According to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, five teams will take quarterbacks in the first round of the NFL Draft in April. Because of the shakeup in free agency, with a handful of signal callers changing teams, the need to add a rookie arm may not be as great as it was for some organizations. Brooks, who still has Sam Darnold as the top overall selection by the Cleveland Browns, starts off the selection frenzy.
“The presence of Tyrod Taylor allows the Browns to take a patient approach with their QB of the future,” Brooks said.
The Browns traded for Brooks prior to free agency and offers the Browns a mobile quarterback who could take the majority of the snaps behind center this coming season. This year’s quarterback draft class is good, but like other classes, it does not compare to the 1983 quarterback fraternity that saw six passers taken in the first 28 picks, including John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
The 1983 NFL Draft may be the best ever at selecting talent.
The next quarterback off the board, according to Brooks, is Josh Rosen, who “falls” the New York Jets at No. 6. New York signed Teddy Bridgewater this week, but figures to still bring in a young arm to groom. Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury two seasons ago as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
“Few quarterbacks can handle Broadway’s bright lights and big stage, but Rosen has been viewed as a franchise quarterback prospect since he dotted recruiting lists as a five-star player,” explained Brooks. “The UCLA standout could sit for a year or step on the field as a surprise starter following a strong preseason in an offense that fits his game.”
I think the Jets would be extremely happy if Rosen were to slip past the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns (if Saquon Barkley is the first pick). The NFL Draft should help the bottom feeders, with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball to be had.
After the first two passers come off the board, the next one taken is by Buffalo at No. 12. The Bills acquired this pick in a trade that sent offensive lineman Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati. The Bengals received Buffalo’s 21st pick. The Bills grab Josh Allen of Wyoming to compete with newly-signed AJ McCarron for the starting role.
“The Bills might have to climb into the top five to get their guy, but in this scenario, Allen falls to them outside of the top 10. The Wyoming standout flashes some Cam Newton-like playmaking skills as an athletic passer with A-plus arm talent. The Bills can use free-agent addition AJ McCarron as a bridge QB,” Brooks said.
At the bottom of the first round, Brooks has both New Orleans and Pittsburgh selecting for the future. The Saints grab Baker Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma and the Steelers pick Lamar Jackson. Both players have an opportunity to learn from Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, respectively.
Mayfield has questions about his height and size as well as his maturity. Jackson may need to work on reading defenses and his mechanics and accuracy throwing the football.
“Despite Ben Roethlisberger’s declaration that he wants to play a few more years, the Steelers need to find the quarterback of the future at some point,” Brooks said. “Jackson offers more upside than the team’s current backup options (Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs) and could appear in Mike Tomlin’s eyes as an updated version of Michael Vick.”
The NFL Draft will start April 26 and will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.