Top Ten NFL Teams With QB Needs in 2014
A Guide to NFL Team's QB Needs This Year
2014 NFL Off-Season
Quarterbacks are the hottest commodity in the NFL. Teams can never have too many solid options on reserve (the Curtis Painter debacle during Indy’s 2-14 year is proof of that) and every year they fight tooth and nail to sign the top prospects on draft day. This year’s QB class is fairly deep; there are a number of serviceable options, but not the kind of standouts (read: Andrew Luck or RGIII) that we’ve seen in recent years. Today, we’ll take a look at the top ten teams with QB needs in 2014.
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1. The Houston Texans unfortunate 2013 campaign landed them the No. 1 draft pick and the No. 1 spot on my list. With Matt Schaub off to Oakland and Case Keenum clearly not the future of the franchise, the odds are good that Bill O’Brien and Co. will take a QB first overall. DE Jadaveon Clowney might still be in the mix too, but there’s no escaping that the club has QB needs that have to be addressed.
2. The Texans’ AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars also have pressing needs under center. They recently re-signed veteran back-up Chad Henne, who might be able to hold down the fort for a little while, and traded Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers for draft picks, so moves are already being made. The Jags have the third overall pick this year, which puts them in position to snag a big name, like Bridgewater or Manziel, especially if the Rams (who are happy with current QB Sam Bradford) don’t trade away their No. 2 pick.
3. Minnesota’s QB situation in 2013 was not one to be envied. Between Matt Cassel (who they recently re-signed), Josh Freeman, and Christian Ponder, the Vikings seemed to be a bit lost at sea. Offensive coordinator Norv Tuner, fortunately, seems intent on adding some young blood to the club’s QB line-up, but doesn’t seem married to the idea of filling this need in the first round. Like he recently pointed out, “a third-rounder [won] the Super Bowl.”
4. The Cleveland Browns are having QB issues. I know, I know, this is nearly as shocking as learning the sky is blue or the grass is green. Luckily for the Browns, they actually have many other pieces (do the names Josh Gordon and Joe Haden ring any bells?) that could put them right in the thick of play-off contention if their new front office and coaching staff can make the right moves in the draft. I would love to see them take someone like WR Sammy Watkins with their No. 4 overall pick and a serviceable QB like AJ McCarron with their No. 26. The chances of this happening seem slim, given the Browns history, but we’ll have to wait and see where Pettine and Farmer’s heads are at.
5. Given what happened to the Green Bay Packers after Aaron Rodgers went down in 2013, it’s pretty clear that the club needs to draft a solid back-up for their main man. I don’t necessarily think they will, or even should, take a QB in the first round (replacing TE Jermichael Finley probably ought to be priority numero uno), but snagging a second or third round guy would be an excellent move.
6. Coming off of a 2012 Super Bowl win, fans expected more than they got out of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013. This was largely due to QB Joe Flacco’s rather tragic season. While Flacco is undoubtedly Baltimore’s guy, back-up QB Tyrod Taylor looked dismal when he played against the Patriots late in the year. It wouldn’t hurt for the Ravens brass to draft a second string QB who could actually step-up to the plate when needed.
7. New Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a knack for honing QB’s skills (Kurt Warner and Phillip Rivers both come to mind), but I’m not sure if even he can remedy Jake Locker’s consistency issues at Tennessee. Locker has struggled with accuracy since his high school days, and with a new coaching staff in-place, there’s really no time like the present for the club to start looking for its next starter.
8. Speaking of Phillip Rivers, I’d love to see the San Diego Chargers look for a back-up for him, possibly in the third or fourth round. Rivers had a great year in 2013, but he’s 32 years old, and the club doesn’t have anyone of note ready and waiting on the sidelines in the event that he goes down.
9. The Falcons are in the same boat as the Pack and the Bolts when it comes to their back-up situation. It certainly wouldn’t hurt for them to pick-up a decent player to groom behind current starter Matt Ryan. Ryan is just 28, so he should have several good years left, but injuries have taken out even younger guys, so it’s best for Atlanta to follow the Boy Scouts’ advice and be prepared.
10. Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton has had to deal with his share of naysayers thus far in his career. While Dalton has taken Cincy to the wild card round of the playoffs three years running, he has yet to win a post-season game. There’s no reason to give-up on Dalton just yet, but it wouldn’t hurt for the Bengals to bring-in a young back-up just in case Dalton can’t produce within the next season or two