There are several QB-needy teams heading into the offseason, and they'll be weighing whether to invest an early pick on a signal-caller in the months leading up to the draft (April 27-29).
Regardless of round or pick number, there are some teams that would be better fits than others for the young QBs. Here are my thoughts about where the draft's top five quarterback prospects would best fit.
Fit: Cleveland Browns
The Browns need a talented quarterback to move their offense effectively. They also need that player to be a leader and clutch performer who can help the franchise move out of the AFC North basement. Watson is all of those things. He might not be a pinpoint-accurate passer, but he has no fear of putting throws into tight spaces when needed. Head coach Hue Jackson will appreciate those traits, as well as Watson's athleticism, and make the most of them if the Clemson QB lands in Cleveland.
Fit: San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers' new head coach, was with the Redskins when they selected Robert Griffin III in the first round and Kirk Cousins in the fourth round (2012). Trubisky has skills in common with each of those players, as he possesses good athleticism and accuracy as a passer -- actually, his accuracy is even better than Cousins' was when he entered the league out of Michigan State. Inexperience might be an issue for Trubisky (he was a starter for only one season in college), but Shanahan should have at least three years to get the young QB on track. Coaches on the hot seat might not have the luxury to work through Trubisky's growing pains.
- List of combine participants
- Mock drafts | Jeremiah | Brooks | Casserly
- Four-round mock draft
- Mayock's position rankings
- Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospects
- Brooks' top 5 prospects by position
- Official underclassmen early entry list
- 8 teams that need to draft QB
- 2017 draft order and needs for every team
Fit: Arizona Cardinals
Although Kizer is a tough, mobile quarterback, he's primarily a strong-armed pocket passer much like the Cardinals' QB1 Carson Palmer. Arizona is expecting Palmer, 37, to return for another season, but it's a fine time to groom his eventual replacement. With receivers J.J. Nelson and John Brown able to take the top off of a defense, it's crucial for Bruce Arians to find a young quarterback who can stretch the field. Kizer's smooth running ability is a threat to defenses, as well, but he can also move within the pocket to buy time to find Nelson or Brown or dump the ball to Larry Fitzgerald.
Fit: Buffalo Bills
The Bills also have a new head coach in former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. While they're certainly not the same player, McDermott might be reminded of Cam Newton's skill set when he watches Mahomes. New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator with mobile and strong-armed quarterbacks in Denver, so he'll find a way to utilize the young quarterback's assets to the fullest. Dennison's work "coaching up" young passers like Trevor Siemian might help him get Mahomes, who comes from Texas Tech's Air Raid system, ready to play in a pro-style offense sooner than some expect.
Fit: Chicago Bears
The Bears need substantial improvement from their offense in 2017. The coaching staff is under pressure to win now -- they don't have time to teach a young quarterback how to operate a pro-style system. Peterman could be attractive because of his experience in a pro-style offense at Pitt. While the former Tennessee Volunteer doesn't have a plus arm, it's strong enough to move an NFL offense. If they believe he can be efficient and not turn the ball over, an issue Bears quarterbacks had in 2016, then taking a shot on Peterman makes a lot of sense.
Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.