The NFL backup quarterback job can be as important as any in sports. Why don’t more teams take it seriously in the drafting process?
Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy: Every NFL Team Needs To Draft A Quarterback
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
The other column has Tom Brady. This one doesn’t, so nothing else matters, but …
Baker Mayfield measured just over six feet tall and 216 pounds. 173 without the chip on his shoulder.
When it comes to the current crop of quarterback prospects, it’s a common part of every rumor or discussion coming from reporters around the Senior Bowl this week.
“I heard from a team that isn’t looking for a quarterback …,” or, “(insert NFL team here) really likes (insert quarterback here), but obviously they’re not drafting a quarterback in the first round.”
Getting NFL people to think critically without it working somewhere else first is about as likely as Deep State cracking the preseason top 25, but teams, scouts and general managers have to read what’s happening. They have to figure out the trend that’s at both the college and pro levels, and they have to realize how this is all working.
You might have a great quarterback (Jalen Hurts), and you might need a guy who’s better.
New England is the outlier – that’s a whole different animal that’s impossible to replicate. However, when it comes to the quarterback situation, you either need to hope and pray you luck into a future Hall of Famer, go all in on an amazing defense and just assume your quarterback play will be competent, or your No. 2 had better be awesome.
NFL, take a cue from what’s happening in the college ranks, specifically at Georgia.
The Bulldogs landed Jacob Eason, and the big question mark was whether or not he’d stick around to be the next Matthew Stafford after Mark Richt left for Miami and Kirby Smart took over.
Eason stayed, showed promise in his freshman year, and was welcomed to Dumpsville, Population: Him, once Jake Fromm signed on. And now Eason will probably be the starting quarterback for your 2019 Washington Huskies.
Fromm looks like a star. He’s cool, calm, and has a maturity beyond his years. There but for one botched defensive play, he might be National Championship QB Jake Fromm right now. However, Georgia just signed Justin Fields – who’s being called another Deshaun and has been referred to as a “once in a lifetime talent” – and now there’s a competition.
NFL, it’s really, really okay to have one above-average-to-great quarterback, and then try to get a better one.
Yes, Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Philadelphia all played in Championship Weekend with three of most replaceable quarterbacks in the NFL, but they also finished first, second, and fourth in total defense, respectively. The other team in the top four in total defense? Denver.
Other than the Broncos, name the NFL teams this year that 1) had a truly sad quarterback situation that 2) wasn’t about starting a rookie and 3) wasn’t because of an injury problem.
Miami and Buffalo were close, Cincinnati is in the picture, San Francisco’s issues were fixed with Jimmy G, and let’s just chalk up the Giants’ situation to a slew of other issues and Tampa Bay’s clunker to Jameis being strange.
Even the Jets got decent quarterback play, at times, out of Josh McCown.
So, for all intents and purposes, two-to-five teams had really, really awful quarterback situations that didn’t involve a rookie or a major injury. However, that’s sort of the point here – which, I know, I’m taking way too long to get to. If your No. 1 guy gets hurt, you’re sunk.
If you’ve invested all your energy in a top-shelf young guy – like Jameis, and Tampa Bay threw for a ton of yards – and he’s not great, you’re screwed.
So, if you see a quarterback prospect as a possible franchise-maker and best player on the board, why not draft him with a chance at upgrading? After all, there’s nothing more valuable in the NFL than a quarterback on a rookie contract.
Look at Chicago. EVERYTHING hinges on Mitchell Trubisky being the next Aaron Rodgers, and if he’s not, the franchise is dead for the foreseeable future. Trubisky can’t get hurt, and he can’t be average – that’s a lot of eggs thrown into one basket.
Ask Indianapolis how that’s working out.
So if the best player on the board at the eight is a quarterback – at least in the eyes of General Manager Ryan Pace – why not go for it? If he’s right, Chicago has a high-end asset to trade, and at best, maybe Darnold, Rosen, Allen or Rudolph is actually better than Trubisky.
That goes for Indianapolis at the three, Tampa Bay at the seven, and San Francisco and Oakland at the nine/ten – in some order – too. There’s a reason they’re drafting when they are, so why not insure the most important position in sports?
“But all those teams have other needs.”
Yeah, of course, but even if you land a Pro Bowl starter, that doesn’t matter if-and-when the No. 1 quarterback isn’t great or gets hurt.
Always get better. Always improve the position. Always make sure your No. 2 is good enough to be your No. 1, if not better.
Or, just hope and pray you have Tom Brady and he plays until he’s 50.