The flyer group
This category is going to be defined by teams who have a very capable starter but perhaps are looking to take a flyer on a quarterback to come in and provide some depth or potentially develop into the future starter.
Another important aspect here is where the team is in draft capital, sometimes you’ll see a team that is loaded with lots of picks take a swing on a quarterback in the later rounds simply because they can afford to. The Patriots are a team that has frequently done that, which we’ve seen this in years past with guys like Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett.
The first team to come to mind here is the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is currently 36 years old and has quite the injury history piling up on him. Their current backup is Tim Boyle, who the team reportedly likes but he’s hardly a sure thing and he’s already been in the league for two years so when his contract is up Rodgers is still likely to be playing. Taking a flyer late in the draft makes sense for them.
The Philadelphia Eagles fit right in behind the Packers because of the injury history of Carson Wentz. He almost single-handedly carried the Eagles to the playoffs this past season but there will always be that doubt surrounding him about his health concerns from the past.
They have Nate Sudfeld backing him up and reportedly like him, but because of that doubt about Wentz’s ability to stay healthy maybe they take a late-round flyer just for insurance purposes.
Another team in this category is the New Orleans Saints. Future Hall of Famer Drew Brees recently signed a two-year contract to return as the Saints starting quarterback, but this forced Bridgewater to look elsewhere for a starting opportunity in the league.
Sure they have Taysom Hill on the roster, but he’s 30 years old and has yet to show any kind of capability that he’s a starting quarterback in the NFL. Don’t be surprised to see the Saints take a quarterback this year to come in and develop behind one of the league’s best quarterbacks.
The Seattle Seahawks hardly need to draft a quarterback, Russell Wilson is arguably one of the top five most valuable players in the league, but they currently do not have a backup quarterback on the roster. Geno Smith was the main backup last year but he is still a free agent.
Wilson is 31 years of age so this is the right time to take a guy in the middle rounds of the draft, let him develop behind Wilson and then flip that draftee for picks similar to how the Patriots handled Garoppolo and Brisset.
Speaking of Garoppolo, don’t be surprised to see the San Francisco 49ers take a flyer on a quarterback this year. They reportedly kicked the tires on entering the Brady sweepstakes so there could something there that signals they aren’t all in on him as their quarterback long term.
The Indianapolis Colts signed Rivers and still have Brissett on the roster as his backup, so this isn’t a huge need behind those two but Rivers obviously isn’t getting younger and clearly they have their doubts about Brissett’s long term potential. This means that taking on a late-round project that can develop behind them could make sense for that franchise.
The last team in this group is the Pittsburgh Steelers as the Mason Rudolph experiment has clearly failed. Duck Hodges played well against the LA Chargers, (still hurts) but hardly seems like the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger. Some around the league think they’re kicking the tires on bringing in Winston to be Roethlisberger’s backup but clearly they need to address that position.