The 2009 NFL draft was a very QB-heavy draft with 6 signal callers taken with the first 36 picks.
Four were taken in the first 12 picks of round one:
#1 C Newton
#8 J Locker
#10 B Gabbert
#12 C Ponder
And two more were taken early in round 2:
#35 A Dalton
#36 C Kaepernick
Of those 6 teams who took a QB early in 2011, three of them found their guy (Carolina, Cincy, San Fran) and three of them whiffed.
In addition to that, the 2013 draft lacked any elite QB prospects. Only 1 QB went in round 1, and that was in the middle of the round, breaking a 4 year string of QB’s going #1 overall.
Add that to the recent failure of highly drafted QB’s (such as the 3 mentioned from 2011, Tebow & Clausen from 2010, and B Weeden from 2012).
With plenty of QB-starved teams out there, the 2014 NFL draft could have as many , if not more, QB’s drafted early than we saw in 2009.
Teams who desperately need a QB in the 2014 draft
Gabbert has been a complete disaster. He’s so bad that Tim Tebow would have probably been an upgrade. The mediocre journeymen who took his starting job were upgrades. J’ville has a lot of holes (on the field and in the stands), and it would be a surprise if an early QB was not drafted to address those holes.
Nobody in Cleveland wants Weeden. Hoyer had a nice 3-game run, but likely isn’t going to be the Browns’ long-term answer going forward. With yet another new regime aiming to set their mark on the franchise, aging Jason Campbell is nothing but a quality backup. They already have a high pick to take a QB early. Trading Trent Richardson gave them the ammunition to move up and target perhaps the top pick for a QB selection.
Barring one season of Brett Favre, it’s been ages since the Vikings had any quality signal callers behind center. Like Gabbert, Ponder has been another early 2011 draft bust. Ponder, Cassel and Freeman have all struggled for them this year. With a new coach, and no QB, the pairing of early QB + Vikings seems likely.
UDFA McGloin has been mediocre at best. Terrell Pryor is a great runner, but has shown that he’s not likely more than a stopgap solution as an NFL starting QB. Pryor is better than McGloin, but he wasn’t brought in by the current regime. His starting days in Oakland likely end this year. After going a couple years with few draft picks, they finally have a high pick they can invest in a QB this year.
Schaub may be done in Houston, especially at the $10M he will be due next season. Keenum has played well, but was surrounded by talent that was expected to make a deep playoff push. Houston will have a new coach, the #1 overall pick, and a starting QB who had a horrible season. They could pull the trigger and go after an elite QB prospect as an upgrade on Keenum.
Teams who need a QB in the 2014 draft. Perhaps not desperately, but they do indeed need a QB.
Jack Locker has not played horribly, but just not enough to be counted on. In three seasons, Jake Locker has only started 18 games. When he’s been on the field, he’s averaged under 175 yards per game in his career. But he is off the field more regularly than on the field. The Titans may choose to draft an elite QB prospect and move on from the oft-injured Locker. Or they may just look for a high quality backup who can play the chunk of the season that Locker will miss. But either way, a QB seems to be a requirement for them somewhere in the draft.
Jay Cutler is a free agent at the end of the season. So is backup Josh McCown. Both have played well this year, but neither is a sure thing to be in Chicago in 2014. Depending on what happens with their 2 QB Free Agents, drafting a QB in Chicago could become a big need.
After a few lackluster years in Oakland and a horrible start in Arizona, Carson found his groove with Larry Fitzgerald and brought the Cardinals to the cusp of a playoff spot. But Palmer struggled to keep the ball from landing in the hands of the opposing players, and only has so many years of football left in him – especially behind such a porous O-Line. Arizona will need to get somebody lined up to replace Palmer sooner than later, so they aren’t left with the Kolb – Skelton – Lindley debacle at QB they suffered after Kurt Warner retired.
Teams who should look for a QB in the 2014 draft, but don’t have a pressing need.
When the Rams traded out of the #2 spot in 2012 (passing on RG3), they confirmed their commitment to underperforming Sam Bradford. But #1 overall pick or not, he’s eventually going to have to do something on the field to uphold his end of the deal. After 3 mediocre seasons, he started well in 2014, before injury struck. He has missed substantial time in 2 of his 4 NFL seasons with injuries, and overall has not been a great QB. The Rams may not look for his replacement in the 2014 draft, but if they don’t, they most assuredly will in 2015.
KC gave up a lot for Alex Smith, but at the end of the day, he’s a game-manager. He’s not horrible, but he’s not the QB that is going to get them over the hump. They have the RB, they have the WR, they have the defense, but KC still needs the QB. They could look for that QB this year.
New York Giants
Eli Manning has never been a great QB during the regular season. Like Joe Flacco, he’s been on teams that win in the post-season, so he’s been given a pass for being mediocre. But this year was a huge drop from mediocre to very bad. For the 3rd time in his career he led the NFL in Interceptions. This year he had a 18 – 27 TD – INT ratio and a QB rating under 70. He will be 33 at the start of next season, and even if the Giants decide to see if he can rebound from his horrible 2013, they probably need to get a QB in the wings ready to go.
With up to 11 potentially seeking a QB in the 2014 NFL draft, the upcoming draft could be filled with a plethora of early QB selections.
This actually benefits the Bengals, because if teams are using all their high picks on QB’s, this means more quality O-Linemen and Defensive Backs should be falling into Cincy’s laps with their 32nd pick in the 2014 NFL draft.