It happens every year.
Quarterback-needy teams spout false promises about snagging the "best player available" in the draft, only to swing and miss on a signal caller who should have been taken rounds later -- or not at all.
This year's class of passers is widely regarded as an underwhelming bunch. With no evolutionary version of Andrew Luck on tap, teams with voids under center went hard after quarterbacks in free agency. While trade winds still swirl around Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers appear content to ride into next season with Brian Hoyer as their No. 1. The Bears, meanwhile, just spent major coin on Mike Glennon.
The early machinations of the new league year spell bad news for this year's draft-eligible quarterbacks, but at least a few teams are bound to take a swing in Round 1 -- right?
Here's our list of who might pull the trigger over the first 32 picks:
1) Cleveland Browns
Pass rusher Myles Garrett is all but guaranteed to go No. 1 overall, but the Browns are a logical candidate to swing for a quarterback at No. 12 (one of the picks they acquired from Philadelphia in last year's trade for the No. 2 overall selection). Cleveland also has the draft currency to trade back into the first round if Hue Jackson truly believes one of this year's prospects can flip the switch on offense. We still see the Browns as a highly possible landing spot for Garoppolo. If you're going to use the No. 12 selection on a quarterback, packaging picks for Jimmy G makes the most sense. No other team in the league has more firepower to make a move, and Jackson, by all accounts, is high on Tom Brady's backup.
2) New York Jets
With both the Browns and Jetsreportedly intrigued by North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky, New York remains in play to pick a quarterback at No. 6. That feels rich for any of this year's college arms, but the Jets have grisly issues at the position. Signing Jay Cutler would diminish Gang Green as a serious player for a first-round quarterback, but this much is clear: The Jets can't go into next season with Bryce Petty and the mythological Christian Hackenberg as their top two options.
3) Buffalo Bills
The decision to keep Tyrod Taylor solved one offseason mystery, but Buffalo hardly feels married to the young quarterback. With Taylor's restructured deal commanding just $1 million guaranteed after 2017, the Bills are free to bring in competition. If the Jets pass on a quarterback at No. 6, it's possible Buffalo would have its choice of the draft's first signal caller at 10. It's not a crazy move for a team that certainly appears less than infatuated with the current starter.
4) Arizona Cardinals
It's not their only need, but the Cardinals must think about finding a replacement for Carson Palmer. Bruce Arians remains one of the game's premier quarterback tutors, but he's shied away from grooming a rookie in Arizona. They can't avoid that task much longer, meaning the Cardinals could make a move at No. 13, especially if the Browns, Jets and Bills address other needs ahead of them.
5) Houston Texans
With nothing but Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden at the position, the Texans are locked in a waiting game for Tony Romo. If the Cowboys quarterback winds up in Houston, the Texans fall right off this list. If Romo zips off to Denver or parts unknown, Houston becomes a major player for a first-round passer. Moving on from Brock Osweiler made tons of sense, but coach Bill O'Brien is under intense pressure to find a viable quarterback -- not some headache-inducing patch -- before September.
6) New Orleans Saints
The Saints have expressed interest for years in finding an understudy to Drew Brees, who turns 39 next January. We fully expect New Orleans to use the No. 11 pick on defense, but coach Sean Payton might be tempted to pick a quarterback at No. 32, the selection earned in last week's trade of Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. With the Browns (No. 33), 49ers (No. 34), Bears (No. 36) and Jets (No. 39) all owning early picks in the second round, the Saints could make a move before the run on passers heats up.