The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, evidenced by the final four teams left in the 2013 playoffs.
The New England Patriots (Tom Brady), Baltimore Ravens (Joe Flacco) and Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan) all have established franchise quarterbacks. It appears the San Francisco 49ers (Colin Kaepernick) have found their quarterback of the future as well.
However, most teams in the NFL aren't as fortunate. A few teams are in desperate need of a quarterback and will need to address the position this off-season.
In this week's NFL mock draft, I'll highlight the teams that should select quarterbacks in the first round.
*Teams that should consider drafting a QB in the first round are marked with an asterisk.
1. *Kansas City Chiefs (2-14): Geno Smith - QB, West Virginia
This is an unfortunate year for the Chiefs to land the top overall pick, as they just missed out on last year's amazing quarterback crop. While there are some good signal callers in this class, there are no guaranteed stars like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
Despite some doubt surrounding the top QBs, the Chiefs would be wise to add one sooner rather than later. Smith looks to be the best option right now, as the accurate and athletic quarterback would be a good fit in Andy Reid's system.
Of course, things could look much different after pro days and the Combine. The top five quarterbacks could see their draft stocks rise or plummet after workouts. Also, don't be surprised if the Chiefs trade down a few spots before selecting their man.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14): Bjoern Werner - DE, Florida State
3. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Damontre Moore - DE, Texas A&M
Moore is a versatile defender who has played multiple positions. He also has elite speed off the edge, which is an asset Oakland will surely covet.
The Raiders struggled to get after the quarterback this year, so Moore makes sense at No. 3.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-12): Dee Milliner - CB, Alabama
The Eagles allowed 33 passing touchdowns this season, the most in the NFL. They desperately need some help in the secondary, and Milliner should be their man.
The Alabama product has all the tools necessary to be a shutdown corner. He has good size (6'1", 197 pounds), speed (4.48 40-yard dash) and recognition skills. He also played in two National Championship games, so performing in the spotlight won't be an issue.
5. Detroit Lions (4-12): Barkevious Mingo - DE, LSU
Mingo might be the most explosive defensive end in this class. At 6'5", 240 pounds, he has room to add some muscle.
The Lions' D-line will likely be decimated by free agency, and Mingo could also play some outside linebacker if necessary. He would be a smart selection here.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): Jarvis Jones - OLB, Georgia
Jones is the best linebacker in this class thanks to his speed and recognition. He's able to cover a wide range and he's a nightmare when rushing off the edge.
He was also one of the most productive defensive players in the country, recording 78 tackles, 12.5 sacks and one interception this season.
7. *Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Luke Joeckel - OT, Texas A&M
Don't be surprised if the Cardinals go with a quarterback here. After suffering through some awful QB play this season, Arizona can't possibly go another year without upgrading the position.
Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson and Ryan Nassib are all options here. However, as much as the Cardinals need a QB, I think they will take Joeckel if he's still available.
The big offensive tackle could end up being the best player from this class. He is too talented for the Cardinals to pass up, as they could likely get one of the top-five quarterbacks early in the second round.
8. *Buffalo Bills (6-10): Ryan Nassib - QB, Syracuse
It would be a reach to select Nassib at No. 8, but the Bills need a quarterback and new coach Doug Marrone would undoubtedly like to be reunited with his college QB.
The two led Syracuse to an 8-5 record this season. Nassib was excellent, throwing for 3,749 yards and 26 touchdowns, with just 10 interceptions. He also added two touchdowns on the ground.
Nassib isn't a spectacular athlete, but he can slide in the pocket and buy himself some time. He should be a starter in this league for a long time, and he would give the Bills some hope whenever the Ryan Fitzpatrick era ends.
9. *New York Jets (6-10): Chance Warmack - OG, Alabama
Warmack is a dominant interior lineman. He excels in run-blocking, but he is also a quality pass protector. He's got great body control, athleticism and he plays with a nasty demeanor. Warmack would be a good fit with the Jets.
New York could also look to fix their terrible quarterback situation here. However, I think offensive line is the more pressing need, and Warmack is too talented to pass on.
10. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Star Lotulelei - DT, Utah
Lotulelei is absolutely massive (6'3", 320 pounds) and incredibly mobile for his size. He would be a great pick for the Titans, who need a run-stopper in the middle of their line.
11. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Eric Fisher - OT, Central Michigan
The San Diego Chargers are one team that suffered from Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews staying in school. Their decisions thinned the offensive tackle crop, leaving Eric Fisher as the clear-cut best option.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Keenan Allen - WR, California
The future looks promising in Miami, as Ryan Tannehill performed well in his rookie season. If the Dolphins give him a solid receiver like Allen, the Dolphins will contend for a wild-card berth next year.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Johnthan Banks - CB, Mississippi State
The Bucs' secondary was awful last season, as they ranked last in opponents' passing yards (297.4 per game). Banks doesn't have the ceiling of Milliner, but he is a strong athlete with good ball skills. He would be a welcome addition in Tampa.
14. Carolina Panthers (7-9): Johnathan Hankins - DT, Ohio State
Hankins is huge (6'3", 335 pounds) and has proven to be an excellent run-stopper. He has good quickness for his position, and he has shown the ability to make plays in the passing game on occasion.
