Nathan Peterman, Virginia Tech's Jarrod Evans or Tennessee's Josh Dobbs. -- Jordan Raanan

If they don't do it with the No. overall 6 pick, the Jets almost certainly will draft a quarterback at some point. They've conducted private workouts with the top four prospects -- Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and DeShone Kizer. They like Trubisky, but is he worth a high pick? The Jets have selected a quarterback in each of the past four drafts, but they're still searching for that elusive franchise player. -- Rich Cimini

The Eagles feel very confident they have landed their franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz. However, owner Jeffrey Lurie believes in regularly investing in the quarterback position regardless of who the starter is and might do so later this month if the stars align. Given the team's other pressing needs, a Day 3 selection makes the most sense. -- Tim McManus

The longer the pre-draft process moves along, the stronger the indications become that the Steelers could grab a Day 2 quarterback and groom him for the next one to two years behind Ben Roethlisberger. The situation would have to be ideal, though. They will target a few preferable signal-callers and won't reach for one. If the draft board falls right, they'll pounce. But the defensive rebuild isn't yet done, and this offense could use one more playmaker, too, so the situation is hardly "quarterback or bust." Stocked with eight picks, the Steelers will likely walk away with one passer out of that bunch. -- Jeremy Fowler

It's not out of the realm of possibility the Niners could take one in the first round, but they've so far proved willing to be patient to find their franchise quarterback, and that probably won't change now. The more likely scenario is they'll ride with Brian Hoyer as the starter this season, draft a quarterback on Day 2 or early Day 3 they can develop and then reassess where they stand after the 2017 season. -- Nick Wagoner

The Falcons have reigning MVP Matt Ryan, who has started every game for the past seven seasons. And they re-signed veteran backup Matt Schaub to a two-year, $8 million contract ($6.25 million guaranteed). The Falcons are fine with going with just two quarterbacks on the active roster and are likely to add another to the practice squad. There's no need to use a draft pick on a practice-squad player. -- Vaughn McClure

The Bengals are set with Andy Dalton as a starter and have a very capable backup in AJ McCarron. They have no reason to draft a new quarterback after carrying three on the active roster last season. This changes only if McCarron is traded before the draft. Judging by the high price the Bengals appear to be asking for him, it's a toss-up as to whether that will happen. -- Katherine Terrell

First off, there are too many other holes on the roster, especially on defense. And it's too early to draft Aaron Rodgers' successor, especially after coach Mike McCarthy said last week that he believes Rodgers could play into his 40s, and they are set with Brett Hundley as the backup for another year. The Packers also like what No. 3 quarterback Joe Callahan showed last summer and want to see how he develops. -- Rob Demovsky

The Colts have franchise quarterback Andrew Luck with Scott Tolzien as his backup and young, talented Stephen Morris as the team's third quarterback. The Colts are in the position of not needing to draft a quarterback anytime soon. -- Mike Wells

Not a chance. The Rams need a break from this position, for obvious reasons. They moved up 14 spots and ultimately gave up this year's No. 5 overall pick for the right to select Jared Goff first overall in 2016. Goff enters 2017 as the starter. His backup will be Sean Mannion, a third-round pick from 2015 who has yet to receive much playing time. They need to see what they have in their young quarterbacks under new coach Sean McVay. Their hope is that they won't have to address this position in the draft for years to come. -- Alden Gonzalez

Round 1: April 27, 8 p.m. ET
Rds. 2-3: April 28, 7 p.m. ET
Rds. 4-7: April 29, noon ET
Where: Philadelphia

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The Dolphins have one of the league's most stable quarterback pairings in starter Ryan Tannehill and veteran backup Matt Moore. Neither quarterback is elite, but both are solid in their respective roles, and that showed last season when the pair combined to go 10-6 to get Miami into the playoffs. Drafting a quarterback this year would be a wasted pick because that player, at best, would be the No. 3 option. -- James Walker

The Vikings signed Case Keenum to be Sam Bradford's backup last week, and they've still got third-year undrafted free agent Taylor Heinicke on the roster. And then there's Teddy Bridgewater, who is trying to return from a catastrophic knee injury to continue his career in Minnesota. There's an argument to be made for another developmental quarterback, but the Vikings might be able to get one as a rookie free agent. They have eight draft picks, but they also have enough other needs that they'll likely fill those before looking at a quarterback. -- Ben Goessling

The Patriots have Tom Brady (contract through 2019), Jimmy Garoppolo (2017) and Jacoby Brissett (2019) on the depth chart, and they won't draft a quarterback who wouldn't project to be on the active roster. The team usually carries only two quarterbacks but will be happy to carry three in 2017 given Garoppolo's promise and value as a high-end insurance policy. The outside chance exists they use a seventh-round pick on a signal-caller with the practice squad in mind, but even that seems like a long shot. -- Mike Reiss

The Raiders already have an MVP-level franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, who is expected to make a full comeback from the broken right fibula he sustained in Week 16. Plus, they have Connor Cook, who was drafted in the fourth round last season after Oakland traded up to grab him. And the Raiders signed a first-round pick in EJ Manuel last month after he played four seasons in Buffalo. The Raiders, for the first time since the salad days of Rich Gannon, are set at quarterback. -- Paul Gutierrez

In seven drafts under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, the Seahawks have drafted one quarterback: Russell Wilson. Wilson is only 28 and is signed through the 2019 season. The focus of Seattle's draft will be on surrounding him with talent to extend the Seahawks' window for a title. The organization could explore backup options more seriously after Wilson suffered three different injuries in 2016. If the season started today, Trevone Boykin, an undrafted free agent last year, would be the backup. The Seahawks are expected to add another option to compete with Boykin, but using a draft pick for that purpose seems unlikely. -- Sheil Kapadia

Despite losing backup Mike Glennon, coach Dirk Koetter said at the recent owners meetings that he believes Ryan Griffin and Sean Renfree are viable replacements for Glennon at the No. 2 spot and said it'll be a "nice competition." In fact, Koetter had been eyeing both players for that spot when the team drafted Jameis Winston two years ago. "The two quarterbacks that we always had our eye on that were, at that time No. 3s in the league, were those two guys, and now we have them both," Koetter said. "In both of those guys' case, they haven't had their chance; they haven't had their opportunity yet to prove that when the money's on the line, they can do it." With that being said, general manager Jason Licht believes in leaving "no stone unturned," and the door is always open if there's an upgrade out there who can grasp their system. -- Jenna Laine

The Titans are set for the long term with Marcus Mariota as their starter. Matt Cassel will run the offense while Mariota completes his rehabilitation from a surgically repaired broken leg this offseason. Tennessee also likes its third quarterback in Alex Tanney. -- Paul Kuharsky

I've gone back and forth on this one because the Kirk Cousins long-term situation remains cloudy at best. So at some point they must address the fact he might not be here beyond 2018 and that they need a viable long-term replacement. The Redskins have told Cousins they won't trade him, so clearly he'll be around this coming season. That's why I say "no" here: They don't have an immediate need to find one in the first three rounds. Beyond that? They should draft one. Colt McCoy would be their bridge quarterback, and, as of now, Nate Sudfeld, a sixth-round pick in 2016, is the No. 3. Former general manager Scot McCloughan believed Sudfeld could develop into a starter; that belief is not shared by all. If the Redskins do draft a quarterback in the higher rounds, any chance of a long-term deal with Cousins evaporates. My guess is they'll wait until 2018 to draft one in the early rounds. -- John Keim

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