What teams need QB most, least in 2018 NFL Draft?

Only six or seven teams enter the 2018 NFL Draft lacking what most would call true franchise quarterbacks on their rosters. But because some of those 26 or so established franchise passers are getting long in the tooth, ranking the most QB-needy teams for this month's draft is not as simple as filling the obvious holes.

What teams need QB most, least in 2018 NFL Draft?

What teams need QB most, least in 2018 NFL Draft?

The Patriots, for example, are depending on 40-year-old Tom Brady, GOAT or not, to hold up after the team traded his eventual replacement in Jimmy Garoppolo. New England suddenly needs a young quarterback.



So the 40-year-old Brady, the 37-year-old Eli Manning, the 39-year-old Drew Brees, the 36-year-old Ben Roethlisberger and the 36-year-old Philip Rivers, among others, should be mentally prepared to see their teams draft their potential replacements soon. Even Aaron Rodgers, 34, should remember how a 36-year-old Brett Favre didn't expect the Packers to draft an heir apparent back in 2006.

MOCK DRAFT 2018:
Patriots, Bills, Jaguars land right QBs

Below we rank all 32 NFL teams in terms of QB neediness for the 2018 NFL Draft.


1. Buffalo Bills


Current QBs: AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman

With plenty of trade pieces as their disposal, the Bills essentially can draft whatever quarterback they want in 2018. That’s good, because they need it. Buffalo in 2017 found out what it has in Peterman, and while McCarron does not inspire much confidence as a starter, he could be a good source of competition for a rookie in training camp.


2. New York Jets


Current QBs: Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Joel Stave

Five bad quarterbacks are better than two bad quarterbacks. Because depth, or something. The slimmer of hope that Bridgewater could return to his pre-injury form is why the Jets are not No. 1 on this list. McCown also at least brings some experience and savvy to the QB room. New York will draft a quarterback. The questions then become which QB to draft, which QBs to cut and when to start the rookie.

OPTIMUM SCOUTING: Bills jump Jets for QB in latest Mock Draft


3. New York Giants


Current QBs: Eli Manning, Davis Webb

Manning has somehow found new life as the Giants’ starter after the mess that was the end of the Jerry Reese-Ben McAdoo era late last season. The starting quarterback was far from the lone culprit during that 2017 disaster, but his declining play forces New York to keep QB in mind with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Unless the Giants think they can find Manning’s replacement from another team or in a future draft, they can’t pass on this year’s opportunity.


4. New England Patriots


Current QBs: Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer

Jimmy Garoppolo, New England’s golden goose who was slated to become Brady’s replacement, will be suiting up in gold and red for the foreseeable future after his trade to San Francisco. That leaves the Patriots with a soon-to-be 41-year-old Brady and a 32-year-old Hoyer as their only passers. That might be OK for the short term, especially if Brady delivers on his goal to play into his mid-40s. But considering the Pats were willing to draft a potential Brady replacement when he was 36, there’s a good chance they do it again with Brady at 40.



5. Cleveland Browns


Current QBs: Tyrod Taylor, Drew Stanton, Kevin Hogan

Cleveland will draft a quarterback in 2018, likely at No. 1 overall. But because they traded for Tyrod Taylor — who can serve as a better placeholder than those on the rosters of any of the first four teams on this list — the Browns have some flexibility. Cleveland will be faced with two questions in the near future: Which quarterback should it target, and when should that quarterback take the reins as starter?


6. Jacksonville Jaguars


Current QBs: Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler

The recent contract extension for Bortles means the Jaguars are committed to him … until they aren't. Jacksonville with the deal was able to kick the can down the road; it keeps Bortles on the roster but leaves open the opportunity for competition between the starter and a rookie. Kessler is a backup who arrived via trade, so one more passer from the draft would complete the QB depth chart and finally put legitimate pressure on Bortles.


7. Denver Broncos


Current QBs: Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly

Denver is banking on the 2017 breakout version of Keenum being the Keenum the Broncos are getting for 2018. With Lynch and Kelly looking like nothing more than backup options, Denver will be mentioned as a QB-needy team around draft time until it finds a true franchise player for the position. Keenum, though a capable starter, appears to be yet another placeholder for John Elway and Co.


8. Cincinnati Bengals


Current QBs: Andy Dalton, Matt Barkley, Jeff Driskel

The idea of the Bengals drafting a quarterback in 2018 is based on two factors: One is the lack of confidence-inspiring names on their depth chart; the other is the declining play of Dalton, who turns 31 this year and is entering his eighth NFL season. Dalton over the last three years has seen a steady drop in completion percentage, rating and QBR. While Dalton remains a solid starter capable of leading a better supporting cast on another playoff run, Cincinnati could stay ahead of the curve as its division rivals in Pittsburgh and Baltimore also begin to look to the future at QB.


