The NFL Draft is tonight in Cleveland, Ohio. Dreams will come true, chaos will ensue, and when a Quarterback falls to the New England Patriots at 15, everyone will boo.
I can’t wait. Get your popcorn ready; mine has been popped and waiting in the microwave for at least a month.
I love drafts, especially when they go off the rails. If any team, in any league, has an extra chair in the boardroom when draft discussions are taking place, please let me have it. I will sit quietly in the corner and order copious amounts of food. Just give me the
company credit card signal.
Nothing is normal in the world and I don’t expect this draft to be any different.
Here are my thoughts on what may, or may not, happen this evening. I’ll break this up into sections so it’s easier to read. If you don’t know anything about football, you still might enjoy this.
The Most Important Position in Sports
I am of the belief that a team must have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, in order to win the Super Bowl. Yes, there have been some exceptions. You can yell Joe Flacco and Nick Foles at me all you want.
I think a lot of teams live in constant denial, thinking “their guy” is the guy to take them to the promised land. Or, they’re worried about changing course too many times, making them look incompetent, thus affecting their job security.
As a result, they pass up on taking a Quarterback in the draft and fill their team needs, instead, because who’s going to fault a GM for getting what they need?
If I were a General Manager in the NFL, my #1 team need AT ALL TIMES is Quarterback. Check that: a Star Quarterback.
I don’t want a “System Quarterback”. I don’t want a guy who can “Move The Chains”. I want a superstar. I want the face of the NFL. I want the guy who Madden wants on the cover of their video game. I want the guy who’s jersey will be bought by the fans of other teams.
That is who I want.
Those guys are hard to find, so you might have to settle for a capable Quarterback for a few years before you get a chance at a potential superstar. Fine. Just don’t get married to mediocrity and convince yourself it’s everything you ever wanted.
It baffles me every year to see so many teams be so nearsighted in their selections. Particularly, the teams with a top 10 pick.
If you have a top 10 pick, it means you are not good. It also means you probably don’t have a Quarterback that is one day going to take you to the Super Bowl.
So, take a swing at a Quarterback!
I think teams are scarred from what Chicago did in 2017, when they traded up to the #2 pick and took Mitch Trubisky. Patrick Mahomes went 10th and Deshaun Watson went 12th. You know the story.
Trubisky was a bust. Mahomes is getting paid half a billion dollars. And Watson was a star by Week 4 of his rookie year.
No GM wants to take the wrong guy, especially if someone like Mahomes was still available. It’s a disaster. You’ll be screaming into a pillow for the rest of your life.
However, I kind of applaud Chicago for doing what they did. A franchise that has needed a Quarterback since the beginning of time, went and got “their guy”. It didn’t turn out well, but they had guts.
The next seven teams in the draft also passed on Patrick Mahomes. Let’s not give them a free pass. You can retroactively make an excuse for almost every team, saying, “Oh, they had this guy who just got there and they were really high on him.”
Okay, but what was the New York Jets’ excuse? They had Josh McCown start 13 games for them that year, at the age of 38. Bryce Petty started 3 games. They took Christian Hackenberg in the 2nd round in 2016, but he never got in a game.
About 87 flashing lights and alarms should’ve been going off in their war room on Draft Night in 2017, alerting them that they needed a Quarterback. You could take Mahomes or Watson.
Even if they turned out to be a bust, it would’ve been the right decision. Why? Because you needed a Quarterback!
And this is what I’m talking about.
Teams that should draft a Quarterback, convince themselves they don’t need to draft a Quarterback. It is the funniest, and most baffling, aspect of every NFL Draft.
AARON RODGERS FELL TO 24 IN THE ’05 DRAFT BECAUSE NO ONE BETWEEN PICK 2-23 FELT LIKE THEY “NEEDED A QUARTERBACK”??
News Flash: The best time to draft a Quarterback is before you need one, which means you always need a Quarterback.
Quarterback is the most important position in sports.
If you don’t have a really good one, nothing else matters. You’re just employing athletes at that point.
The Top 5 Quarterbacks
If you want thorough scouting reports, I am not your guy.
