While there was no on-field action this week, this is a very significant week for clubs as they prepare for the upcoming League Year to begin. Teams are assembling their offseason plan during the month of February and it’s tightened up as the Franchise Window opens on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Specifically, teams are looking at their needs and then assessing the opportunities on the Pro Side (Free Agent/Cap Casualties/Trades) and comparing that to the strength of that position in the Draft.
Case in point was last year, with Philip Rivers retirement, the Colts needed a QB, looked at their options with the No. 21 overall pick, and the Carson Wentz trade between Philadelphia and Indy was agreed upon on Feb. 18, 2021. I’m sure a significant factor in that trade was the Colts’ calculus of which QB would be available to them when they were drafting.
Spinning this forward to this season, the QB position will certainly lead the discussion once again. The following teams will be looking for a starter:
PIT, HOU, DEN, WAS, TB, NO, CAR
Additionally, the following teams could possibly bring in competition for their current starter:
MIA, CLE, IND, PHI, CHI, DET
Green Bay is in their own league with the uncertainty around Aaron Rodgers.
In total there are 14 teams that have some level of question surrounding the QB position (and that’s assuming that Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson are back with their respective teams).
With that as a backdrop and looking at the top prospects in this year’s Draft, my current order is:
- Kenny Pickett
- Matt Corral
- Malik Willis
- Desmond Ridder
- Sam Howell
While we won’t truly know how good this group is for another three years; it’s not close to last year’s group, which had five QBs Drafted in the top 15.
On account of 14 teams having varying levels of questions at the QB position and a lackluster group coming out of the Draft; teams are currently investigating all of their options on the Pro Side. While this is done at every position, there must be a sense of urgency to attack QB needs for each of these at the start of the league year, as the Draft has more questions than answers.
Look for trades (i.e. Jimmy Garoppolo) as we get closer to the start of the league year on March 16, and for signings to happen quickly for veteran Free Agent QBs.