The NFL has been known as a copycat league for quite some time. The way it works is if a team or teams have some sort of success one year, other teams tend to follow suit the following year. Remember the Wildcat? With the rookie Quarterbacks from the class of 2012 having such an immediate impact, one could surmise that QB needy teams will be lining up at the top of the draft for the services of this year’s crop, right? Not true. So much so that if trades were not an option, we could see not even the top QB land in the first round. Rather than following suit with the young signal callers, teams are making moves for available options prior to the draft. we knew this was a weak QB class, but what does that say for the prospects?
The Kansas City Chiefs made the first move, trading for Alex Smith. Even though they are throwing out a visit with Geno Smith this week to feign interest to spark a possible trade out of the top spot, they made their interest (and confidence) in Geno clear when acquiring the other Smith. They clearly did not feel that he, or any other QB option, were not worthy of the top pick for this QB needy team.
Through much of the NFL Draft process up to this point, the other projected landing spots for the services of rookie Quarterbacks still reside in the Top 10 picks. Problem is, many in the business don’t feel there is a QB worthy of a top 10 pick, and very few worthy of a first round pick.
1.2 Jacksonville Jaguars
If there were the right guy available, we could see the Jags conceding defeat with Blaine Gabbert and moving on. However, they have not fully committed to this concession so it makes it more difficult to make a move here. well, they could if they believed that the sure thing was available. The Jags are in a prime position at the top of the second round for one of the second tier guys, even if they get jumped a couple of times by teams going into the late first.
1.3 Oakland Raiders
The Raiders talked interest in Geno Smith, but this could have been with the same motivations as Kansas City. Regardless, they made a move in another direction by acquiring the one game wonder who is Matt Flynn. A year ago Flynn was a hot commodity, and we really should diss him for beating beat out by a rookie. Russell Wilson is an exceptional football player. We don’t think that Flynn brings a franchise QB feel to the team. The Raiders could have taken on a new face of the franchise at the top of the draft and chose not to.
1.4 Philadelphia Eagles
Nobody really knows what is going to happen yet with the QB position in Philly. Chip Kelly is building a stable to choose from. Problem for the QB prospects is don’t usually add to this kind of selection process with the fourth overall pick. Top of the second round could be perfect for it though. Currently, we like E.J. Manuel to land there.
1.6 Cleveland Browns
While the Browns could choose a QB in this draft, there is not much reason to believe that it will be this early.
1.7 Arizona Cardinals
This is the spot that many want to place Smith in the first round, especially after Buffalo’s most recent move. The Cardinals cannot deny the need, but have denied interest. Talks with the Raiders about a trade for Carson Palmer are at a sticking point. Let’s consider their interest in Palmer. At this point it is apparent that the Cardinals would rather have a QB approaching the bottom of the downside of his career than the top available QB in this year’s NFL Draft. This being the coach who had so much success with last year’s top prospect.
1.8 Buffalo Bills
The Bills were the ideal landing spot until they acquired Kevin Kolb this week. While we don’t believe that Kolb is the answer, he could serve as the starter while a new QB is eased in. He has a two-year contract that would set up a slow grooming, or an easy transition if he fails. There is also everyone’s assumption that Coach Marrone having interest in his old Syracuse QB, Ryan Nassib. Who, coincidentally, could be available with their second round pick.
1.9 New York Jets
Yes, even the Jets could be in the argument. But not likely in the first round.
After the top ten picks there is a potential free fall for the Quarterback position. Chances are we will have trades into the back end of the first round, without question. Even if Geno Smith somehow goes in the top half, prospects like Matt Barkley, Manuel, Nassib, and Mike Glennon are facing the late first round, start of second round at the earliest. Considering the copycat league and the spots at the top of the draft that should have dictated selections of this year’s crop of signal callers, we should have a clear picture on how those in power of making selections view the talent available.
Our latest mock draft has four of the first seven picks in the second round selecting Quarterback.