NFL Draft Rumors: Which Teams Could Draft a QB in the First Two Rounds?
A good quarterback can make or break a team's draft. Every franchise is hoping to grab its quarterback of the future, and only so many top prospects are available. While there are always some steals (Tom Brady, anyone?), the most scrutinized QB selections will clearly be the ones in the first couple of rounds.
Keeping that in mind, let's examine which teams are in the market for a new signal-caller and could make a move in round one or two. Here are nine teams that might draft a marquee quarterback.
Why they need a QB: It may be too early to give up on Jimmy Clausen, but the Panthers are in serious need of immediate QB production if they want to compete in 2011.
When they could draft one: First overall. It’s certainly possible that the Panthers could trade the first pick for an established quarterback, but if they don’t, then Newton looks to be their man. Without a second round pick, Carolina has no choice but to get a QB with their pick, and Blaine Gabbert can’t really justify the No. 1 selection.
Picks: Three, 34
Why they need a QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick is a fine quarterback, but he’s probably not the guy to get the Bills out of the cellar. Buffalo will want a new franchise QB if one’s available, but that’s a fairly large "if".
When they could draft one: 34th overall. Newton should be gone already by the third pick, and Gabbert isn’t exactly a surefire NFL success. If the Bills don’t trade, they may have to take the best player on the board and wait until the second round to grab a quarterback. There’s plenty of good second-round QB talent this year, so Bufallo will likely pass on a first-round reach for Gabbert.
Picks: Four, 35
Why they need a QB: Carson Palmer could retire or he could be traded. Either way, the Bengals are uncertain at best at quarterback right now.
When they could draft one: 35th overall. Unless the Bengals take Gabbert fourth (a bit of a reach), they should wait until round two and take one of the numerous options available there. Hopefully, Carson Palmer will be back, in which case Cincinnati has a little time to foster a second-round guy like Andy Dalton or Jake Locker.
Picks: Five, 38
Why they need a QB: Losing Kurt Warner hurt the Cardinals bad last year, and Arizona clearly needs to find a quarterback that can lead the team from a very early stage.
When they could draft one: Fifth overall. Gabbert will likely still be available with the fifth pick, and if he is, the Cardinals should jump on him. He’s clearly the second-best quarterback available and would be a major step up from the talent available in the next round. After Gabbert’s off the board, there’s a big drop in talent, so Arizona would be wise to grab him while he’s available.
Picks: Eight, 39
Why they need a QB: Kerry Collins is too old to be a long-term solution, and Vince Young doesn’t look like the answer either. It may be time to find a viable QB of the future.
When they could draft one: 39th overall. Who will be available at eight? With Newton and Gabbert off the board, the talent drop is so steep that anybody would be a reach in Tennessee’s spot. The Titans should wait it out and grab the best QB available in the second round.
Picks: 10, 41
Why they need a QB: Donovan McNabb was a fine pickup, but Washington has to find someone quick to fill his shoes when he leaves.
When they could draft one: 41st overall. Don’t expect the Redskins to reach for a quarterback with the 10th pick. No other QBs should realistically be taken until the late first round, and Washington has enough needs that QB can wait.
Picks: 12, 43
Why they need a QB: Two words: Brett Favre. Since he appears to be finally gone, the Vikings have a gaping hole that needs to be addressed immediately.
When they could draft one: 43rd overall. The Vikings are a realistic reach possibility in that they could grab Ryan Mallett or a similar talent with the 12th pick. That said, the odds are probably better they’ll wait or trade down. It just comes down to whether or not they’re willing to gamble on whatever’s available at 43.
Why they need a QB: Chad Henne has a serious microscope on him, and there are no assurances that he’ll deliver. An early QB pick could seriously soothe a potentially difficult situation for Miami.
When they could draft one: 15th. It’s a stretch, but this is Miami’s only pick in the first two rounds. It depends on who’s available, but the Dolphins probably won’t be desperate enough to reach for anybody here. Probably.
Picks: 25, 57
Why they need a QB: Hasselbeck is a fine quarterback, but he’s getting older and there aren’t a ton of options behind him. Besides, Seattle may be in a perfect position for a very popular selection with a ton of upside.
When they could draft one: 25th overall. The best selection here is Jake Locker, who makes sense on a few levels. He’s got a ton of upside, Pete Carroll’s familiar with him from his Pac-10 days and he’s the local hero. Otherwise, Seattle probably won’t grab a QB.