Quarterbacks: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm, Levi Brown (R)
Outlook: Grim. The Bills, maybe more than any team in the NFL, have a need at quarterback. The team has been looking for a franchise signal caller since Doug Flutie was running around in the late 90’s.
Buffalo is in a position of need, and quarterback is at the top of their list.
Prediction: As it stands today the Bills will have a top 5 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Stanford’s Andrew Luck will most likely be the 1st overall pick if he chooses to leave college early. Following next after Luck are Washington’s Jake Locker and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet, a junior. Buffalo, picking in the top 5, would be best served with Jake Locker from Washington.
Quarterbacks: Carson Palmer, Jordan Palmer, Dan LeFevour (R)
Outlook: The Bengals season has been disappointing to date, and that is largely because of the poor play of Carson Palmer, who has never looked the same after an elbow injury in 2008.
Prediction: Put the Bengals on your list of teams who need to add a young quarterback to groom. LeFevour has some developmental value, but in a draft rich in the late rounds, expect Cincinnati to pick up another young passer.
Quarterbacks: Colt McCoy (R), Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Brett Ratliff
Outlook: The Browns entered the season with two veteran quarterbacks, but ankle injuries have sent both Delhomme and Wallace to the bench. In comes McCoy, who in his first NFL start looked solid. McCoy looks like the Browns quarterback of the future.
Prediction: Expect Cleveland to hold tight with McCoy, but they could add a late-round developmental prospect. Mike Holmgren comes from the Bill Walsh school of drafting, which is to add at least one quarterback every year via the draft or free agency who you can develop.
Quarterbacks: Peyton Manning, Curtis Painter
Outlook: Manning will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, and the Colts are lucky to have him. However, he is now 35 and at some point you have to worry about injury and diminishing skills. Painter has not shown any reason to believe he can be the Colts next star at quarterback.
Prediction: The Colts have needs on the offensive line and on defense, but could they pull the trigger on Manning’s successor in the 2011 Draft? Why not? Should a quarterback fall to the end of round one, where Indianapolis is sure to be picking, the Colts could easily pick up their next quarterback.
Quarterbacks: David Garrard, Trent Edwards
Outlook: Outside of Buffalo, Jacksonville has the least talent of any team in the NFL overall. David Garrard cannot be the consistent passer the team needs, and Trent Edwards looks like a career backup at this point.
Prediction: Jacksonville may be 3-3 right now, but don’t expect that record to hold over the season. We predict Jacksonville to be picking in the top 12- and to find themselves with Christian Ponder (FSU) or Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) in the first round.
Quarterbacks: Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller
Outlook: The Raiders have big names at quarterback, but no one is standing out as a long-term solution. Perhaps the problems are caused by the lack of talent on the offensive line and at wide receiver, but regardless Oakland needs an upgrade at quarterback.
Prediction: You cannot blame Oakland if they are gun-shy about drafting a first round quarterback after the JaMarcus Russell debacle. Thankfully the Raiders do not have a 1st round pick in the ’11 Draft (given to New England for Richard Seymour). Oakland could look to pick up a 2nd round quarterback though that can be developed in to a starter. Florida State’s Christian Ponder may be available at the top of round two, as will Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick and Delaware’s Pat Devlin. A name to keep an eye on: Andy Dalton of TCU.
Quarterbacks: Brett Favre, Tavaris Jackson, Joe Webb (R)
Outlook: 2010 has to be Brett Favre’s last season, right? Jackson has been up and down in limited time as a starter, but with so much talent around him it would be hard to fail.
Prediction: We thought Minnesota should have drafted Colt McCoy last year and groom him behind Favre, but they didn’t ask for our opinion. This season we’d prescribe the same thing: Draft a quarterback who can benefit from sitting a year or two behind Jackson. TCU’s Andy Dalton or Chase Keenum of Houston are favorites of ours.
Quarterbacks: Max Hall (R), Derek Anderson, John Skelton
Outlook: Starting an undrafted rookie at quarterback is no one’s plan, no matter what the coaches may tell you. Max Hall may be a long-term starter at quarterback, in fact we liked him a lot out of BYU, but the Cardinals are taking a huge risk.
Prediction: This all hinges on Hall. He could finish the season strong and show tons of promise, which makes Ken Whisenhunt look even smarter. Or he could crash and burn- it’s definitely possible. We do like Hall and hope he latches on as the starter, but if we were running the show we would be investing in a quality veteran in the off-season.
San Francisco 49ers
Quarterbacks: Alex Smith, David Carr, Troy Smith
Outlook: Mike Singletary refuses to play Carr or Troy Smith, even though former 1st overall pick Alex Smith has been a train-wreck this season. Smith has rebounded nicely after a few terrible showings in the first half against Kansas City, New Orleans and Oakland, but the truth about Smith is that he’s just not very good.
Prediction: San Francisco could realistically be picking first in the 2011 NFL Draft, or they may run the table and make the playoffs. Either scenario is incredibly plausible right now. No matter where they end up drafting, quarterback has to be the priority for them in round one.