9. Arizona Cardinals


Current QBs: Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon

Arizona is not selling anybody on the idea that they’re about to roll with Bradford and Glennon as their best QB options beyond this season, even though both have shown flashes as capable starters. Bradford, who turns 31 this year, has a list of career injuries longer than the Constitution. Chicago learned the hard way in 2017 that Glennon is better suited as a backup. A new franchise passer is the obvious first step for a team under a new head coach and seemingly on the verge of a rebuild.

MARVEZ: Bradford, Glennon signings prove Cardinals are lost at QB


10. Miami Dolphins


Current QBs: Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, David Fales, Brandon Doughty

Though Miami remains committed to Tannehill, restructuring the soon-to-be 30-year-old QB’s contract was a must in the name of salary cap space. Speaking of finances, with Osweiler signed as a backup, the Dolphins drafting a QB and leaning on his rookie-contract salaries would help in the team’s apparent rebuilding efforts. That is, unless Miami wants to rebuild around Tannehill, he of a 37-40 career record as starter.


11. New Orleans Saints


Current QBs: Drew Brees, Tom Savage, Taysom Hill

The Saints say they like what they see from Hill as a quarterback, but actions — like signing Savage to compete for the backup role — speak louder than words. New Orleans is making no secret about its effort to go all in for at least one more Super Bowl run with Brees, but that doesn’t mean the team can’t set itself up for the future in the process. The future Hall of Famer remains lethal as a passer, but he’ll turn 40 after this season.


12. Baltimore Ravens


Current QBs: Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin III, Josh Woodrum

Baltimore signed Griffin in free agency as the team hopes he is turns out to be a better backup option than Ryan Mallett was last season. Flacco, though, is 33 and has dealt with a variety of injuries over the last few years; he has three years remaining on his current contract, with a potential out after the 2019 season. With injury concerns surrounding both their starter and their backup, the Ravens could draft a quarterback for depth insurance and, potentially, an eventual replacement for Flacco.


13. Pittsburgh Steelers


Current QBs: Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Josh Dobbs

The Steelers are well aware of their need for Roethlisberger’s eventual replacement, thanks in part to the quarterback’s retirement consideration over the last couple years. Jones, 29, has served Pittsburgh well in his backup role, which is where he belongs. Unless the Steelers think Dobbs is capable of replacing the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer as starter, they need to address the position with a draft pick sooner rather than later.


14. Los Angeles Chargers


Current QBs: Philip Rivers, Geno Smith, Cardale Jones

Rivers is still going strong as he enters his 15th NFL season, so this is all about his age; he’ll turn 37 in December. LA’s signing of Smith suggests they don’t view Jones as anything more than a backup. Unless the Chargers think Smith can resurrect himself as an NFL starter while playing behind Rivers, they’d be wise to proactively plan for the latter’s eventual retirement.



15. Indianapolis Colts


Corrent QBs: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Brad Kaaya, Phillip Walker

As is the case for all things Colts-related, this is all about Andrew Luck’s health. Indianapolis of course is set if and when Luck returns from the shoulder injury that took his 2017 season — the key words are if and when. Brissett is a solid backup, but he’s just that; a backup. Until Luck proves he can not only return healthy, but also return as the player who led the Colts to the AFC title game four seasons ago, this team will need to keep an eye on QBs in the draft.


16. Atlanta Falcons


Current QBs: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Garrett Grayson

Ryan, 34, is entering his 11th NFL season, and 2018 is the last year of his current contract. The Falcons don’t seem worried about getting an extension done, but they failed to do so and in turn reduce Ryan’s cap hit before this year’s free agency. So not only does Atlanta still need to weigh its future with Ryan, but its backup, Matt Schaub, turns 37 this year. A young QB from the draft should be an intriguing consideration.


17. Carolina Panthers


Current QBs: Cam Newton, Garrett Gilbert

Even if the Panthers bring back Derek Anderson as Newton’s backup, they’ll be relying on a 34-year-old who’s started four games in seven years to keep the offense afloat if needed — and Anderson's familiarity with the offense is no longer a factor with Norv Turner taking over as coordinator. As for Newton, he is flirting with age 30 and is entering his eighth NFL season. With injuries being a perpetual concern connected to Newton’s style of play, Carolina, from now until the end of No. 1’s career, will be a threat to draft a quarterback.


18. Seattle Seahawks


Current QBs: Russell Wilson

Wilson, 29, will be the Seahawks’ starter as long as health permits, and chances are he’ll get a contract extension soon. So with this being about depth and not a potential replacement for Wilson, Seattle could turn back to free agency for an experienced backup. If the Seahawks look to the draft for a QB, it will come in the later rounds.



19. Washington Redskins


Current QBs: Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Stephen Morris

After trading for Smith, Washington invested a surprising amount of money in the soon-to-be 34-year-old quarterback, giving him a four-year extension and committing to him as its starter for the near future. McCoy, the team’s longtime backup, turns 31 this year. The Redskins are hoping Smith keeps them out of NFL Draft QB conversations for at least a few more years.


