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Drafting QB is still prudent move, even with established starter

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Douglas C. Pizac / US Presswire
Nevada's Colin Kaepernick could be a target for teams already with established quarterbacks.


Most of the talk surrounding the upcoming NFL Draft has dealt with teams that need quarterbacks: Carolina, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Denver and Buffalo among them. A discussion that really hasn't been as prevelant is regarding the teams that don't need quarterbacks, but would be prudent to add one.

Why wouldn't the Oakland Raiders, for example, be interested in drafting someone like mobile Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick? New coach Hue Jackson has already said Jason Campbell is the starter, but Campbell's contract expires after the season.

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The addition of a strong-armed quarterback with mobility and potential would seem to make sense for the Raiders. A player like Kaepernick or Arkansas's Ryan Mallett could be developed -- and Jackson can develop quarterbacks -- for a season and then be ready as a serviceable backup or to step in as the starter.

The same goes for the Colts. Yep, Indianapolis. I'm not one to think that Peyton Manning's replacement needs to be found any time soon, but I do think developing a talented prospect behind him in the near future makes perfect sense. We know the Colts are kicking the tires on potential draft picks -- they've met with TCU's Andy Dalton and will do the same with Kaepernick -- which shows that they're at least exploring the possibility.

Philadelphia also fits in this category. There is a good chance that Kevin Kolb, a former second-round pick, gets moved. By bringing in a young player and developing him the same way they molded Kolb could result in a serviceable backup, at the least.

Although it's easy to project certain teams of need plucking a quarterback at some point of the draft, it should not be a surprise if some with starters already in place also dip into the QB prospect pool.

Ohio players

The two Ohio teams could have a lot of say in how the draft -- at least the front end of it -- plays out.

Cincinnati, which has the fourth overall pick, could select quarterback Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert -- if either is available - leaving one of the top defenders, like ends Da'Quan Bowers or Robert Quinn, defensive tackles Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus, linebacker Von Miller or wide receiver A.J. Green on the board.

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The Bengals seem pretty firm that they are ready to move on without incumbent Carson Palmer, who has given ownership a trade-me-or-I'll-retire ultimatum. The intrigue is whether they'll draft a quarterback in the first or second round. They could opt to draft a defender or wide receiver in the first round, a quarterback later and get into the Kevin Kolb, Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck sweepstakes.

The Browns, drafting No. 6, hold the real position of intrigue. With quarterback-needy teams San Francisco (No. 7) and Tennessee (No. 8) right behind them, a team that needs a quarterback -- like the Vikings, who draft 12th -- could try to swap places with Cleveland to get their target. That scenario would likely only happen if Newton or Gabbert slipped past No. 5.

If that happened, Cleveland would have added a later-round pick to go with a first-round pick later in the round and could get a player like Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, one of the top defensive ends -- including Missouri's Aldon Smith -- or be in a position to move back even further.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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