If you want the opinion of someone who watched 10 minutes of YouTube highlights, of each of the Top 5 Quarterbacks in this draft, then today is your lucky day!
What I’m looking for in a 2021 QB is someone who makes throwing the football look effortless. Almost like a whip/sling motion. I am looking for someone who is mobile, can improvise, and then make throws from awkward body positions.
I’m looking for the next Patrick Mahomes, okay. If you’re looking for the next Tom Brady, I’m afraid you’re 10 years too late.
This is how I rank the consensus Top 5 QBs based on watching their highlights on YouTube.
1. Trevor Lawrence: This has been obvious for the last three years.
2. Zach Wilson: I think he’s my favourite QB in the draft. He seems to possess that Mahomesian style of “wing it and sling it.” In 15 years, every QB in the league will be of that style.
3. Trey Lance: From the highlights I saw, he looks like Lamar Jackson but with Patrick Mahomes’ throwing ability. I know he only played 1 game in 2020 and people are saying he’s “raw”, but the talent is undeniable. He reminds me of Tracy McGrady when he first entered the NBA. None of you will understand that comparison. It’s fine.
4. Justin Fields: I know he gets the Russell Wilson comparison, but he reminds me of Cam Newton (he probably also gets this comparison). I wasn’t blown away like I was for the three guys above him, but he’s good.
5. Mac Jones: He is your classic pocket Quarterback. If this were 2005, fans of the 49ers wouldn’t be so irate with their team (probably) taking him at #3. From the highlights I saw, his receivers always seemed to be wide open. That’s Alabama for you, I guess. I don’t know how that translates in the NFL.
What’s Everyone Doing?
By my count, there are at least 11 teams in the top 20 who should draft a Quarterback. That number goes up to 15, if I’m being brutally honest.
The Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, and Arizona Cardinals have, in my opinion, Quarterbacks who are/can be upper election QBs in the NFL.
Everyone else in the Top 20 is fooling themselves, or will realize within the next two years that “their guy” just isn’t working out.
Let’s go through the draft order.
They are taking Trevor Lawrence.
2. New York Jets
They are taking Zach Wilson.
3. San Francisco 49ers
It sounds like they want to take Mac Jones, but are also considering Trey Lance. Jones seems to be the better fit for Head Coach Kyle Shanahan’s system. Their fans have been irate on Twitter for the last few days because they don’t want Jones.
Actually, I think they just don’t want him 3rd overall.
The 49ers traded three first-round picks and a third-round pick, in order to move up from 12th overall. That is ludicrous, but I respect it because they are actively going after someone they think can be their star Quarterback.
However, drafting a guy 3rd overall because he “fits your system”, over a guy who is more talented, doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. If they stayed at 12 and got Jones, I don’t think fans would mind.
4. Atlanta Falcons
They’ll probably take Kyle Pitts, who will be a star pass-catcher for many years. However, I think they need a Quarterback. The excuse I heard on TV last night was Matt Ryan will be their QB for another two years and they don’t want someone like Trey Lance sitting for that long.
Hello? That’s exactly what you want. In 2023, when Trey Lance is an MVP candidate, the Falcons are going to look silly.
I rescind that comment if Lance is a bust.
This isn’t directed at the Falcons, as much as it is the football world: I hate the whole, “Oh, we can’t get a new QB because we have this guy.”
Well, if this guy isn’t winning you a Super Bowl, then stop wasting your time! Try something else!
5. Cincinatti Bengals
Should probably take an Offensive Lineman, but it’s the Bengals so they’ll probably take Joe Burrow’s pal from LSU – Wide Receiver, Ja’Marr Chase. It wouldn’t be a bad pick.
6. Miami Dolphins
I am not sold on Tua Tagovailoa as an NFL QB, at all.
I would love for teams to stockpile Top 10 QBs in back-to-back drafts and then have them battle it out internally. But no. These teams put all their eggs in one basket and by the time the basket breaks, they’ve lost three seasons and have to start all over.
7. Detroit Lions
I like Jared Goff, but if this were a video game and Trey Lance and Justin Fields were still available, I’d take them just to have a Plan B. This is real life, though. They’ll build around Goff and give him a chance, which is fair. I think he deserves that chance.
