The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and with it will come some great picks, and of course some busts. While it is always difficult to project how a player will adjust to the pro game, no position is harder to gauge than the quarterback position.
Jamarcus Russel, Blaine Gabbert, Josh Freeman, Christian Ponder. All players who are either no longer in the league, or who will never start again. All players who also happened to be first-round picks.
Many NFL teams will over-value a quarterback in the draft when they are in need of a signal-caller, and that is how you find guys like the above mentioned being drafted 15-20 slots higher than they should be.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, that may not be the case however. According to Peter King, teams in need of a QB may wait until after the first-round to find their man.
I’ve heard that at least four quarterback-needy teams—Houston (first pick), Jacksonville (3), Cleveland (4) and Oakland (5)—are strongly considering passing on quarterbacks with their first picks and waiting until their second or third selections. Simple reason: They’re not in love with any of the quarterbacks, and there are too many other good players who are surer things than a quarterback you have sincere doubts about.
This is actually very interesting because it generally is not something that is done. Look at any NFL Draft in the past 25 years and you likely will find an EJ Manuel or Christian Ponder, a surprise QB picked in the first round.
The fact that so many QB-needy squads may be willing to wait it out could be a sign that teams are shifting in their strategy of getting a franchise quarterback. Just a few seasons ago, the Seattle Seahawks found their Super Bowl-winning QB in the third round.
Or, this could all be nothing more than rumor. Would anyone really be shocked if two or three quarterbacks went off the board in the top 10?
It will be interesting to see what direction teams go early in the draft with guys like Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles all available, but with massive question marks.