The 2018 NFL Draft is expected to be a QB bonanza, with the top prospects at the position quickly flying off the board. It's possible that more than a third of the league will be in the QB market this offseason.
Now, we are still early in the process, but with the 2017 season over for all but two teams, I thought it would be a good time to look at which clubs need to be major players for a QB on draft day. Here are 10 teams to watch.
QBs signed through 2018:Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer
First-round position: Nos. 1 and 4
Analysis: The QB carousel in Cleveland is destined to continue until the team finds a quality starter at the position. DeShone Kizer flashed some talent during an up-and-down rookie season, but it might not be enough to keep GM John Dorsey from looking to upgrade the position with a top prospect in the 2018 class.
New York Giants
QBs signed through 2018:Eli Manning, Davis Webb
First-round position: No. 2
Analysis:Eli Manning's return to the starting lineup after a brief benching kept the team from seeing what it had in rookie Davis Webb during the regular season, but it won't stop the Giants from pursuing an eventual successor in the offseason. The team is sitting in a prime spot to grab a QB1 for the next decade and it should capitalize on the opportunity to land a franchise player at the top of the board.
QBs signed through 2018:Chad Kelly, Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian
First-round position: No. 5
Analysis: The Broncos are expected to swing for the fences to find a QB1 this offseason. Some expect the team to go after a veteran free agent, but the team could take that approach and double-down with an ultra-talented developmental prospect at the top of the draft.
New York Jets
QBs signed through 2018:Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, Joel Stave
First-round position: No. 6
Analysis:Josh McCown was a bit of a revelation for the Jets as a 37-year-old starter with an underrated game, but he's due to become a free agent and the team can't count on the journeyman to keep the seat warm at the QB1 position for long. The team's clandestine approach with Christian Hackenberg suggests that he isn't ready for prime time. The Jets could look to find a better option with their top pick.
QBs signed through 2018:Carson Palmer (has announced retirement)
First-round position: No. 15
Analysis: The retirements of Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer signal the start of a new era for the Cardinals. The team will need to find a franchise quarterback to start the rebuild under a new coach. If the team selects an offensive wizard to be the head coach, as expected, he could opt to take a veteran or target a young QB1 prospect to build an offense around. However, the Cardinals might be wise to find their future franchise playmaker in a draft loaded with potential at the position.
Los Angeles Chargers
QBs signed through 2018:Cardale Jones, Philip Rivers
First-round position: No. 17
Analysis:Philip Rivers hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, but that shouldn't stop the Chargers from looking for his successor in this draft. The veteran gunslinger can't play forever and the team would be wise to grab a young prospect to develop over the next few seasons before No. 17 walks off into the sunset.
QBs signed through 2018:Nathan Peterman, Tyrod Taylor
First-round position: Nos. 21 and 22
Analysis: Despite making the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons behind Tyrod Taylor, the Bills are expected to look for an upgrade this offseason. While some expect the team to make a play at a veteran during free agency, the team could find their franchise QB of the future on draft day with a pair of first-round picks that could be packaged to make a move up the charts to get into top-quarterback-prospect range. If GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott can find their guy during the pre-draft process, the Bills could be active players on draft weekend.
QBs signed through 2018:Joshua Dobbs, Landry Jones, Ben Roethlisberger
First-round position: No. 28
Analysis:Ben Roethlisberger plans to stick around in 2018, but that shouldn't stop the Steelers from looking for a future QB1 in the draft. Despite adding Joshua Dobbs to the mix in last year's draft, the team still needs to be looking for a potential successor in 2018 with Roethlisberger nearing the end of a great career. With late picks in each of the top rounds, the Steelers can opt for potential over production in a developmental prospect candidate.
QBs signed through 2018:Blake Bortles (club option)
First-round position: No. 29
Analysis: It's uncommon for a legitimate Super Bowl contender to have a need at the QB1 spot, but in my opinion, that's certainly the case with the Jaguars. Although Blake Bortles has played well enough to get the team to a championship level, he hasn't shown enough consistency as a passer to be a $19 million man (the salary his contract calls for in 2018) for the franchise. With a strong defense, a powerful running game and some electric playmakers on the outside, the Jaguars could get away with playing a developmental prospect at the position while still competing for the ring.
QBs signed through 2018:Kyle Sloter
First-round position: No. 30
Analysis: The Vikings currently have three intriguing quarterbacks on the depth chart in Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Sam Bradford, but each player is due to become a free agent this offseason. Thus, the Vikings will need to determine which veteran passer is best suited to fill the QB1 role for the future while also looking for a developmental option in the draft. The Vikings' draft-day plans will ultimately be determined by the decisions they make about their current QBs.