20. Detroit Lions


Current QBs: Matthew Stafford, Matt Cassel, Jake Rudock, Alex Torgersen

Stafford’s big contract has him signed through 2022, with a potential out after the 2020 season. While the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009 has been a reliable starter for Detroit, he turned 30 in February. The Lions would be stronger candidates to draft a quarterback this year had they not selected Rudock in the sixth round two years ago and signed Cassel in free agency.


21. Minnesota Vikings


Current QBs: Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian, Kyle Sloter

The free-agency acquisitions of Cousins and Siemian suggest Minnesota is set with its starter and backup. The former was made the highest-paid player in the NFL, and the latter finally finds himself in a clear role after a couple years of muddiness in Denver. Barring catastrophic injury or an enormous drop-off in Cousins’ production, the Vikings are set for a few years.


22. Green Bay Packers


Current QBs: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer, Joe Callahan

Rodgers, 34, is entering his 14th NFL season and is about to sign his last big contract — an expected record deal. While the Packers do not appear to have the future Hall of Famer’s heir apparent on their current roster, they do have decent young backups to provide depth for the short term. But again, a 36-year-old Favre didn’t expect Green Bay to draft his eventual replacement in 2006, either.



23. Kansas City Chiefs


Current QBs: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne, Matt McGloin

Nothing displays confidence in a player quite like the Chiefs dumping their longtime starter in Alex Smith in favor of a second-year passer who has made just one NFL start. That leap of faith is why the Chiefs rank above other teams that employ young franchise passers on their rookie contracts. Their depth also could be better.


24. Tennessee Titans


Current QBs: Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert, Tyler Ferguson, Alex Tanney

Though Mariota has proven a capable starter for the long term, his injury history led the Titans to make sure they had a reliable backup. Hence the signing of Gabbert, who unlike Cassel has a running element to his game similar to that of the starter. Assuming he can stay healthy, Mariota’s big pay day is coming soon.


25. Oakland Raiders


Current QBs: Derek Carr, Connor Cook, EJ Manuel, Josh Johnson

With Carr’s long-term deal in place and with Cook a capable player entering the third year of his cheap rookie contract, the Raiders have some flexibility as they work out their quarterback depth chart. Their re-signing of Manuel, 28, suggests he will serve as the primary backup again this season.


26. Los Angeles Rams


Current QBs: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion, Brandon Allen

The 2017 development of Goff under then-first-year coach Sean McVay was huge for a franchise that desperately needed it after selecting the QB No. 1 overall in 2016. Now entering his third season, Goff continues to be backed up by the 25-year-old Mannion, who his entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract after the Rams selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.


27. Houston Texans


Current QBs: Deshaun Watson, Brandon Weeden, Taylor Heinicke

The Texans are banking on the idea that the Watson they saw in 2017 before his rookie season-ending knee injury is the Watson they will get in 2018 and beyond. That’s why Houston signed the 34-year-old Weeden, aka “Watson’s boy,” to back up the youngster and help him develop in the offense.


28. Dallas Cowboys


Current QBs: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush

Dallas seems happy with Rush as its backup quarterback, so there’s no immediate need to stuff the depth chart with another option behind Prescott. Another factor here is money. With Prescott as a 2016 fourth-round pick and Rush having signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017, the Cowboys are getting maximum returns on virtually minimum investment at the position. They could get away with a cheap QB signing for depth if necessary.


29. Chicago Bears


Current QBs: Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray

Trubisky’s development through his second NFL season will be key for Chicago, especially now that the QB is equipped with improved surrounding talent and an offensive-minded head coach. The fact that the Bears expect Trubisky to become the franchise passer they’ve so desperately needed is why they’re here, because Daniel, who has worked with Matt Nagy in the past, is on the roster only to help the starter develop in the offense.



30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Current QBs: Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin

Fitzpatrick’s age is the only reason the Bucs are not in better shape than the 49ers QB-wise. As Tampa stands now, with the 35-year-old Fitzpatrick bringing experience to his backup role behind Winston, it has a solid argument for the most reliable 1-2 combo in the league. That will change when Fitzpatrick’s contract expires and the Bucs have to pay Winston the starting QB money he deserves.


31. San Francisco 49ers


Current QBs: Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard, Nick Mullins

Of course, the 49ers are set with their starting quarterback after locking Garoppolo into a long-term deal. The key here is their backup: while Beathard wasn’t great in his five starts last season, San Francisco thought enough of him to make him their third-round pick in last year’s draft. The 49ers will expect Beathard to be a solid backup QB for at least a couple more years on his cheap rookie contract.


32. Philadelphia Eagles


Current QBs: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld

When a team has the reigning Super Bowl MVP as its backup, it has the best quarterback situation in the NFL. Only two scenarios could knock the Eagles off this perch: One is Wentz failing to recover from the knee injury that cut short his 2017 season; the other is a team actually offering Philadelphia what it would take to trade for Foles.

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