NFL

Five Teams That Will Draft a QB High in the 2017 NFL Draft

There are five teams that are for sure going to take quarterbacks in the early part of the 2017 NFL Draft, which comes up at the end of this month.  Here is a look at the teams and who I think they will take:

NEW YORK JETS:

The New York Jets signed 37-year old (he will be 38 by the time the 2017 season begins) Josh McCown to a 1-year, $6 million dollar deal shortly after free agency opened.  He can also make up to $7 million more bucks in incentives if he stays healthy and productive.  McCown is only 2-20 as a starter in his last three years in the NFL, so he is not the answer for the Jets.  Plus, he is brittle, as he has had his last two years cut short due to injury.  25-year old Bryce Petty proved last year that he wasn’t ready for prime time for the Jets.  He started 4 games (the Jets were 1-3 in those games) last season for the Jets and he threw only 3 TD passes against 7 interceptions.  The Jets drafted 22-year old Christian Hackenberg in the 2nd round (#51 overall) out of Penn State in the 2016 NFL Draft.  He was such a bust in his first year with the Jets that there were whispers that they were thinking about releasing him already.   The Jets hold the #6 pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and they must pick a QB!  Deshaun Watson makes the most sense because he is probably ready to play right now, but, the Jets appear to be in love with Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina.  The scary part about Trubisky is that he was only a 1-year starter in college.

CLEVELAND BROWNS:

Browns

Money Ball: Will NFL Teams Approach Free Agency Differently Now? (LINK)

The Cleveland Browns’ never ending the search for a franchise QB has been going on since the days of Bernie Kosar.  The Browns own the #1, #12 and #33 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft and they will use one of those picks on a QB.  The Browns traded for 26-year old Brock Osweiler in the off-season, but that plan to either trade or release him probably during or shortly after the draft later this month.  That trade was all about adding a second round pick (in 2018).  23-year old Cody Kessler actually looked pretty good when he wasn’t hurt last year, as he started 8 games and had a 92.3 QB Rate.  But, Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson isn’t a big fan of his, as he was a pick made by the Moneyball front office of the Browns.  24-year old Kevin Hogan projects as nothing more than a #3 QB in the NFL.  He had a 31.6 QB Rate as a rookie last year, but he did rush for 105 yards on 8 carries (13.1 ypc) with 1 TD run.  With all of that in mind, the Browns need to draft a QB with a high upside.  I think they will take DE Myles Garrett of Texas A&M with the #1 overall pick.  The Browns appear to love Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina, as he is an Ohio boy (Mentor High School) and he grew up as a fan of the team.  But, they might have to trade up ahead of the Jets in order to make it happen.  I think the Browns will stand pat at #12 and take Deshaun Watson out of Clemson.  Watson is probably the only QB in this draft that is ready to start from Day #1!

ARIZONA CARDINALS:

37-year old Carson Palmer is still a solid starting QB in the NFL.  But, the Cardinals were only 6-8-1 in Palmer’s starts last year as he was inconsistent.  In his first three years with the Cardinals, they were a combined 29-9 and he was a Pro Bowler for the third time in his NFL career in 2015.  With Palmer’s advancing age, the Cardinals need to start thinking about the future.  32-year old Drew Stanton is a solid backup, as the Cardinals are 6-3 in games he has started the last three years.  But, he is very limited, as he has a QB Rate of 68.2 with the Cardinals.  He is pure backup material.  As it stands right now, 27-year old Zac Dysert is the Cardinals’ #3 QB, and he has yet to play in a regular season game so far in his career.  The Cardinals hold the #13 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and they will probably take the best QB available right there.  I think Deshaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky will be off the board by the time the Cardinals pick.  I like DeShone Kizer to land in Arizona with the #13 overall pick.  Recently Kizer’s head coach at Notre Dame (Brian Kelly) was saying that he should have come back to college for one more year.  But learning behind Carson Palmer is better for his development than playing for a bad Notre Dame team.

HOUSTON TEXANS:

Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien is a magician as he keeps getting them to the playoffs despite not getting much from the QB position.  The Texans pulled off a miracle in getting the Browns to take Brock Osweiler off of their hands in a trade early in the off-season.  That being said, they can’t go into the 2017 season with only 26-year old Tom Savage and 33-year old Brandon Weeden at QB.  Savage started 2 games last year for the Texans and he didn’t throw a TD or an INT.  He has a very, very limited upside.  Weeden started 1 game for the Texans last year and he threw 3 TD passes and 0 INTs in a win.  But, Weeden is only 6-19 as a starter in the NFL in his first four years in the NFL.  The Texans will take the best QB available with the #25 overall pick in the draft later this month.  That looks to be Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech.  He is a fast riser in the draft due to his off-season workouts for teams.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS:

Amazingly, the first free agent off the board when it opened up was 31-year old QB Brian Hoyer.  49ers’ new head coach Kyle Shanahan worked with Hoyer when they were together with the Cleveland Browns in 2014.  Hoyer was 7-6 as a starter for the Browns in 2014 and he is 16-15 as a starting QB so far in his NFL career.  Hoyer was given a 2-year, $12 million dollar contract and he can make up to $18 million if he hits on all of his incentives.  Hoyer is a great backup QB, but he’s limited as a starter due to a lack of arm strength.  He will be a bridge QB until a younger player with a higher upside is ready to play.  The 49ers also signed 26-year old Matt Barkley shortly after free agency opened.  He has started six games so far in his NFL career and he is 1-5.  He has thrown 8 TD passes against 18 interceptions so far in his NFL career.  He is more of a #3 QB than a #2 QB.  I don’t think the 49ers will use the #2 overall pick (1st round) on a QB, but, I see them using the #34 pick (2nd round) on one.  Davis Webb out of California should still be on the board and he will likely be the 49ers’ pick at #34.  Webb (like Mahomes) is a suddenly fast riser on a lot of draft boards due to his workouts for teams.

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