15. New Orleans Saints (7-9): Dion Jordan - DE, Oregon
Jordan is a freak athlete who would immediately improve the Saints' defense, which was worst in the NFL last season. He's got great speed off the edge and is capable of playing outside linebacker as well.
16. St. Louis Rams (7-8-1): Jonathan Cooper - OG, North Carolina
The Rams have two first-round picks thanks to the trade that allowed Washington to select RG3, so they could go several different directions here. Look for them to address their offensive line first, though. Cooper isn't a great run-blocker, but he is one of the best pass protectors available.
Sam Bradford will be very happy with this decision.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Manti Te'o - ILB, Notre Dame
I thought the whole fake girlfriend thing would hurt Te'o's stock, until I saw this tweet from Mike Freeman of CBS Sports.
NFL scout on Manti Catfish: "Won't hurt draft stock. We draft guys that rob banks." So, there's that.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) January 17, 2013
What a great league.
18. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Sharrif Floyd - DT, Florida
The Dallas Cowboys will be switching to a 4-3 defense under Monte Kiffin. That means they need a defensive tackle who can pursue the quarterback. At this point in the draft, Floyd would be their best bet.
19. New York Giants (9-7): Ezekiel Ansah - DE, BYU
Ezekiel Ansah is far from polished, but he might have the highest ceiling of any defender in the draft. He is an amazing athlete who has only been playing football for a short period of time. With some quality coaching, he will be a monster.
20. Chicago Bears (10-6): Dallas Thomas - OT, Tennessee
The Bears are another team that was hurt by Lewan and Matthews staying in school. Luckily, there are several other quality tackles available. Thomas is big (6'5", 297-pounds) and a natural pass-protector.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6): Matt Elam - SS, Florida
The Cincinnati Bengals have several needs on the defensive side of the ball. They will be looking for an immediate contributor, which is certainly Elam.
The heavy-hitting safety has good speed and recognition. His coverage skills are also better than most players at his position.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Redskins): Cordarrelle Patterson - WR, Tennessee
With their offensive line taken care of, the Rams should turn to wide receiver with their next pick. I will likely shuffle some players in and out of this spot leading up to draft day, but for now, I like Patterson because of his height (6'3") and speed (4.48 40-yard dash).
23. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Tavon Austin - WR, West Virginia
If Percy Harvin leaves this offseason, Austin would be the perfect replacement. He is essentially Harvin 2.0, and he would take some pressure off of Adrian Peterson.
24. Indianapolis Colts (11-5): Sheldon Richardson - DT/DE, Missouri
Richardson is big (6'3", 290 pounds), and his mobility is simply amazing. He mostly played defensive tackle in college, but the Colts could also use him as an end in their 3-4 scheme.
25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): Justin Hunter - WR, Tennessee
The Seahawks don't have a ton of holes to fill, but they could use some help at receiver. With his size, speed and ball skills, Hunter would form an excellent trio with Sydney Rice and Golden Tate.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5): Sylvester Williams - DT, North Carolina
Williams is a top-notch run-stopper. He frees up teammates by absorbing multiple blocks, and he is a good tackler as well. He doesn't have great speed, but he would work wonders in the middle of Green Bay's defensive line.
27. Houston Texans (12-4): Robert Woods - WR, USC
Although USC struggled this year, Woods had a great season. He finished with 76 catches for 846 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is a versatile receiver who is comfortable in the slot or on the outside.
The Texans would be wise to pick him up and give Matt Schaub another weapon.
28. Denver Broncos (13-3): Xavier Rhodes - CB, FSU
In the Broncos playoff loss to Baltimore, it became painfully clear that they need some youth in the secondary. Champ Bailey is still a quality cornerback, but he was repeatedly torched by Torrey Smith. An infusion of young legs would do Denver some good.
29. Baltimore Ravens (10-6): Johnathan Jenkins - DT, Georgia
Another defensive tackle goes off the board here. Jenkins is a monster (6'4", 363 pounds) and he may be the best run-stopper in this class.
He would be a great value pick here. However, don't be surprised if Baltimore picks up one of the many talented tight ends.
30. San Francisco 49ers (11-4-1): Kenny Vaccaro - FS, Texas
The Niners needs may become more apparent after this weekend, when they face the Atlanta Falcons. For now, it looks like they're going to need some help at safety.
Dashon Goldson has gotten awfully expensive, and he isn't playing as well as he was before his big payday. Vaccaro, who excels in pass coverage, would be a cheap and effective replacement.
Keep an eye on Goldson when San Fran takes on Matt Ryan and his two elite receivers (Julio Jones, Roddy White). If he struggles, Vaccaro should be the pick here. If Goldson plays great, the Niners will likely look elsewhere.
31. New England Patriots (12-4): Barrett Jones - C/OG Alabama
Jones would be a great addition for the Patriots, who could use some youth on the offensive line. The versatile Jones can play multiple positions. After winning three championships with Alabama, he would have no trouble adjusting to the Patriots' perfectionist culture.
32. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Sam Montgomery - DE, LSU
Atlanta has an amazing offense, but their defense has some holes. Their defensive line is getting old, and they would be smart to add some fresh legs.
Montgomery is big (6'4", 245-pounds), fast (4.59 40-yard dash) and he plays with a relentless motor. His passion for the game is easily visible, and he will improve any defense he joins.
The Falcons should be thrilled if he falls to them.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!