Top 10: Ten Teams That May Target a Quarterback Early in the
Eric Galko, Optimum Scouting
quarterback position generally dominates the headlines of the NFL
Draft. Teams invest heavily, both for their teams and their own
careers, whenever they draft a quarterback that will be the
"quarterback of the future".
For some of these teams, it's
clear: they need to and will be drafting a quarterback. For some
others, it'll be determinate on how free agency plays out. And for the
rest, it could be a situational decision and one that could shake up
the entire draft early on. Here are ten teams that likely will target a
quarterback early in the 2012 NFL Draft.
obvious choice, this pick is all but announced to be Andrew Luck. I've
still heard from a Colts scout that have been considering and actively
talking about Robert Griffin as another option, but it's still a likely
happening that Andrew Luck will be the replacement for Peyton Manning
I've both noticed and
heard from someone around the Redskins that Mike Shanahan had not
anticipated going into the past two seasons with Rex Grossman as his
quarterback, and has been looking for a quarterback the past two years.
I've heard that quarterback was Jake Locker the past two seasons
(didn't declare as a junior, went two picks ahead of Redskins
surprisingly in 2011), but with Locker gone, Shanahan will certainly
use this draft to find his quarterback. I've still heard the Redskins
all the favorites and most likely to trade up for Griffin, and
regardless if they do or not, they'll still likely stick at #6 and
draft Ryan Tannehill. I also don't believe Peyton Manning will actively
pursue the Redskins as well.
Colt McCoy has
been a solid stop-gap quarterback and has been much better than
expected since he came out of Texas, but it's safe to say he's not the
franchise quarterback. I believe the Browns likely will be the
favorites for (and get) Matt Flynn from Green Bay. However, whether
they do or not, the Browns likely will target a developmental
quarterback early. If they pass on Flynn, they may look to trade up to
get Griffin at #2 or take Brandon Weeden in round two. If they take
Flynn, they could look Brock Osweiler, Russell Wilson, or Kirk Cousins
in the 2nd-3rd round area.
From all I've
noticed and heard, Peyton Manning just makes too much sense for Miami.
He has a home there already. They have the offensive line in place to
protect him. They were very competitive and maybe a Top 6 AFC team the
second half of the year. And if they bring Reggie Wayne in as well, he,
Marshall, and Bess make a fantastic unit. Plus, I doubt the Dolphins
want to mortgage the future for Robert Griffin or take a gamble on Ryan
Tannehill for a playoff ready team. However, if they sign Manning or
not, they'll need to groom someone as well. My vote goes to Russell
Wilson or B. J. Coleman in the 3rd round area, but they could look earlier.
wildcard in the quarterback-needy club, the Bills suffered mightily
with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm the latter part of the season, and
they likely realize he may not be the franchise quarterback they'd
hope. Maybe the team that makes the most sense for Ryan Tannehill as of
now based on the offense and they fact he'll have a full year to sit if
needed, don't be surprised if the Bills shake up the draft (as usual)
with a Tannehill selection.
to be talking with Peyton Manning, they are likely the Dolphins most
fierce competition for the Hall of Fame quarterback with an offensive
line in place and some talent on defense. However, if they don't end up
with Manning, they'll need to go into next season with some sort of
young competition for Tavaris Jackson. Whether that entails a trade up
for Ryan Tannehill, gambling on Brock Osweiler in the early 2nd round
via a trade up, or just bringing in a 2nd-3rd rounder to develop, it's
pretty safe to say the Seahawks are watching this quarterback class
Kansas City Chiefs
They'll already have Matt Cassel
and Kyle Orton battling for the top quarterback spot in Training Camp,
but neither one is the franchise quarterback that the Chiefs haven't
had since Trent Green. Another sneaky team for the Ryan Tannehill
sweepstakes, they'll more likely look for a developmental quarterback
with a high ceiling like Brock Osweiler in the 2nd-3rd round area.
of the teams that met with Robert Griffin at the Combine, the Eagles
aren't as much of a shocker as many think. Vick is set to be on the
down slope of his career soon, and the Eagles are known for
understanding when a player is past his prime and it's time to move on.
Outside of linebacker, safety, and offensive line depth, the Eagles
don't have many pressing needs, and if they can package Asante Samuel,
two first rounders, and maybe a second rounder, that could be enough to
entice the Rams to trade back to the middle of the first round.
be in the Peyton Manning race because of his connection with Larry Fitzgerald as well as the need for Ken Whisenhunt and most of the
Cardinals organization needing to win next year for many to keep their
jobs. However, after they lose out, they'll likely be okay with
settling with John Skelton as the quarterback next year. If Kevin Kolb
is released, which I expect, they could look to bring in some young
competition that can play early, such as Kirk Cousins or Brandon
Weeden, to compete with Skelton.
While Tim Tebow is a polarizing player and such a unique (frustrating)
quarterback, it's safe to say that barring the Broncos surprise
everyone and find a way to secure Peyton Manning, he's their guy next
year. I'm confident they won't take a quarterback in the first round,
and likely not in the second with the possible exception of Brandon
Weeden, but they'll likely add a quarterback at some point in the draft
and John Elway feels can play in a more "conventional" NFL offense.
Eric Galko is a contributing NFL scout for Patriots Insider at
Eric Galko is the Owner, Director
of Scouting of Optimum
Scouting and lead editor for OptimumScouting.com. He
has been scouting college football for eight
years, and for pro teams and other sports professionals for the last
four years. Eric is also a member of the