Even in a Down Year, QBs are the Hot NFL Draft Topic

In the National Football League, teams are always in search of their next great quarterback. Typically, bad teams will acquire one with a top-5 pick in the QB NFL Draft, and that may still be the case in 2022, but it doesn’t have to be.

This year’s QB class isn’t spectacular, and while a team may trade up to get the guy they want, they may not even have to trade into the top-5 and will be able to retain some draft assets for the future. But the reason being is there is no star who sticks out.

Instead, there are a plethora of defensive players at the top who teams will be able to reload with, and adding a piece on a rookie contract is certainly attractive as well.

NFL’s Trade Market

NFL executives have been playing quarterback shuffle over the past few weeks, and it picked up after the NFL Combine, where players get their measurements and go through a few drills in front of the entire league. They also meet with each NFL team.

The combine must’ve confirmed that the quarterback draft class leaves a lot to be desired because of the big-name players who are on the move.

First, it was Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers agreeing to a contract extension, which was reported as a four-year, $200 million deal. Though Rodgers disputed that, his friend and one of the best receivers in the league in Davante Adams received the franchise tag to lock up that tandem.

That set off a couple of other trades. The clear-cut chain reaction was Denver acquiring veteran and former MVP Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. There had reportedly been friction between Wilson and Seattle, and now he heads to the team who was most likely to land Rodgers if he didn’t stay in Green Bay or retire. As part of the trade, Denver sent former second-round pick Drew Lock to Seattle.

The third trade saw Indianapolis send Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders after one season and a late season collapse with the Colts for draft capital.

Next up could be Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who didn’t play last season after facing criminal charges in connection with sexual misconduct allegations. A grand jury rejected nine cases brought against him, and that’s expected to make him a hot trade candidate.

Drafting a QB

The conversation for QB1 has been narrowed down to two: Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. Willis has a strong arm and is accurate, and he’s mobile with the ability to make plays with his legs. Willis initially enrolled at Auburn before transferring away.

Pickett won last year’s Heisman Trophy after returning to the Panthers after a fifth season. He’s an accurate passer and had a viral fake slide that led to a touchdown in the ACC Championship game that forced a rule change.

Other potential first-round picks include North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Nevada’s Carson Strong, and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral. Howell looked to be the No. 1 pick entering this past college football season, but after his elite playmakers went elsewhere, he struggled. Corral played in a pass-first offense under coach Lane Kiffin and is comfortable slinging the ball around. Strong makes every throw look effortless but has an injury history.

Teams Needing a QB

The NFL is known for knee-jerk decisions when it comes to quarterbacks, so only a few teams have their answers. Minnesota could look for the successor to Kirk Cousins, Pittsburgh just had Ben Roethlisberger retire, Carolina has played QB roulette, Tampa Bay had Tom Brady retire, New Orleans is in need, the Giants may not be set on Daniel Jones, Cleveland has had rumors with Baker Mayfield in his last year of a deal. The “what-ifs” are limitless.

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