My knee-jerk reaction after the game was to go get another quarterback in the first round. I spent several evenings this week looking over the top 5 or 6 quarterbacks in this year's draft class. Heh, I even considered Johnny Football. Thankfully, a few days have passed and hope springs eternal. Gruden is gone and Jackson is in. In my book, that is a huge improvement.
I still think the team needs a viable backup quarterback. Preferably one who can challenge Dalton for the start job by the end of 2014, but not one that has the pressure from the front office and fans to do so. One that could be ready to take over in 2015 if Dalton proves not to be the guy. I think Casey Pachall fills the bill.
He spent a year as Dalton's backup in 2010. When Dalton left TCU to go to the NFL Pachall took over as quarterback for TCU in 2011. He lit the imaginations of the NFL scouts. The kid was awesome, breaking every record of Dalton's and then some. Definitely a first round talent. Then trouble hit.
After starting the first four games of the 2012 season, and doing even better than the previous year, he was arrested for a DWI then he lost his job. Sober and a bit more mature, he returned his senior year to redeem himself and put himself back in the conversation as a top tier quarterback for the 2014 draft. He wasn't himself. While not playing badly, he wasn't the same. And in game 7 he broke his arm.
It is very likely he will still be available in the 7th round. It is very likely he won't be drafted at all. I say take a flyer.
Here's what you get. You get a guy who will have a year to work with NFL coaches to shape that talent and sharpen and polish it. You get a guy who will challenge Andy to improve. You get a threat that if Andy doesn't get over that hump, they will try again with Pachall. Plus, by not signing Dalton to an extension this off season you save the cap space and allow yourself to keep guys like Michael Johnson or Anthony Collins (or whoever you want).
Added benefit: by not burning that first round pick you have the opportunity to get a top CB or OG. (There should be lots of good Centers in the middle rounds and in free agency).