Matt Wilhalme Arizona Republic
Published 2:29 PM EDT Apr 16, 2019
The quarterback is the most important position on an NFL team. Without a good one, you’re doomed to miss the playoffs.
The Arizona Cardinals traded up to select Josh Rosen with the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft. Now that they hold the No. 1 selection in the 2019 NFL draft next week, the possibility remains that they might still be looking for an answer at the glory position in Kyler Murray.
While we still don’t know exactly what the Cardinals will do, what we can do is look at which teams might actually be interested in drafting a quarterback.
2019 NFL DRAFT ORDER
1. Arizona Cardinals
Sure, why not. Josh Rosen only got one season behind a patchwork offensive line and roughly 1.5 receivers to throw to outside of Larry Fitzgerald, but because of new coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense coming to town, maybe he’ll want a quarterback with a style he’s more familiar with, like say a Kyler Murray.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Nope. It doesn’t make much sense for the 49ers to draft a quarterback here with Jimmy Garoppolo returning from injury and Nick Mullens emerging as a legitimate quarterback last season as he spelled C.J. Beathard, who struggled as a starter.
3. New York Jets
No reason to jump off the Sam Darnold train yet. Darnold threw for 2,865 yards and had 17 touchdown throws to 15 intercepted passes as a rookie. New York also signed Trevor Siemian to a one-year contract to backup Darnold.
4. Oakland Raiders
As Jon Gruden reassembles the Raiders, all signs point to Derek Carr remaining the No. 1 in Oakland — or Las Vegas, depending on how far ahead of the curve you are – a recent report by Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal suggests that the Raiders are expected to pass on a quarterback in the first round. So, TBD.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No risk it, no biscuit. Bruce Arians was a self proclaimed fan of Jameis Winston before he got the job with the Buccaneers, so the feeling here is that Famous Jameis will remain in favor. However, it never hurts to start grooming the future.
6. New York Giants
Headline: “Eli Manning expects Giants to draft his replacement” Ok, then. The Giants are probably in on a quarterback then.
“I figure the Giants are going to get a young quarterback,” Eli Manning said. “So I understand that. I still have to do my job, and I’ll do my part. And my job as I see it is to go out there and play quarterback and win football games.”
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are undefeated in the post Blake Bortles era. Technically, they haven’t played any games yet in this new epoc, but they did sign former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles during the offseason. Still, Jacksonville could still be in the hunt.
8. Detroit Lions
Things look a little bleak behind Matthew Stafford. The Lions are apparently open to the idea of drafting a quarterback at No. 8 overall, but it’s just not something that seems in line with the front office thinking in Detroit.
“I’m never going to say yes or no to one position at a specific time. If I have somebody graded that high, I’m never going to say that I can’t take a, whatever position is —running back, receiver, quarterback, at whatever number is,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn said. “If I do that, then I’m eliminating guys off the board. Part of what we do, like I’ve talked about since I’ve been here, is try to blend best available and need, and sometimes it’s a combination of both.”
9. Buffalo Bills
The Bills appear to be out of the quarterback game. The only had 13 receiving touchdowns last season, but the “Bills love their QB room the way it is.” So, for some reason here they’re out of the running.
10. Denver Broncos
The Broncos moved on from Case Keenum and traded up for … Joe Flacco. Yeah, you can probably put the Broncos down as interested in drafting a quarterback with the 10th overall pick.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
When you search Google for “Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks” one of the top things that shows up are recent news stories with the headlines ”Why the Bengals will take a quarterback in the NFL draft” and “When is the right time for the Bengals to upgrade at quarterback?” The Bengals should probably give some thought to grabbing up a young signal caller to backup Andy Dalton.
12. Green Bay Packers
Nope. Yep. Who knows. Aaron Rodgers is still an elite quarterback, but the debate is when should the Packers start loading up for the future. Plus there’s all this drama and back-and-forth between with some former teammates slamming Rodgers’ leadership in a Bleacher Report article and the now second-highest paid quarterback in the league firing back.
“The thing is about the article, it’s – it’s not a mystery. This was a smear attack by a writer looking to advance his career talking with mostly irrelevant, bitter players who all have an agenda, whether they’re advancing their own careers or just trying to stir old stuff up,” Rodgers said in a radio interview on ESPN. Drama. The Packers are a wildcard.
13. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Fitzpatrick rides again. The NFL journeyman who grew up in Arizona will get another chance to make some magic in Florida. Still, Fitzpatrick, at 36-years-old, is more of a bridge quarterback than an answer. For Miami, the decision to draft a quarterback might come down to who’s still on the board at No. 13. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald has reported that the Dolphins have “met, studied and worked out practically every quarterback who is first-round candidate” and even have a workout schedule with Daniel Jones out of Duke, who is expected to be a late first or early second round pick.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan is only two years removed from an MVP season in which he led the Falcons to Super Bowl LI while scoring an NFL-best 540 points in the season. They resigned veteran Matt Schaub to a two-year extension in March so all signs point to “No” on this one.
15. Washington Redskins
Alex Smith is still recovering from that gruesome injury to his right leg and the Redskins aren’t even sure he’ll be able to play this season. So Washington went out and grabbed Case Keenum from the Denver Broncos to complete with Colt McCoy for the backup/starting role.
16. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton isn’t going anywhere. He’s 29-years-old and still one of the most dangerous quarterback’s in the league. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder in January, so he should be good to go come Week 1. Things seem relatively set behind Newton with Kyle Allen, who led the Panthers to a 33-14 victory over the Saints in Week 17.
17. New York Giants (via Browns)
Yes. See above.
18. Minnesota Vikings
While it’s probably not a first-round play for the Vikings, the might be interested in taking a quarterback in a later round. Kirk Cousins couldn’t lead Minnesota back to the playoffs last season after signing a three-year deal worth $84 million in March 2018. The Vikings picked up veteran backup Sean Mannion in April and have Kyle Sloter on their roster.
19. Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota has dealt with an endless array of injuries. The Dolphins traded Ryan Tannehill to the Titans after six-years as a starter with minimal success for a bag of chips and a stapler (read: a 2019 sixth-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick). So the Titans’ quarterback room seems relatively set with Tannehill as the backup and Logan Woodside of the San Antonio Commanders of the now defunct AAF.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger’s contract is up following the 2019 season, and it was only a year ago that the Steelers were waiting on Big Ben to decide whether or not he was done playing football. He came back and said he intends to play for another “three to five years.” Still, Pittsburgh drafted Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft. Another possibility suggested by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests that that the Steelers might be biding their time while eyeing the soon-to-be-expiring contracts of quarterbacks the likes of Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Marcus Mariota.
21. Seattle Seahawks
After agreeing to pay Russell Wilson $140 million over four years, we’re going to say the Seahawks won’t be selected a quarterback in the first round of this draft.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson is the Ravens’ quarterback of the future. Flacco is gone. Robert Griffin III is the presumptive backup quarterback. The Ravens could look to add another signal caller to the mix, but that probably won’t be necessary in the first round.
23. Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson is the man and A.J. McCarron is the man behind the man. So, no.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)
Put them down for as a maybe at this spot.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz is still making his recovering from a back injury which cost him the end of the regular season and forced him to miss another playoff run. Nick Foles is down in Jacksonville now and so it would make sense for the Eagles to consider drafting a quarterback, but probably not in the first round. Put us down for a second or third quarterback for Philadelphia.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is feeling “refreshed” after an eventful offseason in which he received Comeback Player of the Year honors, oh and he also got married. It’s also the first time since 2015 Luck will not be focusing on just getting healthy. The trouble for the Colts is behind the often battered Luck — the former Stanford quarterback has been sacked 174 times over six seasons — there’s Jacoby Brissett, who will be a free agent after this season and Phillip Walker. There’s interest for sure, but it’s all about location, location, location, according to Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Cowboys)
Or maybe the Raiders will take a quarterback here.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Hmmmmm. Philip Rivers is one of the elder statesmen of the NFL at 37-years-old, but last season he passed for 32 touchdowns and had just 12 passes intercepted as the Chargers to the Divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They also have Tyrod Taylor and Cardale Jones on the roster. If someone like a Dwayne Haskins were to be available at No. 28 the Chargers might be willing to make the investment.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes. Need I say more.
30. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)
Ok, maybe the Packers will go with a quarterback since they have two picks in the first round.
31. Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff helped deliver the Rams a trip to the Super Bowl. So, no.
32. New England Patriots
Lord knows what the Patriots and Bill Belichick will do here.
Reach Matt Wilhalme by email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @mattwilhalme.
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