8. Carolina Panthers
I won’t lie, I’m curious to see what Sam Darnold does for them. I’d still draft a QB, though.
I mentioned it with Miami – teams are hellbent on having one Quarterback and a “capable backup” which is code for “not a threat to take your starting job”.
I think teams are terrified of Quarterback controversies, which are largely media and fan driven, so they avoid them altogether.
Personally, I like having options, especially when your starter isn’t a superstar.
9. Denver Broncos
They just traded for Teddy Bridgewater, to go along with Drew Lock. So, does that mean they’re not taking a Quarterback? Are they going to trade down??
What a mistake.
Look, both those guys are fine. I like Lock more than most people. However, I just described them as “fine”. “Fine” does not win you Super Bowls, especially when Mahomes is in your division.
If Trey Lance is still on the board and Denver doesn’t take him, I’m going to be mad at them. And I say this as a Chiefs fan.
You know how you beat the Chiefs? You keep Mahomes off the field. You do that by keeping your offence on the field. A guy like Trey Lance can run for a first down in his sleep. That keeps his team on the field. That keeps Mahomes on the bench.
Yes, I’m assuming Trey Lance is going to be a superstar based off ten minutes of highlights.
And if he’s not, at least you took a swing at talent. Right now, you know what Bridgewater and Lock are. And they aren’t enough, I’m afraid.
OH, and just think about how out of breath Lance will have defences when they’re chasing after him in the high altitude of Denver, Colorado.
10. Dallas Cowboys
You just know Jerry Jones is itching for another offensive weapon he doesn’t need, while the rest of his front office is freaking out in a group chat.
11. New York Giants
I can see them trading down, if only to block the Patriots from getting a QB.
Las Vegas, Washington, Chicago, and Pittsburgh – you better have the Giants’ phone number written on your hand, if not on speed dial. Go get Justin Fields.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
Will they take a top ranked Wide Receiver just to prove that they can, or….?
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Definitely not taking a QB.
14. Minnesota Vikings
When I say teams are in denial about how good their Quarterback is, the Vikings are one of the teams I’m talking about. They have Kirk Cousins under contract for another two years. It’s kind of the same situation the Falcons are in with Matt Ryan.
I look forward to the 2023 draft when both teams trade up in the first round to take a QB.
See, that’s why I want teams to draft a QB before they need one. You can let them sit for a year and learn. That might save you from having to trade up in a future draft.
15. New England Patriots
They’re walking out of the first round with a Quarterback and everyone will be like, “How could these teams let a QB fall to the Patriots!?”
I’m going to skip some teams now.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
I like Derek Carr, but you’re in a division with Patrick Mahomes. Justin Herbert looks like he’s going to be a problem, too. Carr has one winning season, out of seven.
Yes, it’s the Raiders and they haven’t been good lately, but how much longer is this relationship going to last before the team tries something different?
20. Chicago Bears
Trade up for a QB. DO IT. DO IT.
They are terrified of trading up and picking the wrong guy again, aren’t they?
They’ll wait until only one of the Top 5 QBs is left before trying to trade up, won’t they? That way, if they get it wrong, no one will say, “You could’ve picked ____.”
Poor Bears. They’re traumatized.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Their biggest need is a transition plan for when Ben Roethlisberger reaches the end of his career. Their defence is good. They have weapons on offence.
When it’s time to move on from Big Ben, it could be as simple as replacing a battery. But who is that new battery, where are they getting it from, and when?
I’ve written a lot. Most of you probably stopped reading about 1500 words ago. If you made it this far, thank you!
By no means are the Top 5 Quarterbacks of this draft a lock to be successful in the NFL. However, if smart people are saying they are first round talent and any of them could be taken in the top 10, then I think teams who need a Quarterback should take a swing at one of them in this draft.
Some advice for the NFL executives who will never read this post and won’t listen to me if they do:
You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.
If the Quarterback on your team isn’t a starter on fantasy football teams, you’re not winning a Super Bowl with them. Move on.
You need a Quarterback.
That’s all I have to say.